I'll make this as brief as I can.
Karen and I have permanently split.
The reasons for our splitting are what they are, and I won't go into them. I only choose to address this publicly because I know there may be questions and I'd rather address them all at once rather than have the same conversation several times. I've already had "the talk" a few times and it is quite draining, so I'd like to minimize this going forward.
Our split actually occurred last year. I've kept it under my hat for a few reasons, mostly because I was holding on to hope for a reconciliation and I didn't want to involve anyone in what I hoped would just passing period. I'm mentioning this now because I've moved beyond that, and am no longer actively looking to reconcile, but rather to just simply get firm ground under my feet so I can move forward.
Please know that this split has been completely amicable and I still consider her a best friend.
The issue I'd most like to address is, what's next?
As you know, I'm Catholic, and the Church does not recognize divorce. I do, however, happen to find myself in the situation where I may be eligible for a Nullification.
What is a nullification? It is a statement that there was some deficiency that prevented a valid marriage from ever having existed. That is to say, that at the time of our wedding, either Karen or I were not in a position to enter into marriage.
It could be that we are eligible, it could be that we are not. I have my opinion on the topic, but I have to admit that I am both biased and stubborn. The Church will set up a tribunal to review the facts of the case and make a determination.
Here's the rub: In my opinion, the Church has become quite lax in its granting of nullifications. If St. Thomas More was sitting on my tribunal, I'd be comfortable; but as it is, my reading has led me to believe that the Church has been granting nullifications left and right, and that doesn't sit easy with me. So, if the tribunal nullifies our marriage, I will appeal the decision, simply based on the fact that I don't think I would feel truly comfortable if I didn't. I would be comfortable in abiding by the result of the appeal.
So what are the consequences?
If my marriage is nullified, I would be free to live my life as a single man. I'd be able to form a new relationship, to marry again, etc.
If my marriage is not nullified, then my marriage to Karen would be considered valid, and I would be considered married in the eyes of the Church. So I would have to live my life as a married (but separated) man.
Thems be the breaks.
But before I could even discuss a nullification through the Church, I need to get a legal divorce. That becomes inconvenient for a variety of (financial) reasons, so I'm not necessarily in a rush to push this forward. It will happen when it happens, and that discussion is beyond the scope of this note..
For the time being, I'm comfortable making my situation public and focusing my attention towards bringing about better days. This has been a long time in the making, and so while it may be news to some, I've both chewed and digested the events that have led me here, and so I've found a way to be content in the place I've found myself (so condolences are not necessary).