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Old Age Regret and Guilt
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TOPIC: Old Age Regret and Guilt
Old Age Regret and Guilt 3 Years, 7 Months ago Karma: 0  
It is nice to know that such a forum exist. My name is Mike and I am 65. Was raised catholic, attended catholic school, and attended minor seminary during high school. Married a wonderful woman, but realized that much too late. After marriage, joined the Navy and for the next 26 years spent much of my time away from my wife and children. We have five wonderful children, but I can not take credit for their turning out to be well adjusted adults. I was the selfish one, thinking only of myself. After nineteen years we divorced and were granted an annulment. The divorced was because of me - old story; found another woman who "understood me" and wanted to be with her, so divorced my wife and deserted my family. Remarried outside the catholic church, but my life continued to fall apart. Tried to attend church, but knew I was living in mortal sin and finally stopped going. Felt that when I died, I knew hell awaited me. The guilt was terrible and still is. Divorced and remarried again; still looking for that something that I could not discribe or find. Although I had always drank, my drinking really took off and I wound up in a mental facility. After being found unfit for further duty was kicked out of the service with diagnosis of clinical depression and alcoholism. Joined AA and have been sober for sixteen years. Divorced third wife and married again. This marriage has lasted over fourteen years and my current wife is great, but she is not catholic and does not want to be. Go to Luthren service with her because it is important to her. Feel like I am in a catch-22. Would like to reconnect with my catholic faith, but my wife is not interested in redoing our marriage within the catholic church and I will not leave or divorce her. The problem is that I still see myself living in mortal sin and cut off from God's grace. Any insight would be helpful.
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Re:Old Age Regret and Guilt 3 Years, 7 Months ago Karma: 19  

Know this: God loves you wherever you're at. He's been there beside you all these years and has never abandoned you, and He won't now. He'll pursue you relentlessly. We can't put limits on God or His love for us.

If you feel that you would like to reconnect with your faith, Mike, then go to mass. If you're wife isn't interested in going with you, you can go alone. Many of us attend mass not within a state of grace because we need it. We're broken, we're flawed, and we struggle, and we need God's grace to make it in this world. In just attending mass you will receive graces, even if you can't receive Holy Communion.

Have you ever considered the process of annulment or looked into it?

Mike, you write about your story in recognizing your need for God in your life, and acknowledge that you were looking for fulfillment in the wrong places. God is the One who will make you whole and fulfill you. Just invite Him into your heart and allow Him to love you.

God Bless.
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Re:Old Age Regret and Guilt 3 Years, 7 Months ago Karma: 0  
Thanks for the kind words. Have had more of an opportunity to read the many words of others. It seems most, if not all, are victims and have the right(?) to feel angry and hurt since they were the ones walked out on. I am not the victim; I am the one who walked away and in doing so threw away the most wonderful thing in my life. My problem is not anger but guilt. Not sure that this form helps those of us who caused the pain and now want to try and set things right and become united once again with God. It feels as if I have walked down a path of my own making that I can not change without causing even more pain to others now in my life.
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Re:Old Age Regret and Guilt 3 Years, 7 Months ago Karma: 19  
As the old saying goes, "It takes two to tango". I know there are others out there who likely did nothing to warrant their spouses leaving them, but I know I wasn't the perfect wife and I contributed to our marriage problems. I suppose a lot of people on this forum were the ones who were abandoned by their spouses, but it's not always easy for those who leave their marriages either. Sometimes people must leave because of abuse, or for the sakes of their children, and it's an agonizing decision, I'm sure.

The thing is, no one here is going to judge you, or think ill of you because you were the one to leave, even if it was for selfish reasons, Mike. We're all human, we all make mistakes, and most of us have regrets over our past. I know I certainly do, but I try not to dwell on that, rather, I trust that God has forgiven me for my past transgressions and that He has a plan for me.

One of the reasons this forum exists is to remind each other that we're infinitely loved by a God who desires us to love Him in turn. No one of us is beyond redemption or hope, no matter what we've done. This is how great God's mercy is for us.

I know you're in a difficult and painful place, but to acknowledge why you left your wife so long ago shows that you've grown and come a long way since then. Some people never arrive at that place in this life. I don't have the answers but all I know is that if you pray and ask for guidance, you will receive it.
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Re:Old Age Regret and Guilt 3 Years, 7 Months ago Karma: 0  
You may find some peace in telling your children's mother how you feel and acknowledge how wonderful she was as a wife and has been in raising your children. Forgive yourself for making mistakes. You may be surprised to hear from her that she also forgives you. Count your blessings with your current wife and share with her how you feel. Take turns going to each others church! God never would want you to feel cut off from His grace or love. I pray that you will find peace in your heart.
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Re:Old Age Regret and Guilt 3 Years, 7 Months ago Karma: 0  
Last Edit: 2012/01/08 04:55 By needshelp.
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