3 Big Mistakes Divorced Catholics Make Trying To Find A New Relationship

3 Big Mistakes Divorced Catholics Make Trying To Find A New Relationship October 19, 2016

Image courtesy of Pexels.Com, CC
Image courtesy of Pexels.Com, CC

An unfortunate reality these days is the high rate of Catholics who divorce, which happens for many reasons despite the Catholic Church’s upholding of Christ’s teaching on divorce. For some, it is an excuse to exit an unhappy marriage. For others, it is forced upon them, whether they are the abandoned spouse or are compelled to choose that option as a means of protection from an abusive relationship. That’s not some bogus way of saying divorce is okay, because it’s not okay. But it is the reality we live in.

Then, there’s the reality that many of these people who married in good faith but wound up divorced don’t want to be alone for the rest of their lives. They still have a lot to offer someone and want to have a successful relationship, which is good, but when faced with getting back out there to start finding someone they find an entirely different world than what they might expect. Dating after a divorce can be a harrowing experience if you’re not prepared.

There are three big mistakes people typically make when dating after divorce and I would like to help you avoid them:

3.    Using Dating As A Bandaid

Many people are simply not healed enough to date and begin new relationships, and there are no shortcuts to healing. In my own experience, I was not healed at all from my divorce when I got back into dating, and I was using it as a sort of pain reliever or band aid; it was a way to make me feel better about myself. I was using men for my own gratification and that is not a healthy way to begin a relationship.

Another danger here is that a wounded heart attaches easily. Trying to form an attachment before your heart is strong and ready for commitment only compounds the wounded-ness. That is why so many people go from relationship to relationship without ever finding that peace and fulfillment they seek.

2.   Becoming Sexually Entangled

Most divorced people get into dating with the best of intentions, but also with a serious handicap: You’re already used to having sex, and it is hard to tell your body that now, you can’t. Whether your experience with married sex was good or bad, there still was that freedom to be sexually intimate with your spouse and that is something that can be difficult to step away from after divorce.

There is immense pressure to have sex after divorce and it’s difficult to avoid. It may seem like fun at first, but I’ve never known anyone, including myself, who has walked away from casual sexual encounters feeling great about themselves. Why? Because sexual intimacy is intended to be a gift that married spouses give to each other, the gift of the total person (mind, heart, body, fertility). When sex happens outside of marriage it becomes an objectification of the persons involved. They use each other for their own pleasure instead of gifting themselves to each other and “using” someone, or being “used” never makes anyone happy.

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