How to be a faithful Catholic

I’m probably just giving myself a complex; I shouldn’t spend all my time reading Catholic mommy blogs. But it presents a question: how should I live as a faithful Catholic, given my state in life, when my state in life is all kinds of messed up?

I wasn’t Catholic when I married (neither was my husband), but our goal was that we would have a bunch of kids, he would work, and I would stay home and care for / homeschool the kids. (We kinda did this backwards, I see now. Usually people decide to do all those things AFTER they convert.) But in my back-asswards world, I’ve moved FARTHER from the desirable “Catholic wife/mother” state AFTER my husband and I joined the Church.

I realized that my husband’s behavior was abusive about 4 years after we married, 3 years after we started living in the same place. This was before I had any interest in Catholicism. I told myself that marriage was for life, and that I would stay with him for our child. Perversely, my journey toward the Church aligned with the eventual collapse of our marriage. The closer I got to Catholicism, the more I came to realize that I could not live with him any longer, not for the rest of my life, not for 12 more years, not for any longer than absolutely necessary.

So now I’m in the weird position of becoming a single mother, who has to send her child to group school so that she can work to support them — AFTER having joined the Church and acceded to its teachings. Hence my question: how should I be a faithful Catholic? The mommy bloggers talk about serving their husbands and children, confident in their vocation to matrimony. What about those of us who lost our traditional family since joining the Church? Discerning a vocation to a contemplative convent seems impossible, as much fun as it sounds. I will have no husband toward whom to direct a vocation. If no evidence for nullity is found, I will spend the rest of my life alone. (Honestly, even if we do get an annulment, I have no intention of ever marrying again. Knowing the potential for marriage becoming a living hell, I can’t imagine ever taking that risk.)

Is there a blogosphere for divorced Catholic single moms? Or should I just stop torturing myself via the Internet?

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