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  #16  
Old Aug 18, '12, 2:11 am
JacquesMaritain JacquesMaritain is offline
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Default Re: Adultery. Do you tell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sillara View Post
Please, provide some sort of example of what an innocent spouse might do that would deserve adultery as the response....(snip)

Are you saying that because a wife doesn't have sex often enough with her husband that she deserves for him to cheat on her? Are you saying that because a husband wants to play video games six nights a week, he deserves for his wife to cheat on him? I am very interested to hear your opinion on what constitutes "causing" adultery.
Hi Sillara:

That's why I said you really need a Canon Lawyer to sort this sort of thing out; you and I probably aren't qualified to do it, the language in the Canon is very rich, supple, textured, and nuanced, capable of many interpretations. I alluded to such a possible cause in my posting earlier; the "he's been physically abusing me for years" defense. I'm no expert on Church law, obviously, but I think the people you are referring to above would be "trivial" cases (by that I mean they are so obviously out-to-lunch it's pretty clear what the answer is). I have in mind more difficult cases; maybe the husband has been abusing the wife physically for years (beating her up, threatening her, etc). Maybe she starts drinking or something to escape the pain, spends as much time outside the house as she can, meets an old boyfriend from years gone by, things happen...I can't even remember if I consented because I was too drunk, in fact I can't remember much of anything at all, oh my God, I just want the pain to stop...I better not tell him, he'll kill me if he finds out I've been with him. I committed adultery, he will divorce me for sure, how will I raise the children? We'll be all alone in the world, I have no job or skills, Oh My God, what do I do?

Something more like that....the "innocent" spouse doesn't look so innocent anymore, does he? Again, I'm no Canon Lawyer, but I think my (imagined) case is a different sort of animal than the cases you alluded to above.

Jacques

Last edited by JacquesMaritain; Aug 18, '12 at 2:28 am.
  #17  
Old Aug 18, '12, 5:05 am
TrixieMcGee TrixieMcGee is offline
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Default Re: Adultery. Do you tell?

I am surprised no one has brought up the subject of possibly passing on stds due to the continuing of conjugal life. There is always a possibility that the adulterous mate has picked up some std and by not telling their spouse and continuing the conjugal life puts their spouses health and life at risk. Also not to mention it takes away their spouses informed consent.

People tend not to realize that there is more at risk by continuing conjugal life after an affair. I know that in the past I had a boyfriend cheat on me, then rape me and I got an std that he got from the other woman. Luckily it was something that was curable, but in a marital situation you can get an std because your spouse decided to cheat and then continued conjugal life without telling you the risks. You can end up paying with a life-long std or even death.

Some may say, "Well, take an std test before you continue conjugal life and don't tell them about the affair." That doesn't work either because I know that some stds may not show up right away like HIV. HIV has been known to sometimes not show up on tests for a few month or not show up even up to a year.

Yes, telling them might cause the end of the marriage, may cause many marital problems, but at least you aren't putting their health and life at risk and taking away their informed consent. I think that is a form of sexual assault.
  #18  
Old Aug 18, '12, 5:35 am
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mountee mountee is offline
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Default Re: Adultery. Do you tell?

The place to tell is the confessional first so that your conscience can be clear to be able to determine your next step. Personally, I would rather not know as I would have trouble putting it behind me. What you don't know can't hurt me philosophy, but others would disagree.
  #19  
Old Aug 18, '12, 6:00 am
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Sillara Sillara is offline
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Default Re: Adultery. Do you tell?

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Originally Posted by LilyM View Post
'Not having sex often enough' is one thing - but to outright refuse all sex for a very long period for no reason at all might just be sufficient. Continuous and serious verbal or physical abuse. Repeated and unrepentant infidelity on the part of the spouse who in turn is cheated on.
Yes, the committing adultery oneself was specifically mentioned. And, actually, as a firm believer in the marital debt I would actually say that it would mitigate culpability if one's spouse continually denied one sex.

But I also think that adultery is so heinous that is nearly impossible to "deserve". I would also therefore state that the default position should be to tell.
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  #20  
Old Aug 18, '12, 7:18 am
fred conty fred conty is offline
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Default Re: Adultery. Do you tell?

The canon law that has been cited does not say that a spouse, male or female, must tell the other person about the infidelity. It states what must be done after it is known. To tell is not the only way it might be known, there are other ways.

The catholic teaching nowhere states that a spouse, female or male, must reveal her/his infidelity. If this was the requirement, then the spouse, male or female, must also reveal all their infidelity in their thoughts. So confession to each other would be on a regular basis to be absolved from each other for their impure thoughts, for "he/her has already committed adultery in his/her heart".

Or there are other sins that fracture the marriage contract like not always doing one's part in helping with the children, or in wasting money thereby hurting the marriage contract, and on and on.

Sins are confessed to whom Jesus appointed to forgive them.

The marriage contract is "for better or for worse". That is for female and male partners.

HIV is a different situation. I don't believe the marriage contract obligates revelation, but that justice and charity does.

Just a thought.
  #21  
Old Aug 18, '12, 7:18 am
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Kelfa28 Kelfa28 is offline
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Default Re: Adultery. Do you tell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrixieMcGee View Post
I am surprised no one has brought up the subject of possibly passing on stds due to the continuing of conjugal life. There is always a possibility that the adulterous mate has picked up some std and by not telling their spouse and continuing the conjugal life puts their spouses health and life at risk. Also not to mention it takes away their spouses informed consent.

People tend not to realize that there is more at risk by continuing conjugal life after an affair. I know that in the past I had a boyfriend cheat on me, then rape me and I got an std that he got from the other woman. Luckily it was something that was curable, but in a marital situation you can get an std because your spouse decided to cheat and then continued conjugal life without telling you the risks. You can end up paying with a life-long std or even death.

Some may say, "Well, take an std test before you continue conjugal life and don't tell them about the affair." That doesn't work either because I know that some stds may not show up right away like HIV. HIV has been known to sometimes not show up on tests for a few month or not show up even up to a year.

Yes, telling them might cause the end of the marriage, may cause many marital problems, but at least you aren't putting their health and life at risk and taking away their informed consent. I think that is a form of sexual assault.
This is the first thought that came to my mind...you're putting your spouse at a terrible risk by not saying anything.

Not just HIV but chlamydia, syphillis, hepatitis and herpes also can test false negative...herpes can sometimes take 6 months for a positive to show up.

Your spouse finding out as opposed to you telling the truth may result in a far worse outcome when it comes to your marriage....but I can't imagine how awful it would be for your spouse to discover he/she contracted an STD...against their will.

My opinion? Whether it's recommended by the Church or not...you need to say something. You put your spouse in severe danger and they have no idea.
  #22  
Old Aug 18, '12, 7:22 am
TrixieMcGee TrixieMcGee is offline
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Default Re: Adultery. Do you tell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mountee View Post
The place to tell is the confessional first so that your conscience can be clear to be able to determine your next step. Personally, I would rather not know as I would have trouble putting it behind me. What you don't know can't hurt me philosophy, but others would disagree.
What you don't know def. can hurt you. If they bring home an std to you it can hurt you big time. Some stds don't turn up on the tests right away and if you continue the conjugal life, not so good. Read my above post where I go into more detail.
  #23  
Old Aug 18, '12, 7:27 am
TrixieMcGee TrixieMcGee is offline
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Default Re: Adultery. Do you tell?

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Originally Posted by Kelfa28 View Post
This is the first thought that came to my mind...you're putting your spouse at a terrible risk by not saying anything.

Not just HIV but chlamydia, syphillis, hepatitis and herpes also can test false negative...herpes can sometimes take 6 months for a positive to show up.

Your spouse finding out as opposed to you telling the truth may result in a far worse outcome when it comes to your marriage....but I can't imagine how awful it would be for your spouse to discover he/she contracted an STD...against their will.

My opinion? Whether it's recommended by the Church or not...you need to say something. You put your spouse in severe danger and they have no idea.
Also some forms of HPV don't show up for men at all. The bf who raped me gave me HPV, the type that can cause cervical cancer, but he thought, "All my std tests came up negative, so it is okay." Luckily I was young enough so my body eradicated it on it's own, but if I was older, who knows.
  #24  
Old Aug 18, '12, 8:47 am
LorilopezInneed LorilopezInneed is offline
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Default Re: Adultery. Do you tell?

It is surely a tough decision. What If the spouse is aware of the emotional infidelity and moves on without full knowledge of the physical? What if it has been years and STDS are no longer a concern?

During discussions of the emotional component ... I did say honestly that is was the product of several problems in our marriage. He had betrayed me in a different sense... He was cold and had turned emotionally abusive. Now, I made the horrific choice. But if we were happy in our marriage... I don't believe that it would have happened.
  #25  
Old Aug 18, '12, 6:44 pm
fastenatingguy fastenatingguy is offline
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Default Re: Adultery. Do you tell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sillara View Post
Please, provide some sort of example of what an innocent spouse might do that would deserve adultery as the response. Yes, it is possible for an "innocent" spouse to cause the adultery, but perhaps you and I live in quite different worlds. I know of people who would bring a third party into their marital bed to share their spouse with. This would be adultery, but it would be one caused by the "innocent" spouse.

Are you saying that because a wife doesn't have sex often enough with her husband that she deserves for him to cheat on her? Are you saying that because a husband wants to play video games six nights a week, he deserves for his wife to cheat on him? I am very interested to hear your opinion on what constitutes "causing" adultery.


I have discussed this previously, but it isn't easy. My wife decided thirteen years ago that she had "replaced me" (her words) with her work, her friends and family, and our children. She made this decision because of her perception of my actions (I worked too much, spent too much time with my family, etc). We never had a great sexual relationship, but we did have two great children. Her rejection was total: no communication, no love, no sex, no nothing. We lead separate lives.

She did not deserve that I should cheat on her, but eventually I chose to cheat. I solicited escorts about once every month or two for three years when I traveled on business. I craved the attention, touch, and feeling of a woman. It didn't necessarily end in consummated sex. That was only part of the need, it was good to communicate intimately with a woman. It was great to feel wanted, even if it was not love. It was misguided sin and it was protected sex. It was mortal sin on every level.

Well I finally decided to turn away from that and seek reconciliation with God in the sacraments. I've tried to do my best ever since, and have not repeated this adultery since I sought forgiveness from God. But I have not approached my wife on this, and don't expect to, but that could change if we ever reconcile our marriage. This was 9 years ago and I remain celibate.

As I said she didn't deserve this, but I was only too willing to pursue extramarital sex after a few years of abandonment at home. I don't wish any of this on anyone, but I said my peace.
  #26  
Old Aug 18, '12, 7:20 pm
aicirt aicirt is offline
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Default Re: Adultery. Do you tell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LorilopezInneed View Post
I have heard mixed reviews about this. If someone commits adultery must they tell their spouse? Especially if it's been years since the mortal sin took place? Wouldn't it be harming more than helping?
What good would it possibly do? It opens old wounds and now the spouse must deal with something he/she would be better off not knowing about. If it is OVER, what is the sense of dumping this old news on a spouse so the other can feel what?

You ask forgiveness only when it will do no harm otherwise you get to live with the guilt. Confession is recommended. Since this happened years ago, the person probably has already confessed and the priest probably did not advise the person to tell spouse.
  #27  
Old Aug 19, '12, 1:57 pm
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WetCatechumen WetCatechumen is offline
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Default Re: Adultery. Do you tell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sillara View Post
Here is a link to the Code of Canon Law, Canon 1152.

http://www.intratext.com/ixt/ENG0017/_P44.HTM

It reads as follows:

ARTICLE 2: SEPARATION WHILE THE BOND REMAINS

Can. 1151 Spouses have the obligation and the right to maintain their common conjugal life, unless a lawful reason excuses them.

Can. 1152 1 It is earnestly recommended that a spouse, motivated by christian charity and solicitous for the good of the family, should not refuse to pardon an adulterous partner and should not sunder the conjugal life. Nevertheless, if that spouse has not either expressly or tacitly condoned the other's fault, he or she has the right to sever the common conjugal life, provided he or she has not consented to the adultery, nor been the cause of it, nor also committed adultery.


This is quite clear that this is a *right* belonging to the injured spouse. By keeping it secret, the adulterous spouse has not only grievously wronged and betrayed the innocent spouse, but is wronging the innocent spouse further by robbing him or her of his *right* to decide whether or not to continue conjugal life.
In response to everyone, how I read this was that being the cause of it might mean more like actively encouraging or even compelling your partner to commit adultery - some people do do insane things like try having sex with other people in order to help their marriage.
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  #28  
Old Aug 20, '12, 5:56 am
Baelor Baelor is offline
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Default Re: Adultery. Do you tell?

How on earth could you look in the face of someone to whom you are lying every day of your life, especially when you made a commitment to them to become one with them and to help each other through hard times?
  #29  
Old Aug 20, '12, 6:18 am
Ms_Manners Ms_Manners is offline
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Default Re: Adultery. Do you tell?

If the church tells us to report impediments to marriage before it happens, which used to be why marriage intentions are announced at Mass, can we just forget about it if they happen during marriage?
The priest who held our marriage preparation class told us that it was our duty to report even things that might not seem like impediments at first, not only other relationships but also if they did not really love one another or they didn't treat each other with respect. Obviously I wouldn't run to the priest if I saw them angry one time, but this is a little more serious.
  #30  
Old Aug 20, '12, 7:20 am
Saturn5 Saturn5 is offline
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Default Re: Adultery. Do you tell?

My wife has had an emotional affair at a minimum that I know about. She has not told me anything yet and still struggles tremendously in our marriage. I have told her in previous conversations that I love her unconditionally and I'm not going anywhere. I have even gone so far to tell her that I will forgive her for anything she has done "in the past". I just want us to move forward.

I just feel like the pain of being "rejected" by your spouse is no different than if they had an affair or not. I know the emptiness and how I feel everyday of my wife not "seeing" me at all. There are days when I feel like she only likes me for my paycheck and help around the house whether that's laundry or replacing windows.

If she did have a physical affair I think it would be important to know that not only Christ forgives her, but I do as well. The burden of carrying that for the rest of her life I think would not free her from the weight of that indiscretion.

Do I want to hear her confess something like that? A most definite no, but that is "our' journey together to walk with Christ in our marriage vocation. I know my own sins in my heart because of my wife's constant rejection. Lust in my heart is sin as well and only together with Christ leading us, will we be able to have a joyous and fulfilling marriage.
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