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Old Dec 11, '11, 11:54 am
missourimom missourimom is offline
Trial Membership
Join Date: December 11, 2011
Posts: 1
Religion: Catholic
Default Does abuse qualify as a cause for annulment?

I have been married in the Church for the past seven years. I was physically and emotionally abused by my husband in the past four months and we have since separated. He has filed for a divorce and, despite my willingness to work on our marriage while living apart, says he intends to proceed. He has a sex addiction, which I didn't know about until after we were married. He was at first willing to use NFP, but in the past year refuses to continue using NFP and wants to get a vasectomy. He says my inflexibility in this area is the main reason he wants a divorce. We have been to numerous counselors, both together and individually. I have talked to three priests about our situation, one of whom works for the local marriage tribunal, but all of them say I do not appear to have grounds for an annulment. Is this correct?

Last edited by Michelle Arnold; Dec 11, '11 at 1:48 pm.
Old Dec 11, '11, 1:46 pm
Michelle Arnold's Avatar
Michelle Arnold Michelle Arnold is offline
Catholic Answers Apologist
Join Date: May 3, 2004
Posts: 5,123
Religion: Catholic
Default Re: Does abuse qualify as a cause for annulment?

Abuse, however horrific for the victim, does not necessarily constitute grounds for an annulment. Neither does a post-marital refusal to use NFP and to desire to obtain a sterilization. Those are conditions that arose after the marriage took place and thus do not necessarily mean that marital consent was invalidated at the time of the marriage.

Marital consent involves understanding that Christian marriage must be faithful, fruitful, and "forever" (i.e., lifelong). If you can prove that your husband had a pre-existing sex addiction that compromised his ability to vow to be faithful to you (not to mention fruitful and lifelong, given the warping of sexuality that sex addiction can cause), then you might have grounds for annulment on the issue of your husband's sex addiction.

In any case, at this point I recommend concentrating on obtaining the divorce from a man who has demonstrated that he is a positive danger to your health and safety. Once the divorce is final, then you can worry about seeking an annulment. God bless.

Last edited by Michelle Arnold; Dec 11, '11 at 1:58 pm.

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