A Severe Case of Scruples? Please Pray!


Here’s the deal, the reason why I continue to ask so many questions on marriage is because I’m still seeking help. I posted about this before. See, I have been Married into the Catholic Church and I have my wedding certificate to prove it. But I constantly worry “what if the relationships I had with women of the past counted in God’s eyes as a wife?” Or “what if I married one of them?” I’ll say to myself that I did not but I constantly worry “what if?” And I’ll even have imaginations of marrying them or one of them and then I’ll ask myself “What if that’s no imagination but is really a memory?” I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and I’ve been told I also have a severe case of Scruples. I am on medicine and I’ve talked to a priest, but sadly I just still worry. SO many questions goes through my head every single day. I even say to myself “It’s not what if, it’s you are Jason, you are married to someone else and that’s the truth” But in my heart I know that’s not true but then again that “voice” will say “What about that relationship, or that one, or that memory or was it an imagination.”

I am so worried that I am dammed if I stay with my wife. But I love her with all of my heart. She is the only woman that I want to make love to, have children with, and I desire to stay with her until death does us apart. And if she should ever chose to leave me I will NEVER seek another woman, EVER! , I do not want to leave her due to my fears. But this has for so long been effecting my every day life. I love God with all of my heart as well and I desire to be one with Him. I have the Marriage certificate but I still worry “what if what if what if!” Please help me.



If I may suggest, keep your marriage certificate handy. It is something physical and concrete and will outweigh a thousand mental worries.

If I may also read between the lines of a couple of other threads you started, while it may be possible for somebody who is both cunning and unscrupulous to outwit the Church and get married again (having already been married somewhere else), it is certainly not an easy thing to do. Unless you have actively set out to deceive–and I believe I can say with a fair amount of assurance that you haven’t–you don’t need to worry about having done it.

While it’s a very easy for me to say this at my keyboard, I’d also like to try suggesting that you get out with your wife and do things. I have no idea what you or she likes, but some activity like bowling, walking in the woods, collecting stamps, or visiting the highest point in every county in your state would probably be a good thing. It would give you something to think about besides the question of whether you are validly married.

  • Liberian

who is headed across the room for his Rosary … six Our Fathers and fifty-three Hail Marys headed Heavenward for you …


Well, if you lived closer to Kansas, I would suggest that you go to this Retreat. Fr. Santa is based in Arizona. Maybe your parish could arrange such a retreat in your diocese.
Dates: Friday, August 26 - Sunday, August 28
Presenter: Father Thomas Santa, CSsR

Scrupulosity can rob a person of peace and complicate the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. For the scrupulous person it is often times difficult to imagine or experience the possibility of the confession of sins within the sacrament that is not burdened with fear, anxiety, and endless questions.

Scrupulosity is sometimes referred to as the doubting disease and at other times as a thousand frightening fantasies. Father Tom Santa, the author of the best selling book, “Understanding Scrupulosity”, will present a weekend retreat that has proven to be helpful to people who suffer from scrupulosity. The retreat will probably not free the participant from the experience of scrupulosity but it will help the individual person understand the problem and provide concrete helps that will give the participants some peace and freedom. Opportunity for the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, in a non-judgmental and understanding manner, will be provided.

Father Tom Santa was the founding director of the Spiritual Life Center and is well known in Wichita. At the current time he is the director of the Redemptorist Renewal Center in Tucson, Arizona. Author, teacher and retreat director his ministry experience includes extensive retreat work, the preaching of parish missions, ministry in a Catholic Publishing House and continuing work in developing catholic authors and poets. His current book is “Sacred Refuge, How and Why to Make a Retreat”, published by Ave Maria Press.

slcwichita.org/ (click on “Bulletin Board”)


I’m definitely praying for you…

But remember: marriage is a Sacrament.

Only God’s Church effects a sacrament… if your relationships weren’t sacramental marriages performed by the Catholic Church, then they are no more true marriages in God’s eyes than if you took bread, read Matthew 26:26 over it, and thought you had just performed Transubstantiation.

Trust in God, in all things. His arm of love are embracing you rght now as you read this message. Feel His arms of love around you, hear His whisper of assurance, and question no more.


you have recieved wonderful advice from Jim and Liberian…:thumbsup:
I can’t add much…

My daughter has OCD…are you on any medication? There are wonderful treatments for folks suffering from this disorder…

You are newlywed I take it. It sometimes takes a while for husband and wife to become bonded, and I suspect as time goes by you will truly feel the oneness that you expected to feel immediately after the priest said “I now pronounce you husband and wife”…There will be trials and tribulations…bills to pay and difficulties, and then the children…which are the bond of your love incarnate…



I know what you are going through. I too am suffering from OCD and scrupulosity. It makes life very hard, especially my spiritual life. All I can tell you is pray, pray,pray.
I find it helpful to meditate on Mark 5:25-34.

25 There was a woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years. 26 She had suffered greatly at the hands of many doctors and had spent all that she had. Yet she was not helped but only grew worse. 27 She had heard about Jesus and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak. 28 9 She said, “If I but touch his clothes, I shall be cured.” 29 Immediately her flow of blood dried up. She felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. 30 Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who has touched my clothes?” 31 But his disciples said to him, “You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, ‘Who touched me?’” 32 And he looked around to see who had done it. 33 The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction.”

Lastly, what you described about your scrupulosity sounds like it is very much the work of the devil playing games with your mind. I know it’s hard but pray when you get these thoughts and look at your marriage certificate and say “I am married to (your wife’s name) and noone else.” Then let go of the idea.

Feel free to private message me. I can guarentee I have dealt with similar anxieties.



Thanks all of you once again. Hopefully God has answered me because of what I’ve come to believe. I believe that if I was married to another woman in God’s eyes then He would have never allowed our wedding (Melissa and I) to have taken place. But He did, and I have the wedding certificate to prove it. And since He did I believe it is a True, Valid Sacramental Marriage in His eyes. For I believe He has perserved me from comitting the sin of fornication with Melissa or the sin of adultery with Melissa since the day of our (Melissa and I) wedding. Why? Because He loves me and I will trust Him.

Whenever I have anxieties, worries, imaginations, memories or anything that bothers me I will say that Satan is trying to decieve me. I don’t know how he can do it and I don’t understand the powers he has, but I believe that he IS trying to decieve me so I now know what to say in my defense. And now I will forever let it go and give it to God. Please keep praying for me though and thanks again everyone:)


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.