Am I at risk of committing adultery?


#1

Hello. I have met a man who is seeking a divorce from his wife. He would like us to have a dating-type relationship. He is married to a Catholic woman; he is protestant; they married in a civil ceremony. The marriage was never blessed by the Church. The wife does not object to the divorce. They have one child. I think the marriage is invalid for lack of form. I mention this to provide the background. It is my life's aim to be faithful to the Church. I realize that this man presents a very problematic situation. My question:

*Does the validity/invalidity of the marriage as determined by the Catholic Church have any bearing on whether or not a relationship is adulterous?

My first thought is that it does not...that we are to honor marriage, even those that are ultimately deemed invalid by the Church because of the risk of scandal. Not all friends/family/acquaintances are privy to all of the details of the marriage and may presume that the "dating" couple is engaged in an adulterous relationship.

However, I wonder if that is true in every case. An extreme example would be a woman wanting to date a man "married" to another man. Such a "marriage" , though legal, would not be recognized by the Church or natural law. The man may have some legal committments with another man but not any real "marital" committments thus no adultery would occur because of the man's "marriage." So from that thought I wonder if I would be at risk of adultery if I dated a man who was in an invalid marriage?

I think I should add that I realize that fornication is a risk in this situation. I am trying to discern if an emotional relationship in this situation would be considered adultery.

I appreciate any counsel faithful to the Magisterium. Thanks.


#2

While he is still married, he’s… married.

There is still a natural bond.

It must be respected.

I think your bigger issue is not whether he’s technically able to date while he still has a wife, but whether he’s ever going to be a suitable partner because he obviously does not believe his promise is forever, he doesn’t honor his own wedding vows and wants to date before he’s even signed a divorce decree. And I don’t suppose there is time for him to reflect on the issues that caused him to abandon his wife and child.

Whatever this relationship means to the Church, he is someone else’s husband right now in legal fact.

I think you need to really ask yourself why you would even think a man who is so eager to move on from his relationship to you would be a good idea. Plus, you may look like a “homewrecker” to others and it would cause scandal if he takes up with you and has an “emotional” relationship that tempts you to fornication before he’s even divorced civilly.

Red lights flashing. Why are you so eager to buy another woman’s problem? Don’t tell me she’s a fishmonger’s wife and it’s all her fault. That’s what all the men say as they’re leaving their wives. It usually takes about two years of observing both of them on their own for people to really see who was the person who was the problem.

If you want to spend your life wondering if he’ll look for loopholes to escape his bond with YOU and whether he’ll be asking another woman to have an emotional and dating relationship with him before he’s divorced YOU, then go right ahead. Leopards don’t change their spots.

From a Magesterium point of view, invalidity is only determined after the fact, after the divorce and after the marriage is examined by a Church tribunal. Someone who won’t wait for that probably also has patience issues and self restraint issues that he’ll take right into a new relationship to ruin it too.


#3

sophie: Avoid the “near occasion” of sin.

Plus, there’s that nasty “covet thy neighbor’s spouse” thing. It doesn’t have a clause that says, “Oh, unless the Church doesn’t recognize the marriage; then it’s okay.”

If you think their marriage doesn’t matter, would you be willing to call his wife and ask her permission to date her husband?

Besides, the list of men who “seek” divorces but never get them is longer than you can possibly imagine.

If I were you, I’d find another guy.


#4

Tell that man that you can’t be friends with him until his divorce is final.

This advice will save you a lot of sorrow and a broken heart when he stays with his wife.

Don’t try to get too technical on yourself on trying to make a wrong… right. It is wrong to date a married man. It doesn’t matter who married them and in what church or… court.


#5

In addition to the above advice. You should not be inserting yourself into this situation. Invalid or not there was a marriage attempt and a child created. The best thing might be for these people to get themselves together make their marriage valid. Breaking up an invalid marriage is not always the right thing to do. You should not be an incentive for a man to walk away and not even consider doing the right thing by his child and a woman he at least cared enough for to get a civil marriage.

So , absolutely no contact unless this guy is divorced and has a decree of nullity and is doing the right thing by his ex wife and child.


#6

I would (personally) run as far away from this man as possible. He is still married, ‘‘seeking’’ a divorce and being divorced and free and clear to date morally, are two different things. He is not free to date you or anyone. Secularly speaking, he needs time to heal from his first marriage here, and to put his child first. He needs to get his life settled…before he can even think of being a good guy to any future person. Spiritually and secularly, it’s a bad scene…and I would just say ‘‘no thanks…’’ and just end communication. If you tell him, ‘‘we can be friends until you’re divorced,’’ it won’t happen…he will keep pressing you, as long as he’s in your life…I hate to sound like gloom and doom…but so many people (men do this also) get involved with people who are still married/seeking divorces, and it pretty much always ends up badly. Don’t be one of the statistics. Prayers that you will do the morally right thing, here. God bless!


#7

If he will do it with you, he will do it to you.


#8

[quote="Liberanosamalo, post:2, topic:189759"]
While he is still married, he's.... married.

There is still a natural bond.

It must be respected.

I think your bigger issue is not whether he's technically able to date while he still has a wife, but whether he's ever going to be a suitable partner because he obviously does not believe his promise is forever, he doesn't honor his own wedding vows and wants to date before he's even signed a divorce decree. And I don't suppose there is time for him to reflect on the issues that caused him to abandon his wife and child.

Whatever this relationship means to the Church, he is someone else's husband right now in legal fact.

I think you need to really ask yourself why you would even think a man who is so eager to move on from his relationship to you would be a good idea. Plus, you may look like a "homewrecker" to others and it would cause scandal if he takes up with you and has an "emotional" relationship that tempts you to fornication before he's even divorced civilly.

Red lights flashing. Why are you so eager to buy another woman's problem? Don't tell me she's a fishmonger's wife and it's all her fault. That's what all the men say as they're leaving their wives. It usually takes about two years of observing both of them on their own for people to really see who was the person who was the problem.

If you want to spend your life wondering if he'll look for loopholes to escape his bond with YOU and whether he'll be asking another woman to have an emotional and dating relationship with him before he's divorced YOU, then go right ahead. Leopards don't change their spots.

From a Magesterium point of view, invalidity is only determined after the fact, after the divorce and after the marriage is examined by a Church tribunal. Someone who won't wait for that probably also has patience issues and self restraint issues that he'll take right into a new relationship to ruin it too.

[/quote]

WAY TO GO Liberanosamalo!! You tell her. She needs to stay as far away from this man as possible. Because she will be seen as a HOMEWRECKER and the tables will turn. He will dump her like a load of laundry


#9

Best advice - stay far away from this guy.
He’s already proven that he doesn’t act morally suggesting that you and he date because he’s getting a divorce. You cannot be sure that what he’s telling you is true about a divorce from his wife - and he has proven that while still married to her he is more than willing to ignore his marriage vows.

I believe that the Church’s position on this marriage is that is it presumed valid until a Tribunal investigates it and either declares it null (it never existed as a marriage defined by the Church) or declares it valid – and that cannot happen until there is a civil divorce. If he is protestant he most likely will not bother with obtaining the opinion of the Tribunal - why should he? (if he does get a divorce).

Do yourself a favor and put an end to any relationship with this man, it’s a waste of your time. Check out a young adults group at your parish or nearby, or a parish activity for the good of the parish or community; and pray to the good God to guide you in looking for and choosing a spouse. God Bless - prayers for you!


#10

Another quote - ‘When a man married his mistress, he creates a vacancy’

I know it doesn’t match your case entirely and nobody who posts here knows this man or the situation as well as you.

From my own recent expereinces, I too met a man who I really fell for in a big way.We just ‘clicked’ from the very start and after seeing one another several times as part of a group, we both wanted to spend more time together. It was only then, when there were already strong feelings on both sides, I found out he’d been married.

Normally, that would have been the ‘run for the hills!’ plan for me…but because he was so lovely and because I’d been facing all the usual insensitive and stupid observations from ‘concerned’ observers (along the lines that if I am single in my 30s with a good career and my own home, I must therefore be selfish, lack any maternal instincts and have issues with commitment:mad:) I carried on seeing him, but justified it to myself by maintaining a chaste relationship. He was so old-fashioned (in a nice way) and respectful, it wasn’t difficult and if anything, it made the relationship stronger, because it wasn’t just based on sex (it was in part based on the anticipation of sex one day in that fantasy land where he had his annulment and we’d have a long and happy life together because we’d done everything ‘by the book’, if I’m brutally honest!)

The truth was (is) that as a Catholic, I am looking for a relationship with a man who genuinely repsects and understands my beliefs and as marriage is a lifelong commitment, someone who falls in love with me and develops real trust in me before we are married and sleep together - not a man who thinks ‘you don’t buy a car before a test-drive’:rolleyes: Being Catholic is a secular society is not easy.

Anyway, until I realised this guy was actually, in RC terms, married, I thought he ticked all the boxes. When I found out he married as a teenager, under pressure from his family, I became obsessed with learning all I could about annulments and what validated a marriage (and this is the place to come to debate annulments til the cows come home:p)

I was so busy trying to convince myself an annulment would be obtainable…I totally did not pick up on the fact he has another very serious problem until we were really both totally smitten and I felt unable just to ‘walk away to the hills’ let alone run!

We did everything ‘right’ in terms of courtship - meeting with friends, respecting eachother, no intimate physical contact (not that I didn’t while away many a happy hour imagining it:blush:) which made me feel even more that this was the ‘real thing’ (:confused:)

So please, don’t make my experience a complete waste!!! Don’t get carried away focussing on one technicality: look at the wider picture. Run away if necessary! Don’t end up feeling obliged to persevere with someone to justify all the energy and effort you put into the relationship.

:wink: but as for what the ‘scandal-spotters’ think - if the self-righteous, self-appointed moral guardians of the world minded their own business; stopped looking for the bad in everything and gave up on peddling the myth that only mature couples are ‘respectable’ and single people must have some kind of problems, the world would be a better place:p


#11

Oh-Boy, I can’t wait to see the OP and her ‘date’ on the next episode of the ‘CHEATERS’ TV show . . . . . . . . . . . . faces and all, on national tv . . . . . . . .

He’s Married! duh!

Mommy, who is that woman with daddy . . . ?

p.s., his ‘ex’ will also take him to the ‘cleaners’ with this nice little tidbit presented to the divorce judge.

capiche?

Sorry to be so blunt, but I don’t think you have your ‘thinking-cap’ on . . . :frowning:


#12

From personal experience - don’t enter into the relationship. You will end up being hurt.


#13
  1. the sin of scandal.
    do not date a man that is married… even if no improper behavior goes on, you WILL be seen as being a problem and a mistress/home wrecker

  2. he IS married. until he is divorced (at least, whether or not he gets an anullment) he IS MARRIED! with a child even! so if you date him, you are dating a married man, with all that entails.

  3. he is pressuring/tempting you to “date” before he is divorced. why? WHY?! why cant he wait until he is divorced? whats his rush? what does he want from a “dating relationship” anyway?

  4. human beings lie. unless you were in the room with them both, you have NO real idea what his wife thinks, says, or etc. he is an adulterer, who si pressuring you into dating him while he is married to another woman… i wouldnt trust anything he says.

  5. dating you, even if his intentions were pure as the driven snow (and i dont think they are) would provide a GREAT deal of ammunition for his wife in a divorce.

run.


#14

Dear Sophie:

My advice is to leave this man alone. Let him work out the issues with his wife, matter of fact encourage him to do so. He is married. This is a union till death. Why would you want to interfere with it? I would think you would encourage him to go back to his wife. This would be the right and proper thing to do.

It will be hard, yes, but i believe it will be the right thing to do in the longrun.

Good Luck:thumbsup:


#15

You are not risking committing adultery, you ARE committing adultery if you procceed with this relationship.

When I was single, I remember being asked on a date by a co-worker. Being new to the area, I got lost and missed the show. The next day, someone at work mentioned he was married. Although I was furious, I talked to him and asked him to take out his wife for a date. I pointed out to him that she too may feel lonely, and why not make an effort which would might the world to her. I didn’t keep contact with him, but I know he took the advice and had a date night with his wife.

When someone else’s marriage is falling apart, don’t take advantage of that. It doesn’t matter if his wife has also given up on the marriage. That child deserves more. Don’t try to find the loophole so that you don’t feel guilty. If you care for him, then encourage him to fix his marriage. That is the best gift you could give him and yourself. God will reward you for your faith and may bring someone else into your life that is better than you would have ever imagined.


#16

Don't be one of those women who need to go out with a taken guy. They are using the wife's decision making as a shortcut for their own. It's like hiring some person "must be experienced." That does tend to weed out a lot of candidates employers would not touch. Same with women.

That irks me as a single guy almost 40.

Why not take a chance on a guy with no woman in sight, esp. if the Holy Spirit suggests as such to you?


#17

he (the hypothetical person) is a married man until the matter of his first marriage is formally resolved through the process provided by the Catholic Church. You cannot date him or consider him in any way other than a friend until then.

You (this is the editorial you, not addressed to a specific person) commit adultery if you engage in physical intimacy with him until that time. You commit the sin of fornication if once he is determined to be free to marry, you engage i physical intimacy before the two of your are married. No dilemma. same rules apply to all.

he is also legally married, not even civilly divorced, which puts him off limits to every other woman. He is unfaithful to his wife now if he starts a new relationship. Do you not hear alarm bells? if not, we will be glad to ring them for you.

every single woman should have this tattooed on her some place


#18

As far as the validity of his marriage, that's something depending on baptism and a bunch of stuff that he should talk to the priest about.

But divorce is not OK and even if he gets one, God will still consider him married. Divorce doesn't change anything objectively except the legality according to the State.

God's hope for this man would be that he would work things out with his wife for his sake, for his wife's sake, and his child's sake. That should be your hope, too, and I would stay out of it even if he says he will never go back with his wife.


#19

[quote="puzzleannie, post:17, topic:189759"]
Do you not hear alarm bells? if not, we will be glad to ring them for you.

every single woman should have this tattooed on her some place

[/quote]

I Agree !! :thumbsup:


#20

you are not at risk of committing adultery you are already committing adultery you are in an emotional relationship with a married man…please find a way to end it. save yourself the drama that comes with such a relationship.


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