Are we really married?


#1

My husband has broken his marriage vows, and has been having sex with many different people for the past five or so years. I found out about a year ago, and asked him to stop this behavior and work on our marriage. He has now declared that he has no intention of stopping, and wants to increase his encounters instead, by visiting local swing clubs and internet dating clubs.

Would I be wrong to demand a separation in this case, or perhaps even a divorce? I don’t want our children to grow up thinking this is what a marriage is. But I feel so guilty, because then I would be the one breaking our vows. However, this isn’t really a valid marriage is it? Even though we were married in the Catholic Church. Dh has said he probably should not have married at all, and that exploring his sexuality is important to him. I should add that he is now an Atheist, and had a very weak Catholic upbringing.


#2

I don’t think there is enough information to know whether or not your marriage is valid. That would be up to a tribunal in any case though.

As to whether or not you should live a conjugal life with such a man, absolutely not. Yes, I would recommend separating and seeking the legal protection afforded by divorce. Talk to your priest.

I’m sorry you have to be going through this, but I want you to understand that you are not the one who broke the marriage vows. It is because you respect the institution of marriage that you can not pretend that the life your husband is choosing to lead in any way resembles a marriage.


#3

If you leave, consult with an attorney before you make any move. If you lock him out of the house or pack up the kids and move out, you can be charged with abandonment and you will lose the high ground in any subsequent legal action. TALK TO A LAWYER.


#4

I agree with talking to a lawyer first.

And also that you are not the one who broke your marriage vowels. Due to your husbands dangerous behavior, it is very dangerous for you to continue having relations with him. Whatever you decide to do, be careful in that department. You probably should even schedule a checkup with your doctor.

I think you should talk to a priest about what to do at this point. I don’t believe you would be wrong for seperating or divorcing him, but that’s something that you need to take up with a priest. Nobody here can give you that advice.

I will say that I have been in your shoes and know what your going through. It is very painful. Please remember to put everything in God’s hands and He will guide you through this, as He did for me.


#5

I’m so sorry to hear that this is happening to you. It’s tragic for your children too.
I don’t see how it can possibly be wrong for you to protect yourself and your children and that is the reason you would be divorcing him. I agree with the advice you’ve been given to consult a lawyer about this before doing anything else.

Your family is in my prayers :gopray:

Crystal


#6

And what does this mean anyway? What exactly is "exploring his sexuality?"
What is he hoping to discover? Does it work differently with other women? He is either monogamous our not. No exploring needed.

He has broken his vows and is unrepentent and openly proclaims he will continue to break his vow of fidelity. Sounds like legitimate grounds for divorce.


#7

This man has committed fraud against you.
Get away from him…he will infect you with a disease.
Get a lawyer…and then talk to a priest about annulment.
I’m sorry for your troubles, but I suspect that the sooner you get this man out of your life, the sooner you will be able to move on and see how much better things can be without him.
Good luck.


#8

Get an appointment with a priest.

While it would be my personal opinion that you are well within your rights to get a civil divorce, that’s not my decision to make - you need to discuss this with a priest and make sure that you do everything properly and in the correct order according to Church law (and yes, Church law provides for people in bad situations to get a civil divorce - what it doesn’t and cannot do is annul the marriage if it was valid) - once you have a civil divorce, you can initiate an investigation into the validity of the marriage through the Marriage Tribunal.

That process typically takes about a year or so (it can take longer, if the necessary evidence is difficult to get) - there are no guarantees, but once that investigation is completed, you will know where you stand, and you will then be able to make decisions about the long-term future.


#9

I’m sorry you are in this bad situation.

Scripture says it is quite okay to seperate if there is no other way of remaining together, and the Catholic Church says that a legal Divorce is okay if you don’t remarry, so you would not break your vows to get a Divirce from him.

A couple of posters suggested looking into an annulment. I would like to just suggest that you do lots of prayer before doing this to see if it is what God really wants for you. I lived with my ex partner for 22 years but never got married, I was not a practicing Catholic for the first 17 or so years, and once I was, the relationship had really fallen apart and marriage didn’t come about. I always felt like we were married and the last 5 years asked God to accept it as a marriage until I could get a marriage to happen. I strongly feel his guidance that He does not want me to get married in the future unless my ex partner was to die. My relationship is not recognised by the Catholic Church and they would be quite okay about me getting married, but that does not mean that is what God wants or accepts, and again I feel so strongly that he accepted my relationship as my one marriage.

Anyway, I just hope you put it in God’s hands to guide you on what to do, whether you should seek an annulment or just get divorced and remain single. Being single is not the end of the world, you can still have a full life. I still have young children, so I don’t get lonely or have lots of spare time, but once they are older, and I do, I will put the time I would have otherwise devoted to my ex partner to doing some kind of work for God.

God Bless


#10

Pray fot him!!
May God snatch him from the snares of the devil!


#11

You need to get very far away from this man. If you continue you will only be endangering your life. HIV/AIDS is alive and it does not have a criteria of who can get it anybody can get it. Then who is going to look after your kids when you are gone. You have every right to walk out on this marriage what is wrong with him does he think that sex is the see all and be all of life. Sorry he is going to bang his head so hard and by then it is going to be to late.

This is not what God would want for you. You need to pray about this but do not stay in a marriage out of guilt or you feel you have to for the childrens sake. Do you want them to be exposed to a man who is acting like a complete idiot. Should they grow up know that this is how a marriage should be. And that if my mother tolerated it and excepted it that it will be okay.

Please do not allow yourself to be a statistic that leaves behind children because of a man infedelity. I am so sick and tired of see innocent children left behind with nobody to look after them because both their parents died of the virus. And if he is not afraid to die then that is his problem. I don’t think the church will be excepting of you and the kids staying in that environment.

But the decision is yours to make everybody here can give you good or bad advice but what you do with it is your choice. God is always there for you never forget that. Pray to him ask him for guidance and assistance and you will see there is a light at the end of the tunnel.


#12

Ailina, I would leave this man and divorce him for he shows no intention of changing or stopping his behavior. I would like to give you some advice so that you won’t go through what my sister and many women across America are going through with their ex-husbands.

If you do get a divorce, hire a good lawyer, that will look out for your best interest and your childrens. When it comes to visitation of your ex towards your children, and this will be discussed before the final divorce decree is signed, make sure your ex gets as little time with the kids, if and only if you think he would do this behavior of swinging while the kids are visiting him on his weekend. I don’t know how he is as a dad, but my sister should have mentioned many things to her attorney before agreeing to the visitations of her children with their dad. Now it is a ugly court battle. I am not saying that this will happen to you and I don’t know your husband, but protect your kids from the beginning. Most men in the beginning don’t care much on visitation, but may later on after the divorce. My sister and many other’s are learning this the hard way and through much sufferings for the children. Whatever he does now with you and the children, he will do when he is their only parent for a period of time.

I too and sorry you have to go through this and I will certainly add you to my prayers.:gopray:


#13

D-i-v-o-r-c-e is better than S-T-Ds or A-I-D-S, which can lead to R-I-P.


#14

Valid or not, you are not doing anything immoral in seeking a civil divorce. I repeat, you are NOT breaking your marriage vows in pursuing a civil divorce for your own protection. He is breaking his vows. You are not breaking yours. If a tribunal later finds that your marriage is valid, then you can never remarry. But this situation definitely calls for separation of bed and board for your physical safety and your children’s psychological and spiritual well-being. Praying for you!


#15

Thank you all for your prayers. He left home yesterday, for a few days to clear his head, he said. Well. He’ll find his suitcase packed and waiting on the front porch when he comes back. I don’t want him living here anymore. It is too draining to live with a man who does the things he does.

We still haven’t told our kids; they think he is out of town for work. They have become used to him being away, since the kids and I spent most of the summer out of town visiting relatives, and he was away for “work” so much. How to tell them will be the next step, the hardest step really. That is what hurts the most, that he was so willing to break up his family over meaningless sex.


#16

My heart goes out to you. How many children do you have and how old are they? They will be in my prayers too, for I know first hand from my sister what divorce can do to children.


#17

Aileena,

I’m so sorry it came to that but it sounds like it’s for the best in your situation. Perhaps you can find an in person support group for people in the beginning of divorce as well as having CA. My heart goes out to you and you and your kids are in my prayers.

crystal


#18

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.