Can I sleep in the same bed with a divorced woman?

I’m a divorced Catholic man without an annulment, and I have fallen in love with a good divorced Catholic woman without an annulment. We don’t live close and see each other about once a week, sometimes spending the night in each other’s homes and sleeping in each other’s beds, but we don’t fornicate. We do kiss and bundle, touch each other without seeking orgasm in intimate ways. We are trying to remain faithful to the letter of the teaching of sexual activity outside of marriage, but are we fooling ourselves and deceiving the world? We try to avoid scandal by being clear about the degree of our intimacy to our children and friends. Are we in violation of Church teaching?

Yes. As divorced Catholics without annulments, both of you are presumed married to your spouses in the eyes of the Church, and so your relationship with each other constitutes adultery. Neither of you are free to be involved in a romantic relationship with anyone, much less to engage in sleeping together and various forms of petting that are appropriate only to marriage.

[quote=ignatius56]We try to avoid scandal by being clear about the degree of our intimacy to our children and friends.

In this case, you’re also giving scandal. The Church defines scandal this way:

Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor’s tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense (CCC 2284).

With your friends, the scandal involved is that you are leading them to believe that what you are doing is moral and licit, and therefore tempting them to do it also. With your children, not only are you doing that; but, by virtue of your authority in their lives, you are corrupting their morals.

I can only recommend that you end this relationship immediately and seek to reconcile with God and regularize your position in the Church.

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