Civil divorce confusion


My husband and I are so confused. We unfortunately went through a year long terrible civil divorce that became final June 30 of this year. I had refused treatment for depression and anxiety and it led to a horrible situation in our relationship. We have a beautiful 3-year old daughter caught in the middle. I’m now getting the help that I need and am committed to ongoing treatment and therapy. Now that the awful legal “game” has ended, we see that there is still a lot of love between us as a couple. We went to a Retrouvaille week-end together and learned a lot and became even closer. Now we are committed to the Post Retrouvaille sessions (which last for 3 months) to continue on the right path that God has for us as a family if that is HIS will. Here’s the problem, we are VERY, VERY physically attracted to each other. I had not dated or had any relations with anyone throughout the yearlong divorce. My husband did. It so so hard for both of us to know what is right in regard to what we should do together physically. We know in the eyes of the Church we are still married and that the legal paperwork means nothing to God. Then again, the rest of the world sees us as divorced. It is so confusing. We are doing our best to restrain ourselves, but it is a tough situation. What is right and what is wrong???:confused:


Well in the eyes of GOd and the Church you are still married have relations if that is what you BOTH want.


your husband should be tested for STD’s before you engage in any relations with him.


I’m scared, but I’m going to get STD tested tomorrow afternoon. I made arrangements just now. If there is a problem, what do I do? In the eyes of God I’m still married to my husband even though we are divorced in the courts. If there are diseases involved at this point, do I continue withholding intimate relations? We’ve asked each other and God for forgiveness for our past mistakes and realize we’ve made many. If we are ever to become a family again, how does this work if STD’s are involved? Getting tested I know is the wise and safe thing to do to take care of my body, so I will, but how do I handle the results if they turn out bad?


First of all–good for you for facing what could be a hard truth. I’m fuzzy on why you and not your husband is getting tested, though.

You owe it to yourself and child to make your health a priority over resuming relations with your spouse. God’s forgiveness of your acts does not eliminate the natural consequence of contracting a disease. There is no benefit to having two diseased parents instead of one. Remember also that some common STDs ARE treatable–and if that is the case it is a situation that can be managed and cured–without ever affecting your health.

Unfortunately…if a disease like HIV is ever involved you do not have many options if you remain faithful to Church teachings. You basically are relegated to life-long abstinence–or–the option of sharing your husband’s disease–neither of which are very appealing. Cross that bridge if and when you get to it. For now–abstain until you get a clean bill of health for BOTH of you.


Here’s the confusing situation. When I was pregnant with our child in 2002, we were on a trip in Hawaii. I got sick and went to a doctor on the island and she said I had a bladder infection (which I had never had before). During that same trip, my husband got all kinds of weird, scabby looking things that itched and burned. We thought it might be connected to my infection at the time. Then time passed and he had the same problem again. He called the doctor who sent something out to treat it. I don’t remember him saying much more after that. Now here’s the part I don’t understand, as far as I know he had always been faithful to me and I to him. I never had any reason to suspect anything. We both had been married to other people prior to our marriage and had been with other peolpe. Those marriages were annulled. Now, when I brought up the STD concern to him since he was involved with other people during the divorce, he says that back when his doctor prescribed medicine to him when we were together, the doctor said it was probably “just herpes”. My husband also claims he mentioned it to me after the doctor said this to him, but I honestly don’t remember him telling me…and if he did, I wouldn’t have taken the information lightly. There is no such thing as probably “just herpes”. I admit I have selective memory, but that is a pretty hard comment to disregard. I asked if the doctor ran any tests and he said he just looked at it at one point. His lack of concern confuses me. This is why I am going to get myself tested. If I have something wrong, I need to know about it. I work hard to care for my body and have a 3-year old child…it’s nothing to take so lightly. I told him I am scheduled to get STD tested tomorrow, hoping he would offer to go too. He just asked why. For my peace of mind, I need to go, but really am concerned about how to handle the situation once I find out whatever the news is. After all, he is still my husband in the eyes of the Church. I really am confused but know that before ANY more intimacy builds, I need to know the facts. I really am concerned. I appreciate your input and prayers.


I would insist on his being tested and you being presented by the doctor with a clean bill of health for him before resuming marital relations. Forgiving and beginning a new is fine but if he has herpes-or both of you - then you need to know how to deal with it.


I’m a little bit concerned that suddenly you think that the only reason you got a divorce was because you were depressed (like it is all your fault) and that you are anxious to resume relations with a husband who likely has herpes, only it slipped his mind to mention it. I wonder if he mentioned it to the other woman or women he has been with since you guys were apart. In addition to medication, are you receiving any counseling? I am concerned that you are doubting yourself and are letting your husband transfer a lot of baggage and guilt on to you.


I am in intensive therapy right now for dealing with my anxiety and depression along with taking medication. I had been having severe panic attacks while I was married which was a big part of why my husband and I separated. I had a restraining order against him in a panic and had him removed from our home. One thing led to another and here we are divorced a year later. Once the lawyers got involved everything snowballed into a huge, expensive mess (a $40,000 mess that I paid just for my lawyer fees).:frowning: Sometimes I stop myself to ask if I am taking too much of the blame in the demise of our marriage because it did take two of us to get where we are. He was no angel especially in the end, his anger was escalating and it scared me. He had begged me while we were married to seek treatment and I refused. I was embarrassed and completely ashamed of admitting my “weakness”. I was worried about what other people would think. I was in denial of how bad things really were. He would try to get close to me and I pushed him away. I basically, worked, ate and slept. In my depression, the last thing I could deal with was intimacy. We are also in couples counseling together and go to our Retrouvaille Post sessions as well. With this situation being so complicated, I know the best thing to do is to go slow. I’ll go for testing tomorrow and take it from there. I am feeling better knowing I have people praying for me at this difficult time. I know God is with me, but the unknown is still quite scary.


I agree:) :cool:


Your suspicion that there is no such thing as “just herpes” is quite correct. Though this disease can be suppressed, it cannot be cured (just listen to the TV ads for the prescriptions available to people who have it.) Above posters are correct, you should BOTH be tested, and should restrain yourselves until you have a clean bill of health from your doctors. Make sure you get to see the results of his test.


I went for my STD testing and I don’t get the final results for 2 weeks. I couldn’t believe how many people were there waiting to be tested…it’s actually pretty scary to see that many people…and they only took the first ten people, the rest have to come and try again another day. The doctor who examined me said she didn’t see indications of any problems. I won’t know for sure until I get the final results. It will be a bit of a relief, especially if I get a clean bill of health. If not, I will have to deal with it as it comes. My husband said he will go for the SD testing as well. My question is, if I come out okay and he doesn’t, the doctor said I would need to use a condom to protect myself. What is the Church’s stand on this? Does anyone know or have any advice? Thanks.


In regards to the condom use…that is a BIG NO-NO with the church


If it turns out my husband does have an STD, do I just accept it and take the chance of catching it myself? I know the Church’s belief on not using condoms, but if they are used not as contraception but as a barrier to catching a disease, is the belief the same??? :confused:


Yes…becuase either way it is being used as a birth control.
You could abstain (SP?) …a condom does not guarantee 100% that nothing would be passed on anyway…no matter what TROJAN or any other condom maker wants you to believe!

SO you can either accept it and take a chance of catching something or abstain and catch nothing.


Oh my…I pray he finds out when he tests that he is negative for STDs. His doctor never actually ran a culture on him, but at one time upon visual examination, said it looked like it could be herpes.:frowning: This is going to be another trial I am going to have to turn to God for. I thought the civil divorce was all I could handle for awhile. God must have a plan…He always does. I’ll really need guidance and prayer if this becomes another thing to consider in our attempts to reconcile as a family (we have a 3-year old daughter). Please pray for us.


YOur in my prayers mwgirl!


We were in a similar situation, divorced civilly, but then went to Retrouvaille and got back together. BUT, what our priests told us, and it makes a lot of sense in your case, even though neither of us was unfaithful, was that we should not be intimate until we were actually married again. That way, we could both be sure that we were getting remarried for the right reasons, not just for lust. And you’re right, it is hard. But God will give you the graces you need. It sounds like you both need a lot of prayer right now, and you definitely need to continue your post-sessions and then CORE sessions monthly. There are some other issues if your husband couldn’t even wait until you were legally divorced to hop into bed with someone else. So don’t make any hasty decisions, keep up your dialog, and talk, talk, talk, with your DH about why the unfaithfulness, why the reluctance to get tested, and what will happen if either of you is positive. You have to deal with this before you both jump into something too soon. I know it is hard to wait, btdt, but it is the right thing to do. I know.


Hi Tammy,
Prior to our divorce, I refused to get help for my depression and anxiety that I’ve suffered with pretty much all of my life. It got worse after having our first baby and then later lost another in a miscarriage. I was basically surviving (not really living) day to day in isolation, not opening up at all to my husband. This eventually led him to outbursts of anger and name calling in his desperation to make me see that I needed help. I’m not excusing his behavior, but now that we’ve talked (and I’m in tretment now), I can better see what was going on between us. I was ashamed and in denial of needing help while we were married. In a panic after an argument, I had the police remove him from our home. The legal battle over our child, money, etc got VERY ugly. I refused to talk face to face the entire one year divorce. I had my lawyer do it all. I had lawyers, friends and family telling me to protect myself by not giving him a chance to use anything against me in court…so we did everything we could to keep me from having contact with him. He had a sexual relationship with someone during the divorce. I did not. Now here we are and it is so confusing especially after Retrouvaille. We loved what we learned over the week-end and are comitted to the Posts and Core thereafter, but it made us overly aware of the strong physical attraction we share between us. Can two people still married in the eyes of the Church be doing wrong if they are intimate? Last night was the first time we were together that way. We didn’t feel guilt or regret, we just have questions. It sounds like you had advice to abstain until a decision was made. I know in my heart it probably really is the best thing, but I don’t know how to backtrack. I will pray and pray some more. I appreciate your advice and it is encouraging to hear about someone who also went to Retrouvaille. Thanks so much.


just my 2cents but sleeping with someone that has cheated on you & that may have an STD is not a smart thing! I would advise waiting until** both** of you get your STD testing results back!
Also a marriage is more than a mutual physical attraction…
Once again just my 2cents.

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