Converting! How should I relate to my husband in our invalid marriage?

I am converting into the Catholic Church and have discovered that my marriage is invalid. My husband is not converting and doesn’t understand why there is an issue. My question is how should I relate to him now that I know our marriage is invalid. I am not talking about physically (we are already abstaining), I mean just day to day. I care about him and this is hurting him. I need advise on how to handle this…I don’t want to hurt him anymore than I am already. HELP!

Love him. Be kind, be generous, he ought go to work and say “wow, guys, encourage your wife to go to RCIA because my wife is the best wife on earth since she began going!”


What makes you think your marriage is invalid?

The same way you did before.


Yeah. This way my first thought too.

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Have you spoken with your priest about whether your marriage is invalid, and whether anything can be done about it if it is?

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We both have prior marriages. (Me-1, him-2), and those marriages have not been annulled. Our 15 yr old daughter and I have been staying with my Mother since she had knee surgery in June. We all live in a small town so we are actually only blocks apart. Yesterday was a year since my Dad passed away and my Mama needs me right now both emotionally and financially. Knowing that this is an invalid marriage, I am struggling with what I should do. We are estranged from each other right now and are basically friends who share a child and a bank account. I don’t want to hurt him anymore than I have already which is one reason why I am hesitant to move back into the house with him.

Yes, you have to investigate. Is your pastor helping?

Were u both Baptized Christians?

Definitely help your mother… but remember a functional home is important for your child. See what can be done!

Well, speak to your priest I would say. If you had a valid marriage in the Church and that was not annulled then you are still married to your original husband so you obviously can’t relate to hubby 2 as your husband.

It’s good that you are thinking in terms of what to do to bring you into line with the way the Church teaches you to live.

God bless.

What does that mean exactly?

You can’t have a “functional home” at the cost of continuing a possibly adulterous relationship.

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No, not at all!

It meant, see what can be done to validate.

Have you spoken to your pastor about decree of nullity?

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A) talk to your pastor

B) talk to your pastor


C) stop thinking you need to treat him “differently”

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I was baptized as a Baptist when I was 12. He grew up in the Methodist church but has never been baptized. He does not attend any kind of church at all except possibly Easter or Christmas. The functional home is the thing that I am concerned about. Not only do I not want to hurt him, but I am also thinking about our daughter. I have a call in to my priest and am hoping I can speak with him about this directly today.

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Well she does need to treat him as not her Christian husband, at least, until previous marriages are discerned and this one regularized, right?

There are three marriages that are afforded the favor of the law before this one.

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Get to your Priest and talk to him ASAP and he can help you with all of this

All of it?

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This is what I would think too.

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The OP already knew this, and shared with us her virtuous conviction.

It’s good for us all to have dialogue with our pastor in times of moral struggle. And as someone who we can appeal to as a shepherd in representation of our faith.

It’s also good to know our High Priest gives us all the same Spirit. So we, too, are able to allow Him to guide our understanding and affirm whether something needs greater representation by the Church.

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I apologize if I’m reading this wrong, but I kind of get the impression that you are using your conversion to Catholicism as an excuse to get out of your marriage. The fact that you are not living with him is very telling. Certainly there are times when elderly parents might require assistance (been there…done that), but most married folks are not going to abandon their spouse and move in with them. Especially if, as you say, they are only a few blocks away. I suspect there is more going on here.

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You are ignoring that there are three marriages which came before this one.

You dont think that can warrant separation and investigation?

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