Dating after divorce (but no annulment) question


Without going into details, (some of you know the story of my sister) my sister divorced her husband a few years ago. She was married in a Catholic church–and never sought an annulment…and isn’t planning to. She would like to remarry. I told her to get an annulment, but she said that she was married for 30 years…it was a valid marriage, in her eyes. She does not want to explore it. Ok…fast forward to today…she made a comment to me that she has been dating ‘losers,’ and how she knows God will ‘send her a miracle, someday.’ (she meant a good man to marry)

My question is…if God doesn’t want us to divorce, would He really ‘send us someone’ else, if the divorce wasn’t annuled? (from a Catholic perpsective, I mean) I thought to myself that I would like my sister to be happy…and not lonely. To meet a wonderful person to share her life with–but would God not send someone her way, because she is still technincally married? Your insight is appreciated.


God wouldn’t send someone to us so that we can commit adultery. Perhaps she could find someone to be reasonably happy with, but then when she dies she would have to face God and then such happiness may become something different. I hope and pray that she will not go forward with this.


Technically, she shouldn’t be dating anyone, losers or not, without an annulment. That may seem harsh to her, but that’s how it is. I doubt that God would send her a “Mr. Right” in order to commit adultery. What is a bit of earthly “happiness” if it will jeopardize her soul for all eternity? I’m in the same boat, BTW, and I no longer date, and won’t unless/until I get an annulment or my ex-h departs this world. I have friends and pets to keep me company.


she can’t date, she is married. she herself states she is validly married, so she must know this.


Your sister may be correct in that her Marriage was a valid Marriage and seeking an annulment would not change anything. She is at this point considered to be Married , morally cannot date and should not be acting in any way not appropriate to a Married person.


Your sister is not as you say Technically married

In the eyes of the Church and of God, she is still married, not technically married. Marriage lasts until death. If she does not want to get an annulment thats fine. As long as she recognizes the fact that civil divorce has absolutely no bearing whatsoever on a sacramental marriage.

If she wants to date, get a boyfriend, have sexual relations or re-marry, she does so at her own risk. Is she wants to accept the risk, that is totally and completely her own decision.

I think your sister knows this deep down inside and that is why she keeps dating losers. She knows that it is wrong. I don’t think God would send someone her way, but Satan might send her a great guy just to destroy her.


She can’t date period…I am married too and I can’t date either…(not that I want to besides I am perfectly happy with my wife).

Your Sister either rejects the the One Holy and Catholic Church or she is poorly informed. Either way if she is validly Married any man that comes into her life will not be at Gods will…However the feller downstairs might be cheering loudly.


she said that she was married for 30 years…it was a valid marriage, in her eyes

My marriage of 32 years was valid in my eyes as well. But that didn’t make it valid.

And when it ended for a lot of very awful reasons, that didn’t make it invalid either.

The Tribunal was careful and compassionate when they explored the marriage and, after three years, determined it had been invalid since the beginning. Only then did I even consider opening myself to another relationship. In fact, that is WHY I chose to seek the decision of annulment – I wanted to know that, if someone came alone, I either was or was **not **free in the eyes of my faithful Church, to pursue the relationship.

At the same time, I’m fully aware that most people seek an annulment AFTER they find someone else to marry and want to marry in the church. And then complain they don’t get it “fast enough.” Drives me nuts :rolleyes:


Here’s another monkey wrench perhaps to throw into this…she is no longer going to mass in the RCC…she is now going to church at a methodist church, and says that she no longer wants to follow Catholicism…does this exonerate her from an annulment, if she chooses to worship in another faith? If she was never married in the Catholic faith, would the same moral situation be relevant? Thank you all for your advice…I don’t know what to possible say to her.:o I mean, I do know what to say…I don’t know if I should say it…we have been down this road before…with annulments…


That is really fascinating…I would like to share this with my sister, if you don’t mind.:o


It is a mortal sin for her to date or act as if she is not married. She has full knowledge of what she is doing (she admits she was validly married), she knows it is wrong for a married woman to date, and she is doing this of her own free will. The fact that she has turned her back on Christ’s Bride - His Church - only compounds this issue.

IMO - she needs to get her butt back to her Faith, stop dating men (until/unless she is able to determine the validity of her marriage through the Tribunal), and get her life in order. If she died tomorrow I would be in fear for her immortal soul.

Sounds harsh and nasty, but I don’t think this is anything to pussyfoot around.



That is really fascinating…I would like to share this with my sister, if you don’t mind.

Of course, it is very difficult to have a long-term marriage come to an end. She is in my prayers.


There is one formal defection process, explained here:

However, even going through the formal defection does not make her free to re-marry if she is validly married - that law comes from Christ and is binding on all.

Just like when someone who is a Methodist and was married and divorced and re-married wants to come to join the Faith, they have to go though the process of having that first marriage invesitgated. Just because they thought that whole “no divorce” passage in the NT did not apply to them does not make them free to divorce and re-marry.

Does that make any sense?


Both heaven and hell are full of protestants. One does not be Catholic to be in Mortal Sin.


So, considering that the Catholic faith is the only religion whereby an individual that is legally divorced can have his/her marriage annuled…what happens to people who are not Catholic, and who want to remarry? If there is no annulment process, does this mean they are forbidden to remarry? In my sister’s case, an annulment possibly could mean should could remarry, without the sting of mortal sin. (and provided she went to Confession, which I won’t ask if she has gone, as I’m not her mother, and don’t know if she has)


Ok–interesting…this helps me quite a bit…thanks!!


The Catholic Faith is one of if not the only Christian group who still follows the Biblical teaching on divorce and re-marriage.

There are Protestants who marry/divorce/marry/divorce many times - this is grave matter and may very well be mortal sin. Without the Authority of the Holy Mother Church, the non-Catholics of the world have no one to determine if a marriage is valid.

The idea that only Catholics have to follow Christ’s law on marriage is getting it backwards.


Whether a “faith” has an annulment process or not has no bearing on the validity of a Marriage. It is the marriage that is the issue. Certainly there are scores of people out there who have validly married somone obtained a civil divorce and entered into a false adulterous marriage…whether it be Catholic or Methodist…In my neck of the woods a Catholic HS teacher divorced and and remarried without an annulment and Got fired from his teaching job…it has made some big headlines on the news.

In Catholic terms the word “remarry” is an oxymoron unless one of the spouses dies.

One is either married or not. The ONLY way a person can be formerly married is if their spouse dies.

If you sister went through the annulment process and it was granted then Dating and getting married is OK.


I never ever looked at the word 're’marry as an oxymoron…how true that is! Re-marry. How can we re-marry or re-anything, when we ‘are’ in that state already? I wonder why this isn’t taught enough by our priests during mass…or at least talked about? I think that many people are confused by the whole thing. I ‘get it,’ but I think with divorces coming so easy, many people don’t see the problem with it.:shrug: Thanks for your clarity…I appreciate it.


Hello, everyone.

 My dad divorced my mom, remarried about seven years later, and because of my new stepmom became an Episcopal.  He said that the marriage to my mom was of such a long duration that he didn't want to get an annulment, and he just basically didn't like the idea anyway.

  I always thought that if you change religions, that's it - game over.  You don't have to follow the "Catholic" religion anymore.  It is a free country.  I don't like it anymore than the next person reading this.  In fact, I may be the last true Catholic in my family.  But I like what another poster said when they said that a person assumes all risks when they decide to depart from the Faith.  I think that is my attitude as well.  What can you do, right?


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