Dishonesty enough to end marriage?


#1

do you think being a dishonest person and constantly lying is enough reason for the other spouse to end the marriage?

this lead to lack of trust …


#2

You have to provide us with SOME context if you want an intelligent response. Your spouse consistently fibbing about eating the last cookie in the jar is a whole different ball game than someone who lies repeatedly about where and with whom he/she is spending their time, money, affection…


#3

someone who lies repeatedly about where and with whom he/she is spending their time, money, affection…

not the last cookie in the jar… :frowning:


#4

There’s no reason enough to end a sacramental marriage - and no possibility save death. If you talk about the civil aspect of it, then, well, there are legitimate reasons to seek a civil divorce, although a civil separation would be more proper and preferable.

So, is thorough and persistent dishonesty enough to end a sacramental marriage? No. Is it enough to warrant a merely civil divorce? Of itself not, but it may create dangers to the health of the spouse and children (mental if not physical). It would perhaps be enough to warrant ecclesiastic separation (separation as in canon law, basically, making it no longer a sin not to cohabitate or perform marital duties).

Most importantly, if the dishonesty dates back to the beginning of marriage and especially before, it may say something about the person’s general ability to take oaths or to deliver - that is, to perform all the duties of marital life and parental duties. Maturity may also be a problem. See Canon 1095 and around, or 1055 and the couple following.

But there’s still not enough information to say anything specific and I’m just spawning theoretical speculations.


#5

I think dishonesty can break up a marriage for two grave reasons:

  1. It can be the root or underlying cause of many other harmful and wrong behaviors. If a person is a habitual liar or one with an issue causing chronic lying, it could lead that person into much trouble. That person is not only lying to you, but also to people at work, school and the community at large. Big mistakes could be made that could result in arrest, unemployment, foreclosure and more.

  2. The other reason that might be more common is simply that lying is a symptom of another problem. If your spouse is lying all the time about money, location, time spent and where, then she or he is probably cheating on you, gambling, drinking, stealing or who knows what.

  3. If it is not so serious as the above two, lying can still be a horribly impairment to trust and intimacy, two things very important in marriage. If someone simply has a weakness for lying, or perhaps a bad experience or conditioned style to lie, they can alienate themselves from their spouse, cause a lot of friction and basically erode the relationship.

Check out www.marriagebuilders.com or read His Needs, Her Needs.


#6

i have read this book… actually bought it for my coworker as it was such a good read…

anyways to answer chevalier’s question, yes the lying started before marriage but I only came to know about it after we were married, as a lot of aspects are revealed after marriage when you actually start living together…


#7

Hmm, I see what you are getting at. For example, what of those people who lead double lives? If a spouse finds out after marriage, does that show the marriage to be invalid?


#8

#9

And in some states, legal separation doesn’t cut it, insofar as custody and finances go.


#10

he lied about finances and addictions before marriage and i later on came to know about emotional affairs… though i dont know if he ever stepped over the line since he was constantly lying… you only know from the signs but after a while, you kind of think you are paranoid or going mad as you are unable to trust for anything…


#11

There’s no reason enough to end a sacramental marriage - and no possibility save death. If you talk about the civil aspect of it, then, well, there are legitimate reasons to seek a civil divorce, although a civil separation would be more proper and preferable.

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**[size=3]I’m not sure I agree. If the spouse is lying about things like finances, affairs, addictions etc then the other spouse has a duty to her or himself to protect themselves and any children by seeking a civil divorce. **

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[size=3]And in some states, legal separation doesn’t cut it, insofar as custody and finances go.

I think there are two different issues here. Chevalier is concerned that anyone seeking to separate from a spouse, *to whom one is actually VALIDLY, SACRAMENTALLY, married *not disregard Church law. If someone lives where there are legal separations which adequately protect the adults and any children, then why not do that rather than civilly divorce? But I suspect that such locations are actually in the minority, hence the need for an actual divorce.

But if someone suspects that they were never in a valid sacramental marriage to begin with --which *might *be the case if the other spouse has a pattern of lying which precedes the marriage date-- and wishes to obtain a ruling of nullity then civil divorce is necessary.

(Now there is no requirement that one must obtain a ruling of nullity even if it’s almost certain a marriage is invalid and non-sacramental unless one intends to actually enter a valid sacramental marriage.)[/size]


#12

yes … i need to obtain a ruling of nullity… which is the reason why I need to know if this was a sacramental marriage to begin with… :frowning:


#13

Well, imho, I do think it’s enough to end a marriage. With what I’ve read it seems this was going on before you were married, so how do you know when he was truthful? You really don’t know do you? A marriage based on lies is like a house with a sand foundation, no stability, security, trust, safety, etc. You see where I’m going with this?

I will soon be finalizing my divorce also, I hope I don’t feel anything except relief and appreciation to God that he opened my eyes to the kind of person I had chosen to marry. My husband is a pathological liar, truth never comes out of his mouth no matter how small and insignificant the situation is. He lies when there is no reason to lie, his entire life is a lie. He, of course, had multiple affairs, is a gambling addict, an alcoholic, oh and let’s not forget that he got one of his 19 year old girlfriend’s pregnant while I was pregnant. Yeah, I was ready to get out of that situation and fast!!!

God works in mysterious ways, all of this has brought me closer to Him. I have learned to trust Him and just surrender to His will, He will never let me down. If I had to go through all I’ve been through just to come closer to Him, to know Him, to love my faith and follow church teaching to put Him first in all I do…then it’s been worth all the pain, tears and heartbreak because I won, I got the prize that really matters. I’ve learned to love and trust Him and the peace and joy that come with that I wouldn’t trade for anything!!!


#14

yes i do see where u r going with this… he did lie and about things that did not make sense… just becos he wanted to have fun or thought that i didnt need to know the truth… sometimes he would just lie… or thought that i should be too stupid to understand…


#15

Hi Mariam,

Do you remember my situation from several months ago? I’ve filed my petition for a decree of nullity and there are no fewer than SIX possible grounds revealed by my initial testimony. The fact/suspicion of problems BEFORE the wedding are what is key.

It’s a little bit of a catch 22, but I think it’s this way to protect marriage. The Church doesn’t tell people what their annulment “chances” are before they’re divorced (or even after, really). What I mean is…you can’t file for nullity decree until you’re already divorced, and even then you don’t get to “choose” under what grounds to ask for the decree of nullity. You just have to tell the truth and pray for the best.

But in any case, I would not let worries about possible future annulments sway you one way or the other on the question of divorce. That’s the bigger question.

edited to add: I’m sorry if I misread your post, not sure if you’re making a decision about divorce or not, I got confused. :o


#16

Beautiful, and perfectly voices my feelings about my own divorce and how it drew me back to God. We didn’t get the “consolation prize”, we got the Grand Prize!


#17

Comming from The ex wife of a professional con artist and drug addict-
I truly believe honesty is the singlemost important thing in a mate. If you have honesty you have trust.


#18

Umm… not so long as civil separation exists. If separation exists to cut off financial ties, establish child support duties, perhaps gain exclusive custody. Divorce essentially provides two things:

  1. The ability to remarry civilly which is not a question for a Catholic so long as the marriage is valid (and dioceses would do well to require separation, not divorce, of people seeking to challenge a marriage but not being willing to divorce, but merely separate, also civilly should the marriage be valid) - we shouldn’t support civil divorce in place of separation just because there’s the lack of ability to remarry sacramentally… it still creates a schizophrenical feeling - it’s perfectly legitimate and reasonable to desire for the civil estate to reflect the sacramental/canon law reality.

  2. An increased feeling of separation. The psychological feeling of being over with it and the sacramental spouse being an “ex”. The primary perspective then becomes the civil one, so the person says he or she is no longer married but now divorced, with the only remainder that he or she can’t remarry in the Church. The reality is that the marriage is extant sacramentally and canonically. To blur that fact is wrong, I believe.

Yep, and think of different countries on different continents, if such differences exist between the states of one USA, which ultimately come from similar traditions, if not one tradition. I’m not saying one should stick with separation no matter how it’s defined by the law of the land, but that one should stick with separation in so far as it is sufficient. There’s no need to divorce, for example, when the only difference between separation and divorce is the right to remarry civilly - or if the other differences are not material.

Yes, thanks. :slight_smile:

(Now there is no requirement that one must obtain a ruling of nullity even if it’s almost certain a marriage is invalid and non-sacramental unless

one intends to actually enter a valid sacramental marriage.)

That’s correct, although canon law doesn’t seem to speak about such cases as when the nullity is completely obvious - for example, if there was this or that defect or impediment but the parties wish to stay together, they can request convalidation, they can even actually be granted radical sanation without knowing about it (yep), but even if they don’t, they are not to be disturbed. However, there are such cases where the promotor iustitiae proceeds ex officio - he just has to initiate the proceeding if it turns out that the putative spouses are siblings, or something like that. In case of impediments that can’t be dispensed, when it’s obvious - it turns out the “husband” is a priest, the “wife” is a nun, or either has been married before, or they’re siblings separated at birth, or one is the other’s descendant, it would be immoral to proceed with sexual relations.


#19

Depends on the diocese, especially the requirement of civil divorce. Since civil divorce is something that shouldn’t exist (separation with sufficient provisions such as in canon law should exist in civil law), diocesan tribunals shouldn’t request it. What then if they uphold the marriage? I wouldn’t like to be civilly divorced if my hypothetical marraige were canonically valid.

That requirement is also inconsistent because the Church teaches us to avoid divorce, but it says everyone has the right to challenge his marriage and well, we know that living in an invalid marriage is not such a great idea. It mixes the two things and creates wrong impressions.


#20

I’m not sure you see it from the right perspective. A marriage which is null does not end. It simply never existed. A marriage which is not null, does not end.


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