Does my marriage sound like it was valid?


#1

Hi all:

I've posteda few threads here. My H and I are now separated due to many issues (abuse, neglect, lack of communication, sexless marriage).

A few relatives have told me that my marriage may never been valid because my H never wanted any children. From the beginning he wanted me to take the pill (I refused), but had to accept other birth control methods to satisfy him. There was also emotional, verbal and occasional physical abuse from my H that continued on and off throughout all our years together. He stopped having relations with me years and years ago and lived quite happily that way although I was very unhappy.

Some devout relatives have told me that my marriage was probably never valid owing to H entering the marriage with a mindset against children. This was never discussed with me or I would not have married him.

If so what does this mean?

Does it mean I'm not actually married in the eyes of the Church?

thanks


#2

Sounds like you were never sacramentally married. Probably get an annulment easily. Refusal to have children is usually a slam-dunk annulment.

You are civilly married in the Church’s eyes. But not sacramentally. If you get a divorce, you will no longer be civilly married. And, you should seek an annulment.


#3

It doesnt sound valid based on what you've said. There are other questions, though. Were you married in the Church? If not, was it blessed by the Church?
Ask your parish priest to be sure. Im going through my own divorce and annullment, so Im a little bit hip to the proceding.


#4

I am 90% sure that the church considers it a valid marriage unless shown otherwise. However, in your case, I think it would be easy to get an anullment and at that time your marriage will be considered invalid and you will be able to remarry if you wish.


#5

[quote="nancymarie, post:1, topic:226631"]
Some devout relatives have told me that my marriage was probably never valid owing to H entering the marriage with a mindset against children. This was never discussed with me or I would not have married him.

If so what does this mean?

[/quote]

A permanent intent against children does indeed present the possibility of a defect in consent. That he withheld this from you also has bearing on the situation and could have created an additional impediment.

This means you likely have a good case for the tribunal.

[quote="nancymarie, post:1, topic:226631"]
Does it mean I'm not actually married in the eyes of the Church?

[/quote]

Canonically, your marriage is presumed valid until it is proven otherwise. Therefore, right now you are not free to act as if you are not married. If you want to pursue a decree of nullity, you should contact your priest or diocesan tribunal office.


#6

Thank you for your replies.

The reason I asked was that even years before the separation, relatives who knew of my situation questioned the validity of the marriage.

I’m not thinking of annulment right now, as we’re separated and neither one has initiated a divorce yet. But I had been wondering about the validity issue for some time.

:blessyou:


#7

Yes we’re both Catholic married in the Church.


#8

[quote="nancymarie, post:1, topic:226631"]
Hi all:

I've posteda few threads here. My H and I are now separated due to many issues (abuse, neglect, lack of communication, sexless marriage).

A few relatives have told me that my marriage may never been valid because my H never wanted any children. From the beginning he wanted me to take the pill (I refused), but had to accept other birth control methods to satisfy him. There was also emotional, verbal and occasional physical abuse from my H that continued on and off throughout all our years together. He stopped having relations with me years and years ago and lived quite happily that way although I was very unhappy.

Some devout relatives have told me that my marriage was probably never valid owing to H entering the marriage with a mindset against children. This was never discussed with me or I would not have married him.

If so what does this mean?

Does it mean I'm not actually married in the eyes of the Church?

thanks

[/quote]

I cannot tell you if your marriage is valid or not and marriage is presumed valid until proven otherwise but if I had your facts, I would file the claim. Make sure you get a proper canon lawyer, it's easy to get lost in the procedures and even the laws if you're on your own. I'd pursue exclusion of offspring (positively excluding children), investigate into fraud (malicious deceipt to gain your consent by hiding some very important quality of his which is connected to the essence of marriage, which is basically fidelity—faithfulness, indissolubility—no divorce, offspring—openness to children). Abuse and neglect could be hints at something being there on a deeper level, possibly something psychic (use of reason, understanding marital duties and rights, ability to assume duties) but I wouldn't get my hopes too high on the last one. Get a canon lawyer.


#9

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.