Invalid marriages and marital trouble

Marriage can be very difficult, and I try very hard to encourage and support friends and family to persevere in their marriages.

But…when I know someone is in an invalid marriage, I usually either say nothing or even affirm their inclination to leave the marriage. I feel so conflicted about these situations.

To me, if it’s an invalid marriage, there’s no reason to stay. I don’t know how either husband or wife can be reconcilled properly to God unless the marriage ends. Of course, the best thing is for the marriage to be validated, but usually, that’s not likely in these cases.

Anyone else run into these situations? It’s esp. hard if there are kids involved.

I usually do not comment on the validity of other people marriages, unless I am specifically asked by one of the parties, then, unless there is extreme abuse involved, I just refer them to a priest or lawyer.

Some people just go off and think…
“God loves me, no matter what. He forgives!” Which is true, but that doesn’t mean he is happy with us, or likes what we are doing. That doesn’t mean that no one goes to hell. When somebody does something against what the church says…they put their soul in danger. We must accept what the Church teaches, what will be bind on earth, shall be bind in heaven. Thats that.

Concerning illicit mariages, a marriage is only valid when performed by a Priest of the church. Marriage is a sacrament, for it is eternal. It can only be “removed” (for lack of better words) by an annulment. Whenever I know someone in an invalid marriage, I just pray for them to see the truth, that what they’re doing, and the condition they’re in is wrong. They are only married on paper, just paper. Whereas when one is married in the church, it is officially official.

God Bless :slight_smile: :signofcross::byzsoc:

I’ve never been in the situation to comment one way or another, but I can’t say I disagree with your approach at all. If there is little or no possibility for the ‘marriage’ to be validated in the Church, then it is best the parties separate, than to continue in their sin. A hard situation…

Since i am in one and have seen it for what it is. The advice a priest gave me is that the children need both a father and a mother. I sleep on the couch.

It is a very difficult stand to make. More difficult than I ever thought it would be. The strain is amazing. It is a heavy cross when and there is a definite separation the children see. Actually, the idealistic me thought it would be a chance to work on our friendship, but it has not been the case.

The focus on our children’s welfare and just taking care of household things are still there. So what should happen by others is just pray for the couple, and be kind to them. If they are not ready to hear about the sin they live in, then your strong views will not help. If you are a genuine friend, one day, the subject may come up and you can help them. Encourage them to go to Adoration, and commit to personal prayer. God will bring them around.

Sometimes people come to an agreement between themselves and begin to work on the situation through the church. Often, people really do not want to offend God on purpose. The entire rest of the world says it is ok to marry, divorce and remarry. So they would thing you are asking too much. Frankly, it is asking more than you know.

Since God loves us all, if we really want to please Him, He will bring us into full knowledge in His most wise ways.

we have no way of knowing that. It would be telling God how we want him to use his grace in their lives. Of course there is a reason to stay together especially if there are children. They can be reconciled to God the same way everyone else is, by turning away from personal sin, by returning to the sacraments, and by healing the relationship and bringing it into conformity with God’s will for marriage. No the Church should not and will not convalidate a marriage that is rocky, but that is not a reason to give up and split. The usual path is to refer them for counselling, including the appropriate pastoral counselling, for the good of their souls as well as the good of family and children. The best response to people you care about in these situations is to refer them for that help.

usually, most of these situations involves previous divorces by one or both of the spouses. And, often, one of the spouses refuses to consider counsellling. And, often, they won’t even consider seeking an annulment (if even indeed, they qualify for it.)

I don’t know why I even think what I say matters. When I suggest speaking to a priest, there’s only excuses…

I’m so sorry for your personal situation. You are living heroically.:hug3::gopray2:

The problem is that you do not know that it is an invalid marriage, you assume that (probably with very good reason). Even the Church assumes all marriages valid until verified as null.

Usually we should be supportive of all the marriages even the suspicious ones. However, we should always consider the welfare of the people involved and the fact that physical separation is not automatically sinful.

If I were in your situation I would have mixed feelings too, and I would just go by the book and pray for all of them.

I know exactly what the OP means…

My stepdaughter got married about five years ago to a thrice-divorced man who had children older than she… and she was pregnant by someone else. They had a quick courthouse wedding and, while DH and I had a feeling this was not going to be a long-term thing, we tried to be supportive (by this time, she hadn’t practiced the Faith for several years… she’d always been very slack and her mother encouraged it, but she knew how we felt and even lived with us for a while when she was a teenager and made an effort) for the sake of our grandson and now a granddaughter. And now they’re getting divorced, and there is a six-year-old and two-year-old who will forever be caught in the middle. So how can you feel that either option is best? If I thought she’d make an effort to return to the Church, I might be “happier” (for lack of a better word) about her leaving her husband, but I have a feeling there’s someone else in the picture that precipitated the split, so… I’m back to being more concerned for the grandbabies.

Prayers, please!

it is especially tough when it involves family members or close friends who come to you for advice but don’t want to hear it.

I agree that I would not want to encourage someone to fix a marriage that is not valid according to the church. However, unless you specifically ask them (eg did you have an annulment) you will never really know the truth.

I would simply say something like ‘As you know I am a practicing Catholic and we have very definite belief on marriage, since you have different beliefs, i can respect your opinion but I can not help you with your marital issues’

To be honest, even when someone’s marriage is valid according to the church, getting too involved in someone else’s marriage can be an akward situation and could end up with the couple both disliking you. After all, it is one thing to say ‘My spouse is stupid’. It is another thing to hear it from a third party


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