[quote="tonydavies, post:11, topic:222714"]
We are separated but I take the point; and also I would like to thank everyone for your answers which have clarified the situation for me greatly.
So I understand that as a Catholic I am obliged to marry in the Church or have the marriage convalidated else I would be committing a mortal sin whereas for all others (non-catholics, non-baptised) they are sacramentally married by and through the grace of God if they partcipate in thier own culturally accepted wedding ceremony whatever the case may be.
there are other factors
that is why you have to see a priest and lay out all the facts, including your current living situation
if you are separated, for instance, you don't have to do anything, unless you plan to get back together
whether or not your living together was sinful is something you have to ask the priest in confession, not on a forum. We can answer general questions about the law on marriage but have not the compentence to apply that to a specific case.
[quote="vera_dicere, post:13, topic:222714"]
A So they got it validated by a priest, so yeah, as others have said, its not really valid unless its sacramental.
again, not necessarily
a Catholic can contract a valid marriage that is not sacramental, if he marries an unbaptized person having received permission to do so and otherwise complying with Church laws on marriage.