Joint confession / confession to each other


I’m wondering what people’s opinions are on this.

I have recently been receiving some guidance from a non-Catholic addiction recovery site which extols the practice of maintaining what they call ‘accountability’ with one’s spouse. However, confessing sins often hurts my spouse. Priests seem divided on the matter.

I have wondered about saying the Confiteor daily with my wife and leaving the specifics out. But is it necessary / desirable to confess to one’s spouse?


You might consider asking your wife what she wants to know. Does she want to know at all? Does she jsut want you to name the sins? Does she want specific details? Give her what she wants.


I would talk to a priest in person about this before following the advice of a website.

Accountability can be a very good thing in overcoming certain addictions, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to disclose your sins to your spouse (particularly if it involves sexual sins). Sometimes it might be good, sometimes it might not. It depends upon the sin and your wife’s sensibilities, as well as upon the dynamics of your relationship. No website can help you to sort through all that and make the best decision for your marriage. Talking to a priest and/or trusted spiritual director is key.


I can see where praying together, including the confiteor would be a good thing, but I question the wisdom of making one’s spouse an “accountability partner” especially if the issue or problem is one that is causing the spouse direct pain, and that is why you joined the recovery program.

In any type of program I ever heard of that encourages the use of an accountability partner, it is supposed to be someone other than a spouse or SO, or posqul or what have you, not the person with whom you live, depend on, interact with intimately and so forth, someone more neutral, who still cares about you, but whose well being is not so dependent on yours. For one practical reason, that person may be, as is the nature of addiction, a co-dependent or an enabler. For another reason, even less healthy, such a relationship as “accountability partner” carries the connotation of shared responsibility for the sin or behavior, and that cannot good for the marriage.

As far as priestly advice regarding matter for the sacrament of confession, everything I have heard or read is unanimous that we should not confess sins to our spouses, or other family members for that matter. Yes when we do damage to those we love we should apologize and atone, but not to the extent of the way we confess to a priest.


I belong to Al Anon & my husband is in CA. As far as an “accountability partner” … usually it’s your sponsor. My husband wasn’t very forthcoming always.

Good luck to you.:thumbsup:


I think this would be the wrong sort of communication, for a marriage.

Yes, spouses must communicate - about their expectations for sex and children, about where they will be this evening, who they expect will be babysitting, what time they plan to return, and if they are planning to redecorate the house, they should get some input from their spouse, and that sort of thing - but one should neither share one’s sins with one’s spouse, nor one’s suspicions that their spouse is committing sin, except with the advice of a really good priest.


I think a lot of other posters have hit the nail on the head.

A lot depends on the sins and the consequences of said sins. For example, it might not be wise to admit to an affair, if you have young children and it will tear your marriage appart. Unless of course, you have an STD.


I tend to agree with the others on this issues. Although having someone there to keep you accountable is a good idea, have someone like you wife or any other family member as this person can be troubling. It is something I would never do myself.

It is a very good idea to pray together, as we all should, but to confess to our sins to one another, especially a spouse, is inadvisable. One thing that some forget, is the burden that people can take on when they hear something in confidence, especially in confessing our sins to each other, that can lead them to judge or in some instances lead to sin. Now, it can be argued that this person or that person, whomever it may be, would never do that, but in some instances, some people can not help but do this. Not to say that this will happen in this situation, but why put some one you love in this predicament if it can be avoided.

Another point, is the pastoral training and/or professional training that a priest or professional counselor receives to deal with the issues that people may bring up in the pastoral/confessional situation or counseling session. In the case of confession, as an ex-seminarian and a person that has a family member as a priest, I know there is a lot of schooling and pastoral training that a man goes through before even hearing his first confession. For the reasons stated above, as well as many other reasons that would take forever to list, I would never use someone I love as a “person of accountability,” when it comes to my sins or my personal struggles. For myself, I know going to a priest will help me, because I can learn from their training, pastoral advise and example to help me overcome my struggles and sins.

There is a reason why the Church conducts confession the way She does. It helps in keeping the sacrament and the experience a holy and sacred encounter with Christ, and keep the dignity of the person and the priest in tact. Remember, although we are going to confession to the priest in out local parish, we are really confessing to Christ himself.

One final thought. As far as the the person of accountability is concerned, I think this is a good thing in certain situations and some cases, but when it comes to matters of a spiritual nature, like confessing our sins, I would keep it between your confessor and yourself. I would also advise to seek out and keep a spiritual director to help with following God’s will in life and to help as much as possible, with all life’s struggles. Also, as a side note, I find it much more conducive for spiritual direction, if you make your spiritual director also your confessor. It helps keeps everything out in the open, for both you and your spiritual director. This way, you have someone that you can build a history with, that can help in all your struggles now and in the future. Hope this helps. God Bless :thumbsup:


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