Marriage Dating Catholic Rules


After 21 years of marriage my wife wanted a legal separation and has moved out. We were married in the Catholic church.
Odds are good that we will be divorcing next year.
I am 55 years old and do not plan on living alone the rest of my life; but I am not sure I want to get married again either.
I understand to follow the Catholic rules I need to go through the annulment then remain celibate until I meet a woman and get married.
Is it a sin and will I go to hell if I do not follow these rules? If I meet someone and fall in love and we have intercourse is that a sin? I love the Catholic faith but would Jesus Christ condemn me?


Having sex with someone outside of marriage is gravely sinful. Having sex with someone other than your wife, and you’d still be married to her even if you’re separated, is adultery and gravely sinful. That would be your answer.


I wouldn’t be pushing it.


Yup, it’s a sin if you’re not validly married to that someone in the Church.

It’s up to God if he wants to send you to hell for it, but it’s grave. Especially at age 55 which is old enough to know better and have some control over yourself.


Yes it’s a sin.

Who goes to hell, we can’t say. Depends on whether we sinners repent and are reconciled to God and die in a state of grace.

Yes. It is grave matter against the sixth commandment. Adultery.

Jesus has a lot to say about adultery. If you are are not repentant, or willfully commit grave sins, yes you will be judged for that. We all will be judged.

Talk to your pastor. You are in the middle of a painful situation. You need counsel, not thoughts of a new romance.


Our Lord Jesus Christ shed every drop of His precious blood for us and gave us the sacraments. With prayer and the sacraments we can pick up our cross and follow Him.
He came to save us and give us what we need to truly follow Him.

Hopefully some good counseling can aid in getting you and your wife back together again.


Yes you must apply for an annulment. This does not mean you will get one.

Sex is only allowed inside a marriage where you are not still married to another in the eyes of the Church. That would equal adultery.

So you would be condemning yourself and another to sin. The other for fornication, you as an adulterer.

And now you know this, you have a cross to carry in celibacy , and whether there is a prospect for a future marriage.


Sexually transmitted diseases have really taken off in the senior community. The ‘fear of pregnancy’ has passed with age and it seems as though people think there are no consequences to sex. There are.

Because promiscuity has gone unchecked for so many years, there are more people who have been infected, and also there are more types of diseases going around.

The boundaries that God has put in place for human sexuality is good for us. Bring the Gospel to others by how you live your life. You can do this. This situation may knock you over for a time, but when you are back on your feet, model chastity and good works for others. This world needs that example desperately.


You surely are getting the responses one could only expect here. I don’t think this is a condemnation issue for sure…but I’m sure I’ll get corrected on that here.


We’re expected to give answers consistent with the teaching of the Church here, not your personal opinion.

I also find it a bit sad that the first thought of the OP when his wife divorces him is to get with another lady, “fall in love” and “have intercourse”.


My wife left the marriage. Things have been bad for a long time. I am just looking to the future.


I am sorry for what you are going through. Stay close to the Sacraments and be assured of God’s love for you. He sees you as his precious child…the depths of his mercy we cannot even begin to imagine.

For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. John 3:17

This too is the teaching of the Church. Blessings


As has been said, no one here can answer your question. I have the philosophy that we should judge what others do with the greatest amount of sympathy and understanding, assuming the best, while judging myself with the greatest amount of criticism, lest I sin by presumption. I think the whole “work our your salvation with fear and trembling” is something we have to apply to ourselves.


The question is legalistic. Keep in mind what Jesus taught about a (married) man having designs on a (married) woman. So, are you still married, and having designs about another woman? That being said…Is that road a two way street? Is your marriage all but over? Has it been “over” for a long time? Should you wait for an annulment? You may be the best judge of this, but AFAIK you may not be. So why would anyone here advise anything but going by the book?


I think that’s because the secular culture’s definition of adultery and the culture of the Catholic Church differs. It differs even between Catholic Christians and at least some Protestant Christians. I think the Anglican faith is when Henry VIII wanted a divorce and was denied an annulment so he created the Church of England.

I definitely believe that going behind your wife’s back and have sex is certainly gravely sinful as even in the secular culture, that is considered cheating and in many of the Protestant faiths is grounds for divorce. But because God gave the authority to the Church to define what is and what isn’t valid marriage, it would be grossly dangerous to believe that you know better than the Church, it’s history, and the original teaching of Jesus. You’d be assuming that the Church thru human error strayed, albeit unintentionally, from God’s original intent. There were a lot of times where the only reason why Church tradition stayed pure was because of the Holy Spirit as God promised the gates of Hell would never prevail against the Church.


I[quote=“whichwaytogo47, post:15, topic:511593”]
It differs even between Catholic Christians

The Catholic Church is very clear on this, even if it’s members disagree

Secular culture and protest ant religions do not dictate the Canon of the Catholic Church.
Yes, that’s why Henry eight seperated from the Catholic Church

Are you confusing the validity of marriage with the potential to adultery and fornication/ sexual sin.

This is not grounds for annulment


Live alone for the rest of your life.


Unfortunately I agree. However there have been other issues, including her level of sticktuitiveness that she was deceptive about with the keyword being prior to the marriage.

The primary reasons for annulment would be immaturity, things withheld prior to the marriage, in some cases where they married outside the church or by a justice of the peace and didn’t have it blessed or a dispensation, or otherwise an inability to consent to marriage.


That’s still not grounds. Annulment is purely based on intentions going into the marriage. Did they have the right intentions at the time of marriage


He probably needs to speak to a priest as it is a complex situation. Edited with wisdom from Tis_bearself.

There are too many complex issues. It’s an in-depth process, but if details are withheld, it may lead to an incorrect conclusion from the marriage tribunal either in favor or in opposition to the granting of an annulment.

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