marriage validity

I am deeply concerned over my own moral standing. I recently converted to Catholicism, so as anyone might guess, I am still yet discovering new layers to my understanding of my own faith.

That being said, my husband and i were married in the Church over a year ago… BUT i am troubled. He told me that he had adhd, and i never thought twice about it. I know plenty of people with such difficulties, (my mother has the condition! lol) so i had no issues with the idea.
He also told me that he had been married three times before, and He swore that the three other marriages he’d been in had all be nullified because of adultery.
a while ago, i was informed that adultery is NOT an automatic dissolution of marriage vows… worse yet, it’s turning out that he is filing for a divorce right now.

And i’m learning a great deal about ADHD with adults. Since we got married, he has been “letting it all hang out.” He throws massive tantrums: screaming, throwing things, damaging our property, etc. He is struggling the worst depression i’ve ever seen, and he would be suicidal if he wasn’t scared of going to hell… he refuses to take care of himself, or fulfill his role as a father to our three year old, and being as i am now 8 months pregnant, i am becoming really quite distressed.

not only am i wondering what my own standing is, thanks to my husband’s past activities, i can’t help feeling that i got duped into committing a mortal sin. i don’t know, maybe mortal sins plural?! plus i’m faced with the very real sense that the future of our children is in peril if i cannot convince their father to get sincere help.

i’m afraid to consult anyone in our church, because my husband does make a lot of effort in the community, and is very involved with a great deal. it would cause a huge scandal if anyone caught a breath of any of this… so i need help and i feel rather helpless…

First, it sounds like you were insufficiently informed so I don’t think you need to worry about having committed a sin.

The parishes generally check marriages to be sure each person is free to marry, so it seems unlikely that your husband was not free to marry. If he was Catholic and married outside the Church, his previous marriages may have been investigated and found to be invalid, whereas the separate civil divorce would have been caused by adultery. <<This is just an example–only a priest can really sort out your particular situation.

As to the rest of your situation, you do need to discuss this with someone. If you discuss this in confidence with a priest, it will not get out and around.

as far as discussing the mental/emotional issues, i have brought it up and continue to do so, but no one takes me any more seriously than I first took the issue myself. the initials “ADHD” just do not strike terror in the hearts of anyone who is not dealing with the full brunt of it. lol, i feel like i may have to go on a personal crusade and lock horns with the local mental health agency…

i am mainly concerned because he is getting paperwork filed for a divorce, and i’m thoroughly confused. how is that possible if we’ve been married for over a year? and if that’s possible, then is it possible that this was missed when the diocese took their look and granted him an annulment for whichever marriage it was that he picked? the longer we’re together, the more i’ve been figuring out and while it’s aggravating on certain levels; on other levels i’m disturbed. i’m suspecting that he would have omitted information more because he was impatient just to get it all over with more than to be dishonest, but that doesn’t change the fact that i feel implicated if there were to be an issue over this. worse, i don’t think that he takes any of it seriously, so trying to discuss this generally turns into a shouting match over his feelings of self-worth. (if that makes sense at all. it doesn’t to me, and that doesn’t help, i’m sure.):shrug:

note: i’ve never been married, so naturally my understandings on any of this is likely to be a tad confuddled. :rolleyes:

It is absolutely imperative that you speak with a priest, as this sounds like a complicated situation. The thing that jumped out at me was “he’s filing for a divorce right now.” :confused: If so, then it appears that he is still legally married to someone other than you.

Don’t hesitate; there is much at stake for you, and your children.

My question, exactly. From whom is he “filing for divorce?” You? Has he retained an attorney? Have you seen these “divorce papers?”

Also, it is my understanding that there is no such thing as an “automatic” annulment in the Church. It often takes years, with the interviewing of witnesses, etc. Did he ever provide annulment documentation or divorce papers to a Church representative/Priest (and/or Clerk, in filing for the marriage license)? You would have had to be there at that time… :confused:

Not only a priest – you need to speak with a lawyer, too. He is out of control; he may have lied to you; and you have children to protect.

the divorce is with someone else… thus why i’m rather bothered about it. and when we filed our marriage certificate, that was the only paperwork we had (i carried it because he loses everything). so now i’m more bothered than ever. yays.

i guess i will have to speak to our priest. I just didn’t want to do that directly because my husband is involved in a great deal and this will very likely affect not only us but a fair number of other people as well. if it were to come out that he is not right with the church, even if no details are known, folks here tend to get a tad reactionary… I feel very much that not only what i do would affect our own home, but it could very likely affect everyone around us and it’s really frustrating.

again, i feel that all of this is tied in directly with his condition. i know people claim to have adhd all the time, but lately i have been doing a great deal of research on the condition and my husband is certainly a case for the text books. the impulsiveness is what is at issue here, since he just wanted to push everything through to get what he wanted. the problem with that is that rather than coping with things directly, the way people normally would (or ought to), he seems to just do everything in his power to avoid issues entirely. I’m aware that this is much easier than dealing with difficulties head on, but i myself am not accustomed to avoiding issues in the hopes that they will go away. i figured out when i was a kid that this does not work at all. somehow he missed that memo, along with thousands of others. and now i’m at a loss as to how i might deal with this before it gets worse… i guess that talking to our priest is the only way, i just hoped that maybe there was … i dunno… an 800 number for priests anonymous? lol.
it’s just very hard, having one young one and another on the way, and instead of getting smoother, things only seem to get more complicated. when he waved the divorce papers around, i was just flabbergasted. not only had he neglected to mention anything about filing for them, he just tosses off that he’s sending them off now… quite as casual as if ordering from the seed catalog…

   i am grateful for all the response..  sometimes i'm not sure if i'm over-reacting to something or not..  especially since this is my first experience with this sort of thing, i'm not sure about my footing at all, nor which way to go in question to recent developments.  i suspect more drama to be on the horizon, so i can only hope to weather it.

He cannot be legally married to you if he is still married to someone else-- that is bigamy.

He cannot be validly married to you in the Church if he is married to someone else.

Get a lawyer for your civil issues, and engage the help of the diocesan marriage tribunal to assist in your canonical status.

^This.

Also, if you aren’t already doing so…PRAY!!! One suggestion would be to begin a devotion to Our Lady Undoer of Knots. Here’s a link to a webpage with history, traditional prayer and chaplet for this devotion. Pope Francis has a special devotion to Our Lady Undoer of Knots as well.

Any disruption is *not *your fault but your husband’s!!! If others blame you for bringing this out, and there are all too many people who do that, then they are in the wrong, not you. Do we blame the newspapers for the acts of terrorism they report? No.

Your husband sounds like he suffers from 2 separate conditions: ADHD *and *total immaturity. It’s one thing to put off a wedding because you haven’t gotten a divorce; it’s another to have the wedding before even filing! And the other thing you mentioned: that discussions turn into shouting matches of feelings of self-worth… that is a red herring! He is changing the subject because that takes the spotlight off what he feels guilty about and onto something else in an attempt to get sympathy from the other person instead of the hard words of truth.

What you need to do when discussing this with someone is not say, he has ADHD, what you need to do is to say, he does X, Y, and Z. That way they will understand what you are actually putting up with.

Now, if he is actually filing for divorce from someone he married before he married you, that is a very serious problem, which needs to be gotten to the bottom of. And this may be something which you cannot handle on your own. The first thing to do is to make sure that he is filing for this divorce or maybe he is just doing something else regarding an already-finalized divorce? Etc.

You need to speak with your priest about this. He can help you come up with a plan. You may end up needing to discuss this with a lawyer as well, and maybe even a counselor of some sort. In the long run, the two of you, if you stay together, may need to work with a counselor just to learn to sort things out, like who will do what and how to have constructive discussions.

again, i feel that all of this is tied in directly with his condition. i know people claim to have adhd all the time, but lately i have been doing a great deal of research on the condition and my husband is certainly a case for the text books. the impulsiveness is what is at issue here, since he just wanted to push everything through to get what he wanted. the problem with that is that rather than coping with things directly, the way people normally would (or ought to), he seems to just do everything in his power to avoid issues entirely. I’m aware that this is much easier than dealing with difficulties head on, but i myself am not accustomed to avoiding issues in the hopes that they will go away. i figured out when i was a kid that this does not work at all. somehow he missed that memo, along with thousands of others. and now i’m at a loss as to how i might deal with this before it gets worse… i guess that talking to our priest is the only way, i just hoped that maybe there was … i dunno… an 800 number for priests anonymous? lol.
it’s just very hard, having one young one and another on the way, and instead of getting smoother, things only seem to get more complicated. when he waved the divorce papers around, i was just flabbergasted. not only had he neglected to mention anything about filing for them, he just tosses off that he’s sending them off now… quite as casual as if ordering from the seed catalog…

   i am grateful for all the response..  sometimes i'm not sure if i'm over-reacting to something or not..  especially since this is my first experience with this sort of thing, i'm not sure about my footing at all, nor which way to go in question to recent developments.  i suspect more drama to be on the horizon, so i can only hope to weather it.

i am happy to say that over the last couple of days that i have accomplished at least a few things. i made my husband inform me of all the details and after the discussion he went himself to our parish center, so now he’s getting advice and a fair amount of scolding. he’s also going to a behavioral center this next week because i got him to understand (about time!) that maybe it’s time to stop making excuses. so at least for now this has a very good chance of becoming a much better situation. the emotional roller coaster rides are annoying and his avoiding issues until they become impossible ignore has finally gotten him into a prodigious amount of trouble. he knows he’s in deep water with me, and i think it scares him more that i’m not acting angry. lol.

i appreciate all the advice. it helped me to make up my mind on where and how to dig in my feet and try to wrap my head around all this. it’s frustrating to be sure, but i’m under the impression that there is no such thing as an easy life, and my own certainly follows that rule. :cool:

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