Married or Not?

Hello! I am going to be as blunt as possible to make my post as short as possible… so forgive me for me bluntness. If you don’t want to read everything but still want to help, skip to the very end and read my questions. Thank you.

Long story short, I was married for 5 years. We dated for 7 previous to our marriage… he was always controling, emotionally and verbally abusive. I was dependant upon him for everything and rushed our marriage. He refused engagement for so long that I “cheated” on him… after we married, I always had guilt over this and asked a friend to “cheat” with him… she did. My guilt did not go away…

We had a baby and we were trying for our second, when I walked in on my husband watching pornogrophy and more… this upset me a lot because he worked the night shift and slept all day, would get up simply to have dinner with us and then sleep some more. But here I found out that there was more to his “sleeping”. I begged him to go to marriage counseling but he refused.

A friend of ours, a co-worker of his, started paying attention to me. I became pregnant yet he persued me more… and I had an affair. The emotional aspect of the affair lasted 21 months in all. When this friend wanted to focus on saving his own marriage, I became devestated and found comfort in yet another man… After the complete 21 months of my affairs, I could not live with myself and once again asked a different friend to “cheat” with my husband. She did but the guilt continued and I had to tell my husband the truth. Of course this devestated our marriage and family, and my husband became more abusive than ever.

We tried to save our marriage for one month until things became too hostile, at which point we separated. The next 6 months was our own personal WW3. From PFAs and emergency custody proceedings to support and basic custody issues, and also 3 new relationships each… Then, in June 2012, my husband suddenly told me after only a week of talking and being civil, to pack up and we were going to save our family. Of course, I wanted to save our family and dropped everything for him… even abandoning my father who was having surgery the next day and needed me… also dropping all court proceedings and signing everything over to my husband, except the children, in which case I signed a joint custody aggreement.

After nearly five months of living together again, I left a second time due to his control and abuse. More recently to find out that he has been persuing another girl the whole time and never really gave our marriage another chance… I feel manipulated and used. He also starting pushing for divorce, even while we lived together. As soon as I moved out, he got me to concede to divorce.

We have stayed separated but still act married. Doing everything together with the kids and only being apart when he goes home to sleep or he is at work and the children and I sleep at my dad’s. I fought to abandon the divorce and begged for marriage counseling… ultimately, he said he needed the divorce to move on from what I did and then we could restart and rebuild… so, the divorce was final the beginning of this month and i am once again… devestated.

I have recently been doing a lot of praying and soul searching… I know now that this whole drama would have never happened if I had a strong faith and had put all my trust in God. Now, I am trusting in God to teach me where to go from here… yes we are technically (legally) divorced… but we still act as a family.

So, here’s my question, After all the infidelities… is our marriage annulled or are we still married under God? Also, if we are still married, is it okay then to still be having marrital relations with my husband (ex-husband)? I know this may seem like a silly question after all we have done, but I have damaged my soul enough and seek true forgiveness from God. It may be too late to save our marriage pbut I am no longer interested in any other man… to be honest, I’m not attracted to my husband either… I just want to do what is right by God and maybe save our family for our two beautiful children… Life would just be easier together than apart… but I want to do the right thing by God. I guess my final question, if you have read my whole rant… can our marriage be ammended? Should we even seek to recconcile? What would God want???

So, for those of you who may have skipped right to the questions… I am divorced but we still act married… although we are legally divorced, are we still married under God? (Even after infidelity)? Can we still have marrital relations without sin?

Thank you for reading my post. I appreciate any and all opinions… I wish there was a scripture that specifically told me what to do now…

Hello! I am going to be as blunt as possible to make my post as short as possible… so forgive me for me bluntness. If you don’t want to read everything but still want to help, skip to the very end and read my questions. Thank you.

Long story short, I was married for 5 years. We dated for 7 previous to our marriage… he was always controling, emotionally and verbally abusive. I was dependant upon him for everything and rushed our marriage. He refused engagement for so long that I “cheated” on him… after we married, I always had guilt over this and asked a friend to “cheat” with him… she did. My guilt did not go away…

We had a baby and we were trying for our second, when I walked in on my husband watching pornogrophy and more… this upset me a lot because he worked the night shift and slept all day, would get up simply to have dinner with us and then sleep some more. But here I found out that there was more to his “sleeping”. I begged him to go to marriage counseling but he refused.

A friend of ours, a co-worker of his, started paying attention to me. I became pregnant yet he persued me more… and I had an affair. The emotional aspect of the affair lasted 21 months in all. When this friend wanted to focus on saving his own marriage, I became devestated and found comfort in yet another man… After the complete 21 months of my affairs, I could not live with myself and once again asked a different friend to “cheat” with my husband. She did but the guilt continued and I had to tell my husband the truth. Of course this devestated our marriage and family, and my husband became more abusive than ever.

We tried to save our marriage for one month until things became too hostile, at which point we separated. The next 6 months was our own personal WW3. From PFAs and emergency custody proceedings to support and basic custody issues, and also 3 new relationships each… Then, in June 2012, my husband suddenly told me after only a week of talking and being civil, to pack up and we were going to save our family. Of course, I wanted to save our family and dropped everything for him… even abandoning my father who was having surgery the next day and needed me… also dropping all court proceedings and signing everything over to my husband, except the children, in which case I signed a joint custody aggreement.

After nearly five months of living together again, I left a second time due to his control and abuse. More recently to find out that he has been persuing another girl the whole time and never really gave our marriage another chance… I feel manipulated and used. He also starting pushing for divorce, even while we lived together. As soon as I moved out, he got me to concede to divorce.

We have stayed separated but still act married. Doing everything together with the kids and only being apart when he goes home to sleep or he is at work and the children and I sleep at my dad’s. I fought to abandon the divorce and begged for marriage counseling… ultimately, he said he needed the divorce to move on from what I did and then we could restart and rebuild… so, the divorce was final the beginning of this month and i am once again… devestated.

I have recently been doing a lot of praying and soul searching… I know now that this whole drama would have never happened if I had a strong faith and had put all my trust in God. Now, I am trusting in God to teach me where to go from here… yes we are technically (legally) divorced… but we still act as a family.

So, here’s my question, After all the infidelities… is our marriage annulled or are we still married under God? Also, if we are still married, is it okay then to still be having marrital relations with my husband (ex-husband)? I know this may seem like a silly question after all we have done, but I have damaged my soul enough and seek true forgiveness from God. It may be too late to save our marriage pbut I am no longer interested in any other man… to be honest, I’m not attracted to my husband either… I just want to do what is right by God and maybe save our family for our two beautiful children… Life would just be easier together than apart… but I want to do the right thing by God. I guess my final question, if you have read my whole rant… can our marriage be ammended? Should we even seek to recconcile? What would God want???

So, for those of you who may have skipped right to the questions… I am divorced but we still act married… although we are legally divorced, are we still married under God? (Even after infidelity)? Can we still have marrital relations without sin?

Thank you for reading my post. I appreciate any and all opinions… I wish there was a scripture that specifically told me what to do now…

CCC:
2384 Divorce is a grave offense against the natural law. It claims to break the contract, to which the spouses freely consented, to live with each other till death. Divorce does injury to the covenant of salvation, of which sacramental marriage is the sign. Contracting a new union, even if it is recognized by civil law, adds to the gravity of the rupture: the remarried spouse is then in a situation of public and permanent adultery: (1650)

1650 Today there are numerous Catholics in many countries who have recourse to civil divorce and contract new civil unions. In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ — “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery”160—the Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God’s law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists. For the same reason, they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities. Reconciliation through the sacrament of Penance can be granted only to those who have repented for having violated the sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, and who are committed to living in complete continence. (2384)

It’s not sinful, unless you are remarried. In that case, you would be in perpetual state of adultery, unless you confessed the sin of divorce. As of right now, you are not partaking in any sinful activities. You may be legally divorced, but, just like marriage, unless it is (basically) witnessed before God, your marriage is valid within the church.

Aside from canon law, it sounds like he has become what most men do now days, hate to say it, but he is becoming an abusive addict that might be physically and spiritually dangerous to be around him. All he wants, from my perspective and the side of the story I’ve just read, is to say he is married, so his conscience feels better due to the fact that he is “trying” to saving the marriage.

As for the bible quote . . . this is really the best I could find :shrug:

Deuteronomy
22 'If a man is caught having sexual intercourse with another man’s wife, both must be put to death: the man who has slept with her and the woman herself. You must banish this evil from Israel.

You didn’t provide details of the marriage ceremony. In some cases what seems like a valid marriage is not. Were you married within the Church? Depending on the circumstances of the marriage ceremony, you may not have been in a marriage recognized by the Church.

If you were in a marriage recognized by the Church the only way for it to be annulled is for one or both of you to apply for a Decree of Nullity and have it granted by a tribunal. So, if you were in a marriage recognized by the Church and neither has applied for annulment, you’re still married in the eyes of the Church.

Nonsmoker, thank you for your reply. I am still confused because I read somewhere that adultery anulls the validity of the marriage. Adultery has taken place many times in our marriage, so I am still wondering if our marriage was valid even after the first infidelity. Or if our marriage was ever valid to begin with because I cheated before we were engaged but never reveiled this truth to my husband until I confessed all my sins… my husband says I foced him into marriage without his knowledge of this occasion and he was never free to consent to marriage with all the knowledge he should have been given…

He said, he believes the divorce will give us a fresh start with no immorality and lies… but I doubt if this is his real reason behind our divorce because as I mentioned he has been persueing another woman from his work for the past eighteen months… he proposed she move in with him at one point and even suggested marriage after our divorce was final. Now, he says he has no further interest in her but of course I doubt him because they remain coworkers and friends. I have no control over him and his life…

I just don’t know what to do now, for myself, my kids and our family. If I remain unmarried and do not have any relationships with new men, is that living in communion with the Church? I am greatly sorry for my sins. I know God still loves me. But i don’t know how to get back into a state of grace. I thought by confessing my sins to my husband would relieve the guilt I felt, but the last eighteen months have been harder than living with my sins… that doesn’t mean I don’t feel I made the right choice. I know I couldn’t continie to live in sin. Of course, I just wish none of this ever happened but I know God has a plan and perhaps he needed to wake me up with all the devestation that has occured in order to call me back to him. I still don’t feel I have done enough penence for my sins though. And do not understand if I should continue to pray for recconcilliation to my husband, in his current state. He is Catholic too but curses and says demeaning things about the Church and our faith… I defend God but it makes me so sad. My husband has even gone as far as ordaining himself a minister online and claims to know everything and says he is the smartest man. He is closeminded and will not hear anyone else’s opinions.

Help me! And my children… what can I do to save our souls? I feel like I made a grievious mistake in ever marrying this man to begin with. I have no desire to remarry or even date, butnow what?

MJJean, yes we were married by the Church. I will never apply for annullment but I know my parish will give him one anyway, if he requests it. Our pastor gave our sister-in-law an annullment to allow her to remarry my husband’s brother, without consent of her ex. I can’t be positive that he would do the same in our case but I would suposse he would. Even if the pastor says I need to sign it, I fear my husband will pressure me to do so… and I have tried to please him in every way to make amends for all the wrong I have done.

I don’t know how much more my husband can punish me in this world… but I feel, he is trying to make me pay for my sins in every way he can. He doesn’t care if he sacrifices himself to do so. He even let our house go into foreclosure to destroy our, my, credit. We were able to become civil before the sheriff’s sale and had it sold in a short sale instead. This is just an example of how he wants to destroy me worldly and would have no problem condeming himself to hell in order to make me suffer. Part of him may believe he is owned an annullment and that it wouldn’t be a sin. I’m not sure…

Would annullment be a sin in our case? With cheating pre-engagement and all the infidelity?

No. That is not true. Adultery alone does not “invalidate” a marriage. A marriage was either valid to begin with (proper form, no previous impediments such as previously married, being forced into it, immaturity etc.), or it wasn’t. A marriage can be annulled if the grounds to do so exist, but it means there was no valid sacramental marriage to begin with even before any alleged adultery.

Adultery in a valid marriage does not make the marriage invalid. The adultery is a grave sin but not one that is impossible to forgive.

What you really need is to speak to a priest. Only a priest can review your circumstances and propose the best route for you to follow.

OraLabora, my husband would argue that he was forced into the marriage because he was unaware that I had cheated during our relationship. I know he is using this now as an excuse… but perhaps he is right. I will consult a priest. I just feel like such a bother… hate to bother them. Thank you for your reply!

Nothing you or your spouse did AFTER your wedding vows will change the validity of your marriage. I suppose the question is whether you were validly married to begin with? That is a question you should take to your priest. Share with him what you have shared here. That is the place to begin.

SwizzleStick, Thank you for your reply. I will call on a priest.

Welcome to CAF!

I posted this on your other thread on the same topic. No need for multiple threads on the same topic and also your thread may be moved to a more relevant forum for discussion, but don’t worry about that. You’ll figure things out as time goes on. :slight_smile:

You seem willing to suffer abuse and more at the hands of your ex-husband because you feel so terribly guilty. This is not a healthy attitude for you as a woman or as a mother to two children.

YES, talk to your priest. Tell him everything. Seek his advice. You might also want to consider ongoing secular or Catholic counseling.

I was “married” and then divorced many years before I began converting to Catholicism. I am in the process of having that “marriage” annulled. In the beginning of the process I thought I was doing it simply so that my current marriage could be recognized by the Church. Now I know that even if my husband magically disappeared from the Earth I would still want the annulment for me. So that I could, as the saying goes, get right with God.

If I were you I would stop all relations with the ex-husband. I would concentrate on getting myself mentally and spiritually healthy and on raising the children. I would file for a Decree of Nullity as part of the healing process and I would certainly take advantage of any help and advice my priest could give.

You are right. I am willing to suffer anything he throws my way because I feel I deserve it. But even when i did move back in with him, I was onky able to handle the control for so long… I do still have the will to live a healthy life on my own. I appreciate your advice and will contact a priest. What have you learned as far as… is annullment a sin? Thank you.

Legal divorce does not dissolve your marriage in the eyes of the Church; unless you apply for and receive a decree of nullity from a Church tribunal, you are still married. There is no sin in engaging in sexual intercourse with the man to whom you are married. Whether it’s prudent or wise in your situation is above my pay grade.

Ah, I think what you need is a spiritual director. In many cases with a spiritual director, you start the meeting with confession, then after confession talk about things that you struggle with and or should improve in. He would be able to guide you better than anyone else, since he would know you better than anyone else. You perhaps find one by poking around at your parish, perhaps asking your local priest, if he is not available, then he will most likely point you into the right direction towards a more available priest.

I’m sorry if I am just jutting into your conversation, but, annullment is not a sin. Annullment is a service (for a lack of a better word) that the church provides, stating that it was not a real marriage. Perhaps this will help you catholicannulment.us/

I believe it will answer a lot of your questions you may have on the process of annulling a marriage.

No, seeking annulment is not a sin. If the Decree of Nullity is granted it means there was not a valid marriage in the first place. The Church recognizes there was a real relationship and annulment does not make children born of the marriage illegitimate, but that what was believed to be a valid marriage was, in fact, not a valid marriage for religious purposes.

I live in the US and the average time here is about 12-14 months from filing for a Decree of Nullity to having it granted or denied.

The procedure where I live is that the initial paperwork is filled out and reviewed by an advocate (usually your priest). It’s basically biographical data and a detailed history of the marriage. Also included are the marriage certificate and divorce decree as well as the names and contact info of 5 people that have knowledge of the people who were married and their early marriage.

Then the paperwork is forwarded to the local tribunal for review. They decide if the petition has merit. If so, they gather any further documentation needed. Church records of pre-marital counseling, police records (if there are any), even psychologist or counselors reports (if there are any) and witness testimony via letters sent to the witnesses to fill out and send back.

The Advocate will draw up a summary of why the marriage should be declared void. A Defender of the Bond will draw up a summary of why the marriage should be considered valid. The tribunal Judge will make a decision. If the decision is to grant annulment, the case is sent to a second tribunal for review and a decision. If the second tribunal agrees, a Decree of Nullity is issued. If the decision is not to grant the Decree of Nullity, either or both parties can appeal. If one tribunal says yes and the other says no, the case is sent to a third tribunal in Rome.

In the meantime…
"
The Church does not teach that civil divorce is grounds for excommunication. Catholics who are divorced and who have not entered another civil union are encouraged to practice their faith, including reception of the sacraments. Being separated or divorced, on its own, does not affect one’s status in the Church. Catholics who happen to be divorced are full members of the Church with all of the same rights and duties as any other member of Christ’s faithful."

Yes, you need to see a priest as soon as possible. If you married in the Church to another Catholic, then you are still married - a civil divorce does not nullify your vows because you two made those vows to God, not a civil official. If you did not marry in the Church, then as a Catholic you should know that you are not considered to be married and you are and have been committing sin with your husband in addition to all of the other sins you’ve both committed. You need confession but if you didn’t marry in the Church, it is more complicated, which is why you need to see a priest ASAP.

I also suggest marital counseling, urgently. You can go through Catholic Charities but in your case I think a very highly experienced marital therapist might be necessary. You could also use personal counseling - the issue of undermining your husband by setting him up to cheat on you is very troubling.

As others have said, you need to speak with your parish priest. Also, be aware that you cannot, in the United States, start church annulment proceedings until after your civil divorce is finalized. You seem to have that part covered through his manipulation, but I would revisit the divorce decree to get a more favorable and equitable settlement. And I would also consider going for sole custody of the children: Heaven only knows what brand of porn your husband is watching, and the amount, intensity, and depravity of pornography to achieve sexual satisfaction tends to escalate. You do not want them to continue to be exposed to that.

I have a few questions, and please forgive me in advance if I sound a little harsh. You state that before your marriage, your now-husband was controlling, verbally, and emotionally abusive, and that you were “dependent on him for everything,” so you rushed the marriage. Why? It seems to me that it would have been far simpler to finish your education, find employment, establish your own credit, and establish your own household rather than joining yourself in marriage to this excuse of a man.

I would only have contact with him insofar as it concerns the children, and I would under no circumstances become sexually intimate with him, or anyone else, until you have this resolved properly. And listening to his lies and falling for them is not “resolving it properly.” Starting annulment proceedings, getting a more favorable divorce settlement, and getting some psychological counseling for the damage you suffered during the course of this marriage is.

It isn’t going to be cheap, and it isn’t going to be easy, and you are going to have to pray for fortitude and perseverance in getting your life and your children’s lives back on track.

You don’t confess your sins to your husband, or to anyone else. You confess your sins to Christ, who the priest sits in for, so to speak (“in persona Christi.”) Don’t give this man more ammunition to hurl at you.

He got himself ordained as a minister by some online certificate mill? Several really snotty remarks come to mind, but I won’t make them. You’re kidding me. I guess that shows how faithful a Catholic he is.

By the way, check out the following

a. An annulment is not a sin.
b. A civil divorce is not a sin. The Church permits separation in cases of grave matter. Much of what you’ve described is grave matter. As long as you do not try to get married again, you’re just a divorced Catholic. You have the same rights, responsibilities, and privileges as every other Catholic in good standing. There are literally millions of divorced Catholics who have not remarried for whatever reason. They can receive all of the sacraments (with the exception of Holy Orders and Matrimony) even if they have not started annulment proceedings, or received a rejection on their annulment case. They can be godparents and confirmation sponsors.
c. Only attempting to get married again, if the first marriage was not found to be invalid, is a sin.

You are in for a lot of paperwork. Go make that appointment with a priest, and pick up a couple of new printer cartridges on your way home. Then start compiling a list of people who knew both of you just before and at the time of your marriage. Annulment proceedings are supported heavily by witnesses around the time of the marriage. If you can remember people who tried to warn you against marrying this man, focus on them, and locate current addresses and phone numbers for them. That piece of it I wouldn’t put off too long. Chances are, the folks who tried to warn you off are older people, and they might not be around if you wait a number of years before starting this.

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