Mental Health and Multiple Annulments?


Hello All,

Complicated questions looking for some feedback and advice.
My husband’s first marriage was annulled and on the decree it stated canon law 1095.3 “not capable of assuming the essential obligations of matrimony due to causes of a psychic nature”. A vetitum was also placed on my husband.

Concerned about this I brought it to a trusted pastor who is a canon lawyer and he warned me of the severity of it and requested my then fiance allow him to review the file and read the testimony to get a better idea of what is going on. When I mentioned that to my now husband, he was upset that I went to see the pastor without him and said he wanted to go directly to the tribunal. We went and spoke the judge who rendered the decision. He said my pastor was being to legalistic in his review and that due to my husband’s difficult past (he had a hard childhood and went to prison prior to his reversion to the Catholic faith) a witness wanted to make sure I was aware of his issues.

Now, I’ve only been married less than a month and my husband hasn’t received a formal diagnosis, but he is showing (and has always shown to some degree in hindsight) symptoms of and labeled as borderline personality disorder. Life has been a nightmare since only 2 days after the wedding. When’s he’s good, he’s great, but if he feels slighted he’s controlling, manipulative, emotionally/verbally abusive, hot tempered. I’m thinking my pastor was correct from the beginning and I’m not sure why the judge who rendered the decision downplayed it.

I’ll stand by him if he’s receptive to treatment and therapy since the prognosis is good. If not, do you think another annulment would be granted???

Thank you in advance.


I’m kind of shocked that the Diocese approved the marriage without removal of the vetitum.

It sounds as if your pastor is a prudent man.

This is a complex matter, you do need to speak to a Canon Lawyer. Prayers!!


I agree with @TheLittleLady on this part.

I also know (without giving medical advise) that BPD is extremely difficult to treat as it is a personality disorder rather than a mental illness. Medications can’t treat the disorder, but may help with some symptoms.

I’ve known and worked with BPD in the past and all I can say is God help you if you choose to stay. Life will never be easy and it will always be chaotic. You will always be the one in charge, the one who has to keep the good job to have insurance, the one who has to make sure the bills get paid, the one who may have to hide money in order to pay the bills. You will be the one having to visit him in the hospital a couple times a year if not more. When there are children you will be the sole provider and care taker for them. I’m not saying he is a horrible man, just he has a horrible illness that often isn’t successfully treated. When and if he does get a Dx please make an appointment with his doctor for you alone and ask the hard questions, ask what life will look like for you in this marriage.

I can’t tell you to stay or go, but I do know staying will be hard.


Thanks for the reply TheLittleLady and the prayers!

When we met with the judge who rendered the decision, he said that seeing I was aware of his past satisfied the conditions of the verititum and put through to have it lifted.


I appreciate you sharing with me Horton!

I’ve been voraciously researching this condition and it’s been overwhelming to say the least. I’ve also started to see a Catholic therapist for support. Like you said, he’s a good man and I love him and the thought of separating and hurting him breaks my heart, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to cope this way. We don’t even sleep in the same room and we’re suppose to be newlyweds!


This may or may not be appropriate to discuss at the time, but it seems that you are already thinking about it…
What do you want? Do you want out of this marriage? Are you simply looking into the legalities and church positions concerning your marriage?
Were you married in the church? If so, you probably will find that your marriage will be considered valid, unless you ask for it to be looked into.
Has he abused you, in any way? Are any children involved? Are they being abused, in any way? You are never required to stay with a spouse who abuses you, but remarriage, child custody, and other aspects of married life must be considered.
I know, I asked this without not much information, so, don’t feel compelled to answer anything ‘out loud’(by posting about it). But think about it. And use what you find to come to an answer that you can live with. God bless!


This is not something on which we can speculate.

“Married in the Church” does not mean automatically valid consent. If one party is unable to consent, if there were serious things that were undisclosed which would have been “deal killers” for the other spouse, this is a very complex situation.

Abuse in and of itself is NOT grounds for nullity. Secrets may be.


And children, is this man going to be capable of being at minimum a safe parent?


@Legend We were married in the church and I’m looking into the legalities of the church position concerning the marriage. There were red flags and concerned individuals prior to the marriage, but I believed and trusted him and what he was telling me. When the judge who made the decision on the first annulment calmed my anxieties by saying He wanted to make sure I was aware of husband’s difficult past (he had a hard childhood and time in prison prior to his reversion to the Catholic faith) and not share anything more serious, it calmed me even more. I was told by another person that the diocese should have had my husband speak with and be evaluated by a psychologist before lifting the vetitum, that never happened. Now I’m second guessing everything and wondering what’s true and what’s not knowing that this mental illness is linked to lying. He has been emotionally and verbally abusive. We do not have any children together.


@1ke what is the name of that group who helps Catholics out with Canon Law issues? St something society?



Thank you to you both, @1ke and @TheLittleLady! <3


I wasn’t saying that abuse was grounds for annulment. I said that no one is required to remain with a spouse that abuses said person and any children that live in the home. That’s just common sense!
For the possibility of remarriage, the church does not have to grant an anullment.
But, no one should be required to live in fear…or worse!


Not a canon lawyer here but it sounds like the vittitum was not lifted and all I can say is what were theythinking?


Sadly it was lifted. I saw the document declaring so.


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