Question about divorce and remarriage

My non-Catholic marriage is over, however we are not yet divorced. I believe I have grounds for a Catholic annulment.
My question is this… is it considered adultery if I kiss or hold hands with someone that I fall in love with before my divorce is final?
This is someone that I would like to someday marry in a Catholic ceremony (I am a new Catholic). I did not start a relationship with this person until my separation, and it has been a chaste relationship.
Thank you.

As far as God and the Church are concerned, your civil divorce is nothing but a legal paper. You are to act as a married lady - no dating, no romancing men.

You may have your marriage reviewed by the Church to see if it was vaild. If the marriage was invalid, they will issue a decree of nullity - only after that would it be proper to date. The Tribunal may find your marriage is 100% valid. At that point, this romance will cause you even more heartbreak.

Stay close to Jesus and the Sacraments, leave dating alone for now.


I am not an expert, but I have seen similar questions asked and answered by Fr. Serpa - one of the staff apologists here who is an expert - and I have been through an anulmment myself.

My understanding is that you may not date at all (romantically) until you have received an anullment, because of the seriousness and permanence of marriage. You have to be sure you were never married in the first place before attempting to discern whether you are called to marriage (which is the point of dating).

II’m not saying you have to give up your boyfriend necessarily - or that you absolutely have to kick him out the door. However, you have to understand, and he has to understand, that you should keep him at arms length until you are free to pursue an actual courtship.

I can’t give you any other advice as to your specific situation, but much will depend on whether you and your ex husband were baptized at the time you were married. If you were not baptized, then married, then became a Catholic, and then divorced, then an anullment is probably likely.

I strongly urge you to consult an orthodox priest about your specific situation. He will be your advocate during any anullment process. He will also be able to accurately answer this question that you have posed.

I will pray for you.

God Bless,

Thank you. Neither my “husband” nor myself were baptized. I am currently in RCIA classes. My soon to be ex husband fell in love with someone else and left me. There is no “romantic” relationship with myself and this other man. We are only friends (and have been for many, many years). But I know that I love him, and I have prayed about it and know that I am meant to marry him.

In the meantime, I will continue to build a friendship with him, we are both strong and show restraint. If it is the case that I cannot remarry, then I will be satisfied to have him as a lifelong friend.

Since neither of you were ever baptized, your annulment is likely to be fairly easy and straightforward. Just be patient and see what the tribunal says. Sounds like you’re going about things the right way by strengthening your friendship with this new person. God bless!

Why would you think that? Being unbaptized doesn’t mean they didn’t have a valid marriage.

Now, since she’s in RCIA, once she’s baptized she can petition for her marriage to be dissolved based on Pauline Privilege. That’s a totally different thing.

Aside from it being wrong in the eyes of the Church because you are still married according to the church but it’s just not healthy to be romantic with someone that close after a divorce. Trust me, I’ve been there. You need to take a step back and focus on yourself and learn how to be by yourself. What you are feeling for this other person is probably a rebound. However, if it’s not, those feelings will still be there in a year. When I went through my divorce, it was recommended that i not date or make any major decisions for at least a year and my counselor was correct. You need to do it for yourself and for potential mates.

One one hand state marriage does not count for the religion, on the other hand many here do not mind to vote anti gay marriage because then all of a sudden it IS a religious marriage. So if you are of the pro proposition 8 kind, you are as sinfull as a gay person with a divorce and a hypocrite too.

Off course if your not that kind, no words said.

But many christians are hypocrite like that, state marriage only counts when it does not affect them themself. Its always easier to punish others with your religion even if they never chose to be christians than do it yourself while you chose to be a christian. Respect for otherminded people is a rare thing amonst christians, with 85% of christians voting against gay marriage. Its a hatefull religion in the USA.


I believe your comments regarding same sex relationships are more appropriate for another topic, one dealing with gay “marriage” or perhaps a topic dealing with whether the Church is a hateful institution, as you have asserted.

The question asked is whether or not she (the OP), specifically, had a valid marriage in the eyes of the Catholic Church - an issue which has nothing to do with what you have raised. We should not highjack the OP’s topic for something tangential.


I agree we should not assume anything. It’s possible the OP’s marriage was valid, or not - and/or she may very well be entitled to the Pauline priviledge. (The Pauline priviledge is based on the notion that valid natural marriages (between unbaptized persons) can be dissolved, in contrast to valid marriages between baptized persons which cannot be dissolved).

I agree that these questions should be settled by an authorized tribunal and not by us.

I will continue to pray for the OP.

I wish you all the luck in the world. You may want to also look back at your marriage and the adulterous behavior and talk to your friends. In case the Pauline privelege cannot be asserted you may need to get as much information as you can as to how soon he started cheating after he married or if he was ever faithful. If the Pauline privelege does not apply but it can be shown that he married you with his fingers crossed and not intention of staying faithful then you would probably have grounds for annullment. You would be suprised how much friends will see that they will not tell you while it was going on or how pieces and can be fit together after you have the bigger picture in place.

Catholicgirl, I’m in a similar situation, and it helps me to look at the pre-annulment window as a safety net, when I can enjoy healthy friendships with men during a time when I am clearly off-limits as anything more than a friend. I actually like it, because my marriage was abusive and I have no desire to date. This off-limits period means everybody else knows I can’t date, so there is less pressure.

I’m glad to read that you would be happy to remain just friends with your friend. It would probably be a good thing if you could look at him as that now, instead of as potential mate, since if you were visibly married to someone, it wouldn’t be okay to be checking out the field and those standards still apply.

I was really shocked at how many of my non-Catholic friends thought it was totally okay to date as soon as I was separated from my husband.

What’s more shocking is the number of Catholics who think that it’s perfectly OK.

There are many people in the world that act like all sorts of adultery are OK - I guess we shouldn’t be too shocked - it’s called rationalization.

Generally I tend to think that if people separate, they are hopefully looking at getting back together again. Snagging a new boy/girlfriend during that time would doom the marriage, I would think, even from a totally secular perspective.

I separated to escape, and I put it off as long as I could because I knew I would never go back, but I still know that i’m married in God’s eyes until and unless I have a decree of nullity. I’ve had so many friends who get a rebound boyfriend, and it’s always a disaster. The Church is wise.

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