Questions about previous marriage


My wife was married twice before I met her. She was protestant and baptized. I had never been married before. She has since became catholic. We were married out of the church. I was wondering as far as the church goes can I receive communion and how does the church look at me as far as being able to get to heaven. How should I fix this situation?



Based on what you’ve written it sounds as if you are currently in an invalid marriage and should refrain from Communion until you have discussed the situation with your priest and rectified it.

To start on the path to fixing the problem, you and your wife should make an appointment with your parish priest. Lay out all the facts and he will guide you on what is necessary and how to proceed.


Go speak with your and her priest ASAP. There are a lot of steps before you two can be considered sacramentally married and therefore enjoy the marital embrace while still receiving Communion. I am not an expert, and my advice might not be free of mistakes, but here is a brief run-down.

Ideally, this should have been addressed when your wife became Catholic. Normally an investigation of previous marriages takes place before the Church will allow her to complete Confirmation and the Eucharist, but there are many situations where this is overlooked. I’m so sorry for you that you are in this situation.

In the meantime, it would be appropriate to live as brother and sister until this matter is sorted out, since it is far more important to keep one another out of sin and to receive the Eucharist. Basically each of her two previous marriages must be shown not to be sacramental before you can move to the next step, which is convalidation of your marriage. As someone has put it before, anything that has the appearance of the marriage is considered a marriage until it is proven otherwise, kind of like innocent until proven guilty in the judicial system. I THINK that if you were Catholic at the time of the wedding but did not receive a dispensation to marry outside the Catholic church, convalidation will be necessary.

Of course, all of this is much better addressed by a a priest who can consult Canon Law and determine whether the two previous marriages were sacramental. Pray, support one another, and be prepared for the very real possibility that one of her two marriages may be sacramental, thus excluding the possibility of bringing your marriage into the Church. I pray that this is not the case for you.


what he said


*she:thumbsup: 1ke has a way of always saying what I want to say, only much better and more succinct.


Just adding to this particular post, the marriage does not need to be sacramental to enjoy the mariatl embraqce just needs to be valid… vaild marriage does not mean sacramental…


Thanks for the clarification. Didn’t I say it wouldn’t be free of mistakes?:thumbsup:


lol none of us are perfect in any ways,they crucified the only perfect person to walk this earth…
Just wanted to add that as so many people think if you get a divorce you cannot partake in communion and so many other things didnt want this being an issue either to some of the folks

many people think you need to prove a marriage non sacramental to attain an anullment but in reality many many marriages are “non sacramental” But are very very valid.

one example would be a non baptised person marrying a Catholic person in the church, very valid but NOT sacramental till non baptised becomes baptised,

Plus i am the one usually corrected anyways :wink:
not too often i get to post something i actually know or understand lol


That situation needs to solved ASAP and the tribunal is the right institution for that.


I have to totally agree with you


How did she become Catholic with that kind of marriage history unless the previous marriages were annuled prior to her entering the Church? :confused:

I know my marital history was asked of me before I was allowed to enter the Church.


was at the time going thru an anullment when i entered the church mot even close to ratification at that time the tribunal loves to drag thier feet was not denied entry or communion


Beginning with the earliest, each of her previous marriages must be investigated by the marriage tribunal of your current diocese, or the diocese in which she married (and it would be worthwhile to call and find out which diocese has less of a backlong and might have a speedier process). Until it has been determined that each of her previous marriages was invalid, and so no marriage ever existed (a decree of nullity as in null and void) she is not free to marry you or anyone else. Objectively you are what is usually called “living in sin”. Subjectively I cannot say that is a matter for you to discuss with your priest in confession. No as long as you remain with her and engage in marital relations you are objectively in state of mortal sin and cannot receive the sacraments. You could, with your priest’s counsel and some necessary explanations of Catholic teaching which binds you for your wife, live as “brother and sister” so you could confess and receive communion.

Every marriage situation is unique, and specific advice here has little value because there is no way we could know all the details. Your first move is to visit your pastor together, give him all the details of past marriages for both of you, and follow his guidance on what needs to be done.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit