Hi, to make a very long story short, I married in the Catholic Church two years ago and was married for a short time–literally weeks. I received an annulment shortly afterwards as it appeared to be a very open and shut case, though…it wasn’t.
Due to a very manipulative person coming forward with more information surrounding the events leading to our marriage, it has shed quite a bit of light on the situation and now my ex-husband has requested that our tribunal re-open the investigation into our marriage. They have agreed that the new information makes it necessary to do so.
Meanwhile, before any of this talk about the annulment not being valid was raised, I met a very wonderful man on a Catholic dating website. We spoke on the phone for three months and were just about ready to meet when this information hit the fan. (We live long distance from each other.)
Ex and I were married in a very big archdiocese and the tribunal is extremely busy. It wasn’t until this summer that they officially agreed to re-open it.
However, I kept talking to this other person but did not agree to meet him because I was worried about the ramifications of meeting a person under these circumstances. We had grown to care about each other very much. The situation caused a lot of arguments and resentment. There was a long period of time where we stopped speaking and tried to move on.
We are talking again and while there are other issues surrounding communication that make me wonder about compatibility, the major issue is whether or not I’m sinning. Since I should consider my first marriage valid until now proven again otherwise, is it adultery in my heart to talk to this man and think about him in a romantic manner?
Is it okay if I meet him? It has been so long and I would just love to meet this person. I should mention I also have two daughters from my ex-husband (twin babies) and a baby neice I am adopting (another long story). So, there are children invovled.
I should also mention that even if it turns out I am married with to my ex after all, I will NOT EVER have a relationship with him. He turned very emotionally abusive and was physically abusive twice. He also has never even seen our baby girls, although he did want to after he found out the new information.
I have talked to so many priests about this and I get varying answers, ranging from “use an informed conscience” to “it is a mortal sin and you are committing adultery” even though I fell in love with this person before I even knew my decree of nullity would be questioned. There has been one priest who said it’s okay to “carry on” but to do so with the idea that we could very well split up. But if we “carry on” does that mean what? We have to be strictly friends? Is chaste kissing allowed? I know people waiting on annulments who definitely express romantic interest in another. I mean, if I was married I certainly wouldn’t be kissing another man. Are the rules different?
I also feel guilty because I am almost 27 and he just turned 34. He would make a very good husband and daddy and time is continuing to go on. I don’t want to mess up his ability to find a loving wife if I cannot be it for him.
I feel like there is just a huge emotional attachment and a lot of longing for interaction in a tangible sense. We both struggle with chastity to varying degrees of success and I do worry that something could go wrong in that direction, though he is a very faithful Catholic. I just know it has been hard for both of us in past relationships.
What would any of you do?