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Laura wrote:

Hi, guys —

My name is Laura and I am a 20-year-old Catholic who lives in New Hampshire. I'm writing because I'm stuck and don't know what to do.

I fell in love with a married man in his 30s. He's been married for three years but it wasn't in the Church so his priest said it was invalid. The woman he is married to is quite abusive and throws guns at him when she doesn't get her own way. He said she's been different since he married her and throwing a loaded gun at him that almost went off gave him (PTSD) Posttraumatic stress disorder.

He closed off his heart but stays married to her because of God. I've been good friends with him for a few months while we have been in college together. I respected him so much. I never wanted to kiss him or do anything to mess up his relationship with his wife. Only last Monday we kissed. I stopped him and he said to stop stopping him. That he chose me.

He makes me feel different; better than I ever was. He inspires me to be my best and drives me out of my comfort zone and makes me feel like I can do anything. I never loved someone as much as I do him.

He's meeting with his priest next Saturday for advice on if he should avoid me or get a divorce. He hasn't been happy in a long time.

I know I'm just going to get hurt in the end. I feel God would want him to stay with his wife. That's why I pushed him away.

  • What should I do?
  • Will I go to Hell for stealing his heart unintentionally?
  • Will he ever feel safe again if he stays with her?

Thank you,

Laura

  { Is there anything wrong with dating a married man whose wife is quite abusive? }

Bob replied:

Laura,

You must stay out of an adulterous situation for the sake of your soul and his. He clearly has to figure out whether he is going to remain married in this abusive situation, but you must not be a party to his decision.

If you love him, let him go. If in the future he is free, a relationship may be a possibility, but you should not be involved with him at all at this point. Even being his friend right now is dangerous, because it puts you in jeopardy of adultery.

God will help you make it through the difficulty if you trust in Him.

Peace,

Bob Kirby

Mike replied:

Dear Laura,

I would first bring your set of questions to a priest or spiritual director.

We are not priests and any advice or suggestions we give should not override the counsel of a faithful Catholic priest who may learn some nuances about your situation that you have not shared with us.

The only thing I can share is my personal opinion/viewpoint of what you have shared with us.

When the Church requires or prohibits something, it is not because She is trying to just be mean or lacks compassion. Anything the Church requires or prohibits is done for one reason:

To remain faithful to the Teachings of Jesus, our Savior.

That said, whether the married man's marriage is valid or not, is not your concern. In the eyes of the Church, until a declaration of nullity is received, he is married and you shouldn't even think of falling in love with a married man. That is adultery which breaks the sixth commandment.

You said:
I know I'm just going to get hurt in the end.

You're right!, because you are setting yourself up to get hurt.

Christian Marriage is a life-time commitment between one single, baptized man and one single, baptized woman which is open to life. This idea doesn't come from any stranger, but from Jesus, our God-Man, Himself.

Listen to our Savior.

On a personal note, after reading questions and answers to situations dealing with marriages, annulments, and divorces for over ten years, one thing I can say with confidence as a single Catholic:

  • If you don't follow the Church rules on marriage, you can really mess up your life.
  • Marriage requirements and/or prohibitions our for our good and for our eternal salvation.

And as my mother constantly reminded me:

Michael, It's a lifetime commitment.

Besides the issue of dating a married man, let me ask you:

  • Can you get to know someone, as you said, in a few months, then make a lifetime commitment? <I don't think so.>
  • If this man, in the future, does receive an annulment and is free to marry again, if he marries again, whose to say, after three years of marriage, he doesn't choose someone else, like he told you!

I hope this helps,

Mike

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