EWTN Catholic Q&A
Marriage annulment
Question from M.M. on 10-30-2013:

Am I obligated to seek an annulment if I have reasons to doubt the validity of my consent to marriage? I have reviewed the conditions that can invalidate consent in the FAQ, as well as conducted much research and soul searching. I think my consent was valid, at least I want it to have been valid, but I honestly am not sure based on objective criteria set forth by the Church.

My spouse of 26 years and I love each other and want to be together. If by Church law we were obligated to seek annulment to confirm the validity of our marriage and it turned out to be invalid, we would desire to re-marry. Is there an easier way than annulment and subsequent re-marriage so scandal to our children and family could be avoided? Please help!

Answer by Catholic Answers on 10-31-2013:


If I understand you correctly, what you have been doing is second-guessing a presumptively valid marriage. If that is the case, I can only recommend that you stop doing so immediately. Happily married couples who were presumed free to marry at the time of their marriage should not be trying to self-diagnose problems that may not exist. It's a form of spiritual hypochondria.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers