If your boyfriend has
ever been validly married (i.e. married in the eyes of God), he is STILL married, regardless of any so called
'divorce', assuming the spouse is still alive. A valid marriage is for
life, regardless of what any civil authority says. Remember that Jesus said that
those who 'divorce' and 'remarry' commit adultery – obviously a person could not
commit adultery unless the person was still married.
However, whether or
not your boyfriend was ever validly married to begin with would need to be
determined by the Church. You should contact your parish regarding the annulment
process. The annulment process would clarify whether or not a valid marriage
ever existed. If a valid marriage never existed, he may be free to marry you
provided there are no other impediments to the marriage (however, please see
below for some additional thoughts).
You may find the
following helpful... (click link to view)
Annulment Information (user-submitted article)
'Divorce / Remarriage' Reflections (quotes from Scripture, Popes, Saints...)
Information on Holy Matrimony
Reflections on Marriage
More Marriage Reflections
Also, given what you
describe, it seems that some additional serious thought and preparation should
be undergone before your marriage (assuming it turns out your boyfriend was
never validly married and you can therefore proceed to marry). If your boyfriend
doesn't consider marriage to be "until death do us part", this would be a
problem and should prevent you from entering a valid marriage with him. It is
also concerning that he did not live up to his Catholic faith by getting
'married' outside the Church on two occasions. I would advise you to meet
privately with a *good* priest and discuss this situation very frankly with him
(just you and the priest). Obviously, two failed "marriages" is not an ideal
situation and may potentially be problematic for you in the future. Remember
that if you were to enter a valid marriage with him and he later 'divorced' you,
you would be married to him for life in the eyes of God, even if he "remarried"
Likewise, one's faith
must be central in one's life, and his past actions do not seem to be a very
good indicator in that regard, IMHO. If it was me, I would want to know why he
previously disregarded his precious Catholic faith to enter into such unions and
what has changed since then regarding his commitment to the Church. With
life-changing decisions, one must be careful to consider not just positive
emotions, but reflect on the reality (& difficulty) of married life and the
central part that faith should play in one's life. No one but you can make your
life-changing decisions, but I would strongly advise you to think carefully with
your head and not simply make decisions based on emotions (which, BTW, are all
too often fleeting as time passes and difficulties present themselves). For a
valid marriage, there is no "do over" or second chance – as long as both spouses
remain alive they remain married to each other, regardless of whether either one
turns out to be a saint or a monster, and regardless of any so-called civil
'divorce'. You definitely want to make sure you make the right choice on this.
I wish you both the
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