Second Weddings

His 1st, my 2nd

I escaped an abusive marriage nearly 10 years ago and am recently engaged to marry for the 2nd time.

My first was not a church wedding, it was held in one of the ex's relative's back yard and we were married by a non-denominational pastor. Only a couple of my relatives attended and virtually none of the friends I had then would be attending this one save for my best friend who tells me my first didn't count. I have a couple of questions:

1. My FI wants to register and I'm not sure how I should handle this, should I still request no gifts?

2. Does any one know if I would need to get an annulment in order to be married in the Catholic church? I'm not Catholic, my FI is and is hoping to be married in his church. I don't exactly want to go looking for my abusive ex. I escaped and have never wanted him to know where I live, work, play, etc.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Re: His 1st, my 2nd

  • LesPaulLesPaul member
    5000 Comments Fourth Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Congratulations! 
    Regarding registering, go ahead if you want to - many repeat brides do so.  I didn't register anywhere, but in hindsight I should have, as we could have upgraded some household stuff.  Remember that it's generally not polite to mention gifts at all, so don't put "No Gifts Please" on anything.  People may ask what you would like, or if you're registered, and you can talk about gifts then.

    Regarding the Catholic question, sorry I can't help you there.
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  • MikesAngieMikesAngie member
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary Name Dropper 5 Love Its
    edited December 2011
    Congratulations!!  And welcome to the board! 

    Register if not you may end up with things you don't want, or like.  We're registered, at two different registeries.  Our families are treating this wedding like it is a first wedding.

    I'm not Catholic and can't help you with that one either.  Kudos to you though for leaving an abusive xH, I totally understand about not wanting him to know anything about you, your location or anything. I hope that the Catholic church understands the issue and respects that contacting the xH could put you in peril.
  • edited December 2011
    I have a similar situation although my ex wasn't as bad as yours and because we have a child we are in contact anywyas.  I was married before and BF and I are discussing getting married in his Catholic church in the next year or two. 

    You do need an annulement to remarry in the chuch if you were legally married before.  If your previous wedding was non-religious that should be enough to nullify the marriage in the eyes of the Catholic church.  However, from eveyrthing that I have read the church will contact your ex so that he is aware of the process and that when/if the marriage is annuled that he could also remarry in the Catholic church if he ever chose to.  The best advice that I can give you is to go talk to the priest at his church and see if they would be able to contact him and get what they need from him without giving too much of your information.   Best of luck to you!
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  • edited December 2011
    I'm a lapsed Catholic. I'd talk to the Priest- you may be fine in that since you were not married BY the church the first time, they may not see your marriage as valid. If that's still a problem, explaining that you were abused and are in hiding may also help for them to give you a bit of leeway on this. Good luck!
  • nmauser82nmauser82 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I just had this conversation with the church. I am not catholic, and he is. I was not married in the church but it was a legal marriage, therefore, it is valid in the eyes of the church. You need an annulment.  From what they told me its a lengthy process that starts with you writting out a detailed history of your entire life, including your upbringing,your parent's marriage, how you met your ex, your courtship, your marriage, your life leading up to now.... they will try to contact your ex, and you need to get 3 or 4 written accounts of your marriage from friends and family that witnessed it and it's demise.




  • edited December 2011
    WOW... really not interested at all in reliving all of that history to prove to some organization that I escaped an ugly and painful situation in the hopes they'll say it's okay that I did.

    Honestly scares me to have to even consider thinking about all of that now, during a time when (i believe) i should be feeling happiness and excitement about planning a memorable event and starting a new life.

    (apologies for the vent...)
  • edited December 2011

    Re: catholic church - I do not think you can remarry in the Catholic church.  If one of the partners has been married before, I do not think they allow you to marry there.

    My dad was married before my mom, and even though I think that previous marriage was annulled, my parents weren't allowed to marry in the Catholic church.

    Just a thought, your church may be a bit more open than that :-)

  • 2dBride2dBride member
    2500 Comments Fourth Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    The Catholic church's rules on annulments are that you need one if either:

    The nonCatholic partner has been married before in any kind of ceremony, and/or

    The Catholic partner has been married before in a Catholic ceremony, or in a ceremony for which the person got the permission of the Catholic church to have it elsewhere.

    Yeah, it's not fun to relive.  I would do it only if it is vitally important to your FI that you be married in the Catholic church.
  • Marrin713Marrin713 member
    1000 Comments Third Anniversary 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    Yeh - you need to keep all that abuse and awful man out of your relationship and wedding planning.  Hopefully your FI will realize that it's vitally important not to bring all that up again.  Maybe a nice non-demoninational church?
  • edited December 2011
    I wasn't aware that if you were NOT Catholic and did not get married in a Catholic church, that you needed the annulment. I would double check on that for sure.

    I'm going thru the Catholic annulment as well...I'm Catholic, exH was not (he's already re-married) The only reason I am doing it is for my own piece of mind. I do not plan on getting married in the church (I have my issues) but I do not feel comfortable starting a new life with my wonderful FI with this over my head. May sound silly, but even if I never go to church ever again, I would not feel right knowing that the Catholic church still considers me married to exH.

    It's been over 5 years since I was with exH and I know that if I started this process years eairler, I would not have been able to handle it (with the whole explaining childhood, courtship...yadda yadda yadda). I have come a long way emotionally, and I am finally ok with talking about it.

    So, I guess what I'm trying to say is...if the relationship with the ex is still very painful, don't open that can of worms unless you absolutely HAVE to. It sucks. Check with his church. Twice.

    Good Luck!

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  • edited December 2011
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/special-topic-wedding-boards_second-weddings_his-1st-2nd?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Special Topic Wedding BoardsForum:35Discussion:469e0b64-f855-40dd-a2b2-9580ef65bf6bPost:221af1b7-ff64-479e-b177-178151b5d52d">Re: His 1st, my 2nd</a>:
    [QUOTE]Re: catholic church - I do not think you can remarry in the Catholic church.  If one of the partners has been married before, I do not think they allow you to marry there. My dad was married before my mom, and even though I think that previous marriage was annulled, my parents weren't allowed to marry in the Catholic church. Just a thought, your church may be a bit more open than that :-)
    Posted by kaylenelizabeth[/QUOTE]

    I have herd of this before. If your dad had children from his first marriage, I believe he would have had to basically disown his children and say they never exsisted. This happened to an older family friend who wanted to get re-married in the church. He said pooey on that (his words are much more colorful, lol) and did not marry in the Catholic church. He and his wife have been happily married for close to 30 years now :)

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  • edited December 2011
    I was married to my exH in an outdoor non-religious ceremony and neither of us were/are Catholic.  My BF is Catholic and in order to marry him in his church (whether I convert or not) I will have to have the Catholic church review and nullify my previous marriage. 
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  • kendra525kendra525 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Aw, congrats!  Considering it's been 10 yrs, I would say it's more than appropriate to register for gifts, after all, it is his first marriage.  Have fun, don't worry too much what other people think, because it is your day :)
  • kmwessel79kmwessel79 member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    I'm not sure if you do need an annulment if you aren't Catholic.  I was raised Catholic, my first marriage was not in the church, however.  My annulment was quick and easy and $100.00.  I needed my baptismal certificate, my marriage license and my divorce decree.  It was all paper.  If you weren't married in the church it is a simple thing because you weren't married according to cannon law.  If you did get married in the church, it is more difficult because they need to determine if a "marriage" actually existed.  They sent a copy of the annulment to my ex, but did not contact him before that.  I am getting married in the Catholic church this time...FI's idea, not mine. Good luck, talk to your FI's priest.


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