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Failed relationship

This is an interesting case of a marital union with an auspicious beginning but a sorry ending where the parties found themselves trapped in a mire of unfulfilled vows and unconsummated marital obligations. This is the case of Paulo and Minda.

After Paulo married Minda in a solemn wedding rite and lavish reception, they proceeded to the house of Paulo’s mother and slept together on the same bed in the same room for the first night of their married life. But contrary to Minda’s expectation of an enjoyable love-making, Paulo just slept on one side of the bed then turned his back and went to sleep without having sexual intercourse with Minda. The same thing happened in the second, third and fourth night.

Then they tried to have their honeymoon in a private place in a romantic City where they can enjoy being together during the first week as husband and wife. Unfortunately however, Paolo brought along his mother and nephew and even asked Minda to bring her mother and uncle. They stayed in the city for four days but there was no sexual intercourse between them since Paulo avoided Minda and just took long walks during siesta time, or slept on a rocking chair at the living room.

During the subsequent ten months of their marriage, Paulo and Minda slept in the same bedroom and on the same bed but there was no attempt on the part of Paulo to have sexual intercourse with Minda. In fact, Minda did not even see her husband’s private part nor did he see hers. Hence, Minda already separated from Paulo and filed a petition to declare their marriage null and void on the ground of Paulo’s psychological incapacity to perform the essential marital obligations. She even claimed that Paulo is impotent, a closet homosexual who refused to show his private parts to her. She said she had seen him using an eyebrow pencil and the cleansing cream of his mother.

Paulo admitted in his answer that since their marriage until their separation about nine months later, there was no sexual contact between them. But he does not want their marriage voided by because, (1) he loves Minda very much; (2) he has no defect in his private parts and is physically and psychologically capable; (3) their relationship is still very young so any differences between them can still be reconciled or incapacities and defects in any of them can still be cured.

But after trial, the RTC declared the marriage of Paulo and Minda on the ground of psychological incapacity, On appeal, the Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed this decision. Paulo still questioned the decision before the Supreme Court contending, among others that his refusal to have sexual communion with Minda is not a psychological incapacity.

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But the Supreme Court said that Paulo’s claim is not correct. He admitted that he did not have sexual relations with his wife after almost ten months of cohabitation although he is not suffering from any physical disability. Such abnormal reluctance or unwillingness to consummate his marriage is strongly indicative of a serious personality disorder which demonstrates an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to marriage as provided in Article 36 of the Family Code. Love is useless unless it is shared with another. The cruelest act of a partner in marriage is to say “I could not have cared less” This is so because an un-given self is an unfulfilled self. In the natural order, it is the sexual intimacy which brings spouses wholeness and oneness. It is a gift and a participation in the mystery of procreation; a function which enlivens the hope of procreation and ensures the continuation of family relations.

Marital union ia a two way process. An expressive interest in each others’ feelings at a time it is needed by the other can go a long way in deepening the marital relationship. Marriage is for two consenting adults who view their relationship with love, respect, sacrifice and a continuing commitment to compromise, conscious of its value as a sublime social institution (Chi Ming Tsoi vs. Gina Lao-Tsoi G.R. 119190, January 16, 1997)

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Email: attyjosesison@gmail.com

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