Unconsummated marriage - legal rights?

[i]Originally posted by NeedAdviceInNC[/i] [br] Can he get an annulment because the marriage has not ever been consummated? Does it give him any legal rights?

To add one more comment to this, would her sexual “issues” (the wife apparently has a revulsion to any physical penetration of any kind) be termed “impotence” under the annulment law?

It’s your word against your wife’s as far as what went on in the bedroom. If she doesn’t want the divorce/annulment, aint no way she’s going to corroborate your story in court.

[i]Originally posted by whitelinefever[/i] [br]It's your word against your wife's as far as what went on in the bedroom. If she doesn't want the divorce/annulment, aint no way she's going to corroborate your story in court.

You are probably right. She will probably blame everyone else around her and want sympathy, but will not admit her own role in their marriage being unhealthy, abusive and unviable. Hopefully they won’t have to go to court, it will get very ugly if they do on both sides, and neither one of them make all that much money. But she is probably going to want the attention and to “have her day” in front of a judge to complain about how badly he is mistreating her by leaving the relationship. All the husband can do is hope she tells the truth when confronted with his testimony about her refusal to have sex except for her own pleasure.

My guess is that judge may see this whole story as a ploy for you to avoid the conseqences of having had an affair. If the judge thinks you are trying to ge the marriage annulled in order to avoid being charged with adultery and/or have to pay alimony, you are in for a rude surprise. Judges have seen and heard it all.

Dear NeedAdviceInNC:

Greetings. No, an annulment is not possible simply because a marriage is not consummated. She needs a divorce.

Yes, that is possible to prove constructive abandonment. But then again, anything is possible and it will depend on what a judge believes.

No, lack of a consummated marriage is not a viable defense against an AoA suit - although an unhappy relationship is evidenced by lack of a sex life in the marriage. Good luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

301 McCullough Drive Suite 510
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax


The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

I have a close friend who is getting ready to leave his wife of almost three years, very soon. Believe it or not, they have not ever consummated their marriage and he is still a virgin. She has been emotionally abusive in many ways too. Their “sex life” has involved having him provide for her sexual needs but she has refused to meet his (he “satisfies” her orally and then she goes to sleep while he has to “take care” of himself!).

Can he get an annulment because the marriage has not ever been consummated? Does it give him any legal rights?


Is this dysfunctional sex life and emotional abuse good enough proof of constructive abandonment by the wife, because she has refused to give him a normal marital relationship?


Is this lack of a consummated marriage a viable defense against an AofA suit (there is a third party involved in a way that could be termed an affair by the wife, but there has NOT been criminal conversation yet between the husband and that person). From what he understands, an AofA suit is only a risk to the third party if the marriage was ever normal and healthy and viable, which it sounds like it was not.