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Sexual And Marital Infidelity As A

Ground For Declaration Of Nullity Of


Marriage Due To Psychological
Incapacity
Almost always, any petition for declaration of nullity of a void marriage on
the ground of psychological incapacity include allegations of sexual or marital
infidelity, among other grounds, on the part of the other spouses, or in some
cases, by the petitioner himself or herself. At other times, the claim is that the
other party does not want to consummate the marriage, willingly or
unwillingly. In most cases, the Court denied petitions for declaration of
nullity of marriage on ground of psychological incapacity, applying the very
strict guidelines in Molina vs Molina. This post aims to present a survey of
cases where the Court applied the guidelines of Molina in resolving cases
that went up to it. Most decision cited are posted previously on the blog, and
you may see the entire post by clicking the hyperlink.
The recurring theme in all of these decisions which involve sexual infidelity as
a ground for declaration of nullity of marriage for psychological incapacity
under Article 36 of the Family Code is that:
1.

Sexual infidelity by itself, is not a ground for declaring a


marriage void due to psychological incapacity. At most, it is a
ground for legal separation;
2. As in every allegation of psychological incapacity, the infidelity
or unfaithfulness must be established as a sign or manifestation
of a disordered personality which completely prevented the
respondent or petitioner from performing the essential
obligations of marriage;
3. There must be a supervening factor that incapacitated the
party from complying with the essential obligations of marriage.
4. The promiscuity or infidelity must be apparent at the inception
of the marriage.

It begs the question of course, why would you marry an promiscuous man or
woman in the first place. Is there infidelity before the marriage between the
parties? Marital infidelity presupposes that a marriage takes place first
between the parties.
The first invocation of sexual infidelity as a ground for declaration of nullity of
marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity happened in the case
ofHernandez vs Hernandez. There, aside from protesting that her
husband was a spendthrift, irresponsible husband, she also alleged that her
husband, even after their marriage, cohabited with another woman, sired her
an illegitimate child, and even contracted venereal disease which
contaminated her (ouch). This she said, constitute a ground for dissolution of
her marriage. The RTC of course denied it, ruling that sexual infidelity,
among others, is a ground for legal separation, not of psychological
incapacity. Had the law intended it to be so, it would not have included the
same as a ground for legal separation. The CA agreed with the RTC, thus the
hapless and hopeless petitioner elevated her case to the Supreme Court.
Which unfortunately sided with the lower court. It said:
However, private respondents alleged habitual alcoholism, sexual infidelity
or perversion, and abandonment do not by themselves constitute grounds for
finding that he is suffering from psychological incapacity within the
contemplation of the Family Code. It must be shown that these acts are
manifestations of a disordered personality which make
private respondent completely unable to discharge the
essential obligations of the marital state, and not merely
due to private respondents youth and self-conscious feeling
of being handsome, as the appellate court held. (Underscoring
mine)
Sy vs Sy, on the other hand sang a different tune. As one of the grounds for
her petition, the wife alleged that her husband refuses to have sex with her,
and instead, opts to satisfy himself rather than have sex with her. However, he
had a mistress whom he prefers to live with (kind of dense, this one). Both the
RTC and the CA denied her petition. Luckily for her, she discovered that her
marriage with respondent lacked a marriage license, and it was this ground
which the Supreme Court used in granting her petition, so the issue of her

husbands refusal to have sex with her never got to the pages of the Supreme
Court Reports Annotated (SCRA). While the Court noted that the issue of
lack of marriage license was first raised on appeal, the petitioner extensively
discussed the evidence in her pleadings before the lower courts.
While in Dedel vs CA, the petitioner, the husband, accused his wife of
sexual infidelity, the Supreme Court noted that the infidelity occurred only
after the marriage said: The difficulty in resolving the problem lies in the fact
that a personality disorder is a very complex and elusive phenomenon which
defies easy analysis and definition. In this case, respondents sexual infidelity
can hardly qualify as being mentally or psychically ill to such an extent that
she could not have known the obligations she was assuming, or knowing
them, could not have given a valid assumption thereof. It appears that
respondents promiscuity did not exist prior to or at the inception of the
marriage. What is, in fact, disclosed by the records is a blissful marital union
at its celebration, later affirmed in church rites, and which produced four
children.
In Villalon vs Villalon, it was the petitioner who wants out of the
relationship. Among other grounds, the husband confessed to being a
womanizer, which according to him, render him unfit to continue as husband
to his wife. Opposing the petition, the wife claimed that her husband is in
fact, a model husband. The Supreme Court refused believe the self-confessed
womaniser, and held that:
Moreover, we are not convinced that petitioner is a serial or habitual
adulterer, as he wants the court to believe. As stated by respondent herself, it
cannot be said that two instances of infidelity which occurred 13 years apart
could be deemed womanizing, especially considering that these instances
involved the same woman. In fact, at the time of respondents testimony,
petitioners illicit relationship has been going on for six years. This is not
consistent with the symptoms of a person suffering from Casanova
Complex who, according to Dr. Dayan, is one who jumps from one
relationship to another.
Sexual infidelity, by itself, is not sufficient proof that petitioner is suffering
from psychological incapacity. It must be shown that the acts of
unfaithfulness are manifestations of a disordered

personality which make petitioner completely unable to


discharge the essential obligations of marriage. The evidence on
record fails to convince us that petitioners marital indiscretions are
symptomatic of psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code.
On the contrary, the evidence reveals that petitioner was a good husband most
of the time when he was living with respondent, a loving father to his
children as well as a good provider. (Citations omitted)
Is the Court trying to say in this case that the petitioner is not doing enough
being a womanixer thus his petition cannot be granted? While you may do so,
you ran the risk of being charged with adultery or concubinage, or worse,
violation of Republic Act 9262 if you happen to be the husband.
Paras vs. Paras also included sexual infidelity as a ground. In the case,
the respondent sired a woman, his secretary in the law office, and named their
daughter after their (husband and wife) deceased daughter. The Court noted
that although it was established that the respondent committed infidelity, this
was done long after the marriage, when lifes setbacks as well as the wifes
and her familys insolent behaviour towards the husband contributed to his
behaviour:
The records indicate that the marriage between the parties had a good start,
resulting in the birth of their four (4) children. The early days of their
cohabitation were blissful and harmonious. Justo was deeply in love with
Rosa, even persuading his mother to give her a dowry. They were able to build
a 10-room family home and acquire several properties, thus, proving
themselves to be responsible couple. Even Rosa admitted that Justo took care
of their children when they were young. Unfortunately, the passage of time
appeared to have taken its toll on their relationship. The acts committed
by Justo appeared to have been the result of irreconcilable
differences between them caused by the death of their two
(2) children and financial difficulties due to his failure to win
the mayoralty election and to sustain his law
practice. Furthermore, the superior business acumen of Rosa, as well as the
insolent attitude of her family towards Justo, busted his ego and lowered his
self-esteem.

There is no evidence that Justos defects were present at the


inception of the marriage. His defects surfaced only in the latter
years when these events took place; their two children died; he lost in the
election; he failed in his business ventures and law practice; and felt the
disdain of his wife and her family. Surely, these circumstances explain why
Rosa filed the present case only after almost 30 years of their marriage.
(Citations omitted)
Navales vs Navales dealt with the allegations of the husband that his
wife was a nyphomaniac even prior to their marriage, one who flirts
constantly with other men, and who always wore sexy dresses, and used her
maiden name when talking to other men. The RTC granted the petition, thus
the wife elevated the case to the Supreme Court. In granting the wifes
petition, the Court noted the failure of the psychologist to explain the root
cause of the wifes psychological incapacity warranting the dissolution of their
marriage, thus:
The Court finds that the psychological report presented in this case is
insufficient to establish Nildas psychological incapacity. In her report,
Vatanagul concluded that Nilda is a nymphomaniac, an emotionally
immature individual, has a borderline personality, has strong sexual urges
which are incurable, has complete denial of her actual role as a wife, has a
very weak conscience or superego, emotionally immature, a social deviant,
not a good wife as seen in her infidelity on several occasions, an alcoholic,
suffers from anti-social personality disorder, fails to conform to social norms,
deceitful, impulsive, irritable and aggresive, irresponsible and vain. She
further defined nymphomia as a psychiatric disorder that involves a
disturbance in motor behavior as shown by her sexual relationship with
various men other than her husband.
The report failed to specify, however, the names of the men
Nilda had sexual relationship with or the circumstances
surrounding the same. As pointed out by Nilda, there is not even a
single proof that she was ever involved in an illicit relationship with a man
other than her husband. Vatanagul claims, during her testimony, that in
coming out with the report, she interviewed not only Reynaldo but also Jojo
Caballes, Dorothy and Lesley who were Reynaldos sister-in-law and sister,

respectively, a certain Marvin and a certain Susan. Vatanagul however, did not
specify the identities of these persons, which information were supplied by
whom, and how they came upon their respective informations. Indeed, the
conclusions drawn by the report are vague, sweeping and lack sufficient
factual bases. As the report lacked specificity, it failed to show
the root cause of Nildas psychological incapacity; and failed
to demonstrate that there was a natal or supervening
disabling factor or an adverse integral element in Nildas
character that effectively incapacitated her from accepting,
and thereby complying with, the essential marital
obligations, and that her psychological or mental malady
existed even before the marriage. Hence, the Court cannot give
weight to said assessment.
The standards used by the Court in assessing the sufficiency of psychological
reports may be deemed very strict, but that is only proper in view of the
principle that any doubt should be resolved in favor of the validity of the
marriage and the indissolubility of the marital vinculum. (Citation omitted)
Dimayuga vs Dimayuga is strange, because, while the wife accused her
husband of infidelity, she also implied her husband may be gay because when
they went on honeymoon, he allowed a 15-year old boy who was the son of
their helper to stay with them inside the room. The Court in reversing the
lower courts finding of psychological incapacity of the husband noted:
Petitioner also failed to prove that respondents psychological
incapacity was existing at the time of the celebration of their marriage.
Petitioner only cited that during their honeymoon, she found it strange
that respondent allowed their 15-year old companion, the son of one of
respondents house helpers, to sleep in their room. However, respondent
explained that he and petitioner already stayed in a hotel for one night
before they went to Baguio City and that they had sexual relations even
before their marriage. Respondent explained that the boy was with them
to take pictures and videos of their stay in Baguio City and had to stay
with them in the room due to monetary constraints.
In sum, the totality of the evidence presented by petitioner
failed to show that respondent was psychologically
incapacitated and that such incapacity was grave, incurable,
and existing at the time of the solemnization of their marriage.

Rumbaua vs Rumabua discussed the respondents infidelity four years


into the marriage: Yet again, the Court demurred:
Likewise, the respondents act of living with another woman four years
into the marriage cannot automatically be equated with a psychological
disorder,especially when no specific evidence was shown that
promiscuity was a trait already existing at the inception of
marriage. In fact, petitioner herself admitted that respondent was
caring and faithful when they were going steady and for a time after
their marriage; their problems only came in later.
The petitioner in Alcazar vs Alcazar made a belated attempt to include
sexual infidelity as a ground for declaration of declaration of nullity of
her marriage to his husband, who abandoned him. Said the Court:
As a last-ditch effort to have her marriage to respondent declared null,
petitioner pleads abandonment by and sexual infidelity of respondent. In
a Manifestation and Motion dated 21 August 2007 filed before us,
petitioner claims that she was informed by one Jacinto Fordonez, who is
residing in the same barangay as respondent in Occidental Mindoro, that
respondent is living-in with another woman named Sally.
Sexual infidelity, per se, however, does not constitute psychological
incapacity within the contemplation of the Family Code. Again,
petitioner must be able to establish that respondents
unfaithfulness is a manifestation of a disordered personality,
which makes him completely unable to discharge the essential
obligations of the marital state.
In Ligeralde vs Patalinghug and Republic of the Philippines, the
Court denied the protestations of the husband that his wife is an
adulterer and the same constituted psychological incapacity which
render their marriage void on the ground of psychological incapacity:
More importantly, the acts of private respondent do not even
rise to the level of the psychological incapacity that the law
requires. Private respondents act of living an adulterous life
cannot automatically be equated with a psychological disorder,
especially when no specific evidence was shown that
promiscuity was a trait already existing at the inception of
marriage. Petitioner must be able to establish that respondents
unfaithfulness is a manifestation of a disordered personality,
which makes her completely unable to discharge the essential
obligations of the marital state.10
Doubtless, the private respondent was far from being a perfect wife and
a good mother. She certainly had some character flaws. But these

imperfections do not warrant a conclusion that she had a psychological


malady at the time of the marriage that rendered her incapable of
fulfilling her marital and family duties and obligations. (Citations
omitted)
Aside from being irresponsible and spendthrift, the husband in Toring
vs Toring and Republic of the Philippines also accused his wife of
infidelity, accusing her of getting pregnant in the course of their
marriage, which according to him, cannot be attributed to him as the
three sexual contacts he had with her resulted in withdrawals. This
pregnancy he was able to confirm because his wife had a miscarriage
later on. Again, the Court refused to listen to the husbands
protestations, noting that he failed to prove the psychological incapacity
of his wife:
Teresitas alleged infidelity, even if true, likewise does not constitute
psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code. In order for
sexual infidelity to constitute as psychological incapacity, the
respondents unfaithfulness must be established as a manifestation of a
disordered personality, completely preventing the respondent from
discharging the essential obligations of the marital state; there must be
proof of a natal or supervening disabling factor that effectively
incapacitated her from complying with the obligation to be faithful to her
spouse.
In our view, Ricardo utterly failed in his testimony to prove that Teresita
suffered from a disordered personality of this kind. Even Ricardos added
testimony, relating to rumors of Teresitas dates with other men and her
pregnancy by another man, would not fill in the deficiencies we have
observed, given the absence of an adverse integral element and link to
Teresitas allegedly disordered personality.
Moreover, Ricardo failed to prove that Teresitas alleged character traits
already existed at the inception of their marriage. Article 36 of the
Family Code requires that the psychological incapacity must exist at the
time of the celebration of the marriage, even if such incapacity becomes
manifest only after its solemnization. In the absence of this element, a
marriage cannot be annulled under Article 36.
Camacho-Reyes vs Reyes is unique. It granted the petition filed by
the wife after the Court of Appeals reversed the earlier decision of the
RTC declaring the marriage between the parties null and void on the

ground of psychological incapacity. Although marital infidelity was one


of the grounds of the petition, the main contention of the wife seemed to
be the seeming lack of responsibility and the sense of entitlement of the
husband. All three expert witnesses opined that either or both of the
parties were psychologically incapacitated, and the Court agreed,
especially with respect to the husband, who it found suffered from
antisocial personality disorder. What saved the day for the petitioner
was the exhaustive case history and studies made by the expert
witnesses of respondents psychological incapacity, even further going
back to respondents mother. In ruling that respondent indeed suffered
from antisocial personality disorder, the Court said:
In the case at bar, however, even without the experts conclusions, the
factual antecedents (narrative of events) alleged in the petition and
established during trial, all point to the inevitable conclusion that
respondent is psychologically incapacitated to perform the essential
marital obligations.
Article 68 of the Family Code provides:
Art. 68. The husband and wife are obliged to live together, observe
mutual love, respect and fidelity, and render mutual help and support.
In this connection, it is well to note that persons with antisocial
personality disorder exhibit the following clinical features:
Patients with antisocial personality disorder can often seem to be normal
and even charming and ingratiating. Their histories, however, reveal
many areas of disordered life functioning. Lying, truancy, running away
from home, thefts, fights, substance abuse, and illegal activities are
typical experiences that patients report as beginning in childhood. x x x
Their own explanations of their antisocial behavior make it seem
mindless, but their mental content reveals the complete absence of
delusions and other signs of irrational thinking. In fact, they frequently
have a heightened sense of reality testing and often impress observers
as having good verbal intelligence.
x x x Those with this disorder do not tell the truth and cannot be trusted
to carry out any task or adhere to any conventional standard of morality.
x x x A notable finding is a lack of remorse for these actions; that is,

they appear to lack a conscience.


In the instant case, respondents pattern of behavior manifests an
inability, nay, a psychological incapacity to perform the essential marital
obligations as shown by his: (1) sporadic financial support; (2) extramarital affairs; (3) substance abuse; (4) failed business attempts; (5)
unpaid money obligations; (6) inability to keep a job that is not
connected with the family businesses; and (7) criminal charges of
estafa. (Citations omitted)

In Agraviador vs Agraviador, it was only after almost 40 years of


marriage that the husband filed his petition to declare his marriage to
his wife void. Among his reasons: the refusal of the latter to have sex
with him. The wife countered that in fact it was the husband who is
unfaithful to him. Court denied the petition.
The petitioners marriage to the respondent may have failed and
appears to be without hope of reconciliation The remedy, however, is
not always to have it declared void ab initio on the ground of
psychological incapacity. We stress that Article 36 of the Family Code
contemplates downright incapacity or inability to assume and fulfill the
basic marital obligations, not a mere refusal, neglect or difficulty, much
less, ill will, on the part of the errant spouse. It is not to be confused with
a divorce law that cuts the marital bond at the time the grounds for
divorce manifest themselves. The State, fortunately or unfortunately,
has not seen it fit to decree that divorce should be available in this
country. Neither should an Article 36 declaration of nullity be equated
with legal separation, in which the grounds need not be rooted in
psychological incapacity but on physical violence, moral pressure, moral
corruption, civil interdiction, drug addiction, sexual infidelity,
abandonment, and the like.1 Unless the evidence presented clearly
reveals a situation where the parties or one of them, by reason of a
grave and incurable psychological illness existing at the time the
marriage was celebrated, was incapacitated to fulfill the obligations of
marital life (and thus could not then have validly entered into a
marriage), then we are compelled to uphold the indissolubility of the
marital tie.
Just like in Villalon vs Villalon, Marable vs Marable is a situation
where the petitioner confessed to being a womaniser, blaming his

father, another womanizer, for influencing him which made him become
unfaithful to his wife. No way Jose said the Court. Not good enough.
More effort at womanizing:
Petitioner tried to make it appear that his family history of having a
womanizer for a father, was one of the reasons why he engaged in
extra-marital affairs during his marriage. However, it appears more likely
that he became unfaithful as a result of a general dissatisfaction with his
marriage rather than a psychological disorder rooted in his personal
history. His tendency to womanize, assuming he had such tendency, was
not shown to be due to causes of a psychological nature that is grave,
permanent and incurable. In fact, the records show that when
respondent learned of his affair, he immediately terminated it. In short,
petitioners marital infidelity does not appear to be symptomatic of a
grave psychological disorder which rendered him incapable of
performing his spousal obligations. It has been held in various cases that
sexual infidelity, by itself, is not sufficient proof that petitioner is
suffering from psychological incapacity.2 It must be shown that the acts
of unfaithfulness are manifestations of a disordered personality which
make petitioner completely unable to discharge the essential obligations
of marriage.3 That not being the case with petitioner, his claim of
psychological incapacity must fail. It bears stressing that psychological
incapacity must be more than just a difficulty, refusal or neglect in
the performance of some marital obligations. Rather, it is essential that
the concerned party was incapable of doing so, due to some
psychological illness existing at the time of the celebration of the
marriage. In Santos v. Court of Appeals,4 the intention of the law is to
confine the meaning of psychological incapacity to the most serious
cases of personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter
insensitivity or inability to give meaning and significance to the marriag 5.
In Ochosa vs Ochosa, the petitioner was a soldier who was always out
on assignments while his wife was left behind. While he was away,
according to him, his wife made the rounds of the community engaging
in illicit relations, the last of which was a corporal. When he could not
bear it anymore, he brought their adopted child with him and moved
out. After a long period of time he filed the petition. Does it merit
consideration? No, the Court said. While it was convinced that the wife
indeed engaged in sexual infidelity, the totality of the evidence is simply
not enough to grant the declaration of nullity of their marriage based on
psychological incapacity:
We are sufficiently convinced, after a careful perusal of the evidence

presented in this case, that Bona had been, on several occasions with
several other men, sexually disloyal to her spouse, Jose. Likewise, we
are persuaded that Bona had indeed abandoned Jose. However, we
cannot apply the same conviction to Joses thesis that the totality of
Bonas acts constituted psychological incapacity as determined by
Article 36 of the Family Code. There is inadequate credible evidence that
her defects were already present at the inception of, or prior to, the
marriage. In other words, her alleged psychological incapacity did not
satisfy the jurisprudential requisite of juridical antecedence.
Kalaw vs Fernandez is unique. This was the first that the Court
reversed itself in a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage based
on psychological incapacity. The court first denied the petition in
2011, but on motion for reconsideration by the husband, the Court
reversed itself. Among the grounds raised for the petition was marital
infidelity on the part of the wife, who was allegedly caught by the
husband and her brother in an uncompromising position with another
man in a hotel. In the first decision, the Court said:
Even assuming arguendo that petitioner was able to prove that
respondent had an extramarital affair with another man, that one
instance of sexual infidelity cannot, by itself, be equated with obsessive
need for attention from other men. Sexual infidelity per se is a ground
for legal separation, but it does not necessarily constitute psychological
incapacity.
Xxx
What transpired between the parties is acrimony and, perhaps,
infidelity, which may have constrained them from dedicating the best of
themselves to each other and to their children. There may be grounds
for legal separation, but certainly not psychological incapacity that voids
a marriage.
In the reversed decision, the Court noted that there are public policy
considerations in the ruling because by condemning the parties to a life
of togetherness despite the fact that their marriage has for all intents
and purposes failed to exist, the parties were now in effect habitual
trysters with its concomitant consequence of illegitimate children
because they must satisfaction from others because the other spouse
could not give them fulfilment (sounds base, but practical). This was

decided in 2015, and became the basis for talks that the Court has
relaxed the requirements of Molina vs Molina.
Although the petitioner, as the plaintiff, carried the burden to prove the
nullity of the marriage, the respondent, as the defendant spouse, could
establish the psychological incapacity of her husband because she
raised the matter in her answer. The courts are justified in declaring a
marriage null and void under Article 36 of the Family Code regardless of
whether it is the petitioner or the respondent who imputes the
psychological incapacity to the other as long as the imputation is fully
substantiated with proof. Indeed, psychological incapacity may exist in
one party alone or in both of them, and if psychological incapacity of
either or both is established, the marriage has to be deemed null and
void.
More than twenty (20) years had passed since the parties parted ways.
By now, they must have already accepted and come to terms with the
awful truth that their marriage, assuming it existed in the eyes of the
law, was already beyond repair. Both parties had inflicted so much
damage not only to themselves, but also to the lives and psyche of their
own children. It would be a greater injustice should we insist on still
recognizing their void marriage, and then force them and their children
to endure some more damage. This was the very same injustice that
Justice Romero decried in her erudite dissenting opinion in Santos v.
Court of Appeals:41
It would be great injustice, I believe, to petitioner for this Court to give a
much too restrictive interpretation of the law and compel the petitioner
to continue to be married to a wife who for purposes of fulfilling her
marital duties has, for all practical purposes, ceased to exist.
Besides, there are public policy considerations involved in the ruling the
Court makes today.1wphi1 It is not, in effect, directly or indirectly,
facilitating the transformation of petitioner into a habitual tryster or
one forced to maintain illicit relations with another woman or women
with emerging problems of illegitimate children, simply because he is
denied by private respondent, his wife, the companionship and conjugal
love which he has sought from her and towhich he is legally entitled?
I do not go as far as to suggest that Art. 36 of the Family Code is a
sanction for absolute divorce but I submit that we should not constrict it
to non-recognition of its evident purpose and thus deny to one like
petitioner, an opportunity to turn a new leaf in his life by declaring his

marriage a nullity by reason of his wifes psychological incapacity to


perform an essential marital obligation. In this case, the marriage never
existed from the beginning because the respondent was afflicted with
psychological incapacity at and prior to the time of the marriage. Hence,
the Court should not hesitate to declare the nullity of the marriage
between the parties.
Republic vs Encelan tackled the wifes abandonment of the her
husband and sexual infidelity towards him. The lower courts granted
the petition but the Republic interposed its appeal. In granting the
petition, the Court reiterated its earlier decisions that sexual infidelity
and abandonment by themselves are not enough to prove psychological
incapacity:
In any event, sexual infidelity and abandonment of the conjugal
dwelling, even if true, do not necessarily constitute psychological
incapacity; these are simply grounds for legal separation. To constitute
psychological incapacity, it must be shown that the unfaithfulness and
abandonment are manifestations of a disordered personality that
completely prevented the erring spouse from discharging the essential
marital obligations. No evidence on record exists to support Cesars
allegation that Lolitas infidelity and abandonment were manifestations
of any psychological illness. (Citations omitted)
In Mallilin vs Republic and Jamisolamin, the husband was the
petitioner, and the familiar refrain of the wifes infidelity and sexual
liaison during the marriage appeared. The Court refused to consider the
marriage voice, because the husband failed to prove the root cause of
the wifes psychological incapacity:
The alleged failure of Luz to assume her duties as a wife and as a
mother, as well as her emotional immaturity, irresponsibility and
infidelity, cannot rise to the level of psychological incapacity that
justifies the nullification of the parties marriage. The Court has
repeatedly stressed that psychological incapacity contemplates
downright incapacity or inability to take cognizance of and to assume
the basic marital obligations, not merely the refusal, neglect or
difficulty, much less ill will, on the part of the errant spouse. Indeed, to
be declared clinically or medically incurable is one thing; to refuse or be
reluctant to perform ones duties is another. Psychological incapacity
refers only to the most serious cases of personality disorders clearly
demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and
significance to the marriage.

As correctly found by the CA, sexual infidelity or perversion and


abandonment do not, by themselves, constitute grounds for declaring a
marriage void based on psychological incapacity. Robert argues that the
series of sexual indiscretion of Luz were external manifestations of the
psychological defect that she was suffering within her person, which
could be considered as nymphomania or excessive sex hunger. Other
than his allegations, however, no other convincing evidence was
adduced to prove that these sexual indiscretions were considered as
nymphomania, and that it was grave, deeply rooted, and incurable
within the term of psychological incapacity embodied in Article 36. To
stress, Roberts testimony alone is insufficient to prove the existence of
psychological incapacity.
In Sivino A. Ligeralde v. May Ascension A. Patalinghug and the Republic
of the Philippines, the Court ruled that the respondents act of living an
adulterous life cannot automatically be equated with a psychological
disorder, especially when no specific evidence was shown that
promiscuity was a trait already existing at the inception of marriage. The
petitioner must be able to establish that the respondents unfaithfulness
was a manifestation of a disordered personality, which made her
completely unable to discharge the essential obligations of the marital
state.(Citations omitted)

Sexual Intimacy Or The Lack Of It:


While the Court was very strict when dissolving a marriage on ground of
psychological incapacity when sexual or marital infidelity was
invoked, one casestood out because the case involved the lack of
intimacy between the wife and her husband, who she believes, is a
closet homosexual. Of course, the husband, a Chinese national, denied
the allegations. While he may have a less than sufficient dick (small, in
other words) the same may still be capable of reproduction, given the
right stimulus, said he. What stimulus, only the husband knows. The
Court granted the wifes petition and dissolved the marriage:
While the law provides that the husband and the wife are obliged to live
together, observe mutual love, respect and fidelity (Art. 68, Family
Code), the sanction therefor is actually the spontaneous, mutual
affection between husband and wife and not any legal mandate or court
order (Cuaderno vs. Cuaderno 120 Phil. 1298). Love is useless unless it
is shared with another. Indeed, no man is an island, the cruelest act of a
partner in marriage is to say I could not have cared less. This is so

because an ungiven self is an unfulfilled self. The egoist has nothing but
himself. In the natural order, it is sexual intimacy which brings spouses
wholeness and oneness. Sexual intimacy is a gift and a participation in
the mystery of creation. It is a function which enlivens the hope of
procreation and ensures the continuation of family relations.
It appears that there is absence of empathy between petitioner and
private respondent. That is a shared feeling which between husband
and wife must be experienced not only by having spontaneous sexual
intimacy but a deep sense of spiritual communion. Marital union is 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 definitely not for children but for two
consenting adults who view the relationship with love amor gignit
amorem, respect, sacrifice and a continuing commitment to
compromise, conscious of its value as a sublime social institution.
This Court, finding the gravity of the failed relationship in which the
parties found themselves trapped in its mire of unfulfilled vows and
unconsummated marital obligations, can do no less but sustain the
studied judgment of respondent appellate court.

So there