G.R. No. 119190 January 16, 1997
CHI MING TSOI, petitioner,
COURT OF APPEALS and GINA LAO-TSOI, respondents.
Sometime on May 22, 1988, the plaintiff married the defendant in Manila. After the celebration of their marriage and wedding reception in Makati, they went and proceeded to the house of defendant’s mother. There, they slept together on the same bed in the same room for the first night of their married life.
It is the version of the plaintiff, that contrary to her expectations, that as newlyweds they were supposed to enjoy making love, or having sexual intercourse, with each other, the defendant just went to bed, slept on one side thereof, then turned his back and went to sleep. There was no sexual intercourse between them during the first night. The same thing happened on the second, third and fourth nights.
In an effort to have their honeymoon in a private place where they can enjoy together during their first week as husband and wife, they went to Baguio City. But, they did so together with her mother, an uncle, his mother and his nephew. They were all invited by the defendant to join them. They stayed in Baguio City for four (4) days. But, during this period, there was no sexual intercourse between them, since the defendant avoided her by taking a long walk during siesta time or by just sleeping on a rocking chair located at the living room. They slept together in the same room and on the same bed since May 22, 1988 until March 15, 1989. But during this period, there was no attempt of sexual intercourse between them. She claims, that she did not: even see her husband’s private parts nor did he see hers.
The defendant admitted that since their marriage on May 22, 1988, until their separation on March 15, 1989, there was no sexual contact between them. But, the reason for this, according to the defendant, was that everytime he wants to have sexual intercourse with his wife, she always avoided him and whenever he caresses her private parts, she always removed his hands. The defendant claims, that he forced his wife to have sex with him only once but he did not continue because she was shaking and she did not like it. So he stopped. The defendant insisted that their marriage will remain valid because they are still very young and there is still a chance to overcome their differences.
The defendant submitted himself to a physical examination. His penis was examined by Dr. Sergio Alteza, Jr., for the purpose of finding out whether he is impotent . As a result thereof, Dr. Alteza submitted his Doctor’s Medical Report. It is stated there, that there is no evidence of impotency, and he is capable of erection. The doctor said, that he asked the defendant to masturbate to find out whether or not he has an erection and he found out that from the original size of two (2) inches, or five (5) centimeters, the penis of the defendant lengthened by one (1) inch and one centimeter. Dr. Alteza said, that the defendant had only a soft erection which is why his penis is not in its full length. But, still is capable of further erection, in that with his soft erection, the defendant is capable of having sexual intercourse with a woman.
In open court, the Trial Prosecutor manifested that there is no collusion between the parties and that the evidence is not fabricated.
Due to such facts, the respondent instituted against the petitioner a petition for the annulment of marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity. Both the RTC and CA granted the petition and declared the marriage void.
In his appeal, petitioner further contends that respondent court erred in holding that the alleged refusal of both the petitioner and the private respondent to have sex with each other constitutes psychological incapacity of both. He points out as error the failure of the trial court to make “a categorical finding about the alleged psychological incapacity and an in-depth analysis of the reasons for such refusal which may not be necessarily due to pyschological disorders” because there might have been other reasons, — i.e., physical disorders, such as aches, pains or other discomforts, — why private respondent would not want to have sexual intercourse. Petitioner claims that there is no independent evidence on record to show that any of the parties is suffering from psychological incapacity. Petitioner also claims that he wanted to have sex with private respondent; that the reason for private respondent’s refusal may not be psychological but physical disorder as stated above.
Whether or not the alleged refusal of both the petitioner and the private respondent to have sex with each other constitutes psychological incapacity of both.
Yes. As such, the petition for annulment should be granted.
If a spouse, although physically capable but simply refuses to perform his or her essential marriage obligations, and the refusal is senseless and constant, Catholic marriage tribunals attribute the causes to psychological incapacity than to stubborn refusal. Senseless and protracted refusal is equivalent to psychological incapacity. Thus, the prolonged refusal of a spouse to have sexual intercourse with his or her spouse is considered a sign of psychological incapacity
Evidently, one of the essential marital obligations under the Family Code is “To procreate children based on the universal principle that procreation of children through sexual cooperation is the basic end of marriage.” Constant non- fulfillment of this obligation will finally destroy the integrity or wholeness of the marriage. In the case at bar, the senseless and protracted refusal of one of the parties to fulfill the above marital obligation is equivalent to psychological incapacity.
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). 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 other’s 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.
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING PREMISES , the assailed decision of the Court of Appeals dated November 29, 1994 is hereby AFFIRMED in all respects and the petition is hereby DENIED for lack of merit.