Question:

I found out three month after my husband and I got married in 2006 that he had a drug addiction. He would leave the house for days abandoning my daughter and I and would not answer his phone.Two weeks ago he moved out of state, leaving a note on the bed while I was at work stating he is trying to get his life together; however, I do not trust him and this abandonment has happened several time over the last two years. I would like to know if I have rights for a divorce?


Answer:

Paul states that divorce is not a typical end for a marriage for Christians. "Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband" (I Corinthians 7:10). The reference to the Lord refers to Jesus' teachings on marriage and divorce. "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery" (Matthew 19:9). Jesus gave only one reason for a divorce which allows the innocent party to remarry and that is when the other person is committing fornication.

There might be other reasons that a person cannot continue in a marriage, but in those cases the person doesn't have the right to marry someone else. "But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife" (I Corinthians 7:11).

If you believe your husband's drug abuse is causing harm to you or your children, then you might choose to divorce him, but you must understand that it is because living single is better than remaining married. Essentially, he has left you already; he just didn't bother to formalize it. "But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace" (I Corinthains 7:15). This abandonment doesn't give you the right to remarry. The goal is to eventually turn your husband around so that he might be saved and that the two of you can restore your marriage.

If your husband is sleeping around with other women then you could choose to divorce him because of his fornication and have the right to marry another man.