Question:

I was married to my husband for over thirty years. We had both become unhappy, but I didn't know that he planned to leave me the day after Christmas five years ago. I had not been thinking of leaving, I just wanted some problems resolved. He left for a week and we reconciled, so he came back home. After another week he said nothing had changed, so he left again. Deep in my heart I was glad because I had been so unhappy.

After a few weeks I told him I didn't think it was going to work out between us. At that time I didn't think I cared anymore. He came to me and said that a woman wanted to go out with him. He saw her almost every day at a place he regularly stopped at.Instead of my saying "No!," I said go ahead. In my arrogant way of thinking, I thought he would never care for someone like he did me. Was I ever wrong!

He moved her in with him into a trailer he was renting. He didn't want me to know ,but I did. I believe he did want to try again because he had suggested at one time thatwe go ahead and get a divorce and get married to start all over again. I told him I wasn't ready for a divorce.I did tell him I loved him and wanted him to come back. He said he didn't believe me. He didn't want to hurt her because she had helped him so much through everything.

I made the decision to go ahead with the divorce. We didn't divorce on the grounds of adultery, even though it was involved. It is so complicated. For a long time I would have taken him back anyway, but he had her and I didn't think we would be together again, even though sometimes he would tell me "one day." We did continue to talk maybe once a day or so.

The divorce went through, I had my freedom! I started to date again soon after, but it didn't work. About a year later I met a man and we've been married now for over a year.

I am a member of our local church of Christ. I was baptized as a 12 year old, but didn't attend regularly after I married. Iquit going for many years. If I had been faithful in church, as I should have been, maybe this wouldn't have happened. I do beat myself up over a lot of things and have many regrets. I do attend church faithfully now and am trying harder than I've ever tried in all my life to live the Christian life. My husband is a member also, but doesn't attend regularly. Will I have to divorce him to be right in God's eyes? If my ex-husband ever divorced this woman and I had to divorce my husband, could we marry again or would we be living in adultery? I don't want to divorce my husband, but I do want the truth.


Answer:

The truth is that you had a hand in making a mess of your life, but you weren't the only contributor to the mess. You make it clear that you didn't want your husband to leave -- he chose to leave. It was his choice to start committing adultery. You shouldn't have encouraged it when he brought up the subject, but notice that it was his idea, not yours. You both had a hand in the mess, but he is the one who chose to break his covenant vows.

Since adultery was one of the reasons for the divorce, and you weren't involved in adultery, the ending of your marriage did allow you the right to marry again while denying him the right to remarriage. "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).

I can't say that you must leave your current husband to be rejoined to your ex-husband. I suspect that even bringing such a possibility up is simply wishful thinking on your part. I doubt your ex-husband has such a thought in his mind.

You have done many things wrong, so go to God in prayer confessing your sins. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us" (I John 1:8-10). Then resolve not to repeat those mistakes again.