Question:

I recently left our nearly 50 year marriage, moved to another state and am starting my life over. He sexually abused me for most of our marriage. It consisted of forcing me to read a pornographic "book" he put together by pasting images on notebook pages with his own captions. The theme was always me and a "boyfriend" enjoying each other and making fun of him at the same time. Then he forced me to masturbate him and sometimes oral sex. Although he didn't physically abuse me, I was in fear for my life at these times.

He also had a few months affair. It went so far as sitting in a motel room kissing and he fondled her somewhat. He told me he was uncomfortable being there, asked the lady if she wanted to leave, he took her home and never saw her again. I believe him.

Do I have scriptural grounds to divorce him based on either situation? It seems like a gray area to me. I give you my word all this is true. I haven't exaggerated anything. In fact, there is more, this is the crucial part. I only had the courage to write you after I read of a sexual abuse letter on your web page.

Thank you for your help.


Answer:

To divorce him that would allow remarriage? It doesn't sound like it. Though he was involved in adultery with that woman, it does sound as if it was a one time thing for which you took him back a while ago. The other things were wrong, but they don't fall under the category of fornication. The passage that would apply if you chose to divorce him would be I Corinthians 7:10-11.

This is one of those situations where the problems could have been dealt with years ago if the problems where discussed with a knowledgeable elder. The biggest problem is that it was left to fester for so long. ""Be angry, and do not sin": do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil" (Ephesians 4:26-27). My recommendation is for both of you to work the problems out, though I suspect it will take time and effort to accomplish it.