Question:

OK, so my first marriage ended in divorce because ofmy husband's adultery. Then my second marriage ended in a divorce, the reason for this was because of my husband's drug use, alcohol addiction, stealing and pawning everything we owned.I really tried to help him, but he refused to get help or to stop doing those things. Then he just disappeared. After monthsof not hearing from him, I filed for divorce. That's been about four years ago. I moved on with my life since, and have had another relationship. Well, I have decided to end that relationship because I know it is not right.

I was reading overanswers about divorce and marriage. I know now that theonly reason for divorceis adultery. So according to GodI'm still married to my second husband. I have no idea if he is dead or alive. I know hewas very far gone with his addictions when we separated.I know I messed up byhaving the relationships after he left. I've asked forgiveness for the sins I've committed. I don't know what Ishould do. Should I look for my ex-husband, or should I justbe alone the rest of my life? I'm only 27 years old. His family members, I know, don't even know where he is, or if he is living. My other questionis if my ex-husband is passed, am Ipermittedtoremarry ever, since I did commit adultery after he left? Please help me to understand this.

Thank you so much for what you do.


Answer:

I'm going to be a bit technical because I believe being precise with our words helps to keep us from muddying the waters. Because you are divorced, you are not married to your husband, but you are still bound by the terms of the covenant that you made with him since that divorce was not because he committed adultery. "Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. 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 7:10-11). A divorced woman is in a state of being unmarried, but she is not permitted to marry another man because of the vows she made.

If your husband dies, then you are released from that covenant and can marry again. "For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man" (Romans 7:2-3).

I don't know how you are going to know when your husband dies. I would hope that at least his family will hear about it eventually. You may have to periodically search the death records or hire someone to track him down.

Even if you had the right to remarry, having sex with a man without being married to him would be wrong no matter how it is viewed. Sex belongs only within a marriage (Hebrews 13:4).