Question:

I am a member of the Lord's church, he is not (although he has been studying and attending services with me). I was engaged to him until I contacted his ex-wife to inquire about what ended their marriage. I wanted to make sure his claim that she comitted adultrey was correct. She wrote me and seemed very honest. She told me that she never loved him, and only married him because she didn't want to have her baby born out of wedlock. They never lived together as a married couple. They were 16 or 17 years old when they married. She said she was going through a lot and that she was very cruel to her husband. She had told him that she had slept with her ex-boyfriend while she was married to him. At that point he then gave up on the marriage, and they got divorced.

This is a unique and confusing situation. I have never heard of someone lying about adultrey before. She admits to lying to him in her email and says she regrets lying and being cruel. So the truth is she did not cheat on him during their six months of marriage. This all took place over 20 years ago. She has been remarried with other children for years. She also called him, apologized and admitted that when she said she had cheated, it had been a lie. She's not a Christian.

My condundrum is he was deceived. She told him she had cheated although she hadn't. He had the right to a scriptural divorce based on her confession. Her confession now it turns out more than 2o years later to be a lie. I love this man dearly, he has a good and honest heart, we are best friends and he treats me with kindness and respect. I would love to be his wife, however, the most important thing to me is being right in the sight of God. I have studied MDR until I am blue in the face. I know ultimately this is a choice that I have to make based upon my knowledge of Scripture and the situation. I am looking for some outside insight and perspective.


Answer:

This is definitely an odd situation and one that I can't answer with certainty. The marriage ended because the woman claimed to have committed adultery. You would not expect someone to lie about this and it appears from both the woman and man's story that the divorce went through because of the claim. My inclination is to say since the divorce was for the correct reason, even though it was factually a falsehood that he could not have known, that it stands as a proper divorce. The fault lies in the actions of the ex-wife and not in the husband.

Another factor is that when dealing with someone who admits to lying, it is hard to decide when a liar is telling the truth. I'm puzzled why she decided to change her story after all these years. I guess what bothers me is that I don't see her motivation. Likely what she said now is true because I can't figure out a benefit to changing her story.

The nearest example I can think of is when Gibeon lied to Israel to gain a treaty (Joshua 9:3-27). Despite the lie Israel honored the covenant made, even though it caused them to not to be able to completely fulfill God's command to wipe out the inhabitants of Canaan. This man acted properly, not knowing he had been given false information.

I wish I could give you words of wisdom that would make this clear, but I'm just as puzzled as you are. Overall, I cannot say that his marrying again would be wrong because all he did was proper and the marriage did end because of adultery as far as he could reasonably know.