I married a woman in name only so she could become a citizen of my country. I have a girlfriend and a child by her. How do I fix this mess?


I have a question. I married someone so that they might become a citizen of my country. I did not do this for money, but because I felt it the right thing to do at the time, although I was aware I might be misusing marriage as God intended.

We have never been intimately involved and don't live together.
I have a girlfriend who I love and we are expecting a child.

I think that God has forgiven me for my actions, and I know that there are consequences. Currently, I am torn between what I think might be the righteous thing to do, which is stay married with the woman I have the arrangement with, even though I do not care for her in that way, or either wait to have a legal divorce and marry the woman I do care for. I keep telling myself that I didn't marry for love, which I wonder any more is important, or do I remain married because of the legality of it?

What do you think?


It is difficult to pick a starting point, there are so many problems in your situation.

First, you are indicating that you entered into a covenant (a solemn vow before God) under false pretenses. Because you decided it was "good" you were willing to lie to your government. But you also claiming, whether you realize it or not, that you lied to God. You see, what makes a marriage is the vow that is made between the man and the woman. "Yet she is your companion And your wife by covenant" (Malachi 2:14). That vow is made before God and thus God does the joining. "Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate" (Matthew 19:6).

One of the saddest parts of the corruption of our culture is that people think so little of their word. They are willing to make promises and then break them, with little regard to honor. But God does expect us to keep our word. "When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed- Better not to vow than to vow and not pay. Do not let your mouth cause your flesh to sin, nor say before the messenger of God that it was an error. Why should God be angry at your excuse and destroy the work of your hands?" (Ecclesiastes 5:4-6).

While one would hope that those marrying are doing so because of their love for each other, the fact of the matter is that love doesn't make a marriage. And as we just seen in Ecclesiastes 5:6, claiming after the fact that you made a mistake isn't an excuse to break your vow.

You never were intimate with your wife because that was a part of the arrangement. But this breaks another command of God. "Let the husband render to his wife the affection due her, and likewise also the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does" (I Corinthians 7:3-4).

Then you went out and committed adultery with other woman and are expecting a child by this woman. I know you think that God has forgiven you, but if you are continuing to live with this woman and have sex with her, you are continuing in your adultery. You cannot expect forgiveness for a sin while you continue to commit the sin. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?" (Romans 6:1-2).

If you want to claim that your marriage wasn't really a marriage but a lie, then you must face the fact that you have been committing fornication (sex without being married), which is also a sin (I Corinthians 6:9-10).

It appears you have two choices:

You can decide that your marriage covenant was a lie. I'm assuming that the woman you married had no intentions of this being a legitimate marriage either. In that case, you need to go to a lawyer and see if you can get your "marriage" annulled. There will be several ramifications to that choice. I doubt the government will not take it lightly that you lied to them and there will likely be penalties involved. Frankly, you'll deserve those penalties. You also must admit your sins to this woman you married and to God. You also need to move out from your girlfriend's place and stop having sex with her until you can straighten out your situation so you can marry her. Meanwhile you owe your child financial support since you are responsible for bringing him into this world.

The more honorable way is to recognize that you already made a covenant with a woman. You would need to learn to love the woman to whom you are married and live with her as your wife. In this case you need to apologize to the woman you had a child with for your sins with her. And you need to assure her that you will accept responsibility for the financial responsibilities of raising the child and will help where you can. You also need to confess you sins to God in regards to your adultery.

Neither are great choices, but such is what happens when we mess around with sin. I don't know if you've actually become a Christian in accordance with God's teachings or only consider yourself one. If you haven't done all that God has commanded (see "Things that Accompany Salvation"), then it is past time that you start down the right path.

Hello and thank you very much for your response.

I am aware that I've put myself in a situation that has no easy solution and am grateful for your honest repsonses.