Comments/Questions from Readers

Question #36: I have a dilemma, at present my wife and I are currently seperated. She has decided to end our 25 year marriage stating she no longer loves me and has moved into another residence. She's also hired a lawyer seeking a property settlement along with child and spousal support while putting in the required seperation time to end our 25 year marriage.

The other aspect to this is that she was married when we met although going through a divorce process then. So in effect, I married another man's wife (he's still living) committing adultery in the process. She did as well which may explain why we've had so much trouble.

What is the requirement in scripture to fix this problem? Do I simply repent of this adulterous marriage and let our seperation/divorce run it's course. Again, she is the one initiating and securing the divorce thereby freeing me from the adulterous marrige with freedom to remarry (not another man's wife) in the future.

Do I ask her for a "certificate of divorcement" since she's initiating everything or do I simply give her one based on her abandoning the marriage?

Allow me to express my personal sympathy to you during this difficult time. I can't imagine what you must be going through when faced with the prospect of losing your family like this. I will be praying that He will give you the strength and courage to persevere.

As you've already determined, your marriage with this woman was adulterous from the beginning. She already had a living husband when you took her to be your wife, so she was not yours to lawfully have. You are correct that you need to repent for your participation in the adulterous union.

As to the question of the certificate of divorcement, it is immaterial in this case. You are not lawfully married to her, nor are you putting her away for whoring fraud, so you are not in any authority position to write her such a pronouncement of judgment. A wife certainly cannot give a husband a certificate of divorcement. The branch is cut off from the tree, not the tree from the branch.

Assuming you repent and walk away from this illicit relationship, and further assuming you have not unlawfully put away a previous wife, then you would still be free to take another wife in the future, provided, as you noted, she does not have a living husband.

Given the length of your relationship, and the fact that you both have children together, I would suggest trying to remain as amicable as possible. You will likely still need to work together to raise your children, so try to maintain as good a relationship with your children and their mother as possible.




"...In essentials we maintain unity, in opinions liberty, and in all things love..."

Your comments are welcome!