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Question 177

Q: My wife had an affair last year, and now we are divorced. Am I permitted to remarry?

Asked by: Patrick

A: Patrick, this is a question I wish I could sit down and discuss with you because I’ve got all kinds of questions that I’d like to ask.

You seem to imply that you would like to remarry, and perhaps you even have someone in mind, and I need to confess that’s a bit troubling. For one thing, as long as your ex-wife is still unmarried, there’s also the possibility of reconciliation, and I think that you should keep that door open as long as possible.

Now if she has remarried that closes off the marriage. But sometimes I’ve even known situations in which a wife or a husband wishes that their partner were to have an affair, so that they would have “permission” to divorce and marry someone else. So I need to understand something about your motives.

And finally let me say this, that second marriages, in your context, often end very badly. I could tell you many stories of people who’ve been divorced and remarried and their second marriage wasn’t happy either. All of that to say, you need to discuss this with your pastor. Somehow I’m troubled by the fact that you’re asking me.

Yes, I do believe that there are times when someone who’s been divorced can remarry, but the motives, the circumstances, the situation, all of that has to enter into the equation. Sorry I couldn’t help you more than that, except I hope that it causes you to do some deep thinking about the decision that you are about to make.

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