Did my marriage end for the right reason?


Good afternoon!

I recently became aware of your ministry and have been reading your articles. I immediately loved the tone and the thoroughness of the answers to questions that people asked! I have one for you that has concerned me!

I am in my fifties. I accepted Christ as my Savior decades ago. I was raised in a wonderful, supportive home, but not a Christian home. So, I learned Christianity and its doctrine through the school of hard knocks and lots of questions, pastoral counseling, Bible study, etc.

So, here is my question.

In my final year of college, I met a guy and without going into a lot of details, the end result was a marriage under duress. He blackmailed me. I was in my early twenties. The evening before our marriage, he paid a prostitute in cocaine to watch and participate while the groomsmen had sex together. I am so sorry to even type those details. They are important to the discussion below. Without knowing this, I married him. He was addicted to pornography, drugs, and alcohol. He was violent. After we were married, one of his bosses paid prostitutes to provide oral sex to the men (this was considered a bonus to the employees!). I am unsure what his level of participation was in those details. Well, eventually, I left him. The next step is where I believe I may have sinned.

Based on the knowledge that I had at the time, my understanding was that adultery and abandonment ended the marriage. Through pastoral care, I was told that he abandoned me through violence and refusing to provide. He basically changed jobs twice a year. There were discussions around the facts of the night before our wedding, whether that was considered adultery since we were "betrothed". There were also discussions about whether the marriage was valid because it was under duress. I left him years ago. Six months later, I began dating because I thought the marriage was over in God's eyes. Legally, the divorce was finalized after three years. I was married again the year after the divorce became final.

With the detail that I provided, am I considered to be in an adulterous situation? I am willing to make whatever changes need to be made. Also, I am assuming that if the answer to my question is yes, then my salvation is also at risk since the Word says that no adulterer is allowed into heaven.

Thank you for being very clear and firm on your biblical interpretation. Honestly, it is very hard to get clear-cut answers to critical questions. I do not want to find out at my death that I listened to the wrong counsel.


Given his behavior, it is extremely likely that your husband continued to have sex with prostitutes after you were married. Having oral sex with a prostitute would constitute adultery. Even if you are not absolutely sure about whether he participated, the cumulative evidence is that he was not faithful to his vows. We don't have to get into technicalities to conclude that you did the proper thing.

While you should not have dated until your divorce was final, that cannot be undone, and it isn't the reason why you divorced your husband.

Claiming duress doesn't work anyway. You felt pressured, but the reality of the situation is that you did not have to agree to the marriage or take the vows. There were multiple opportunities to let others know of the problem. And if you consider the situation, a guy who stoops to using pressure to get a wife is clearly not husband material. That should have been your warning not to marry the guy and likely there were many other warnings prior to that.


Yes, I agree with all the comments regarding duress and the warning signs. I was a scared young woman and I made multiple terrible mistakes.

Thank you for your counsel.

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