I’m unsure if I’m married to my ex-boyfriend


Good evening!

I've been praying, reading the Word, and reading godly people's commentary on this topic - but I am still confused. I'm unsure if I will ever receive a definitive answer, but I would really appreciate any Scriptural knowledge you could share. I basically am just unsure if I'm technically married to my ex-boyfriend. We were both Christians but compromised and slept together throughout our 3 years together. I constantly felt guilty about sleeping with him (and broke up with him three times over it), but I was convinced by him that it was alright because we were planning to get married eventually. We never lived together, while I did spend a lot of time at his apartment.

We never exchanged vows, and we both knew that we were unsure whether we'd actually get married. But we did joke a little that we were basically married. Never referred to each other as husband or wife, and we were constantly on the verge of breaking up. At least I was. He was fine with getting married to me.  He said that marrying me felt somewhat like checking off a task on a list of "to-do's." But on my end, I never fully committed to him. I always had reservations. I wasn't sure about how strong his faith was in Christ. I didn't see him as my husband and was always wondering if I should break up. I spent so much time in prayer, every night basically, asking God if I should end the relationship or not and praying that He would work in my boyfriend's life. So there was no commitment or covenant on my end. I wanted out but was too anxious to get out and stay out of the relationship. We were definitely still "dating." No proposal. He was set to propose and wanted to just get married quickly to make things official. Partly just to relieve my concerns about sexual sin. But it was a difficult relationship with a lot of fighting, so I ended up breaking it off.

Now I am unsure if that was actually a marriage, not just a dating relationship. I've been asking God for a clear answer. I know I'd rather be safe than sorry, so my plan, for now, has been to just not marry. I've become a bit distressed by this issue though. I keep reminding myself that Heaven is the ultimate hope -  not just a temporary, earthly husband. It's just upsetting not knowing what my future might hold. My local youth group started back up recently after covid had closed it down for 2 years. After 3 years of not dating and just wondering if I'm actually married, now I'm faced with a number of great, potential husbands. That's why I'm here asking this question. 🙂 It's difficult to think I may not be able to marry, but God's will is greater!

Thank you!


Your question is a common one that has been answered several times on this site. Marriage is a covenant -- a set of formal vows made before God and witnesses. "Yet you say, 'For what reason?' Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant" (Malachi 2:14). See Am I married because I did sexual acts with my girlfriend? You never entered a formal covenant with your boyfriend, so you are not married. You both knew this while you were committing fornication. This is why you felt guilty for the sins you were committing. It is also why you were trying to soothe your conscience by claiming that you were "basically married."

Just as you pretended to be married, you have also been pretending to be faithful followers of Christ. "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10). There is a reason Paul warned people not to lie to themselves.

It is time for a radical change in your life. Start living completely by the Lord's commands. After all, Jesus asked, "Why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? Everyone who comes to Me and hears My words and acts on them, I will show you whom he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who has heard and has not acted accordingly, is like a man who built a house on the ground without any foundation; and the torrent burst against it and immediately it collapsed, and the ruin of that house was great" (Luke 6:46-49).


Thank you very much! I felt guilty and repented for fornicating with my ex-boyfriend all throughout the relationship. Even though I felt pressured into sleeping with him, I believe that I did consent on some level. So I was guilty of fornicating, and I repented for good after our 4th and final break up.

It makes sense that there would need to be a covenant. We definitely never said that we would be husband and wife for the rest of our lives, not even privately amongst ourselves. We only ever said that we thought we’d probably get married, which I would deem as simply an idea we were considering. Not a covenant. I think we pretended that we were engaged once, but never pretended we were married. And we did not have witnesses. So I feel more confident that I’m not married to him.

Thank you!

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