It is complex, but is my third marriage adulterous?


I have a question for you. It involves a complex matter, but I trust your biblical response after having read your web page.

I am married currently and was also married twice before this marriage. I have since repented and grieved over all of my wickedness when I saw biblically what I had been. My first husband also remarried and has a third wife. I sense much shame and remorse as I write. I know the way of righteousness now but way too late. Besides all of this my current husband's wife, his first one, died about fifteen years ago. My first husband had committed adultery after adultery and had been found to have molested my own sister. So I divorced him. My second husband was divorced by his first wife, and he then married me. She had divorced him. About ten years he returned to his first wife and their children. I then remarried for the third time. Sinful wickedness and insanity, yes.

The dilemma? My current husband and I were just informed that biblically we are adulterers currently and ongoing, and our eternal security is at risk because we are ongoing adulterers.

We have spent the last few days in devastation and grief because we believe that according to the Holy Scriptures we must now divorce as my first husband is still alive. And because my current husband is married to me, he is also in adultery because my first husband is still alive. Again, my current husband's wife died years ago. Please help me if possible, according to the Holy Scriptures.


Let's start with your husband. Regardless of what his marital situation was, the fact is that his original wife is dead and that ended his covenant with her. Even if his marriage to you was adulterous from his end, it changed with her death. "For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man" (Romans 7:2-3).

You divorced your husband because of his sexual sins. That left you free to remarry. "And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery" (Matthew 19:9). He wasn't free to remarry and his current marriage remains adulterous.

I assume your second husband did not have a right to another marriage either since his wife divorced him. I'm assuming that the divorce was not over adultery or if it was, he was the guilty party. As a result, he did not have a right to marry you. His return to his first wife was the proper thing to do. "Now to the married I command, yet not I but the Lord: A wife is not to depart from her husband. But even if she does depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband. And a husband is not to divorce his wife" (I Corinthians 7:10-11). Therefore, the second marriage doesn't count since it was invalid in its foundation.

You had a right to marry when you took your third husband. He has a right to marriage now. Therefore your current marriage is valid. You are not living in adultery.


I just received your response to my question, a very hard and complicated one indeed. Thank you very much. I so appreciate your helping hand and your most heartfelt interpretation of the Scriptures for such a hard and complex issue. Having a Berean heart for the Holy Word of the Lord, I really believe in my heart that this is an accurate interpretation in my personal matter here. The Word of God must rule in all of the matters of our lives indeed or at best we are not true sons and daughters of the Most High God. I truly thank you for helping me out in this! May our Lord richly bless you and yours.

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