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Is seeing a married man, who is separated from his wife but not divorced, adulterous?

There is a man in our church that I have fallen in love with. He has been separated from his wife for almost a year and the finalization of his divorce is being delayed by children custodial issues. We are seeing each other but not intimately. My question is whether I am participating in this man being adulterous ? Is what I/we are doing wrong in God' s eyes?

Clarify Share Report Asked October 17 2014 Mini Anonymous

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Closeup Jennifer Rothnie Supporter Housewife, Artist, Perpetually Curious
Yes, it is wrong to be seeing the man, even if it is an emotional affair and not a physical one.

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Matt 19:4

The pending divorce, itself, is a tricky issue. Did the wife commit adultery - is that why they are divorcing? Was she an unbeliever who sought to leave him? Did she initiate it and is giving him no choice? If it is for any other reason, he is causing his wife to commit adultery (Matt 5:32)

The fact this man is now emotionally involved with you leads to the premise that the two are not concerned with reconciling. For Christians, this is not a healthy place to be in. Reconciliation is not always possible, but where it is not the divorce should certainly be final before new relationships are entered into.

The fact there is at least one child involved makes this even more complicated. The adults in this situation, all three of you, do not seem to be considering the best interest of the child.

Personally, I have seen this situation a couple of times. In both cases, the separation and divorce itself was valid (the women leaving without chance of reconciliation) - but the men seeking other relationships before the divorce was finalized was never healthy.

In one case, the man's son was rejected by his new girlfriend as 'demon possessed', and replaced in the family by her daughter once the two married. In another, the man has had several flames since his separation, and the divorce has never been finalized.

A related issue is the topic of love: If you have 'fallen in love', then it is probably not a healthy and well-rounded love. What can be fallen into can be fallen out of.

Love, while it comes with many wonderful feelings, is an act of will. It is a decision to commit. It is self-sacrificing and considers the other before self - not the depth of one's own desires or feelings. Eros love (desire) is only one part of love, and should not be encouraged before marriage. Commitment should precede intimacy, vs. Intimacy being used as a reason to commit.

The eBible question "https://ebible.com/questions/2934-how-can-i-know-if-i-am-in-love" goes into more detail on this.

Back to the main question: The two of you are having an emotional affair. This can actually have more impact than a physical one. If there was any chance of the two reconciling, the emotional intimacy he has given you makes this more difficult.

There are further reasons than the flirting with adultery why it would be wise for the two of you to stop seeing each other at this time:

#1 He needs to focus on his wife, any possibility of reconciliation, and the divorce proceedings.

#2 He needs to have Christians around him that will hold him accountable for his own faults in the marriage, as well as spur him on towards commitment, repentance, etc.

#3 The flipside of #2, it will be detrimental if there are Christians around him encouraging him towards division, bitterness, or unforgiveness.

#4 His emotions need time to heal. He may feel betrayed, unloved, disrespected - any manner of things from his marriage. He needs support by the christian community, other men, and Christ to get through that. However, this is also the most vulnerable time for a man if they feel they are getting those things (attention, respect, desire) from another woman. Any such relationship will encourage eros and a false sense of intimacy.

#5 Marriage covenants should not be treated lightly. His treatment of his wife shows his future treatment of you more than any doting actions/words he has for you now.

#6 It is callous to any children involved. Again, love thinks of others before self.

October 17 2014 1 response Vote Up Share Report


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