THE FORMER SPOUSE – Dealing With Adversity

• Have you had issues with one or both former spouses?
• Does a former spouse try to make waves in your family?
• Do you have hard feelings toward your former spouse, or your spouse’s?

Image: David Castillo Dominici,
Image: David Castillo Dominici,

We have heard from many families who call or write in about various issues that they are having with a former spouse. It is a common problem! In this article, we will look at common causes of the strife, and some reasonable solutions you might want to try.

Why the Strife?

Former spouses may be stirring up trouble in your family for one or more of these reasons:

1. They are hurt from the breakup of their marriage.

a) Rejection from a former love is a deep hurt that can take a long time to heal, especially if there was infidelity (adultery) involved. If they are still hurting, the hurt can lead to unforgiveness, bitterness, and ultimately revenge.

b.) They may sense their former spouse left them for their new spouse, which makes them bitter at both the former spouse and the new spouse involved (even if months transpired between your divorce and remarriage).

Because of bitterness and revenge, we have seen former spouses ally with their former spouse’s family, alienating the extended family (parents and siblings) against their own family.

c.) Your former spouse may have had hopes of reconciling with you. If so, your remarriage has likely broken that dream, and created additional hurt.

2. Jealousy can be a big factor. The fact that you have moved forward with your life can stir up deep feelings of envy in a former spouse.

3. Perhaps prior to your remarriage you and your former spouse were reasonably working things out regarding the children. Now that you are remarried, you may have had to change your approach with your former spouse such that your new spouse does not feel threatened by this relationship. (Your relationship with your new spouse has to take the highest place in your life, making sure your spouse feels secure in your relationship.)

4. They may sense that the stepparent in your home is trying to alienate them from their natural child, or in other ways trying to circumvent their parental relationship or authority.

The natural parent —child bond is a precious thing, and when it gets threatened by a stepparent trying to bond with their new (step) child (which is the right thing to do), the natural parent may feel threatened by this activity. Such is the case when a natural parent objects to their child calling the stepparent “Mom” or “Dad.”

[New (step)parent —new (step)child relationships need to be built in your new home for a healthy family. There needs to be effort to bond. The natural parent and the children should know that the new parent is in no way trying to replace their natural parent.)

5. The former spouse may disapprove, not like, or disagree with your way of parenting or raising the children involved in your new home. There could be something you are doing that contradicts their fundamental beliefs.

Typical Responses That Do Not Work:

• Ignoring them
• Stubbornness
• Tit for Tat
• Insult for insult
• Lashing out at them
• Aggression/ arguing
• Pushing their “HOT” buttons
• Name calling
• Using the children
• Threats


• Realize that the former spouse is not your enemy —the devil is. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood (PEOPLE), but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.”

The devil works through people to stir up trouble in our families. The devil looks for opportunities to use any of us to create division and strife in relationships. (He will sometimes have an opportunity to use you, when you are being selfish, rude, angry, critical, etc.)

• Try to understand the one who is causing trouble!

When someone is causing trouble in our lives, we become angry with them. We do not see any value in that person, and we do not want to let them off the hook.

Realize that:

a.) Perhaps the one who offended you never intended to harm you,

b.) It is hurting people who hurt people! Hurting people hurt people, and are easily hurt by people. Perhaps the presence of hurt in your offender’s life causes them to hurt you and others. Just knowing this will help you to deal with those people in a more tolerable way.

c.) God STILL loves that person as much as He loves you. Jesus paid THE SAME great price to remove your offender’s sins —and your sins.

We judge ourselves by our intentions, but we judge offenders by their actions. When we have hurt someone, we ask for forgiveness, saying that we did not mean to hurt them; our intentions were right. We want the Benefit of the Doubt for our actions.

However, when someone has hurt us, their actions speak louder than their reasoning, and we usually hold them accountable. We distance ourselves from them. We don’t give them the Benefit of the Doubt.

• An apology

IF you and your new spouse can agree on this course of action, try talking to your former spouse about why they are being difficult. (You may already know why.)

If they are reacting to pain in their life from the divorce, apologize to them for:

1. Your faults/ actions that caused the former marriage to fail.

2. The hurt you have caused in their life.

The apology will need to be sincere. And it may go a long way to beginning a peaceful life. (An alternative would be to write them a letter. However, be aware that letters can be misinterpreted by an emotional person.)

• Pray for their salvation and God’s blessing on their life.

We know this can be tough to do, especially praying and asking God to bless someone who is tormenting you, but with your good intentions it can do miracles.

In Matthew 5:44-45, Jesus said, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”

We recently met a couple who were constantly dodging bullets for the last seven years from her former spouse. When challenged to pray for his salvation and God’s blessings on his life, they were very skeptical that this would even work. But after one week of praying, the former spouse called (not once, but twice) to apologize for all of his bad behavior —and complimented her on how well she had done raising their children! It was truly a breakthrough and a miracle.

You can also be a witness of God’s unconditional love to that former spouse. If you have a relationship with Jesus, you have what they need to heal their hurts. In Luke 4: 18 Jesus said, “The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.”

WOW! What great love God our Father has for each of us —and that former spouse —to send His Son to meet our every need!

God just might want to use you to help them find His love and healing —what a thought!

Limit conversations with them. Make your conversations with your former spouse brief and informative. If they try to start an argument, then end the conversation. They may resist this, but after a few times they will begin to realize that you will not engage their behavior.

Do not let your new spouse be your messenger with your former spouse. Doing so can irritate an already tense situation.

A Simple, Powerful Prayer!

We have used a simple prayer over and over again in times when we felt that we were being attacked by others. We pray this before an encounter with someone that we know is interested in harsh and controlling words to us:

“God we command the mouth of the devil working through this person to be quiet, in Jesus’ Mighty Name!”

It has always worked for us. You may want to give it a try. (Note: DO NOT pray this verbally in the presence of that person, unless you WANT a harsh reaction!)

Legal Recourse

There are times when issues can only be settled through the legal system. When the other person is continually bringing harm to your family and will not reason with you, you must take the necessary steps to protect your family from negative outside influence. If necessary, consult your attorney for advice.

Pick your battles! Some issues are not worth a fight. It is better to work around some issues than to buck them. Don’t let your emotions engage you in a battle that will pay little dividends for your family. Example: If your struggle is over getting the children for a specific holiday, choose to celebrate the holiday on a different day —and enjoy a peaceful day.

Above all, walk in the Character of Christ found in Galatians 5:22-23 (Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.) Do not let another person’s negative emotions trigger the same in you. Maintain control of yourself, and your family.

Be a peace-maker

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” Matthew 5:9 (NIV) The same verse in the Message translation says, “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.” Matthew 5:9 (MSG)

Remember that your children do not need to see their natural parents in strife. Do whatever you can do be a peacemaker, and minimize the strife. Take the HIGH road. Do not let a person’s negative action create your negative reaction.

Prayer will change the things that you cannot change!

This article came from the BAF Ministry, Blending a Family Ministry, founded by authors and Pastors Moe and Paige Becnel. Their web site can be found at This is a great ministry “to help blended families become successful, peace filled, loving families.” They have many helpful resources (including additional articles to read) and a monthly newsletter you can sign up to receive —all available by going to their web site. If you’re dealing with step-parenting situations we encourage you to visit their web site. They give great insights to help you “blend” in a more peaceable way!

— ALSO —


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24 responses to “THE FORMER SPOUSE – Dealing With Adversity

  1. (US) I am going to one day be a step mom, and I found this article true, in many ways, to my experiences. Things are complicated because the father of the children and I are not yet married, so my influence has even less weight than that of a step parent. I MOST AGREE THAT THE CHILDREN MUST COME FIRST. I have had to learn a lot about how selfish I was (and can still be). It is very painful to hurt in very deep and personal ways, but have to move past yourself for the sake of the kids. And thanks to the children’s father, I am learning to choose battles. It is very important. I find your scripture encouraging, but here is a question…what if the individuals in conflict both believe the same scriptures, but from their own view in the children’s lives?

  2. (USA) Hi Emillee, I’ll be honest – I haven’t even read this article. I simply clicked through from the main page onto your comment posting. I’ll say this regarding what you wrote – the children are to come first before the self (the parents) however do not mistake that to mean they also come before your husband (or soon-to-be husband). The biblical model is that of God the father, Jesus, Men, women and then children. Remember to always put things in their proper order.

    That being said, as a biological mother, I can certainly, in fact, greatly!! appreciate you taking on children that are not your own. It took me a year, AT LEAST, to adjust to being a mother the first time and that was with my own child. To do that, with a child that is not your own, must take even far more selflessness and patience than I can imagine. Bless you!! You have a wonderful, giving heart and you will be blessed for doing that.

    As far as people differing on scriptural interpretation – well my walk in faith, by my personal experience, says this will happen and when it does, pray and rely on God’s Holy Spirit to reveal the answers. Sometimes God works with different individuals, and sometimes it is separately, not as a couple.

    When a couple, defer to the husband (unless you know, for a fact, it opposes God’s word). If his and your view differ but both seem to comply with the Word, then let the husband rule but also pray. Deferring to the husband, in actuality, shows respect and honor and love to the head God put there and, if you do this, don’t you think God can change the heart of the head to God’s own liking? Of course he can!

    So….respect God’s word and order of things and through demonstrating that (which is, ultimately, demonstrating your love of God) you can rest assured and peaceful, that God’s will will be done in that situation. Blessings to you, Emilee

  3. (ZAMBIA) I have a child who is 12. My ex left me when she was 3 years old. He married another woman, and he has since divorced 2 years ago. I met a wonderful man and got married to him after my ex was already one year in his new marriage.

    He could not maintain the child in anyway. But, after 5 years now, he says he wants to support the child- school fees, medical aid etc. How would I inform my husband (current) about the new developments, knowing at some point my ex and my husband fought because of my ex’s rude remarks? He has never kept the child, and it is only now that he has divorced his wife that he wants to take care of his child.

    I am so confused and don’t know how to break this to my husband without opening old wounds. I don’t have a child with my husband yet. My husband has been a good step dad to my child, unfortunately he is not saved. We married when we were both not saved, but I got born again 3 years ago. Please, can someone advise me. I want my husband to know that what my ex needs is to just contribute to his child’s upbringing and not that he wants me back. I have found it in my heart to forgive him as I have moved on.

  4. (US)  Ok, you can try and try sometimes… my ex husband is not the problem… my husband’s ex wife is. I have always looked the other way. I have NEVER said anything in front of her chidren and still my kids and I have had to pay time and time again for her actions. We even had a restraining order placed on her and she has calmed down but it is no where near over.

    To this day I still say nothing and do nothing but there is a price to be paid. My husband and I live separate lives when it comes to our kids. I don’t have hardly anything to do with his kids because dealing with them means dealing with their mom. I refuse to put my children in that situation ever. My ex and I get along great! We have joint custody of our children and they are not exposed to things they shouldn’t be. The only time they have had to come face to face with the nastiness of divorce is with her! Word of caution: if you think the ex will “grow up” or “get over it” 7 years later and all parties are remarried and still no luck!! There is a FIRM REASON WHY THE LORD DOESN’T CARE FOR DIVORCE!

    1. PJ, I know this reply is late, however, when I saw your post I had to say something because I agree. I actually am the ex wife in my situation. I’ve remarried its been 5 years since my divorce to my husband. We were separated 5 years before that. His new wife happens to be an issue. This woman has went to lengths to destroy the relationship between me and my children. She had stalked my kids school bus from the school to find my and my current husbands home. School officials called me stating she called and posed stating she was “the mother” to obtain info about my child’s confidential info and she and my ex were so rude the school hung up and filed a report.

      She had her child’s father call me stating I threatened to harm her son, yet had never seen either one of them nor knew where she lived (didn’t care) and the list goes on… I tried to talk to her and she said she doesn’t feel bad about what she has done. I talked to my ex, he took her side and believed the lies. She was there before the marriage ended. There is so much more but this post will be pages long for you to understand.

      So I just wanted to say yes… you are so right… I do now see why God opposes divorce! My current husband and I are wonderfully blessed and happy and don’t allow this childish behavior from my ex and his wife get to us. We have teenagers and they ask about why they do these things and blatantly stated they don’t act like adults like me and their step dad and wish they did. It’s sad when they don’t want all their parents to be at events at school because they are saddened and embarrassed of their father and step mom’s behavior. What do I do? I can only pray…

  5. (USA)  I can’t believe this article. God hates divorce. Instead of helping the marriage and keeping a union that no one should break, if he or she remarries they are committing adultery. I enjoy to see how people used some verses to justify their actions.

    1. (USA)  So where were you keeping my marriage together when my ex-wife had an affair and chose divorce? Were you one of those who was blaming me for her choice to have the affair? I suppose it’s my fault for her choosing divorce as well.

      What comes across from your post is an apparent lack of understanding about divorce in the U.S. You see typically only 1/2 of those who are divorced actually chose to get divorced. The other half of those were divorced against their will.

      If you break things down by gender, then only about 1/4 to 1/3rd of all divorced men actually chose the divorce, meaning that 2/3rds to 3/4s of all divorced men actually wanted the divorce they ultimately got.

      The spouse being divorced against his will has no means to stop the divorce either. It doesn’t matter how many scriptures he reads, or prayers he says, or counseling sessions he goes to. If his spouse is determined to divorce him, he’ll end up divorced. Not only that, but he’ll probably be blamed for the divorce as well, just as our pastor did when I approached him with the news that my wife, also a member of our church was having an affair and filed for divorce.

      So what do you propose to do to actually help marriages? Do you think blaming those who end up divorced is going to be much help? Probably not. What you wrote comes across like blaming a pedestrian for being hit by a drunk driver. Blame those who CHOOSE divorce, offer grace to the victims who didn’t choose divorce and ended up divorced anyway.

      God may hate divorce, but He did nothing that stopped my ex-wife’s petition for divorce. He allowed her to get the divorce she wanted. Once she got it, based on both Matthew 18 (church discipline, treat the one sinning as an unbeliever if they will not end their sin after being confronted regarding that sin) and 1 Corinthians 7 where we are to allow the unbeliever to go if she decides she wants to leave, I was free to re-marry.

      It’s not God’s plan. But instead of blaming the victims, why not approach those who are choosing divorce? That’s only 1/2 of those divorced. Please try to keep that in mind.

    2. (USA)  I am enjoying seeing you imply that your interpretation is correct to justify your action of putting down others.

      Of course, no one should break God’s original intent, but God never meant for people to be in captivity to sin. If the marriage is not reflecting God’s intent, and people are compromising their sanity, survival or safety because of sin, then it is ludicrous not to divorce. Some people think God is some big law-enforcer up there waiting to see who gets out of line. Not my God. He hates wickedness, loves righteousness and is not legalistic.

      1. (USA)  That’s why one is supposed to take someone who sins against you, such as a spouse who is having an affair before their church to warn them of the nature of their sin. Not to punish them, but to lovingly attempt to convince them to turn from their sinful ways.

        God may love you. Actually God does love you. However, it clearly says He hates divorce. Not because he’s for marriage at all costs. But instead He knows that most who choose divorce are not abandoning someone who is dangerous to them physically, emotionally or spiritually. Most who are choosing divorce are in no danger at all, other than having their feeling hurt because they no longer want to do what they’ve vowed.

        1. (USA)  Well, that’s debatable. I have just counted, among my close friends/family I know of, only one divorced her husband when she wasn’t in danger. It was clear he was a gentleman because although he was disappointed and angry, they were able to co-habitate for a while until living arrangements were sorted out and they remain friends. She was at fault and it turns out she wasn’t really a believer. And anyway, you can’t force someone to love you, even if you are Mr Perfect.

          The other 10? They were in danger. We didn’t know it then because it was well hidden but the truth prevails and their true colors show. Were they believed? Not always, and certainly not by pastors who were only concerned that they didn’t divorce unscripturally. Never mind that they just escaped from a dangerous circumstance and had a chance to live the abundant life they were intended to live. God hates their oppression more than the fact they left. Some people will never get it.

        2. (USA)  Bobbie, I do understand about how a church may not believe the victim. After all, my ex-wife was having an affair and our pastor went after me as if I was the one having the affair, choosing divorce, etc. So believe me, I get it.

          Does that mean that God’s word is wrong? Does that mean we are not to take our sinning spouse to the church? Not at all. In that case, the church is falling short in it’s role to protect the body of Christ. Just because a church fails to do what scripture calls it to do doesn’t mean there is a problem with scripture. It means there is a problem with the church.

          From what I’ve read from Dr Harley, who has counseled thousands, he says it’s almost impossible for him to convince the ones in danger to leave. Therefore, the vast majority of those who are leaving are in no danger at all. That doesn’t discount your sample space of 11. However, given he’s worked with thousands, I think he has a more accurate view of divorce in America today.

  6. (S.AFRICA)  Dear Tony, Yes your words are so correct – “Blame those who CHOOSE divorce, offer grace to the victims who didn’t choose divorce and ended up divorced anyway.”

    My husband was not compromising his sanity, he was not in fear of survival or his safety, but he chose to live in sin anyway. I was the helpless victim that had no control over his sinful and selfish desires. YES Bobbi, my God hates divorce, hates wickedness, loves righteousness and is not legalistic.

    1. (USA)  There’s no question that there are innocent victims when spouses leave for trivial reasons – God hates that. I think that is pretty clear and preached continually in my church, and most evangelical Christian churches.

      But my church also has a policy that recognizes what people like Jose (post above), and some churches, don’t. Not all divorces are equal. Just because someone divorces doesn’t mean he or she sinned – he or she could have saved the lives of her children. Or he or she could have wrecked the lives of the children. It’s not just the one conclusion.

      God hates wickedness, loves righteousness and is not legalistic. Always. God hates divorce. Sometimes. Debate it with the theologians who have looked into it. I am out of here because I may be talking to close-minded people. Good luck to all.

    2. (AUSTRALIA)  Rose, it is sad indeed when people divorce. Even our Lord had to live with broken relationships. The Bible is full of accounts of imperfect people living in an imperfect world.

      In our very successful and large church, we have a great ministry to married couples and also one for divorce recovery. Our senior pastor has ministered to thousands of couples and helped couples stay together when they can but think they can’t, or split when they must, but believe they mustn’t. As a result, we have great testimonies of impossibly conflicted couples who end up with a stronger than ever marriage, even after infidelity or alcohol or pornographic addiction.

      Then there are also great testimonies of those who miraculously escaped domestic violence/abuse (defined as a pattern of either physical or psychological intimidation of a spouse). Mostly these have been so brainwashed that they are reluctant to leave but been urged to, because there is no way their spouse would have initiated divorce. My own Christian counsellor told me that I shouldn’t wait for my husband to divorce so that I would be innocent, because we would be destroyed (emotionally) in the process of waiting – there was no way my husband wanted us to divorce, not when he had us to control and make his life better. He still is working hard at getting us back, but that doesn’t mean God wants us back – He is not stupid. (Quote from my counsellor: “You don’t have to be brainless to be holy”)

      Divorce is an inevitable result of sin, but it is not obvious who is the sinful party – the one who leaves, or the one who is left. You know YOU are the innocent, hurt party because your husband left you in sin, but don’t presume this is the case whenever someone leaves. My pastor has been in marriage counseling for 30 years and found that the majority of spouses do not leave easily – it is not in the psyche of human beings who love connection and want a life-long relationship. A good number that leave do so reluctantly and because they have been psychologically reduced to a shell. Most do not know how to articulate it and if their counsellor is not trained in domestic abuse, they will not pick it either and encourage them to work harder at their own issues. Then if they leave, they are categorized as “being tired and giving up” on the marriage when the covenant was already irretrievably broken and could not be repaired unless the abuser was willing to change.

      If there is no abuse involved, then even if there are financial issues, infidelity, drug addiction or psychiatric disorders, one should never give up and working through the issues will produce great results. This philosophy has been confirmed by many counsellors who have worked with conflicted marriages and have insight into domestic abuse. I would put their details here if I knew they wouldn’t be bombarded by people wanting to attack them.

  7. (S.AFRICA)  Mia, Thank you for your response. Let me set the record straight – we are not divorced. My husband is back after two years and we are working on our marriage. This, after his affair with a married woman he met on “facebook”. Lets not eliminate the deceptive powers of Satan in all this. I fully understand that where there are instances of violence and abuse that separation should be the first option.So the one who leaves is not always the guilty party.

    My problem comes in when one is frowned upon just because of the divorce. What did YOU do? Somehow woman/men suffering to end their relationships with their affair partner or dealing with the damages of their divorce seem to get all the sympathy and encouragement and little help or understanding is given to the innocent victim who never wanted it anyway. I praise the Lord for giving me the strength to “hang in there” when ALL the odds were against me. Friends, family and counsellors were all telling me to move on and get it over with. My husband was adamant he wanted the divorce and proceedings from his side were in the 11th hour. We still have a long way to go but with God’s grace I have learnt to forgive. My sympathy goes out to all those that never wanted a divorce but ended up divorced anyway.

  8. (NAMIBIA)  I have been married for 13 years and my husband is currently a stranger to me. We only speak to each other regarding what is necessary. We had our ups and downs; however I have always believed that we will be able to stand the test of time. My husband has befriended some of his colleagues who are not married and are not people with moral values and believes that he wants to enjoy his life as he did not have time to do earlier.

    I was pregnant when we got married and therefore we got married at a very young age. We have 3 lovely children and I just believe that the devil wants to steal our happiness and I do not want this to happen. I however, do believe that if you love someone you should fight for it. I also feel so lonely and just want my marriage to be healed again. I have given the matter to our great Lord and now trust in Him to come through for me and my family. I do believe that the marriage can be salvaged. I do not want to become another statistic.

  9. (USA) Requesting prayer, I need to have faith that God will take care of me. I lack faith and I know what scripture says about not having it!!! I have been in a bad relationship for a very long time that got worse toward the end, so I had to get out…Please advise my prayerlife, I know I need to grasp faith much better than I am right now. It is the desire of my heart.

  10. (U.S.A.) My ‘husband’ (18+ years married) coldly and calculatedly set about to ‘erase’ me, removing my name from anything legal he could, denying me food, money, medical care and prescriptions, dental care, etc. His plan was to crush me -harass me (in our home by moving or taking my personal items) to make me believe I was losing my mind (it is a psychological technique called ‘Gaslighting’).

    Well, I got my hands on some funds and filed a divorce petition -and lo and behold neighbors who were not really kind to me have begun to help me and now my girlpals ‘get it’ and are helping me escape. Now the evil doing spouse wants to make sure he keeps everything -and I’m disabled and turned out with no money or medical. This is Texas (not a -IMHO-woman friendly state for homemakers being dispossessed). BUT WE SHALL SEE -FOR MY GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD AND HE REIGNS. Lisa

  11. Hi, My husband and I have been catching pure crap from his ex-wife since we were married. They simply couldn’t live together anymore and she divorced him after they have been separated for years. She has been receiving alimony and child support payments from my husband from his military allotments for 13 years and has it ended this year.

    While I had started with chemotherapy for breast cancer last year, she decided to take him back to court for more money and we’ve been fighting these issues since we were married, just to get this woman out of our lives. Our credit is messed up because of the evil stuff she’s done and we wonder, when does it end? This has almost torn our marriage up. I was feeling as though my husband was hiding something from me and he couldn’t see what this was doing to us. I felt as though I was losing my mind, my health, and my marriage. On top of everything else, were trying to care for our autistic son, too. This is so hard. How do we love this woman and keep on forgiving her for all she’s doing?

  12. Greetings in Jesus Name, My ex left me 2 years ago after over 30 years of marriage and married the other woman. He says he snapped over our years of undealt issues and that I had to take ownership of my side of the breakdown. It crushed my life and that of our adult children. Everyone felt sorry or him at the time since we realised how he’d been hurt and as he says used. Then when the truth was revealed, it shocked all!

    Now 2 years down the line, him married, his wife 16 years younger than him-now pregnant -he now wants me back -promising me all sorts of “never to be repeated” scenarios. I have however moved on, met the most calm and truly amazing man. Someone who lost his wife 5 years ago and we will be married soon.

    Now my ex is hounding me not to get married and that he is divorcing his wife and we can revive our family. When I say no and ask him kindly to respect me -he gets vicious, insults me to the worst! He threatens me with all sorts of drastic actions in terms of my support and the flat I am renting in his name. (This will be over with soon as I am married.)

    I am blessed and happy that God gave me another chance at love and life. I am also very aware of how he feels -I’ve been there begging him not to get married and to give us a try to no avail.

    I pray for him and our adult children and even for his wife- this is so disturbing since he now expects me to leave my partner and the destructive actions continue. I have made an informed decision that my life is in God’s and my own hands -I choose Joy in Christ and it does not include my ex. I do feel sorry for their situation, but our current circumstances are results of our choices. Many blessings, B

    1. If one wants to honor God and His Word, then one needs to follow His Word. God said He hates divorce. There are 8 scriptures in the Bible that says remarriage (while covenant spouse is still living) is adultery. What does this mean for those who are in a remarriage that God calls adulterous? It means they need to repent. What does repent mean? It means to confess the sin and give up the sin.

      If a remarriage is adulterous according to God’s Word, then to correct that sin, one has to give up the remarriage. We are commanded to stay single or reconcile. God has said that those in adultery will not inherit the Kingdom of God. And those who refuse to take their covenant spouse back is showing hardheartedness and unforgiveness.

      1. (USA) Janet, where does God’s grace and forgiveness come into the “formula” you set forth as a solution to the “sin” of remarriage? Is this the unpardonable sin? Is God so legalistic that there is not grace extended for those who confess when they have done wrong, if indeed they HAVE done wrong? Many, many divorces are inflicted upon those who never, ever wanted them. Lets be merciful as God is merciful. Isn’t that why Jesus came on this earth, to fulfill the law and to make grace and the leading of the Holy Spirit more readily available?

        And as far as unpardonable sin, when it comes to things that God “hates”, I’m reminded of Proverbs 6:16-19 where we’re told, “There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.”

        Again, is there any grace involved for those who repent? If not, does that mean that for those who have committed the sin of “haughty” or proud eyes, should pluck their eyes out afterward? What about a “lying tongue” — have you ever lied? What about your child? Should tongues be cut out so lies are not able to be committed in that way again? Then there’s the hands and hearts and feet that commit sin… and probably will again at some point… do we cut those out and off too? What about “one who sows discord among brothers” … do we banish them from being with us again and cut them off? If we’re going to be legalistic about divorce, shouldn’t we also be “lawful” in doing these other things too because of what God “hates”?

        I understand the principle you are trying to get across, and I love your heart. You want ALL to follow God fully and hate what He hates. And we should, as His followers. But seriously, do you believe God does not extend grace to those who have done all they can to fight against divorce but their spouse is able to make it happen legally anyway? Are they then doomed to a life of being alone while their spouse goes off on his or her merry way, flaunting that type of lifestyle?

        Yes, God hates divorce. So do we. That’s one of the reasons for this web site. We give and do all we can to participate with God in helping marriages to become stronger and to help turn around the marriages that CAN be turned around in better direction. But lets not forget about God’s amazing grace. If God doesn’t condemn, then neither should we. If God loves and forgives and extends love and help, then so should we. I would much rather err on the side of giving grace and love than condemnation and shame, if God hasn’t even given that to them. Please prayerfully consider what I am writing here. I pray you will.

  13. Hello! Thanks so much for this article. It shed great insight. I’m currently married to my husband who was previously married. His ex-wife and him have 3 children from that previous marriage. They have been divorced for 5.5 or 6 years. She is extremely bitter. She was a believer and now says she no longer believes in Jesus because of their divorce. My challenge is that she uses the children as pawns.

    I’ve been in the kids lives for several years and have a great relationship with them. They have a court order for my husband to see them once every other weekend. Because we live about 15 mins always from them my husband would pick them up throughout the week and take them to school etc. so that we could spend more time with them. We have kept them some summers, school breaks etc. throughout this time she has been beyond difficult, arguing, cursing in front of the kids, telling the kids their dad doesn’t love them, all types of negative, hurtful things.

    About 3 weeks ago we took the kids home on a Monday and were less then 5 mins late and she called my husband and said now you can no longer pick them up during the week unless you take them all to school. My husband wasn’t working and now he is. So driving 30-40 mins away to take his oldest sons to school and then going to work would be rather difficult. So now he/we are back to swing the kids strictly every other week. She only has that stipulation for the oldest, 11 year old because he goes to school further.

    My husband has gone to court but now feels like he wants to wait and pray and see of God changes her heart. She continues to try to cause tension between him and his kids. They are 5,7, and 11. My question: is it wrong for him to go to court? I feel like the longer he waits the more harm is caused. He feels like he wants God to change her heart, but in the meantime his relationship with his kids suffer. They absolutely love and adore their dad and I know that she’s only doing this to cause hurt to him and our family. I hurt because I love the kids so much and really don’t like to see my husband hurt nor the kids. She has all of these unfair stipulations. Every time I think they’re making traction she changes. Please advise.

  14. I was married for 12 years and my ex made the choice to have an affair. We had two children together and I wanted to try and work things out but we have been separated for almost 4 years now. She has filed for divorce and is planning on remarrying. My kid’s struggle through this has been a hard thing for me to deal with. I hold it in and haven’t talked about my divorce at least not in a healthy way. I carry a lot of anger, guilt, blame and bitterness. I want to hand this one over to God but sometimes don’t know how. God forgive me for not putting you first in my marriage and in my life.