Sex With an Ex Husband or Ex Wife

Yes, I know, this is a controversial subject, and trust me when I say that I wish it wasn’t one I’d ever have to deal with now or in the future. But the reality is that we are often posed the question of whether a person should have sex with their ex-husband or ex-wife. Is this something God would sanction since they were once married? So here goes.

In broaching this subject, first I need to say that I realize there will be many who will say that divorce is not an option. They reason that there are no “exes” involved, which spiral the question into a whole different direction. And yes, if you don’t recognize divorce as something that is permitable, then I can see why you would think that.

But I am not going to go into that issue here —not now or in any other part of this web site.

Won’t Debate

At Marriage Missions, we don’t and won’t debate that issue. We stand firm on Scripture knowing that “God hates divorce.” But we are also operating in the “real world” where people (including Christians) DO divorce. Also, God gives grace, and so do we. Divorce is NOT an unpardonable sin, so we should not treat it as such. Most often, there are many, many spouses who fight and do not want the divorce. If God embraces them, are we to do any less?

In prayerfully considering whether someone should divorce or not, we believe that divorce and remarrying is something that is between them and God. We are not their judge, God is. It is also our belief that we are called to put forth warnings about possible consequences to consider. We encourage the person and persons involved to take all their concerns to God, and work them through with Him.

Human counselors, advisers, mentors, educators, and such are important to consult. (For insights, please see the articles, Scriptures Dealing with Seeking the Counsel of Others, and the article, Applying the Gleaning Principle to Human Advisers.) But they aren’t all knowing. Be wise and talk to counselors, but ultimately, ask for God His wisdom on matters of concern.

But Should They Have Sex Together After Divorce?

With that said, I have to say that when we are asked whether or not a person should have sex with their ex, our prayerful answer has been that we don’t believe they should. If they believe God has told them that they can divorce, even though they didn’t want it (their ex made it happen), having sex after the divorce is problematic.

That is why I was excited when I came across an article, which addressed this subject. It confirms what we believe, and is written so well that I want to share it with you.

Dr Roger Barrier, who used to be our pastor when he lived in our town, is the author. You can read it by accessing the following link:


Please let me add a few additional points to all of this. I believe that making love, is a wonderful gift God has given to those who enter into the covenant of marriage. Within the sanctuary of marriage, it is an exciting way of connecting physically, emotionally and spiritually. It can truly be a God-given gift. But when you open this gift outside of marriage, God’s blessing is not upon it. It’s as pure and simple as that.

And when you do something without God’s blessing there are complications, which are put into place.


1. When God is not in it, you will not receive all of His benefits. You don’t go against God’s ways and expect that He will bless it.

2. When you’re making love with an ex spouse, you’re giving yourself to someone who is not fully committed to you. You are giving one of the “benefits” of marriage to someone who will not be there for you through the good and the bad.

His or her commitment to you is only “as long as.” As long as you do what he or she wants, that part of him or her is available. But when you need more support through difficult situations, it’s questionable as to whether you will get it.

Those who martially cleave together, work with one another through the good and bad times. If you put yourself out there —expecting less, you will get it. That can leads to all kinds of complications of the heart and emotions.

3. If you are hoping to someday reconcile with your spouse, you are putting that hope in jeopardy. As the old saying goes, “Why buy the cow, when you get all the milk you want FREE?”

Yes, I know that is crude, but the principle behind that saying is true. If a spouse can sexually have you and yet have the option to have sex with others (because of your divorce), why should he or she go back into marriage? That, in itself, puts complications into place. One of them is that you are exposing yourself to the possibilities of contracting S.T.D.’s and AIDS and such.

There are other reasons, as well, to consider (which I hope people will add in their comments). But for now, please consider the following scriptures, as they pertain to this issue.

They are:

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” –Hebrews 13:4

Can a man scoop fire into his lap without his clothes being burned?-Proverbs 6:27

Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.-1 Corinthians 6:18-20

It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him. The Lord will punish men for all such sins, as we have already told you and warned you. For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit.” (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8)

Cindy Wright of Marriage Missions International wrote this blog.

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Filed under: Marriage Blog Sexual Issues

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58 responses to “Sex With an Ex Husband or Ex Wife

  1. After 25 years of marriage my husband had an affair with his ex whom he had divorced and got an annulment. I tried to forgive because of our vows for better or worse, with one of the conditions he end all contact. Her threats of suicide and ocd issues have kept him going back and the affair continues. She is Very religious and believes it is not an affair or sin because they had earlier vows. I know my husband has free will to make his own decisions, but find it frustrating to my faith that there are people like this who think they are such good Christians because they go to church every Sunday, but do not see a problem with adultery.

  2. Isn’t formication and lust still a sin? Even when is it involves someone you were previously married to, it would still be considered premarital sex. Is that correct? If there may be a possibility of the former couple to reconnect then they shouldn’t have a problem with getting reacquainted with one another emotionally and spiritually. Sex is a bonus after man and woman say “I do.” It can cloud judgment and that may lead to more heartache. Proceed with caution and prayer. I hope I’m correct. I am quite familiar with the subject but I am choosing to witness to my ex husband instead of doing things that can affect my salvation. If this is a true reconnection after the years of hurt then it’s best to let God lead the way. Put it in His hands and let it stay there. Pray for the ex and yourself. I do. It really does work.

  3. I commented on having sex with an ex husband and wife. I wanted to know why it is so wrong when you forgive a person and you become best friends again and both of us have changed with time and we are older, wiser and tired. I always said if you love someone let them go; if it’s true love they will come back. After 34 years my best friend is back. I’m very impressed. I feel relieved because I’ve been waiting so long for a good man and he has been there through everything.

    1. Angela, I’m so glad that you and your ex husband are best friends again. 34 years is a long time. Praise God you have been able to reconcile your differences. However, if you truly are best friends, and he is such a “good man” and wants to be intimate with you again, why don’t you marry? Having sex together is not designed by God only for play time. It is for deep, God-blessed intimacy and connection. But it isn’t God-blessed if you are not married. With God’s blessing it can be wonderful to make love to your spouse. But without God’s blessing within the sacredness of marriage being involved, you are just participating in animalistic, paganistic behavior. It may appear to be special to you and your ex, but it is not special to God. And that is why it is wrong. That act of having sex together will always be tainted.

      We are told to follow the laws of the land, and this includes marrying. If you just play around and you don’t make it legal, you and your ex do not have the same type of testimony that you can give as a legally married couple. When you remarry you can lift up your relationship as one that will give hope to others who have been waiting for their ex to come back to them. Without marrying, you will allow questions to pop up in the minds of others as to why you don’t do what it takes to make the step of putting God’s blessing upon your living situation. You give the enemy of our faith a toehold in the door of a victory. The enemy will work it to put doubts in the minds of others that total reconciliation isn’t possible.

      If you truly love each other, and are committed to each other, beyond just having sex with each other, then get married again. What is holding you back? If other present spouses are holding you back, then there you go. You are violating present marriage commitments, and you must stop having sex with each other. If there are no present spouses standing in the way, then give yourselves totally to each other as God would have you… get married, and THEN make love to each other with God’s blessing. Please prayerfully consider what I am saying here. I pray for you as you do.

  4. If a couple gets a civil divorce, but not an anullment from the Catholic church, and many years later start dating again, are they still allowed to have sex, even if they can’t get married again because one of them is on disability and if they were ‘re-married, one of them would lose a lot of their disability check? Would it still be against God if they had sex once in a great while, or at least slept in the same bed once in a while without having sex?

    I know a few people that don’t want to lose their disability but still want to be intimate. Please let me know what the Catholic rules say about this particular situation so I can let them all know one way or the other. I am kinda curious as to what the answer might be myself…in case I am ever in that same situation in the future.

  5. My ex husband is an alcoholic, committed adultry once. We ended in divorce but maintain a relationship from our separate homes. We’ve had no other in our bed and feel we are still married under God’s eyes just not under man’s. We are there for each other, actually better now then before. We recently started having sexual relations again an I need to know if I’m committing a sin. I’ve prayed, but no answer yet.