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

  1. (UGANDA)  I’m glad this subject was attended to cause I honestly believe that as Christians we do most of the time not acknolwedge that although God has set rules, sometimes life happens and things happen and things and people do not react the way they should.

    Seeing this article makes me wonder. My husband and I are separated due to our marriage problems. I prayed about our separation. I gave all to God and I know that he knows my intentions regarding the separation. Thing is, do you think it’s fine if him and I have sex during the separation? I ask this because I asked God to relieve me of all my wifely dutys during the separation but now my husband has called asking for sex.

    1. Dear Miss Stang, This is a tough one that you’re asking. At first, my reaction was that you shouldn’t have sex with your husband while being separated. I thought it might obstruct the work you are both to be doing while trying to eventually reconcile. But then I wasn’t sure. I asked my husband without telling him what I thought and he arrived at the same place in switching back and forth. As we both agreed, it’s not something that you could give a definitive answer to –although we both agree that if there is any chance he’s having sex with anyone else and isn’t staying true to you, then you definitely shouldn’t have sex with him unless and until he has gone through tests that show he hasn’t picked up some STD’s or AIDS. That’s important to know.

      So, my husband asked a counselor friend of ours and she said, if you’re sure he hasn’t had sex with anyone else (so you would be jeopardizing your health and possibly your life), then morally, ethically, and spiritually there’s nothing wrong with making love to your husband.

      But you need to carefully and prayerfully consider if this will cause problems in hurting the possibility of reconciling. If you don’t think it will and you are willing to have sex with him, then she suggests you tell him that you can see that this is a legitimate need. But then tell him that you have some needs for him to work through with you –ones that will help move your relationship toward reconciliation and building a healthy marriage. And then tell him what you see as a need (after praying about what you should ask for).

      We have articles on our web site in the “Separation and Divorce” topic, which talk about the importance of using times of separation to work on issues, which are causing problems in your marriage. It’s not just a “get away from each other” time –but one that is to be constructive in working through your issues so you can come back together in a healthier way.

      So, consider what you would want to ask of your husband –the needs you see will help your relationship to grow healthier. That is a legitimate exchange because ultimately, you are both trying to help each other with the ultimate goal of helping your marriage get to a better place now and in the future.

      1. (UGANDA)  Thanks Cindy. Yes it is truly a tough one considering that one of the reasons for the conflict in our marriage was because my husbnad believes that sex solves everything. He has a belief that we can just ignore our problems and as long as we are having sex everything will sort itself out.

        I also wrote because I had had a confirmation from God telling me what to do I just wanted to make sure that I was hearing correctly.I at most times can’t tell the difference between when God is talking to me and the devil is lying to me.

      2. (USA)  I have to ask if your intentions are to divorce him? Within marriage is the ONLY application God intended for sex and it should be the joining of two hearts, minds, bodies in love and MARRIAGE. If you are not planning to divorce, are you just playing a game with him or him with you?

        That almost always backfires. God does say in the King James that He allows for divorce in the case of adultery but really wants us to work it out if at all possible.

        This would go under the “self-control” topic. If you cannot abstain perhaps you should both reconsider your decisions to separate and put as much energy into the marriage as you are the seeing each other during this separation. Please seek God’s counsel in all things but certainly this. Prayers><>

  2. (NAMIBIA)  My husband has been in a secret relationship with another woman for many years with whom he fathered a child who is now 7 years. After his exposure he asked for forgiveness and I forgave him and I even proposed that we adopt the child, of which he refused.

    Meetings were held with the other woman and her family to discuss how the child should be taken care of. They agreed to the fact that there shouldn’t be any contact of whatever form between them and that the needs of the child be communicated through me. I discovered later that they have been communicating and meeting in secret. When I confront him he denies until I feel that the problem is with me. Some of my peer pastors also belief so.

    Now the problem is that since my knowledge about the adultery, I really struggle having intimacy with him. I experience all types of bad feelings and emotions during intimacy. In fact, I feel that my body rejects him. I don’t enjoy intimacy anymore. For me, it feels like torture to have sex with my husband.

    I also suspect that he never broke up with this woman because every now and then, there will be things popping up that gives evidence to my suspicions. When I try to discuss this things with him, he becomes angry and defensive.

  3. (USA) I am not divorced yet but I separated from my husband because I simply could not get over his affair from the past. We have been married ten years and I know he is not sleeping with anyone else. He comes right home and he takes care of me and the children but he has some fleeting issues that I could not deal with and I made him leave.

    My husband is moving near me and the children so he can help me raise them together. He works a state over (which is a two hour commute each way). Through uncontrollable circumstances he had to stay at home with me and the kids and he asked for sex. I did and we have been having sex ever since. He is angry with me for making him leave so he won’t talk to me but he takes care of our every little need. Am I wrong for having sex with him even though I asked him to leave?

    1. When people who are married separate and there is no sexual contact by them with other people, I believe Scripture and God still sees them as still being married. There may possibly be, I believe, emotional issues with separation from one another; but the command for people to be “…reconciled or remain unmarried” indicates that although physically being separated, the persons can still have sexual contact if neither is sexually having contact with anyone else.

      If they cannot live together the only question becomes if the other can be trusted not to have had sexual contact with anyone else. There might even be the means, if divorced, to come back to one another in the same home and continue the marriage; but if not, there just can’t be living with anybody else or be marriage to anyone else until one of the parties dies. You can’t be married to anyone else and have a living spouse, if there is not a Biblical reason for the divorce.

  4. (UNTIED STATES AMERICA) My husband and I have been separated for 6 months. I asked him to leave. I felt he was not paying any attention to me, that he was always on his computer, never taking me out and always saying we can’t afford it. What was the last straw, he asked. He was not spoiling me anymore and that hurt me. He would give me most things that I asked him for but one evening I was asleep and him and my daughter were having a disagreement. I got upset.

    I miss him. I know I hurt him. I think he has moved on. We have not gotten a divorce yet. I want him back. I ask God if it’s His will to let us be together again and to please forgive my mean ways…

    1. Very sad & tragic that you would allow your flesh nature to dictate and motivate you to be so selfish. I sense that you are not a true John 3:3/3:5 born again follower/servant of Jesus. The info in your posting provides very clear insight that you have no biblical grounds for divorce or separation. I encourage you to first get right with God then seek a Christ centered/biblical marriage counselor for help. I hope that your husband is saved but if not he would be very wise to get right with God too and then learn what a Christ centered husband is all about. God’s best to you both. Dwight / JOHN 8:51

    2. Chyna: I’m praying for you and can relate to your circumstances. I will pray for you. God is merciful and kind. He hates divorce. The enemy uses life events to confuse us and to try and build a case against one another in our minds. We are humans and NOBODY is immune from sin. Some of the posts here seem to be very harsh; we’re living in His GRACE, and not under the law. I’m sorry you were led to ask your husband to leave; it’s good that you are sorry about it and want to make things right. From what I read in the Bible, God looks at our hearts and has mercy on the humble. I’m praying for both of us, that God will bring our husbands home. I believe in love and miracles from God…

      1. Hi Jillian. You and Chyna and anyone else for that matter that would like to be encouraged to take a biblical stand for their marriages, should visit Rejoice Marriage Ministries. You’ll hear testimonies of people whom God forgave their mistakes and helped restore their marriage. From the testimonies you can glean basic steps you can take in working with the LORD JESUS to restore marriages. There is nothing to difficult for HIM. HAVE FAITH PEOPLE OUR GOD CAN DO ALL THINGS. STAND WITH HIM AND IN HIM. GOD bless.

  5. (U.S) I’m having the same tribulation mentioned in this article. I have been divorced for over a year now because my ex husband cheated. He tried to get me to take him back but I was too hurt to forgive him. I stepped on him, said and did horrible things. Our baby is almost 4 & they have barely ever spent time together.

    He ended up marrying her, but has told me before even after being remarried that he still had feelings for me. I will be going to the state in which he lives to take our baby to see him. And the thought has crossed my head more than once. In fact, A LOT more than once. To the point I’ve almost convinced myself that it is not a sin because we were each other’s first spouses & he is currently committing adultery by being married to her, who was also married to someone else when they had their affair.

    I have saved myself and no other man has touched me, and to top it off in my heart… he is still my husband!!! It’s going to be 2 years in November since I last made love with him. I don’t see myself with anyone else. I love him, so much! But God comes first, & I don’t want to fail him after He has been sooo good to me! And has blessed me sooo much! But the thought of it being ok keeps making it’s way in my head. I’ve prayed to God and I know he’ll give me an answer. I just hope I don’t do the wrong thing here.

    I just became a converted Christian. I grew up Christian but had never accepted Christ before. I did 2 months ago. I’ve changed some things in my life & I know God is working on the others. I need advice from a fellow Christian, someone who don’t see our believes as weird, outdated, or an exaggeration!!!

  6. (AMERICA) Interesting reading. As the subject has many levels, I will be brief. When a man and woman enter into a marriage they have a contract. If both are Christians then God is the third partner in that contract. When they make love the first time, a contract has been sealed. No longer is the man’s body his and no longer is the woman’s body hers.

    They belong to the other partner. The covenant is until death. There is no undoing that. You can get a divorce in the court of man, but not in the court of God. God is the record keeper. To divorce and then remarry is a commit adultry. The reason is because it is a sin against the covenant. So sex with a ex wife or ex husband is a non-issue really. Because in God’s kingdom there is no such thing as ex-wife and ex-husband. The marriage is a covenant that still stands before God. The Courts may say you are divorced; God does not agree exactly.

    Covenants are eternal; In the Bible God never tells Kind David to divorce his wicked wife. But he never calls her David’s wife. He always called her the wife of the man David killed. In the teachings of the apostles, we are instructed to remain married, but if we divorce we are not to remarry for the most part. Sex with the ex is a resealing of the covenant. So if you do this, God is not going to send lighting. Actually it may be used to restore the marriage to some degree.

    Marriage is indeed eternal, it is a life-long contract. It is Holy and unbreakable in God kingdom. But people want to declare it is only earthly in nature. Not according to God. And marrying after divorce is adultry in most cases.

    1. (USA) I love all you’ve written and so beautifully, but the King James states, Old and New Testament and in Matthew, Jesus himself that in the case of Adultery, a couple can divorce.

      No doubt God would want us to try our best but consider an unrepentant spouse that refuses to stop? The marriage covenent has been broken, the marriage bed defiled. Another did come in the middle. No longer a marriage, a death in essence has occured. The cheating spouse has been one with another. No longer my husband :(

      God classisifes it with murder, blasphemy and all other atrocities. It is letting the devil into your family (reists the devil and he will flee) and holding your family down while he violates thewm. The spiritual state my husband was in, he enjoyed watching all that pain. God was gone because of his obedience to Satan. All Commandments broken, even placing the other in God’s position, therefore making her his idol. A willful child of disobedeince and wrath he was. I could see myself remarrying after this but I would never ask a Pastor to do it. I would go ot the Court House.

      Physical death would have been much easier than what I’ve been through. Jesus cried over the betryal of a friend. Me in my humaness and a betrayal of this magnitude? No pain like it. They can get forgiveness but there are still hefty consequences and the grief never goes away.

      1. (USA) Hi Pavrone, God allows divorce if your spouse cheated. You have two choices and they are completely yours in this case. You can divorce your cheating spouse and you have not since or you can reconcile. I believe, should you decide to divorce him and later wants to reconcile you can as long as neither of you has never remarried.

    2. Thomas, thank you. I agree with you concerning my situation. We both are still unmarried, and not seeing anyone else. I am pursuing reconciliation, not because our marriage was so great, but because I feel that I sinned against God by filing the papers. I am praying for God to give me wisdom. I don’t think this issue is cut and dried. My husband was emotionally abusive (very), but that didn’t make it right to dissolve the marriage. It is a brave thing, but one that I must pursue. I never allowed God the opportunity to work in my marriage. That was WRONG of me. I lacked faith and am paying the price. I will gladly accept responsibility for this and pray that I am doing the right thing. In the end, God knows my heart. Praise God for His mercy and Grace.

  7. (MONTGOMERY) I was married 20 yrs. and had a lot of problems with children (not his) and him being with other women and his telling me that it was over. I’d been so hurt and in all that pain I wasn’t a perfect wife. I thought I’d do the same thing and it would make me feel better. It didn’t. Now we are divorced and I cry every night to God to bring him back. I forgave him. I’m willing to work and change things but he lives with another woman. He didn’t even wait.

    As for me, I can’t do that. I love him with my whole heart. I do have sex with him but it hurts because he’s not with me. I haven’t called him or seen him for a week. He’s the one who calls or comes by and he still helps me on bills or what I need. I pray every day because I really miss him. I also started going to church again. I don’t want to start all over with another person. I’ve spent all my life with this person and I always said for better for worse, till death do us part. Like I told him, you left me, I didn’t leave you. I miss him. I’ve lost weight, I am always crying, and stay locked up in my room now. There times I don’t know what to do. I just wait on God to hear my prayers.

    1. I had a divorce from my ex-husband. I really want and need help in my life and it seems God has brought him back to my life. I was amazed how I really liked him again and remembered why I married him. I was praying for heaven on earth and there he was, and I am with him. I have totally forgiven him and myself and believe in grace theology now which really changed me. I asked him to make love with me when ever I see him. He has a girlfriend but she kicked him out. I believe in marriage once and so no sin in sex with him, I believe making love with him will heal my heart. I love Jesus so he is my real husband. Ask God what you should do. He will answer sometimes surprisingly.

  8. (UK) I am a Christian. I was married for 10 yrs and have three children with my husband. We separated two times for short periods of time due to constant arguments and strife, and now we have been separated for four years. My husband has gone to marry another person in this last separation though our divorce is not final. The new wife lives in another country; she only visits maybe twice a year. I just recently found out that he has a mistress here in the UK. I now attend a new church and have grown spiritually, I can see where I did not handle issues well as God would have wanted me.

    I miss my family, the children are grown up now and constantly asking questions. Is it possible to get back with my husband?What is the Bible’s view on this? To date I have not heard that any other woman has a child for him. I am not desperate but I need to seek God’s view on this; I just pray that God’s will be done. I would like to know what others think.

  9. Thank you. My ex spouse and I have been trying to reconcile. One of his points was if we are trying to reconcile that we should have sex. I had been abstinent since our divorce, almost 2 years ago. I developed a deep relationship with Jesus during our time apart. He had claimed he had too.

    While we have moved in together again, reconciling with the goal to remarry we’ve been having sex. I feel convicted about it lately as this relationship is so unstable due to his angry outbursts and abusive behavior, that even if we were to remarry as planned, I’m not sure we would stay that way. Your article confirmed what the Holy Spirit has been trying to tell me. While it’s very hard to part ways again, or to stop having sex, I’m convinced we are fornicating now, and I have to stop it.

    Please pray for me.

    1. Absolutely, Shannon; I’m praying for you. You need so much wisdom on this. Having sex together as you try to work on reconciling can be distracting. You need to put your efforts into working on your issues, not playing “married” without going fully into the marriage. You need to listen to the Holy Spirit and be wiser in how you approach the problems you’ve been having over the years. If you don’t, the future isn’t very bright.

      I pray the Lord helps you, guides you, gives you a discerning spirit as to what you SHOULD do and shouldn’t. I pray the Lord speaks to you, and works in and through you in this situation with your husband. I also pray for him that he gets the help he needs to work on his anger issues so you CAN have a good future together.

  10. The only reason she is with you is simply, she needs A 12 pack of toilet paper. Don’t do it, she can buy her own.

  11. I’ve been married 25 yrs my husband left me for another woman after 13 yrs of marriage we have 2 son’s and I have a daughter and son from before I was never married before him. This woman knew he was married but kept calling and harassing me. They had a baby together; she’s us now 11 years old and my husband tries acting like he’s no longer with her but his life is a secret we don’t know nothing about him. He still comes around. I try to put him out of my mind and life but it’s not easy when he always wants to have sex with me. I guess I wish he would come back to me because I get so lonely. Sometimes we do have sex – is this wrong???

  12. Everyone's personal lives are different and we don't know every speck and dynamic to anyone's marriage. God divorced Israel…yes he hates it but that's because of how people went about divorces and their motives behind them. Mostly people who get divorced always have remarriage in mind. Nobody really looks at the fact that God took Israel back.

    Remarriage never leaves a door open to reconcile with your spouse if you desire that. Marriage comes with many burdens and I originally didn't get married for love or money just a pregnancy I was ashamed of. Years later I'm getting a divorce and the process is actually turning into a good thing so far. We don't live together…I hate living with anyone honestly it's such a burden and I’ve never felt more relaxed alone. Our fights and arguments so far are only disputes that are easy to let go of now because we don't have the burden of trying to meet each other's emotional needs. We drop it and I do my best to let God meet all my needs instead.

    We have decided to have sexual relations because it keeps us on a good page and less likely to feel lonely or desire sexuality elsewhere. We mutually don't believe in remarriage to a new person and if I wanted to I know without a doubt he would remarry me any day of the week. But I personally do not want to be with him in a way that is marital because it's been so bad between us and traumatic that for us divorce doesn't break our covenant it just breaks our unity as a married couple as far as our lives matching up together. We don't understand each other on a deep level or in other words get one another or really like each other apart from taking care of our kids and having sex that to us isn't sinful. God says a woman is bound to her husband  as long as he liveth and if he dies she can remarry in no other passages do you see the actual permitting of remarriage unless it talks about death.

    Even though people say oh what about adultery or abandonment. Yes he mentions divorce. …remaining unmarried or no longer being bound on obligation…but never once do you see it mention the actual permitting of remarriage…just grounds for divorce alone… but it isn't my place to know how God handles remarriage to a new spouse that's their business to handle with whatever God speaks cause it's a controversial issue. Truly we so have "grounds" but decided remarriage to another person isnt an option. This time around we are going to keep any sexual behaviors outside each other alone. My belief of which I stick to.. that being bound means being sexually bound or else God wouldn't have called remarriage adultery, I believe…
    Luke 16:18
    Mark 10:11-12
    Romans 7:2
    1 Corinthians 7:39

  13. Struggling with this one, still love her, can’t really trust her, but I do have hope. We have a beautiful child together. She cheated on me and moved out on her own. I have recently been kinda seeing her agian. I haven’t been with another woman since we got married 8 years ago. She’s still really hot. Seems like God would want you to try to keep your family together?

  14. Good read! I myself and my ex (first husband) have each been married and divorced twice, once to each other and secondly each with someone else. We’ve both done our share on the infidelity issues…and we’ve at times hooked up over the years! A few years back we each fresh out of relationships, started seeing each other, which led to an attempted reconciliation. There were other issues, health, substance abuse, my children from second marriage… of which we were unable to cope.

    To make it short, he moved far away. We’ve kept in touch minus a year or so of no contact. We haven’t been together in a little over 3 years. I’ve remained sexually pure during this time. He has been practicing self stimulation and continues to do so. He has since moved back and now wants me to have sex. I want to though we’re still working on our fears and trust issues and talking them out. I just want it to be right with my God, my Lord and my Savior.

    I feel I know the law, feel His lead in my life, and know I am forgiven. But I struggle with and am working on trusting Him fully. I know this projects into some of my fears in relationship with my ex. I’m trusting God to work his out in him as He does with me.

  15. My ex husband lives with me. Is it still wrong? Can I cancel my divorce papers or do I have to go through the procedure of marriage?

    1. What do you think Jesus would have you do? If you have the victory of still living together, please bring that victory into full view by remarrying, rather than just living together. Again, what do you think Jesus would have you do?