Free to remarry?

by Earnest 14 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • yknot


    Officially no!


    Now that is not to say that congregational politics can't come into play ......but it is based on 'human imperfection' of choosing personal allegiances and not endorsed not suggested by the WTS......

    The worse that can be done is preventing a KH wedding, or bad mouthing the couple but they cannot do anything to prevent a legal ceremony

    Here is the KS-91

  • mouthy

    Earnest.Rita P.committed adultery with Alan M. They both got a divorce ( he was an elder ) but they married each other .Both were JWs in good standing , after being DF & reinstated..So that is O.K. by the Bethel standards. If it is good enough for elders its o.k. for any one else

  • Doubting Bro
    Doubting Bro


    Yknot is 100% correct. They can prevent them from getting married in the KH and even discourage any local elders from marrying them but from a WTS standpoint, the innocent mate refused to forgive and thus both the innocent mate and the cheating mate are "free" to remarry without congregational sanctions.

    From personal experience, where this will come into play is if the man was the guilty mate and in the future they try to appoint him. I saw Bethel ask questions about someone who was a MS for several years and when recommended as an elder, a letter came back requesting the BOE to interview the ex-spouse (who wasn't a JW anymore) specifically to see if her former spouse's actions were why she wasn't a JW. I've also seen a situation where someone was recommended as a MS and had cheated on his spouse years earlier. She had forgiven him and stayed married but we still had to talk to her about it and ask if she "respected" him from a spiritual standpoint before moving forward. Needless to say, that was an uncomfortable conversation and caused her immense pain for having to relive the infidelity.

    yknot -you know more about WTS procedure than the average JW elder. You're quite an elderette!!!

  • wantstoleave

    Wow, I hadn't thought of that before Earnest! I had no idea if one wouldn't forgive the other, that things couldn't move on. I was under the impression that if one had cheated, than that was it - they were both free to move on. I'm in limbo myself, neither of us has cheated, though he left me and it's now 2yrs down the track

    I also thought that even if you had 'the thought' of being with someone else, or hankering after someone other than your mate, that you could be disfellowshipped for that? Proving it would be hard though. In my case, the ex was kissing a girl straddling him, no panties on. His elders did not inform me, I found out a year later, by accident. So if it were true that one could be disfellowshipped for wanting someone else, then surely I would be scripturally free seeing as he'd actually kissed another.

    A situation in my area had one 'brother' having cheated on his wife not once, but twice. She took him back the first time. Second time, she kicked him out. He was counselled, reproved and the elders told the wife that it was HER fault because she cannot expect him to reject the other woman's advances. The cheating was oral sex. Anyhow, she of course was ropeable, because she was being blamed for him not having any self control. Remember, this was the second time it had happened. The other woman told the elders she'd performed the act, she'd wanted it and it was her fault. Both of them were reproved, and sit together at meetings waiting for their upcoming marriage. I feel so sorry for his ex wife! (Btw, she told me this, I didn't hear from gossip).

  • Earnest

    Thanks again for the very helpful comments received.

    I had no idea if one wouldn't forgive the other, that things couldn't move on.

    wantstoleave : It is not the case that things cannot move on if there is no forgiveness. The 'Pay Attention' book specifically says :

    A person guilty of adultery could obtain a legal divorce and be viewed by the congregation as free to remarry if the innocent mate refuses to resume sexual relations for a very prolonged period and yet has not sought a legal divorce. By withholding the marriage due, the nonadulterous mate would be indicating that no forgiveness has been extended. The elders would consider evidence from the adulterous mate to determine that there is a definite rejection by the nonadulterous mate.

    The issue arises if the innocent mate is willing to forgive but the adulterous mate does not wish to go back. In that case if the adulterer divorces and remarries it is an adulterous marriage and "this calls for congregation judicial action in addition to any already taken, unless [the adulterer] has already been disfellowshipped".

    I'm not sure that you can be disfellowshipped for simply wanting someone else but if you are courting or dating someone when you are not free to marry then "when such action has escalated to the point where it has become shocking and repeated efforts to help adjust the situation have been ignored, there may be basis for taking disfellowshipping action. (Gal. 5:19; w83 3/15 p. 31; w73 9/15 pp. 574-6)". I do know of a couple of cases where a person has been told it was not only wrong for Eve to eat the fruit but even to touch it and on this basis they have been disfellowshipped and this has been confirmed on appeal. Strange but true.

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