Dating After Divorce. I'm the Betrayed Spouse W/Lots of Questions. - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-14-2014, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Sex and Dating After Divorce. I'm a Divorced Betrayed Spouse W/Lots of Questions.

Hi All,

I joined TAM a while back during my ex-wife's walk away separation and eventual divorce. This is a great resource and the members here really helped me. I thank God for you all.

47 yrs. old, first marriage. We (I) have 3 kids, 2 out of the house on their own. Was married 23 years. I'm a christian and try hard to love others as Paul tells us in 1Cor13. I love to do anything outdoors, but still enjoy doing the cleaning, cooking, kid support, etc. of keeping a good household on my acreage. I have a long successful career. Being newly rebuilt, I'm now a more active listener with empathy. Not without faults, but I'm more aware of when I need to try harder, most of the time...

Here's my first question:

I have a very hard time feeling that sex before marriage is ok. But let's be real here. Many christians do it. I'm not talking about serial sexual relationships. I've read many, many resources including the Bible, around the subject. I don't need to quote. I'm obviously not a teenage virgin. I'm not interested in one night stands. I'm not some lust filled man either. I consciously decide to view women as God's children, worthy of respect with God watching me.

But.. I'm sensual. I love a great adventure. I enjoy making a special woman's day. I love planning or or doing a fun day for someone with lots of laughs and smiles. I love to cook an unusual meal or a comfortable standard. I love having a female partner for decisions, discussions, activities and prayer. As you may guess, this makes for great intimacy.

But.. I'm still quite vigilant, afraid of being wrecked again by divorce, I will take my time deciding if I'm with a partner ready for the long haul. At my rate, I might never be 100% ok for sex, as in married-no-other-poster's-view-of-wrong-sex.

Do we get a pass because we're now with a not young, not experienced, mature adult loving, committed relationship?


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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-23-2014, 01:08 AM
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Re: Dating After Divorce. I'm the Betrayed Spouse W/Lots of Questions.

Basically, what the Bible actually says (and what we know of the culture of the Hebrews in the Old Testament and the New Testament eras) doesn't jibe with Church teaching and tradition since about 150 AD, when pagan (unbiblical) ideas of sexual denial began to gain traction.

I can provide you with however much scripture you want to back this up, but basically a single man is under no sexual restrictions other than those included in the New Testament Greek term porneia (sexual immorality), as used in the Council of Jerusalem as related in Acts. These acts were specified in Leviticus as adultery (any man having sex with a married or engaged woman), rape, incest, homosexuality, bestiality. Sex with pagan temple prostitutes is also highly discouraged. Seduction of virgins means a shotgun wedding, unless the girls father objects. In either case, a cash payment to the family is required.

Does that clear things up?
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-23-2014, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Basically, what the Bible actually says (and what we know of the culture of the Hebrews in the Old Testament and the New Testament eras) doesn't jibe with Church teaching and tradition since about 150 AD, when pagan (unbiblical) ideas of sexual denial began to gain traction.

I can provide you with however much scripture you want to back this up, but basically a single man is under no sexual restrictions other than those included in the New Testament Greek term porneia (sexual immorality), as used in the Council of Jerusalem as related in Acts. These acts were specified in Leviticus as adultery (any man having sex with a married or engaged woman), rape, incest, homosexuality, bestiality. Sex with pagan temple prostitutes is also highly discouraged. Seduction of virgins means a shotgun wedding, unless the girls father objects. In either case, a cash payment to the family is required.

Does that clear things up?
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-23-2014, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks! Well, it sort of does. Paul describes that we should keep our bodies pure, as a temple to the Holy Spirit. I believe this. Buuuut... Why do so many christian leaders say no sex before marriage? I've read Leviticus, I've read the Gospels. I see that many refer to different interpretations of porneia. Is there really an ok or that the Word actually allows by not mentioning a person, lawfully and allowably divorced to have sex with another person of the opposite sex? The majority of opinions I've read seem to point to only sex within marriage is ok.

I fully understand the reasons (disease, early relational issues masked by having sex, etc) to wait until
marriage. I believe God is always right. I'm just having share time actually proving to myself, and I mean real thing, to the most researched proof that a righteously single mature adult in a loving relationship is not allowed to share sex with the opposite sex.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-01-2014, 10:47 AM
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Re: Dating After Divorce. I'm the Betrayed Spouse W/Lots of Questions.

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I fully understand the reasons (disease, early relational issues masked by having sex, etc) to wait until
marriage. I believe God is always right. I'm just having share time actually proving to myself, and I mean real thing, to the most researched proof that a righteously single mature adult in a loving relationship is not allowed to share sex with the opposite sex.
This isn't about the Bible or scripture..but just for clarification of the various sex views held in society today....it appears we look through different lenses to what sex means to us personally....

You may enjoy reading this thread...I have a feeling you NOW fall under the Romantic view but because you were only taught the Covenantal View -of how men & women should handle themselves before God....it's causing you some conflict with your beliefs.... very common.

A POLL ... What are your SEXUAL views - have they changed over the years?
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-01-2014, 11:24 AM
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Re: Dating After Divorce. I'm the Betrayed Spouse W/Lots of Questions.

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Thanks! Well, it sort of does. Paul describes that we should keep our bodies pure, as a temple to the Holy Spirit. I believe this. Buuuut... Why do so many christian leaders say no sex before marriage? I've read Leviticus, I've read the Gospels. I see that many refer to different interpretations of porneia. Is there really an ok or that the Word actually allows by not mentioning a person, lawfully and allowably divorced to have sex with another person of the opposite sex? The majority of opinions I've read seem to point to only sex within marriage is ok.

I fully understand the reasons (disease, early relational issues masked by having sex, etc) to wait until
marriage. I believe God is always right. I'm just having share time actually proving to myself, and I mean real thing, to the most researched proof that a righteously single mature adult in a loving relationship is not allowed to share sex with the opposite sex.
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If I recall correctly, I believe Paul also stated that it would be his preference that men would be able to abstain from sex altogether so as to focus on God (this is where the tradition of celibacy for the priesthood began), but even he recognized that this is not practically possible. I've often suspected that Paul was probably low-testosterone .

Additionally, the ideal situation would be for two perfectly matched people to find each other, wait for each other until after marriage and live happily ever after. In practice though, it's much harder to gauge a persons long term drive by remaining virginal until marriage.

It's strictly my opinion that as far as sin goes--getting a little action in the back seat aint so bad, as long as you're not using someone. In other words--is it sex WITH someone, or is it sex AT someone?

Darling it's better down where it's wetter, take it from me! --- Sebastian
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-01-2014, 01:09 PM
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Re: Dating After Divorce. I'm the Betrayed Spouse W/Lots of Questions.

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Thanks! Well, it sort of does. Paul describes that we should keep our bodies pure, as a temple to the Holy Spirit. I believe this. Buuuut...
He specifically says this with regards to not "becoming one flesh" (i.e. making the beast with two backs) with sacred prostitutes from the famous Temple of Venus in Corinth.

Here's the operable passage (I Cor.6:12-20) in the New American Standard version:

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Originally Posted by Paul
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. Food is for the stomach and the stomach is for food, but God will do away with both of them. Yet the body is not for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord is for the body. Now God has not only raised the Lord, but will also raise us up through His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a prostitute is one body with her? For He says, “THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH.” But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
The bolded "immorality" above is the Greek word porneia, prostitution literally (as is the original meaning of the Latin fornix, but used by the New Testament writers to encompass all sexual sins included in the Mosaic Law. Notice Paul's specific objection is related to physically joining the temple of the Holy spirit (the body) to a body committed to serving the Temple of Venus, a big draw in Corinth. Such sacred pagan prositutes were called kedeshah in the Old Testament and regular prostitutes were called zonah. So, while Paul is specifically addressing a practice of the Corinthians, the application is that all sexual sin, temple prostitution being one, that is forbidden by the Mosaic law is still to be avoided due to it's negative physical results, even though they are no longer under the ceremonial aspects of the Mosaic Law.

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Why do so many christian leaders say no sex before marriage?
There were many strains of pagan Greek philosophy that emphasized sexual denial of one sort or another and during the periods of Greek and Roman rule of Judea, we know that some of these ideas were adopted by Jewish fringe groups, like most of the Essenes. These practices come from a philosophical Greek anti-woman angle, rather than an anti-sex angle ; women aren't made directly by the gods/God, are not complete humans, etc. The Jewish apologist Philo, who wrote for a Greek audience, plays up the Essenes, since they had absorbed and Judaicized these Greek beliefs. Again, these were fringe beliefs among the Jews and were not part of first century Christianity. This ideas were brought into the church as Greco-
Roman Gentile converts began to outnumber the Jews in the church about mid-2nd century (150 AD or so).

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I've read Leviticus, I've read the Gospels. I see that many refer to different interpretations of porneia. Is there really an ok or that the Word actually allows by not mentioning a person, lawfully and allowably divorced to have sex with another person of the opposite sex?
Which passage specifically are you wondering about? What people always forget/ignore when reading scripture, is that Hebrew society in Israel and later in Judah in the time of Jesus, was a polygynous society. "Polygynous" means that men are allowed to have multiple wives and concubines, simultaneously. There is absolutely never any expectation, or even a suggestion, by Moses or Jesus that men should be monogamous. Paul gives instruction in the pastoral epistles that elders/bishops and deacons should each be a "one woman man." Note that this is a restriction on the leadership, not the rank and file.

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The majority of opinions I've read seem to point to only sex within marriage is ok.
Do you have a chapter and verse where I can find that passage?

No, you don't, because it doesn't exist.

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I fully understand the reasons (disease, early relational issues masked by having sex, etc) to wait until marriage. I believe God is always right.
Again, people are very interested in obscuring the Hebrew context of the Bible. Not just the Hebrew context, but the context of the whole, much more natural world of the Biblical era. Firstly, all women were married off at the start of adulthood (puberty), regardless of the culture; Greeks, Romans, Hebrews, etc). Males were also married at the same age (Jews) or a bit later (Romans) or much later (Greeks). All of these groups value virginity and female chastity within marriage; nobody wants to be a cuckold. Thus we see that premarital seduction of a virgin leads to a shotgun marriage in some, perhaps most cases (Exodus 22:16-18), at the discretion of the girl's father. But, there is no statement that sex before marriage is a sin and there is no punishment other than just compensation.

However, once a Hebrew woman has been divorced or widowed, she was no longer under her husband's sexual ownership and was a free agent, with the exception of Levirate marriage requirements when applicable. Thus you see Elijah, at God's direction, cohabiting in a small cabin with a young widow and her child for many months. Now, being a free agent, was not that great a deal, since physical protection was necessary and life was tough for most single women. However, it has been estimated that almost 1/3 of adult women at any given time in that era were widows, yet to remarry.

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I'm just having share time actually proving to myself, and I mean real thing, to the most researched proof that a righteously single mature adult in a loving relationship is not allowed to share sex with the opposite sex.
Love? As in romance? I hate to break it to you, but romantic love (AKA courting, AKA courtly love, AKA courts of romance) has little or nothing to do marriage in the Bible, since the concept of romantic love originated in the high middle ages.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-01-2014, 02:08 PM
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Re: Dating After Divorce. I'm the Betrayed Spouse W/Lots of Questions.

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If I recall correctly, I believe Paul also stated that it would be his preference that men would be able to abstain from sex altogether so as to focus on God
Paul, being a Pharisee, would have taken his first wife (passing into manhood) when he reached puberty in accordance with societal custom. He was either leaving his woman/women at home while he was on the road, or she was out of his life through death or divorce, since he mentions that the other apostles (Peter specifically) and evangelists habitually travel with their women (I Cor.9:5).

Now, if you're referring to I Corinthians 7:1 "Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman." This is Paul responding to a question, no doubt brought up by the pagan Greek philosophical question of should men marry which had been going on back and forth for centuries between the Stoics (pro-marriage) and the Cynics (anti-marriage). The Cynics said women were a distraction from the important things; i.e. philosophy. As we see historically, this idea was brought into the church by converted pagans who taught that women were a distraction from the important things; i.e. spiritual matters and evangelization.

Notice, all free adult people in the Corinthian church would be already married, widowed, or divorced. Their issue/question is "touching a woman" and Paul points out right away that if you don't touch her, someone else will. Then in v.7 he says "For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that." He doesn't address his marital state and what he means by the comment. I suppose the Corinthians knew, since this letter is part of some other correspondence that has not survived, but it seems he was not presently bound to a wife that he had to answer to and was free to do and go as to God's command without being concerned about his wife's needs. This doesn't necessarily mean he was not having sex. Also, notice that he states he is expressing his personal opinion and nothing related to any of God's commandments. Then he pretty much overrules his own opinion as being unworkable. I was told in school that this was a form of argument in the ancient world.

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(this is where the tradition of celibacy for the priesthood began), but even he recognized that this is not practically possible. I've often suspected that Paul was probably low-testosterone .
Could be right on the low T, it always drops with age, and as you know, I think that's a big problem. However, "celibacy" until very recently, did not mean "sexless", but rather "singlehood/unmarried." Priests being forbidden to marry as an official policy of the RCC was a pronouncement of the Second Lateran Council in 1139 and came about because of certain transfers of church property to the heirs of certain high clerics. The first big penetration of the church by this idea, was the Montanist heresy (Tertullian himself was a victim), and it grew from there. Some of the seeds were probably sown by Justin Martyr, who was a Platonist before converting to Christianity. He believed the god of Plato was the same as the God of the Bible.

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Additionally, the ideal situation would be for two perfectly matched people to find each other, wait for each other until after marriage and live happily ever after. In practice though, it's much harder to gauge a persons long term drive by remaining virginal until marriage.
This is why in Bible times marriage occured at puberty. Hence we have Paul pointing out, in his usually roundabout, reverse argument in I Corinthians 7:36 that fathers need to marry off their daughters after they reach "the flower of their age" (menarche); i.e. the universally appointed time for marriage.

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It's strictly my opinion that as far as sin goes--getting a little action in the back seat aint so bad, as long as you're not using someone. In other words--is it sex WITH someone, or is it sex AT someone?
I just stick with the text. Sola Scriptura all the way.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-01-2014, 02:41 PM
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Re: Dating After Divorce. I'm the Betrayed Spouse W/Lots of Questions.

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Notice, all free adult people in the Corinthian church would be already married, widowed, or divorced. Their issue/question is "touching a woman" and Paul points out right away that if you don't touch her, someone else will. Then in v.7 he says "For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that." He doesn't address his marital state and what he means by the comment. I suppose the Corinthians knew, since this letter is part of some other correspondence that has not survived, but it seems he was not presently bound to a wife that he had to answer to and was free to do and go as to God's command without being concerned about his wife's needs. This doesn't necessarily mean he was not having sex. Also, notice that he states he is expressing his personal opinion and nothing related to any of God's commandments. Then he pretty much overrules his own opinion as being unworkable. I was told in school that this was a form of argument in the ancient world.
Very interesting. I'd always assumed that his "gift" was either being completely uninterested in women (viewing them as a distraction as you indicated) or else he just had willpower like a mofo to resist those feminine charms.

Darling it's better down where it's wetter, take it from me! --- Sebastian
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Re: Dating After Divorce. I'm the Betrayed Spouse W/Lots of Questions.

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Very interesting. I'd always assumed that his "gift" was either being completely uninterested in women (viewing them as a distraction as you indicated) or else he just had willpower like a mofo to resist those feminine charms.
The ascetic and anti-sex element, which really starts to become popular in the church from around 150 AD, is a big reason we get that idea. And the circular argumentation that Paul engages in is like a goldmine for anyone who is unscrupulous enought to take individual verses out of context. That would be most preachers, obviously. Look at how, over the centuries, they have take v.7:1 and ran with it.

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Re: Dating After Divorce. I'm the Betrayed Spouse W/Lots of Questions.

God's intention from the beginning was not polygyny but monogamy. See Genesis 1:26-28 with no record anywhere that God changed His mind.

This pattern is reinforced repeatedly by Jesus and Paul Genesis 2:24, Matt 19:5, Mark 10:7-8; 1 Cor 6:16; Eph 5:31 NKJV - Therefore a man shall leave his father - Bible Gateway

As far as your situation and your question about the permissiblity of pre-marital sex, I would suggest that as a self professed devout Christian you spend much time in prayer and also search the Scriptures. If you do so, God will give you wisdom.
"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him." James 1:5

"But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy." James 3:17
If you have children and grandchildren, remember they are watching your role model.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-02-2014, 09:34 AM
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Re: Dating After Divorce. I'm the Betrayed Spouse W/Lots of Questions.

I've read the Bible a lot but can't find anywhere a prohibition against what you are asking. I'm not married under man's law, but have married under God's law (meaning we have no piece of paper). And unless she cheats on me again, I don't plan to divorce. But I don't believe it's living in sin, as we have committed under God and to God.

You've received some very scholarly information here that I very much enjoyed reading. I hope you can find your way through this, what you perceive as a dilemma.
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God's intention from the beginning was not polygyny but monogamy. See Genesis 1:26-28 with no record anywhere that God changed His mind.
Instead of a link, here's the actual text you link to:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Genesis 1:26-28
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all[a] the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
So, as we see above, there is absolutely nothing in that passage about "God's intention." Neither marriage nor monogamy is mentioned in any way. On the other hand, He provides very extensive instructions about polygyny and adding wives to the harem in a number of places in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy. Furthermore, God repeatedly refers to Himself in prophetic literature as one who has two wives, Israel and Judah.

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Once again, those scriptures say nothing whatsoever about monogamy or "God's intention." It's just the observation and restatement that upon reaching puberty, the male leaves the house, claims his woman, and has sex. To become "one flesh" means to copulate.

However, Jesus was given a golden opportunity to refute The Law with regard to polygny and levirate marriage when he was approached by the Sadducees who tried to catch him in a doctrinal trap in Matt 22:23-33. At that point, he could have introduced monogamy as a new decree, but he declined to do so.
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Instead of a link, here's the actual text you link to:



So, as we see above, there is absolutely nothing in that passage about "God's intention." Neither marriage nor monogamy is mentioned in any way. On the other hand, He provides very extensive instructions about polygyny and adding wives to the harem in a number of places in Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy. Furthermore, God repeatedly refers to Himself in prophetic literature as one who has two wives, Israel and Judah.



Once again, those scriptures say nothing whatsoever about monogamy or "God's intention." It's just the observation and restatement that upon reaching puberty, the male leaves the house, claims his woman, and has sex. To become "one flesh" means to copulate.

However, Jesus was given a golden opportunity to refute The Law with regard to polygny and levirate marriage when he was approached by the Sadducees who tried to catch him in a doctrinal trap in Matt 22:23-33. At that point, he could have introduced monogamy as a new decree, but he declined to do so.
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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 04-02-2014, 01:16 PM Thread Starter
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Wow, thanks for the detailed advice! Machiavelli, I'm understanding now why I'm having a hard time finding real and I do mean real words making it clear there is a prohibition within the bounds of my original question. I really appreciate Blonde's statement as well. Yes, I have and will continue to be a role model for my children. I have no choice. However, I am realistic. That ideal, I wrestled with. The best form in my mind would be no dating until youngest is out of the house. Didn't happen. I made choice for my own sanity and healing. Isn't going to happen. I like dating one person at a time and I struggled with that perhaps all my emotional fulfillment should come from God at this time only 1 yr post divorce.

I think he's led me to some really special women. I hope anyway. I sure have learned some new perspectives. Best one is there are women more compatible for me than my ex wife. I don't say that in negative or in jest. There's men more compatible for her. But what a joy to experience such interesting, positive people!
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