I have been busy lately, and so I couldn’t participate in most blogging affairs over the last few days. Fortunately, I have some free time now, and would like to devote it to writing a few posts. This first post is a response, of sorts, to Sunshine Mary’s post “Is it ever advisable to marry a woman who has had previous sexual partners?” Most of the other commentators in the thread covered much of the advice that I was going to give, but there were some points which were stronger than others which I would like to restate, as well as throw in a few ideas of my own.
To begin with, I think that the overall answer to the question is Yes. There are situations where it is advisable for a man to marry such a woman. As a Christian, I would be remiss if I failed to mention Hosea as one instance. Of course, that is a fairly extreme example where God Himself felt it necessary to inflict a punishment on Hosea in order to teach a lesson to the Israelites. A less onerous example would be that of Ruth, who was a God-fearing widow. For other men, there were also occasions where it was advisable, or at least, not disastrous, for them to marry such a woman.
At heart, this question is over-broad. It really comes down to the man and the woman in question. A man who himself has fornicated in the past is, in my opinion, someone who has less overall to worry about marrying an non-virgin. For the man who was the inspiration of the post, with an N=1, then a potential dilemma is avoided by him. As Sunshine Mary noted in the post, I have expressed a view before that there are four types of marriages:
1. She is a virgin. He is a virgin.
2. She is a virgin. He is not a virgin.
3. She is not a virgin. He is not a virgin.
4. She is not a virgin. He is a virgin.
Now, I would like to clarify that I think my original assertion used “chaste” rather than virgin, but it probably applies. And chastity has no doubt some effect as well if separated from virginity (meaning there are more kinds of marriages, but I like the simplicity of this, so I will keep it for now). But applied to this fellow, he has available to him the second and third options. I’m not sure how close they are to one another, but I will say that I believe that the largest gap is between three and four. From what I can tell, option 4 marriages are extremely risky for the man. They require a truly grateful and repentant woman in order to be sustained. So because this gap exists, he doesn’t have to worry about being stuck in the riskiest category of marriages.
Instead, this comes down to two elements: one psychological, one risk-based.
The first element is whether he is alright with other men having had sex with his wife. This is something up to the individual man. Only he can know. My suspicion is that it applies more strongly to men who are chaste than men who aren’t. A guy who hasn’t fornicated will naturally react differently to this situation than a PUA turned serious.
The second is whether he thinks she is worth the risk of marrying. This is an almost economic/utilitarian analysis. And once again, depends on the man and the woman. Essentially, it comes down to determining how much of a risk she is, and balancing this against whether he thinks he is likely to find a better match out there, and what the consequences to him will be of remaining unmarried for the rest of his life.
Again, only the individual man can answer this question. To help this man further, I would need to know more about the both of them. But right now I spotted a couple of red flags that worried me:
– One is the rebellious streak in her. Sounds like she was raised right, and then went off to live a life of sin. This is always worrisome. Now, there are prodigal daughters as well as prodigal sons, but that same personality trait might still be present. And unless she has changed that, it bodes ill.
– Her age. While she has yet to hit the wall, it is still possible she, because of her background, is entering a form of “baby rabies” or “marriage craze”, early. So it is important to understand when she left her sinful life behind her and how long she has been trying to live a Godly life.
Otherwise, more specific answers would require more info. If he wants further advice, he can contact me using the information on my about page.
Oh, and by the way, to answer Rollo’s question: No. I would not marry this woman. Most important is that she was unchaste. As I’ve explained before, that is a deal-breaker for me. Nothing besides a divine command from the Almighty would convince me otherwise. Besides that, those red flags worried me. Marriage is such a risk now I am going to insist that I get as much value from it as I can now, while also minimizing that risk as much as possible.