Six years ago, I had a relationship with a girl who is five years younger than I am. I broke up with her, but then I got involved in a relationship with her mother. There were a lot of problems… so after two years we broke up. Three years later, I began another relationship with the daughter…. Now I even have thoughts of marrying her…. But I realize that I sinned… and that I made a mistake in the past by having that relationship with her mother….

Sometimes I worry that if I were to marry her, our lives would be full of problems because of everything that has happened with her mother. I think that her mother would interfere in our marriage…. I would like you to give me some advice. I’m afraid that I’ll make a mistake.

Dear Friend,

You have plenty of reason to be concerned about the consequences of marrying your current girlfriend. We can imagine the animosity that exists between the mother and daughter. But we can only speculate as to what would motivate a mother to become involved with her daughter’s ex-boyfriend, and what would motivate the daughter to take back her mother’s leftovers.

We don’t know if you caused the problems between the mother and her daughter, or if you just became a willing participant in the trouble between them. Either way, there is a deep divide between this mother and daughter. The only other possibility is that the two of them have conspired to trick or swindle you.

Your acknowledgment that you sinned implies that your relationship with one or both of them was sexual. Since you were not married to either of them, those intimate relations violated God’s standards. Furthermore, one of the immoral acts forbidden in Leviticus, which is the law book of the Bible, is to have sexual relations with both a woman and her daughter.(1)

Even though you know that you made a mistake by getting together with the mother, there still are natural consequences that will come from your actions. God is very willing to forgive our sins when we repent in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, but He does not take away the natural consequences of those sins.

The sin of having an intimate physical relationship with your girlfriend’s mother has the natural consequence that she could never be an impartial mother-in-law to you. Of course, she would interfere! And, of course, she would come between you and her daughter!

The best thing that you can do is to remove yourself from both of their lives. If they are ever going to restore their relationship, it will have to be with you out of the picture. So if that means moving to a different place, changing friends, or changing jobs, do it. Do whatever it takes.

If you marry the daughter anyway, you can be certain that the consequences of your past actions will determine the headaches and heartaches of your future. So if that is not what you want, then we strongly advise you to not only ask God to forgive your sins, but also to help you live in such a way that the consequences of your past will not always be catching up with you.

We wish you the best,

1 Lev 18:17