The answer depends
upon whether your "first" marriage was valid. If your "first" marriage was valid
and your "first" husband is still alive, you are STILL MARRIED and nothing
outside of death can change this fact...
"A marriage that
is ratum et consummatum can be dissolved by no human power and by no cause,
except death." (1983 Code of Canon Law, Can. 1141)
A spousal abandonment,
while very unfortunate, does not end a valid marriage, regardless of any
"divorce" under civil law that may have followed. The Lord Jesus was very clear
that if those who divorce and "remarry" commit adultery...
"Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and the
one who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery."
"It was also said, 'Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of
divorce.' But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is
unlawful) causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman
"The Pharisees approached and asked, 'Is it lawful for a husband to divorce
his wife?' They were testing him. He said to them in reply, 'What did Moses
command you?' They replied, 'Moses permitted him to write a bill of divorce
and dismiss her.' But Jesus told them, 'Because of the hardness of your hearts
he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, 'God made
them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother
(and be joined to his wife), and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are
no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human
being must separate.' In the house the disciples again questioned him about
this. [Jesus] said to them, 'Whoever divorces his wife and marries another
commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries
another, she commits adultery.'" (emphasis added)
Remember that someone cannot commit adultery unless they
are already married. Therefore, one who is "divorced" is actually still married
in the eyes of God. However, if your "first" marriage was not valid, then you
were never married to begin with and may be free to get married in the Church
(although you'd need to contact your parish about an annulment and also about
whether or not they would actually allow you to marry a non-Catholic man – assuming of
course that he is not already married).
For more on
annulments, you might be interested in a user-submitted article
For more on divorce,
For information on
"mixed marriages", please see
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