You seem to be referring to a situation where these relations take place before the marriage???
The scripture is saying, in my understanding, that if you were to cheat on your wife/husband, then it is grounds for divorce. Just looking at the passage, that’s what it suggests to me. Now obviously I don’t have a complete understanding of it.
No, I don’t think it is saying that at all. This translation, “31"It has been said, 'Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.'f] 32But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery” (NIV) would seem to suggest what you are saying. However, this is not plausible for several reasons. First off, if adultery were all it would take for a divorce, then everyone would be free to obtain one. Jesus stated, "27"You have heard that it was said, 'Do not commit adultery.'e] 28But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. "
Secondly, this would mean, that if I wanted a divorce, all I would have to do would be to commit adultery. How silly is that?
Third, Jesus stated elsewhere, “What God has united, Man must not divide” (Mk 10:9). I think that verse speaks for itself.
Fourth, the language translation is the problem here. Many translations make this translation, “marital unfaithfulness” or “adultery”. However, as I stated in the first post, this is better translated as unchastity or illicit marriage. I am trying to remember the part in Scripture where it uses the same Greek word as is used in Matt 5 and 19 and at the same time uses the word for adultery. I believe it was in Matt 15:19, where it states, “19For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” The NIV version sidesteps it, but when you take a look at the Greek, their translations become inconsistent. Thus, it would be condemning the same act twice in the same verse, which would be more than just redundant. This is why I believe the best translation from the Greek to be unchastity or illicit marriage.
Finally, my original response was not referring to before the marriage. I am referring to the marital vows where two people covenant themselves together through God. If a person does not come freely, totally, faithfully and fruitfully to the altar and swear an oath before God than no valid union can occur.