Where to go from here? Divorce or marriage

Where to go from here? Divorce or marriageCategory: RelationshipsWhere to go from here? Divorce or marriage
Tandi Luster asked 7 years ago

Salam alaikum,
in 2010 I met a man while working in a bar.  He was a Muslim.  I was not. After a few months I converted to Islam and said my shahada online. We went to the masjid 2/11/11 and I said it there as well and we were married. Ahumdullilah. We then moved back to his home town and he changed. He would leave and go to strip clubs etc and we fought all the time. I was not a very good Muslim because I was very new to it and I didn’t understand a lot. I left him after getting hospitalized and needing surgery. My mom sent for me and my children. He started sending me pictures and videos of him with other women, and I had stolen a credit card from his job and charged stuff to it. Please no judging for Allah is our one true judge. I made a lot of mistakes but I never cheated on him. Once I saw he was cheating I went to the courthouse and divorced him. I never went to the masjid and got an Islamic divorce. He said he gave talaq but it was not witnessed by anyone just said over the phone. We tried to be together again and in 2013 he was sent to prison for robbery. I had been very sick and I got back with my ex because legally we were divorced and I needed someone to take care of me because of my kidney disease. I had a wedding ceremony with my ex for insurance purposes but legally there was no paperwork filed or anything. We separated a few months later because I was still very much in love with my Muslim ex husband. Here it is 2016 and we have reconciled and live together.  I want to get remarried but he does not agree. He says we can just be bf and gf but I know that is a sin. I read that if you aren’t divorced islamically we might still be considered married? I am confused as to what to do. I do not want to live in sin and I do not want to be without him either. There is a lot of resentment on his side and sometimes he speaks very poorly to me but he always asks for forgiveness and I forgive him. Are we still married islamically if no divorce was filed in the masjid ? Do we need to get remarried? I will not live in sin forever but am willing to give him time. In my heart he is my husband. I want to be his wife and I want to spend eternity with him in paradise. I’ve never loved someone as I love him. Insha Allah he will come around. Please help. Thank you