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I am a believer, but I do not love my wife anymore. Is it right to stay in a loveless marriage that isn't honest and sincere?
Thank you for submitting your personal question to us. I am sorry to hear about your marital situation. As one married man to another, being stuck in a loveless marriage is a demoralising grind. Obviously, it is not right to stay in a marriage which is not honest and sincere, but the answer is not divorce but to be sincere and renew your love. This is a natural part of marriage.
The fact that we make vows when we enter marriage shows that we expect days when we do not feel like keeping them. That is why we gather in the presence of God, with a representative of the state, and everyone important to us, so they can witness us making those promises. On that day we wanted them to hold us accountable to those promises when it got hard to keep them.
Most marriages go through a season where the honeymoon period has ended, your work and family responsibilities are pulling you in different directions, and one or both of you is making much less effort to please the other than they should.
Don’t believe the lie that love is something you just fall into, and can’t help it if you lose it.
In your vows, you promised to love your wife until you die. That means that you can do this with God’s help. This is a stage; it does not need to be permanent, and can lead to a much more satisfying marriage than you had to begin with. In marriage, people change, and we are meant to. Your wife is a work in progress and so are you. You will both keep changing, and in Ephesians 4:11-16, the bible tells us how you can make sure you are not growing apart, but changing to be more loving to each other. Ephesians 4 is talking about church life, but Paul goes on to apply the same principles to marriage in chapter 5. If you read it you’ll see that we need to be hearing God’s word (Ephesians 4:11), that will train you to serve each other in practical ways (Ephesians 4:12). This will strengthen your relationship, and bring you closer to Christ (Ephesians 4:13).
Your marriage needs to be honest and sincere, built on truth, but check what you are thinking and feeling against God’s word. Pornography, pop culture and consumerism means we have all kinds of unrealistic ideas about what love and marriage should be. This leads us astray, but God has something much, much better for you (Ephesians 4:14-15). God wants to use your marriage to make you both fall deeply in love with each other, and bring you into a mature relationship with Jesus (Ephesians 4:16).
Here is what I recommend:
- Pray. Ask God to help. He invented marriage to display Christ’s love (Ephesians 5:25), so he doesn’t want your marriage to be loveless either.
- Don’t dump all your complaints on your wife all at once. You want to be honest, loving and sincere, but that does not happen by crushing her or having a row. Think – what can you do for your wife that she will appreciate? Show her love, whether it’s through things you do round the house, learning about her interests, doing chores she hates without being asked, and planning quality time together. You need to “speak the truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15), but she is much more likely to listen to the “truth” if she can see you making a real effort on the “love”.
- Make sure you get to church each week. As you hear and sing about Christ’s heroic love for his undeserving bride – us, the Church – it will give you both strength to love heroically too.
- Ask your wife to pick a time with you to read the bible and pray together each day. This is a wonderfully bonding experience as you talk and pray together about all the things that really matter, and this changes you both – your wife will have far more inner beauty as you let God’s word change you both (Ephesians 5:25-27).
- Ask to speak to your home group leader or pastor in private and tell them about your struggle. They will help. (Ephesians 4:11)
In summary, just because you feel that you are not in love with your wife, does not mean your marriage is over. In fact, this could be the start of a renewal in your marriage making it better and stronger than ever! Include God in your marriage through prayer, reading your bible, church attendance and through godly counsel.
I hope this answer helps you to find peace with God through Jesus Christ. If you want to know more about what Jesus has done for you please watch the video on the main part of our site: Watch the video
I encourage you to attend a local Bible believing church and speak to the leader about your question. If you want to find a local church, our Church Finder may help you: Find a Church
Please feel free to submit a question to us or to read our answer database: Ask a Question
*All Scripture references are taken From The English Standard Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise
*If anything in this answer affects you directly, then please feel free to call our confidential prayer line in the UK on 0845 4567729, where trained Christian volunteers will take your call and pray both for you and with you. If you are outside of the UK then you may submit your request for prayer on line at www.ucb.co.uk/prayerline
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