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Old 13th January 2014, 04:05 PM   #196
chosen
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

Hi hobson and welcome here.
MY advise would always be to anyone in your position, don't do anything if you aren't sure. You are clearly very unsure if this lady is the right one to be your wife, and you can clearly see red flags.
Are you maybe thinking that you may not find that 'soulmate' so feel that you must settle? There are good reasons why we have doubts. I have heard several people say to me that they had doubts before marriage, and those doubts proved to be correct and things didn't work.

If you are having to weigh up her pros and cons to decide whether to ask her to marry you or not, then why even consider it? You must be 100% sure before you marry anyone. You need to find that person physically and sexually attractive if you are going to have a physical relationship with them. That's not to say that they must be very attractive in the worldly sense, but there needs to be that chemistry there surely?

Children. A Massive issue. Does she even want children really. A young couple I know are having terrible problems right now because he is desperate for children and she isn't, and they are in their mid 30s already.

Is she a godly lady? Does she have a strong faith?

Please pray and ask God clearly what to do, because this thread alone must surely ring those warning bells for you. He will give you that lack of peace if something isn't right, and it sounds as if you don't have that peace at all over this situation.
Dont do anything just because you feel it is 'expected' or its 'time.' A life time is a long time to live with any sort of regret or 'what ifs', and once you are married there is no going back Biblically except for certain specified reasons.

Get some good and godly counselling on this, and ask other guys you know and trust to pray for you. I also wouldn't live together until you are married(if you do marry).Far too tempting.

Last edited by chosen; 13th January 2014 at 05:26 PM.
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Old 13th January 2014, 05:04 PM   #197
Raymond
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

I agree but there is always a kind of risk involved in some ways as you are venturing into the unknown. The dating doesn't seem to have much relevance once you are married and have to relate as two human beings even though there is an initial honeymoon period. I agree with the chemical thing. You need more than a platonic relationship. It has to be physical and chemical as well but not outside of marriage in my view. All things considered having peace about it and an accurate character assessment are the things I think.
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Old 13th January 2014, 05:09 PM   #198
Raymond
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

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Originally Posted by magneto View Post
I never looked at getting anything in return for what I have done for her. That was simply a way of making a point, which was that I didn't deserve the treatment I was getting over the years. Trust me, there is no poor old me feeling. It's more of a life is too short feeling. I won't say that I'm not somewhat bitter. I think that goes with any relationship that is not doing well. And no, it's not good to try and reconcile if I feel I can not get over, or get back the feelings I once had for her. I believe she is more concerned about not being married, than the concern of not being with me. I used to feel that way as well. If I'm going to be here for the long haul it can not be out of fear of losing her, it must be for the love and enjoyment of being with her.
You believe she is more concerned about not being married than the concern of not being with you? Do you believe this is her motive for marriage counseling? You need to get that right. If you are wrong you might be taking the wrong action.
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Old 13th January 2014, 05:37 PM   #199
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

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You believe she is more concerned about not being married than the concern of not being with you? Do you believe this is her motive for marriage counseling? You need to get that right. If you are wrong you might be taking the wrong action.
Reason I say that is because she has said on more than one occasion, that she would have left those times before, but was afraid to be on her own. It wasn't because she wanted to stay with me.
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Old 13th January 2014, 06:35 PM   #200
Raymond
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

What reasons does she give for having the desire to leave you although she is afraid not to be married?

Sounds like a desperate woman to me. There's something missing here.
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Old 13th January 2014, 07:20 PM   #201
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

Thank you Chosen and Raymond for your thoughtful comments.

The reason I posted was to show up how mixed-up someone may have been before marriage who, 20 years later, without malice and after a great deal of thought, ends up on this thread as 'never having loved' their spouse. I am indeed mixed-up and not at peace, and that's really the point.

No way would I 'settle' in the way Chosen describes. If I am to be alone, so be it. Nothing can separate me from the love of God. The question is, what if she is my 'soulmate' and I am too mixed-up to recognise her? Neither of us is perfect. We are growing together in faith, and one day I may think her the most beautiful person in the world. Is it necessary to be "100% sure" that she checks all the boxes (the superficial ones that you can see from dating but not living together)? Can't I rather be 100% faithful that we will grow in love. It's a distressing thought for anyone in an arranged marriage that they ought to have been 100% sure and now have no chance. The advice given to the OP and others on this thread has filled me with faith that there is every chance.

I truly wish for the blissful chemical ecstasy of a good, old-fashioned crush. It's the only reason that I'm so mixed-up that I blame her few faults for my lack of love. At the same time, I have to assimilate the advice here to people who have lost their desire, their trust, their illusions, been betrayed, been blind, and so on. The advice to them is, be loving, and love will flourish. How can that advice be reconciled with having to feel "in-love" now? Why should it be essential before marriage, but not after?

I hope I can reassure you on your other points.

Quote:
Is she a godly lady? Does she have a strong faith?
Yes, and from a godly family (mother is ordained). When my parents met her family for the first time, it was to read Evening Prayer. Her turnaround on the subject of sex happened at her church reading group. We sit on the vestry committee together.

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I also wouldn't live together until you are married
Nor would I.

Quote:
Far too tempting.
It's amazing what one can do with God's help.

Quote:
Children. A Massive issue.
Probably for another thread, but for now, it's difficult to see how one can decide before marriage whether or not to have children. We discuss what it would be like if we did, or if we didn't, how we'd love them, how we'd love each-other, and we explore how each-other copes with conflict and compromise. And so on. Like you say, a massive issue, and not always our own decision. But not the main issue -- the main issue is that I've been looking for faults in her to explain my lack of confidence, and in 20 years time, in a crisis, I may recall the faults and say I 'never loved her'. All I'm trying to show is how that could come about, so that people reading this who have been told this by their spouse might have some hope that they didn't marry an unfeeling monster. It isn't so simple.
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Old 13th January 2014, 08:08 PM   #202
Raymond
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

Everybody has faults Hobson. Without exception. It really depends what the faults are. If they recognise them and are trying to change all well and good. There are certain things one can take and certain things one cannot, depending on the person. Love is blind they say but they talk about Eros really. Yes one will need a different kind of enduring love afterwards. More noble I would say, not to take away from the sexual relationship which should remain fiery. I was fortunate in knowing my wife over many years in the church and knew that character wise she was exemplary, but I wasn't ready for the faults displayed after marriage. But we work together well and have brought two wonderful boys up together..

It appears that you leave room for her repentance from her racy past. Only you can know if it is genuine. I think it hinges on this more than anything. Sexual morality is more important than most people realise when you are talking about a commitment to marriage.
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Old 13th January 2014, 10:48 PM   #203
chosen
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

hobson, all I can say it that I didnt do any 'tick boxing' with my husband. I just knew within a very short time that he was the one. There was never a moments doubt then, nor has ever been since, 9 years later. I just knew inside. Had I had any doubts, I would never have married him, but I had that total assurance from God from the beginning that it was in His will.

I don't see the problems as being her good or bad character points so much, but of the fact that you don't really love her in the way that we should love someone if we are to marry them, and the fact that you dont even find her physically or sexually attractive now, (let alone as she ages more). Its vital for a woman to know that her husband finds her alluring and sexy, and women can nearly always tell if he doesn't. I once read that a husband is like his wife's mirror, and she will see herself as HE sees her.It doesn't matter how physically attractive a lady is in the worldly sense, as long as her husband finds her sexy and attractive, she will see her self that way.

You seem to have been seeing her for quite some time, and yet you are still not at peace. To me that speaks volumes.

There is a massive difference between your case, where you aren't even engaged, and the people who come here who are married AND have children to think of. To marry a person when you dont really love them as more than a good friend is surely asking for trouble. The other people are already married and have small children to think about. Marriage is a serious covenant, and you cant just end it because you don't love someone enough, at least if you are a Christian who wants to follow God.

You speak of arranged marriages, but we don't have arranged marriage in our faith. I am sure that some in arranged marriages do grow to love each other as they get to know one another, but many dont. You already know this lady and that type of love isn't there.

You cant leave the subject of children till after marriage, its far far too important. You have to be on the same page as to whether you want children or not.

MY advise if you haven't got that assurance, would be to have a time apart, maybe 3-6 months, and pray and seek God in this. Ask her to do the same, and ask trusted friends to do the same. Only He knows the future and what will happen if you did get married. God once said to me, dont settle for second best, and I waited 6 years for the best man for me. This lady may or may not be Gods choice of wife for you, but if you marry her without that assurance from God, you may live to regret it. Its a massive decision, and you need to be 100% sure.

Last edited by chosen; 13th January 2014 at 10:59 PM.
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Old 14th January 2014, 04:33 AM   #204
hobson
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

Chosen, please forgive me if I misunderstand you, but you seem to encourage me to rely on gut instinct (perhaps from God but how many people make that mistake?), to decide on (not just discuss) children before knowing their mother intimately (not living together), and to reject a girl for not being a looker.

I probably would have gone for gut instinct and looks until I met this woman. Believe me, I'm pretty hung up on romantic love, however fleeting or misleading. She is, too. But, considered in the light of what marriages are truly built on, explained beautifully all over this forum -- sharing, cherishing, growing, supporting -- she's incredible. And I didn't notice her friends trudging up mountains with her in the rain by torchlight. Hence the confusion over what matters, the spark or the substance. It doesn't help that the Bible is chock full of people who follow God when they really don't feel like it. My latest thoughts are that God made her in his image, so if I don't see her beauty, something's wrong with me, not her.

On children again, I agree it's vital to discuss them, but I'm afraid I disagree that anyone should stake their marriage on them. God will make a child, or not. On arranged Christian marriages, there are plenty around my neck of the woods, though people tend to keep it quiet.
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Old 14th January 2014, 04:34 AM   #205
hobson
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

Raymond,

I appreciate you acknowledging the risk in any commitment, and that faults can be known and tolerated too. Peace, good character, fulfilling sex and faithfulness indeed. I pray that I may be able to provide all that, risk-free. The not-so-funny thing about faithfulness is that she's afraid I'll stray after a younger, more-attractive model.
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Old 14th January 2014, 09:55 AM   #206
Raymond
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

If you really want to marry her knowing all the things you know then I cannot see a problem. If you still have serious doubts then wait but as I said it is still a leap of faith from singleness to marriage. You need heart and head in my view. I don't mean head in a calculating way but you should have some inkling of her character.
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Old 14th January 2014, 12:08 PM   #207
chosen
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

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Originally Posted by hobson View Post
Chosen, please forgive me if I misunderstand you, but you seem to encourage me to rely on gut instinct (perhaps from God but how many people make that mistake?), to decide on (not just discuss) children before knowing their mother intimately (not living together), and to reject a girl for not being a looker.

I probably would have gone for gut instinct and looks until I met this woman. Believe me, I'm pretty hung up on romantic love, however fleeting or misleading. She is, too. But, considered in the light of what marriages are truly built on, explained beautifully all over this forum -- sharing, cherishing, growing, supporting -- she's incredible. And I didn't notice her friends trudging up mountains with her in the rain by torchlight. Hence the confusion over what matters, the spark or the substance. It doesn't help that the Bible is chock full of people who follow God when they really don't feel like it. My latest thoughts are that God made her in his image, so if I don't see her beauty, something's wrong with me, not her.

On children again, I agree it's vital to discuss them, but I'm afraid I disagree that anyone should stake their marriage on them. God will make a child, or not. On arranged Christian marriages, there are plenty around my neck of the woods, though people tend to keep it quiet.
No I am not saying that at all, you misunderstand me. She needs to be attractive to YOU. Its doesn't matter what anyone else in the world thinks, but you need that chemistry, and no, not gut instinct, but Gods peace. He gives us that peace if something is right, and if we feel unsettled and unsure then that is a strong warning to us. Do I get the impression that she is older than you?

MY step son went out with a girl a few years ago for well over a year. He had even got as far as buying the engagement ring. However God was working and he still felt that niggling unease and lack of peace. He bravely called it off, and now 4 years later is engaged to a lovely girl in OZ where he lives now. He has no unease this time, he is sure.

I have never come across any arranged marriages in Christian circles, and for us there is no need for it to happen. Many arranged marriages are a disaster.
I know 3 women personally who say they knew before marriage that they had some doubts and both had awful marriages. Two in our own families. 2 ended in divorce and one still struggles on.

All I am saying is that you need to take that time out to pray and listen to what God is saying. Its the rest of your life you are talking about, why take any risks if you don't have that peace? Doubt and lack of peace are there for a reason, and that is to warn us.
I have had that lack of peace many times when I have had to make important life decisions, and I listened to it and later it was proved that is had been the right decision I made.

Children. Its vital that you agree on something so terribly important, as to whether to have children. If she refuses there is nothing you can do. God will not force a baby on a person who doesn't want them. I cant believe that anyone would marry if they aren't on the same side over children.
As I said my friends daughters marriage is in terrible trouble over this very issue.

I can just see red flags here, the main one being that you are not sure. My advise don't do anything more until you are sure. If you are happy to spend the rest of your life with a nice lady who is no more really than a good friend and housemate, than that's different.

Having a short time away from each other to pray and listen enable you both to make sure that this wont be a big mistake. If you get on with your pastor or have close Christian male friends, ask them to pray with you about this, so that you can get clear assurance one way another.

Last edited by chosen; 14th January 2014 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 15th January 2014, 01:23 PM   #208
magneto
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

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What reasons does she give for having the desire to leave you although she is afraid not to be married?

Sounds like a desperate woman to me. There's something missing here.
We both originally agreed that we should part ways. She later began to change her mind. I didn't.
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Old 15th January 2014, 01:56 PM   #209
chosen
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

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We both originally agreed that we should part ways. She later began to change her mind. I didn't.
It would be good to know if she merely wants you back because she doesnt like being alone, or because she really want to make the marriage work.
I am sure that my husbands ex stayed with him for that reason, because she didnt want to manage alone and have less money etc, but as soon as she met another man she started the divorce.

However you are still married and nothing is impossible .
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Old 15th January 2014, 03:00 PM   #210
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

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It would be good to know if she merely wants you back because she doesnt like being alone, or because she really want to make the marriage work.
I am sure that my husbands ex stayed with him for that reason, because she didnt want to manage alone and have less money etc, but as soon as she met another man she started the divorce.

However you are still married and nothing is impossible .
It is impossible to know what is inside of someone else's head. To me one thing (not wanting to be alone) fuels the other (wants the marraige to work). This isn't the first time we have been at this stage. It's just that this time she left. As years go by, for me, I want off the ride. It's like we go through this type turmoil every 6-9 months. Followed by 4 months of making up, then back again. Enough is enough. Not how I want to spend whatever years I have left. And yes, anything is possible, but is it practical?
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