Lack of affection in marriage is a major problem that causes many quarrels and misunderstandings, as in the case of the man who asked us a question on the portal moldovacrestina.md:
I married a person I wanted with all my heart. After 4 years of friendship we got married now in March 2014 and she tells me that I have gotten worse and worse, and I really do answer her hatefully, sharply…. are we not right for each other? In our friendship I was bold with embraces. She often said to me, “Why do you get your hands on something when you don’t know if it’s yours?” But I wanted to be… now we can hardly stand each other… What should we do? Isn’t she mine? Was she not meant for me? Did I really take what was for someone else? If so, what should we do? We are waiting for your answer!
I am sorry that you have come to have this coldness in your relationship, but I do not think it is something serious and with patience, wisdom and faith in God I am sure you will overcome the situation and you will succeed in building a strong family and a beautiful relationship.
The lack of affection now is the consequence of premature touches
Your wife was right when she told you before marriage that it was not good to touch her and that she did not belong to you then. And it is written in the Holy Scriptures that it is good for a man not to touch a woman until he is married to her. (1 Corinthians 7:1) And perhaps it was through these untimely touches that you created this rejection on her part that you now face. But with patience and obedience to God and His Word you will be able to return to a normal relationship with affection, as God intended the relationship between any man and his wife.
Stop thinking about divorce
First of all, you will have to give up completely and forever the thought that it was not for you and that “you stole someone else’s good”. Marriage has been instituted by God, and at the conclusion of any covenant of marriage, He is the witness and watches over the fulfillment of this covenant. Once the Pharisees came to the Lord Jesus and asked Him if a man was allowed to leave his wife for any reason (in your case it would be her lack of affection). Jesus answered them:
And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and his 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 person is to separate. (Matthew 19:4-6 )(NASB)
Take to heart these words of the Savior and understand that your marriage is a divine act, for he has united you together and now you are one body and what He has united you have no right to separate. Only people with hardened hearts initiate divorce for any reason, and this is an ugly thing before God, for He says in the Bible that He hates separation in marriage, and one who covers his garment with violence by not being faithful to his wife (or the wife to her husband) and initiates divorce for any reason other than adultery. It is not good that your wife is devoid of affection and rejects touching and comforting, for it is also written in Holy Scripture that women must learn to love their husbands and children, and this refers precisely to the affectionate love manifested through touch, embrace, and comfort (Titus 2:4). But not all people are equally affectionate. Some like to touch and receive and give, and others have to make an effort. You must be patient with your wife and treat her wisely, as it is written in the Bible:
You husbands in the same way, live with your wives in an understanding way, as with someone weaker, since she is a woman; and show her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7 )(NASB)
Seek to be careful with your wife, not to suffocate her by giving her or asking for more affection than she is now able to give or receive. At the same time, look for the opportunity and wisely talk to her about the need you have for her affection and be patient until she understands.
I highly recommend you take the course “Marriage without regrets” by Kay Arthur or the course “How to have a marriage that really works” by the same author, but which is a shorter course, an introductory one. Look for people in the city who study this course and who are led by an experienced teacher trained at the Institute for Inductive Bible Study in Eurasia. If you do not know how to find these people, write us a message at email@example.com and we will help you. If it is not possible to find a group, then start studying this course with your wife. Just don’t rush to show each other what you don’t do or what you’ve missed so far. On the contrary, let each one take good care of himself and the things he has to learn and correct in the way he relates to the other. If your wife does not want to study yet, be patient and do this course on your own. If you live in Chisinau, I invite you to the seminar that I will teach between October 17-18 and in which I will teach three topics from the course “Marriage without regrets” related to the administration of managing marriage finances and raising children. As your wife studies the Scriptures and understands how to deal with her husband and children and how to show love, you will be able to enjoy each other and your marriage more and more. May God help you.
If you have other questions, do not hesitate to look for the answers on this site and if you do not find them, write to us via the form on the site or at the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Translated by Didina Vicliuc