I am a twenty-four-year-old man. I have been married for six months. My life is not going well because at times I feel good about my wife, but for days at a time I don’t. I have even asked God to separate us because I feel that she doesn’t love me. She treats me like a brother, and only what she says goes.

Dear Friend,

Thank you for telling us your story. Your adjustment to married life has been difficult. We believe that you should find a marriage counselor, or attend classes for young married couples. Some churches have classes you and your wife can attend that can help with the adjustment you are facing.

However, there are several specific points in your story that we want to address. First, you are basing your happiness on feelings. As we have said in response to past cases, feelings cannot be trusted. Feelings can change depending on what you ate for dinner or on how well you slept the night before. A life based on feelings is like a roller coaster ride that never ends.

Love is usually accompanied by feelings, but love is not a feeling. It is an action. It is a decision. When you chose to marry your wife, you promised to love her until death separated you. Now you can show your love by your actions whether you feel anything or not. And as you act upon your promise of love, the feelings will stabilize.

You say that you “feel” that she doesn’t love you. Again, don’t trust your feelings! It is very likely that you are getting this “feeling” because she doesn’t agree with you or because she doesn’t do things the way you want her to do them. She can love you very much and still disagree with you. She can love you completely and still want things her own way. That is why a good marriage is so much work. Two people agree to compromise, take turns, and love each other through it all. She gets her way sometimes, and you get your way sometimes.

The most disturbing thing you tell us is that you have asked God to separate you from your wife. Six short months ago you promised to love her forever, yet you are now actually asking God to take her away, just because the two of you have adjustments to make. God’s plan is that “a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”(1) After making you one flesh, you can be certain that God would not be inclined to answer your prayer to separate you!

You say that your wife treats you like a brother. Another way to put it is that she treats you like a best friend. The most successful marriages are made up of two people who are best friends with each other in addition to being spouses. If, on the other hand, you mean that you are unsatisfied with your physical intimacy, then you have another reason to seek professional counseling.

We wish you well,

1 Ge 2:24