I have been married for eight years, and we have four small children…. I have a serious problem, which is that I have not loved my husband for a long time. When we were dating I loved him a lot and dreamed of being married, but after getting married and having to deal with problems every day, the glamour was gone. I considered ending it when I still had only two children, but now that I have four it hurts a lot and I don’t want them to suffer because of not having a father.

I often hear people say that God has a purpose for everything, but I feel like I made a mistake in choosing my husband…. That is keeping me from living a full life.

Dear Friend,

We are sorry to hear that your life is not as fulfilling as you expected it would be. However, what you may not be aware of is that most every marriage goes through difficult periods. Those bad times can last for days, months, or as in your case, years.

It is a mistake to think that the solution is divorce. Statistics show that divorced people are much less likely to have successful second marriages. And as you have stated, your children would suffer in multiple ways from not living with their father.

Because you no longer feel love for your husband, you have decided that it was a mistake to marry him and that you could correct your mistake by divorcing him. How do you know that you could have been happier or more fulfilled with another man?

You now look back and imagine a different choice and a different life. You daydream and imagine that “the perfect choice” would have changed everything. However, you also admit that at one time you were dreaming of being married to your husband. How can you know which dreams lead you the right way and which will betray you?

Daydreams are based on feelings. But feelings can never be trusted. They are like ocean waves that ebb and flow. Only the foolish make their decisions based on their feelings.

So instead of daydreaming about what could have been, love your husband through your actions. Think of ways to practice love even when you don’t feel it. If you decide to love, and then act upon that decision, eventually your feelings will follow. And while you wait for that to happen, you will be providing a loving environment that will benefit those four special little ones in your life.

True fulfillment and contentment come from God. He has a purpose for each of us. We can learn His purpose for our lives by choosing to accept His Son, Jesus Christ, as our Savior, and then by basing our decisions on the teachings found in the Bible. The vows you made on your wedding day are based on those teachings, so keeping those vows is a good place to start.

Please read Case 104 to consider some suggestions on how to improve your marriage.

We wish you the best,