I am married, but my happiness is not complete because we haven’t had any children. My wife has many health issues, and I want to divorce her.

Dear Friend,

You have three different complaints about your marriage. The first is that you are not completely happy, and the second is that your wife has not gotten pregnant. The third is that she has health issues, but you do not mention whether they could be the cause of her not getting pregnant. Neither do we know if the two of you have had medical tests to determine if one of you is infertile.

Unless you know for certain that there is a medical reason why your wife cannot get pregnant, you cannot assume that you would be able to have a child with another woman. So divorcing your wife to marry another prospective mother could put you in the exact same situation that you are in now. Of course, no one wants to think that they could be infertile, but there is no way to know without being tested.

Furthermore, divorcing your wife because of her health problems would be to make your feelings a higher priority than your vows. On the day of your wedding you vowed to love and be faithful to your wife “in sickness and in health.” However, now you are ready to completely break your vow because you don’t feel complete happiness.

Part of being a mature and responsible person is learning to do things even though we don’t feel like it. Most of us go to work even though we don’t feel like working. We clean and take care of our homes even though we would rather not. And most of us keep our promises even though we don’t feel like keeping them.

The good news is that you have other options that don’t involve divorce. You can choose to keep your vow to your wife. And you can choose to love her with your attitudes and your actions, in spite of her physical limitations.

There is a perfect example for you to follow in knowing how to love your wife in spite of your feelings. The Apostle Paul taught husbands to love their wives just as Christ loved us enough to die for us.(1) So Jesus Christ is the example of loving enough to do something even though you don’t feel like it. He gave His very life for you, so in order to follow His example you must be willing, at the very least, to love your wife when she is ill.

With regard to your desire for a child, if you know now, or find out later, that one of you has a medical reason for infertility, we encourage you to consider adopting a child or a sibling group. We have three adopted children, and we can tell you from experience that adoption can make you just as happy as having a biological child.

We wish you the best,

1 Eph 5:25