When I was a teenager, I met a girl. She became my first girlfriend, and I was her first boyfriend…. After going together for five years, she wanted to get married. I wasn’t really sure about it, but I think that because of pressure from our families and from her I decided to go ahead with it, hoping that my feelings for her would change.

We have now been married for almost two years, but my feelings haven’t changed. I feel like I made a mistake and I’m not in love with her. The situation is so complicated that we have not yet consummated the marriage. I am very worried about this and don’t know what to do. I need your advice.

Dear Friend,

We agree that your situation is very complicated, and we are sorry for what both you and your wife are going through. Unfortunately, the story that you tell does not enable us to give you any specific counsel, but we can offer some information that may help you decide what to do.

Why have you not consummated your marriage? Is it a physical problem that one of you has? Is it an emotional problem caused by some prior sexual abuse that one of you suffered? Or is one of you unwilling to engage in a sexual relationship? Your answer to this question is critical to knowing what you should do.

God designed physical affection and the consensual sexual act to generate chemicals in the brain that cause the partners to have feelings of love for one another. The chemicals and the feelings strengthen the bond between the married couple. This is one of the reasons why the Apostle Paul taught that married couples should not refrain from having marital relations, except for short periods of time by mutual agreement.(1) He understood that demonstrating love through physical affection and sexual relations is a kind of glue that holds married couples together for decades, in spite of the inevitable problems that life brings.

In many countries, when a marriage has not been consummated it is legally possible to have it annulled. Such an annulment would be as if you had never been married. However, we don’t know whether or not you should seek annulment because we don’t know why the marriage hasn’t been consummated.

We believe that it is very likely that you need to consult either a medical doctor, or an attorney, or both. Since we are not qualified to give medical or legal advice, we encourage you to consult a professional with your dilemma. In the meantime, we encourage you to ask God to give you the wisdom to make the right choices.

We wish you the best,

1 1Co 7:5