Can You Divorce if You Don’t Love Each Other Anymore?

Description

There are few things that are as draining as a loveless marriage. But you are right, divorce is wrong.

Question

My husband and I don’t love each other anymore. We are thinking about getting a divorce and wanted to know what you thought and what the Bible might say. I think that the Bible says that divorce is wrong, but God wouldn’t want us to stay in a loveless marriage, would He? What if it’s abusive?

Answer

Dear friend,

First, let me say that I’m sorry you are in this place. My heart breaks for you. There are few things that are as draining as a loveless marriage.

And, yes, you are right, divorce is wrong. The Bible is clear.

However, the whole situation around why and what is not clear, and I don’t pretend that it is. Divorce has always been unsettling to me, because I never quite know God’s heart on the situation.

However, I do have some thoughts that pertain to your particular situation that you may consider:

1.) When you say you don’t love each other, you mean, ‘get a boost from each other,’ ‘aren’t attracted to each other,’ ‘have feelings for each other.’ But that is only one part of love. Usually, we use words like love, when we are talking about lust or infatuation. Love by Biblical definition involves loyalty and devotion and commitment as well as unselfish behavior. It’s possible that, though boring, you both may have love in your marriage. What we would need to work on is the squishy part, the feelings, the lust, the infatuation and attraction (romance stuff). The good news is that those things can be built.

2.) Is divorce okay in an abusive relationship? – No. I don’t think it is. Should you set boundaries in the face of even minimal abuse? Absolutely, including bringing shock therapy to the relationship (severe consequence, kicking him out, demanding different behavior, etc.). In the case of severe abuse, you shouldn’t stay in the house one more second. You must get out to be healthy and for the health of the child. However, separation and divorce are two different things. Separation is for health, safety and ultimately reconciliation. Divorce is to move on with someone else. I do not believe we have the freedom to just move on, even in the face of abuse, but we certainly have the right to be safe.

3.) Yes, marriage is hard and, yes, you have to get through the worst patches via commitment. You can either stick it out and be miserable, or you two can get into counseling, read books, talk to people and work on it, in order to get through it with joy.

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