Photo by Miriam Eh on Unsplash
Photo by Miriam Eh on Unsplash

Not in Love


I’m married to the most loving, giving, and understanding man I’ve ever met. I love him dearly; however, I'm not in love with him. I don’t feel physical attraction or passion toward him. I'm not proud to say I was in a sexual relationship before my husband and I met. While that relationship was physically satisfying, he wasn’t a practicing Christian and not committed to me. Now I find myself fantasizing about my previous relationship. I don’t want to destroy my family, but I long for the desires described in Song of Songs.


One of the many unfortunate consequences of being sexually active before marriage is that the abnormal and transient high we get from Eros love can become the standard for everything that follows. It’s like enjoying the feeling that comes with going down the first big dip of a roller coaster and then spending the rest of your life searching for the same feeling. A roller coaster can be fun to ride on but not much fun to live on.

When Paul describes God as one who wants to do “exceedingly, abundantly beyond all we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20), we believe that includes our sexual relationships. Satan didn’t have anything to do with how we were created. Sexual pleasure and delight were God’s idea. In the beginning, God designed the marriage relationship between a man and a woman as the place where we can experience the greatest joy and fulfillment.

The first step is for you and your husband to intentionally cultivate ways to enjoy the deepest levels of intimacy that come through allowing God to knit your hearts and bodies together in love. Do you spend couple time together praying about your sexual relationship? Do you join together daily in asking God to bless this dimension of your relationship? Have you read any of the great books on sex like Celebration of Sex by Doug Roseneau? Perhaps it would be helpful for you to talk with a Christian counselor who has special training in dealing with sexual issues.

The second step is for you to direct your thought life. We don’t want to bury you with Bible verses but there are some key Biblical truths that you need to immerse yourself in. In I Peter 1:15-17, Peter challenges us to gird our minds for action and in II Corinthians 10:5, Paul exhorts us to take “every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” Don’t let yourself even think about how great sex was with others. Instead, you can choose to set your mind on things above (Colossians 3:1), on what is good and healthy (Philippians 4:8) and on ways you can grow with your husband.

Here’s the bottom line: when you set your mind on pleasure, you won’t experience very much of it. When you set your mind on allowing God to help you become all that he purposed in his heart for you “before the foundation of the world,” you will be in a place to experience pleasures evermore.

Gary J. Oliver, ThM, PhD
Executive Director at Center for Healthy Relationships | + posts

Dr. Oliver is the Executive Director of The Center for Healthy Relationships, and professor of Psychology and Practical Theology at John Brown University.  He has authored over 20 books and more than 350 professional and popular articles.  Dr. Oliver has over 40 years’ experience as a Clinical Psychologist, Marriage  & Family Therapist and Spiritual Director.  He leads seminars & workshops both nationally and internationally on a variety of counseling-related issues, healthy relationships as well as Emotional & Relational Intelligence (ERI).

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