162. Can a Christian divorce and re-marry if the marriage is not consumated?
Home > Departments and Ministries > Family Ministries > Dear Dr. Smith >
Dear Dr. Smith,
Can a Christian divorce his wife and remarry if she fails to consummate the marriage? The problem is that she is not willing to consummate the marriage because she is not in love with her husband.

Dear Christian Husband,
This question is as confusing as it is complicated though simple stated. To be true to your question however, the answer is “yes”. A Christian can divorce his or her spouse if the spouse fails to consummate the marriage. But it is not as simple as that. The larger question is, “why”, why wasn’t the marriage consummated? In your case the answer is provided, “she is not in love with her husband”. Now that reason seems preposterous. Unless you were spaced out, you should have sense that there were no emotional feelings towards you. When you were dating, the things she said to you, the look in her eyes, her voice, her smile, her attitude, her synergy, her touch, something should have indicated her emotional attraction towards you.

And if it was a love-less courtship then you should have suspected that consummating might be a problem. I am cognizant of the fact that a person can mask his or her emotional feelings, however, this should not manifest itself so early in marriage, as in the honeymoon. This therefore drives me to ask you a number of questions:
•    Does the person have an ex-husband or boyfriend?
•    Did you do pre-marital counseling?
•    Was there any discussion on sexual intimacy?
•    Was the person pressured into marriage?
•    Was this an arranged marriage?

Before considering a divorce, you should have your wife checked out medically. Your perception that she does not want to consummate the marriage because she is not in love with you could be faulty. It is possible that she has a sexual dysfunction. If you have access to our book “Why good relationships turn bad” it would be helpful to read the section in chapter 4 that deals with “factors that may cause sexual dysfunction”. There are nine sexual dysfunctions and some of them are unique to women. I strongly recommend that you seek a medical professional and or a psychologist before acting on a divorce.

Also, how does she relate to you otherwise? Is she hostile and belligerent towards you? What is the level of tension in the marriage? How long have you been married? Even if there are marital problems now, that does not explain the non-consummation of the marriage. At least the honeymoon period of the marriage should have provided some “honey”. That is why I am inclined to think that it is much deeper than the lack of love. As a matter of fact, she does not even have to love you for sex to take place, therefore, don’t be hasty to end the marriage, control your emotion as a Christian should and act on my recommendation.

I pray that things will get better, feel free to keep me posted and if I can be of further service, I am willing to help. God bless.

Dr. Smith
For more information about Dr. Smith's services go to www.familyfixers.org