What should a wife do if she feels her husband doesn't love her anymore? He only touches me when he wants sex. He won't talk or discuss things with me. When I talk about the situation, he says that's all I talk about. He works all the time, does things for other people, goes out of town with the band, and participates in the church choir. He finds everything to do but spend time with his wife. There is more, but it seems to be a bit much for now. When I try to discuss divorce he says, "I never said anything about a divorce." So I don't know what to do. Maybe you can help me with this situation, even though I gave you little information. Thank you.

Most people today will admit that men and women do not reason in the same manner. It took quite a number of years for the secular world to reach this seemingly obvious point. Notice that you say you don't feel that your husband loves you, but the very next statement indicates that he still finds you desirable. You indicate that he provides for his family (he works), he is kind (he does things for other people), and he is religious (he is involved in church services). However, you managed to find faults with each of these normally good qualities. Without direct observation, I know that in trying to make your point, you stretched things beyond the truth (a man who works all the time does not have time for the many other activities you listed).

Please don't think that I am coming down hard on you. I'm hoping to open your eyes to the bigger picture. Just about every woman that I've met argues in the same manner that you have done. However, such thinking hinders seeing reality. Feelings are not reality. Feelings are your responses to the things going on around you, but they may not be real. Let me illustrate this: Have you ever bawled at a really mushy movie? Yet, if I asked you, you would readily admit that the movie is not real. The people involved are just actors. The words and actions were carefully choreographed by some writer and director. Yet, that fake movie produced in you very real emotions. Feelings don't determine reality.

What I think is happening is that you are trying to see your husband as you would a woman friend. He is not behaving as you imagine a husband ought to behave and because he is not coming up to your expectations, you are downgrading his worth. The truth is that men, in general, are not all that hard to figure out. Men tend to say exactly what is on their minds. If they don't say anything, it is probably because they don't think it is worth someone else listening to it. Men also tend to express themselves by the things they do. Working hard at a job when you would rather being playing golf, fishing, or strumming a guitar is an expression of love in a man's mind -- he is demonstrating what is valuable to him. Your comfort is more important than his own. Touching is a man's way of saying "you're desirable to me." Mowing the lawn, fixing the leaky faucet, and watching the children while you shop are all expressions of love. The only thing missing is your seeing the clues. You are missing them because they are not what you would do to express love. But then, you are a woman; women ought to and do express love differently.

Unfortunately, wives want to fix this "problem" and poor hubby doesn't have a clue that a problem exists. Since women tend to be more verbal, they begin badgering their husbands. But men don't fit the imagined mold of women well. They usually are quite willing to make some adjustments, but often times their wives don't think the change is good enough and demand more. After a while, men give up. If nothing seems to please their wives, it seems best to just stop trying. Meanwhile, they avoid the pain.

"The contentions of a wife are a continual dripping" (Proverbs 19:13)

"Better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman" (Proverbs 21:9).

"Better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman" (Proverbs 21:19).

"It is better to dwell in a corner of a housetop, than in a house shared with a contentious woman" (Proverbs 25:24).

"A continual dripping on a very rainy day and a contentious woman are alike; whoever restrains her restrains the wind, and grasps oil with his right hand" (Proverbs 27:15-16).

Consider that in trying to make your husband meet your expectations, you are accidentally causing him to do the very thing you don't like. Men need women to be complete (Genesis 2:18), I am sure your husband would love to spend time with his loving wife, but few men enjoy being berated. Consider the message you are giving him. You want to spend time talking to him about leaving him! Just how is that going to make him feel wanted? Men want to be needed. They look to rescue because it makes them feel like a man. That is why your husband spends time helping others. It makes him feel worth something in someone's eyes. And at least with someone else he gets a "thank you." That is why he likes playing in a band, at least there the audience claps in response to his efforts.

I don't usually recommend secular books, but Dr. Laura Schlessinger wrote a book that directly hits the point that you need to understand to turn your marriage around. It is called The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands. Would you run out and get a copy at your library or bookstore and read it this week? Dr. Schlessinger did a great job of explaining to women how men think and react. When you are done, let me know what you've learned and then we can address any remaining issues.