Warning of these days and the lack of love in the world, our Lord said "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." Matthew 24:12 Love in marriage is so gracious. We, all, need and desire the love of our spouses even as Christ loves the church. Paul says in Ephesians, "So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loves his wife loves himself." (Eph. 5:28), When we marry, we have deep feelings and bright new love for our mates. This newly-wed love is infatuation. It's exciting and it's sexual. We may view our spouses as our perfect life companions, who understand and meet our every need. However, this rosy perspective is unrealistic. No one human being can ever fully understand or meet our needs. And as we live together, we begin to see this truth. We may feel unfulfilled, experience hurt feelings and angry words, and develop wounded hearts. A foolish spouse may even say, "I don't love you!!!" How do we deal with that devastating blow?

First, we all say things we regret when we are angry. After feelings cool down, it would be appropriate to calmly, gently tell your spouse that you were very hurt by those words. And ask that you both not speak to each other when filled with rage. Instead, when anger mounts, decide to stop talking and move to separate rooms. During this cooling oil period, you may choose to watch T.V., read a book, do work, write in a journal, go shopping – anything to shift your focus in order to regain balanced judgment. Sometimes this time-out may take hours. That's okay. The important thing is that you re-establish communication.

When you are able to return to each other, you may not choose to discuss the difference immediately. It might be a good idea to simply state that you know the problem needs resolution, but perhaps you both should think about it for a few days. Then consider possible solutions. Focus on ways YOU, yourself, need to mature. You cannot demand your spouse change. The only person you can change is yourself. Continue to live peacefully with understanding until you do discuss the matter. During the actual problem resolution discussion, present the things you are going to do to fix the issue. If you both explain how you see the issue, how it impacted you, and how you can change what you did, it can be a very productive growth experience. You can grow in wisdom, self-discipline, and love.

But other times, the wounding has been occurring over a long time period. Both people are so hurt they might believe their love is gone. In these cases, it may be wise to see a Christian marriage counselor. The counselor can help you sort out your differences and help you resolve your problems. In the Bible, God tells us marriage is a life-long commitment. Your union need not be full of pain. You can change your marriage into a respectful and loving relationship. It will be very hard work for both of you, but it's certainly worth the effort. The Apostle Paul gives additional counsel about this subject in 1 Corinthians 7.