Should You Feel Romantic Love in Marriage?

Should You Feel Romantic Love in Marriage? October 10, 2019
Screen cap from YouTube, Meme made at imgflip.com

Several days ago in a Facebook group people started talking about an old post Lori Alexander of The Transformed Wife did on her old blog. At Always Learning in a piece titled “A Twisted and Perverted Love” Lori states that she did not feel romantic all consuming love towards Ken when she married him. She goes on to claim that romantic love, that crazy feelings that colors the world happy colors, is very unnecessary in marriage. Should you feel romantic love in marriage?

Notice that Lori put ‘works hard’ right behind ‘loves Jesus’ are qualifications in what she wanted as a spouse. Did that factor into anyone else’s decision to marry? I don’t remember thinking about that at the time. Oh, Lori and her transactional sex thinking!

Whatever happened to the Biblical conception of marriage and love as illustrated in the Song of Songs? That was not some “I’ll marry him because he’ll be a good provider!” mentality that Lori is espousing here. It’s crazy stupid love mixed with desire, and it supposed to be an illustration of love between those married.

Those 23 years of miserable marriage might have been a lot less miserable if Lori had actual human emotions of romantic love for her husband.  It would have sustained and carried her through the rough times, made the fights less intense, bonded them together in a way that nothing else would. It would have likely resulted in a happier sex life, with pleasure for both of them.

I like to think of the many small kindnesses I’ve been done and done for my husband that spring out of my romantic love for him. The laughs, the in jokes, the understanding and the deepening of our commitment. I cannot imagine marriage without feeling that type of love, instead of this hideous duty love Lori is promoting here.

This is so incredibly sad for both of them. They’ve missed so much of what is good in marriage. They are still locked in a partnership that holds no joy, no closeness, no physical and emotional intimacy. Duty. Duty sex. Drudgery. This is tragic!

Lori Alexander is not The Transformed Wife, she is The Transactional Wife, trading sex for being supported.

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About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping the plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. She has been happily married to her best friend for the last 33 years. You can read more about the author here.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • otrame

    I’d feel a lot more sympathy for her if she want such a hateful person.

    Though I suppose her hatefulness is a result of living in what is clearly a loveless marriage and her bizarre twisting of reality is meant to reassure herself that loveless marriages are good because that’s what she has.

  • Karen the rock whisperer

    I wasn’t madly in love when I married, just in love. The man I loved was kind, caring, trustworthy, accepted my faults graciously, and understood my introversion because he shared it. When you’re madly in love, the other person has no faults. I knew this guy had faults, and none of them were deal-breakers. I might never have been madly in love, but I have been just in love, with the same guy, for about 41 years. Our 39th wedding anniversary was last June.

    We have one of those horribly un-Christian, egalitarian marriages. Well, but then we’re atheists. We make ourselves available to each other for important things (like sex) as much as each of us can. That’s most of the time. We annoy each other sometimes, but both of us can usually just blow2 off the annoyances. Otherwise, we discuss the problem. I have a lot of physical health issues and mental health issues, and he is there for me. He throws himself into projects with wild abandon, and I do my best to stay out of the way and not demand his time when he’s approaching a critical deadline. It isn’t a perfect marriage. It’s a good marriage, and I’m truly happy with it.

    I suspect my story would send Lori running away with her fingers in her ears.

  • AFo

    And this explains why she sets up women for miserable marriages while insisting that she’s just trying to help them be happy; she can’t stand the idea of anyone having what she doesn’t, especially since she supposedly did everything “right” and still ended up like this.

  • Tawreos

    Is Lori admitting that so much of the stuff she talks about is all a big lie? She married a guy because he ticked off all the boxes SHE was looking for. Shouldn’t her father have decided that? Shouldn’t god have led her to marry him? Nope, she married a guy because of shallow and selfish reasons and is paying the price for it. No wonder she is always so miserable, she has embraced her misery and made it who she is. Wow, you don’t often see people reveal the true secret behind their motivation seemingly without realizing that they have done so.

  • persephone

    Her parents marriage was extremely unhappy, but they wouldn’t divorce because of their beliefs. Her parents, especially her mother, pushed her to go to college so that she wouldn’t rush into marriage and could support herself if something went wrong. She ignored everything they told her. She ignored her own doubts. Lori ignores anything that doesn’t fit into her ideas of life.

  • persephone

    I wonder how much and how far Ken goes to ignore this garbage. My assumption is that he’s just accepted that this is his lot in life, and letting Lori run her mouth and abuse people online means she doesn’t take her anger over her life out on him.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    I am sure too that he is being told by his support squad/church friends that he is earning a huge crown in heaven for allowing her to abuse him without saying a word.

  • Cynthia

    There is a difference between not feeling a light-headed giddiness and not feeling love at all. The first feeling can often be fleeting, but the latter is long-lasting and real – and very necessary.

    Love is a really deep-seated caring. It means that you want the best for the other person, that your own feelings are affected by the well-being of the other person. Ticking boxes has nothing to do with love, it merely means that someone may be a suitable candidate to fall in love with.

    For me, it literally took a bomb going off for me to realize just how much I loved my now-husband. At that moment, when I didn’t know whether he was alive or dead, it was clear just how deeply I cared and how distressing the thought that I could lose him was. And that might be the worst engagement story ever, lol.

  • Tawreos

    It had a happy ending, so it can’t be the worst.

  • Cynthia

    I don’t think that it actually registers with him that she is constantly dissing him.

    He’s on board with this. He is enthusiastically signing on to this message that wives need to obey and to put out, regardless of how they feel about it. He’s quite notoriously advocated for 5 minute quickies when a husband can’t be bothered to do anything that would bring a wife pleasure.

    Several years ago, when I was commenting on Lori’s old blog, Ken basically said that conflict resolution skills were “fleshly”, and that submission and obedience were godly and the key to true intimacy. I found this comment from 2014 on Sheila’s blog – it is posted under Lori’s name, but the language used sounds 100% like Ken, so I assume that he wrote it: https://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/2014/08/mark-driscoll-mess-tells-us-marriage/ (Actually, it seems quite creepy that he did that. He uses the same language over and over again and they each have distinctive ways of writing – so there is no way that Lori wrote this, it is Ken language and HIS arguments which he has posted elsewhere, but he never mentions that he is the one writing and let’s Sheila think that she is speaking to Lori.)

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Here’s the thing about Ken. He craves some deep emotional connection with a woman. He is in just about constant conversation with women who are not Lori. Many have trolled him this way. I’ve seen the conversation. Not saying he is unfaithful, because none of the conversations are flirty or sexual. But it is all too apparent he is very lonely in them.

  • Cynthia

    It has a very happy ending for us, but not for the 6 innocent people killed. I can’t be so egocentric that I just see them as bit players in the Greatest Love Story Ever.

    Still, really bad stuff seems to be life’s way of making me realize things about love. My other turning points revolve around my miscarriages. Thinking about the way that my husband managed to drop everything to be by my side, and the way that we grew closer through loss, made me love him more and become more determined that he should be the father of my children. It also made me want to have those children even more.

    I do find it odd that Ken did NOT want Lori around him in the hospital.

  • Cynthia

    Don’t know if I would call it lonely or creepy, but you are right about him craving conversation with other women.

  • SAO

    I’d bet more than half the CPM enforcers are narcissists. They don’t have normal human emotions, but they are telling everyone how to live based on their own choices.

  • Finding Home

    “Why couldn’t I feel like I was supposed to feel?”
    Maybe she’s a lesbian2. Maybe she’s trans. Maybe she’s asexual. Maybe he’s just not the guy for her.
    If we don’t give children the education and the freedom to express these things, they can end up like this and not know why.
    And then if they’re in conservative churches, they run around screaming about how the world is awful and THEY don’t have any LGBT people, and never stop to think about how if you refuse to allow people to say what’s in their heart and you threaten them with abandonment if they do, it stays hidden.

  • Friend

    So she got married anyway and spent at least 23 years in misery, but somehow calls this “biblical love.”

    Well, if it ain’t love, it also ain’t biblical.

    The reasoning is too familiar to me: take m1sery and put a false label on it. I had relatives who did this. They believed in their own superiority, and tried to convince us kids that our life was great, AND better than everybody else’s life.

  • frostysnowman

    Misery loves company.

  • Jim Jones

    And that’s why Ashley Madison had a large Christian following.

  • WallofSleep

    “No romantic love ever. Just ten minutes and lube2.”

    I don’t need marriage to have that. Heck, I don’t even need the lube2. Or ten minutes.

  • WallofSleep

    Test: lube2

    EDIT: Yup, that was it.

  • WallofSleep

    The way you describe it, what you have sounds much, much better than being “madly in love”, and miles away better than anything Lori Alexander has to offer. Congratulations.

  • WallofSleep

    “I do find it odd that Ken did NOT want Lori around him in the hospital.”

    Some people are just too toxic to be around when your suffering through illness, injury, or other health problems. No matter what it is you might be going through, they’ll always offer up a windy response about how they have it/have had it worse than you. Some people seem to have never been fitted with an empathy/sympathy circuit. Or maybe they just can’t stand it when the attention is not all on them. Or maybe they just like invalidating other peoples’ feelings/experiences.

    Both my parents are like this. You could’ve just broken your arm, this very second, and they’ll interrupt to carry on about the really bad crick in their neck they’ve had for the last few days that makes it very, very uncomfortable to watch t.v. from their favorite chair.

  • Saraquill

    She married Ken because he looked good on paper. Now I’m curious if he had similar, shallow reasons for choosing her.

  • Saraquill

    The commander who wants to play scrabble?

  • Saraquill

    My sweetie was disappointed when I said I wasn’t head over heels super duper in love with him. I went on to explain than being with him made me feel like a cat laying in the sunlight. He understood.

  • Saraquill

    There are people besides my ex who are like that? Argh.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    Very much so

  • Jennifer

    Classic narcissism.

  • persephone

    Lori would probably spend the visit giving the stink eye to any female doctor, nurse, therapist, etc. Nobody’s stealing her meal ticket.

  • persephone

    She describes it as “ten minutes and lube2.” That’s so romantic.

  • SAO

    She married Ken because he looked good on paper, knowing she didn’t feel any romantic love for him and spent the next few decades miserable because she didn’t love him and the moral of the story is not marry someone you love, it’s don’t expect love in marriage.

  • Mimc

    Sour grapes. She convinced herself that she’s happier than she would have been marrying someone she actually loves or not marrying at all because doing otherwise is painful. It’s dad but does nothing to excuse her hurtful behavior.

  • Cynthia

    Ken subsequently changed his mind, and now he says five minutes.

    “Do not deprive” apparently only refers to wives depriving husbands, and not vice versa.

  • Cynthia

    I get that. I just don’t expect that someone who is in a good marriage would feel that way about their spouse. IOW, I think that how Lori and Ken treat each other during medical issues reflects poorly on their marriage.

  • I wasn’t madly in love with Prime when I married him. I was head over heels in love with him. Of course, we’d been together for ten years, so that may have been a factor.

    We’re coming up on twenty years and I’m still head over heels. When I see him, I still get butterflies in my stomach.

  • Oh wow. I am going to have to remember that, because that’s how Prime makes me feel.

  • Suzanne Harper Titkemeyer

    I hear you! It’s been 33 1/2 years here and I still get butterflies. When he got off the plane recently when I went to fetch him I was so grateful and happy to see him I started crying

  • Defensis Prime

    < / baaaaAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaarrrrrrff >

    …because she expects it from me. Of me? One of those.

  • Defensis Prime

    Awwww–uh, I mean, uh, UGGH, FEELINGZ, BLEAGHK.

  • Defensis Prime

    …Primus, but she’s just…kinda awful in every conceivable fashion and thirty-seven inconceivable ways, isn’t she.

  • persephone

    If Lori is the only woman he’s had s3x with, he probably has no desire to spend any more time with her than absolutely necessary.