An Unloving Husband; A Step-Daughter's Luggage
Dec 3, 2006
I don't understand why a man will marry a woman if he isn't really in love with her. I find this very hurtful and selfish. This is what my husband has done to me. I am trying to understand it but I am having a very difficult time with it. He was married before and I know that he loved his ex-wife unconditionally. She cheated on him a number of times and even ended up pregnant with another man's baby. He took them both back and loved them both. Until she left him. He has shown me that he can love a woman -- even with unconditional love. I am just wondering what I should do in the situation that I am in. I want his love but he says he doesn't really love me and never really did. He just didn't want to take a chance on losing me so he went ahead and married me. What should I do?
Wondering About Love
Dear Wondering About Love:
I recommend that you have a very long talk with him, starting with a prayer if he's willing. Assuming that you and he have no children, I would ask him what his intentions are for your marriage. Does he wish to develop the relationship to the point where he feels love for you? If he doesn't, ask him why he wants to be married to you -- is it just for a housekeeper and maid? Frankly, if he doesn't want to build a relationship of love, and if you have no children, I would dissolve the marriage and look for a man who has a heart. If you have children by him, I would stick it out and spend a lot of time with him going to marriage counselors and marriage training courses, so that your relationship can improve. If he wants to grow in his love for you, he can do so -- but it requires his motivation and his effort. Certainly, you can do a lot to help him to love you more -- by first loving him. Ultimately however, he has his own portion of responsibility in the marriage that only he can fulfill.
My stepdaughter is thirty-one. She lived with us two years ago, met a young man, lived with him, became engaged and then he kicked her out. In her travels between his home and ours, she has left a wide and abundant variety of her belongings with him and us. We have asked nicely, demanded, even threatened her that we would give her stuff away, but she still has left several storage boxes full of her things and clothes in the closet. I feel that she is disrespecting our home. What can I do as the stepmother without "stepping" on anyone? Thank you!
If you have room in your home, I would allow her to store her things there, in order to demonstrate to her that -- as a daughter -- she's always welcome to "come home". Parental love is so vital for children of any age that extending your heart toward her like that may help her feel loved in a very real fashion. She must be in quite a bit of pain from her unsuccessful relationship, don't you think? If you absolutely don't have room, then the next time she comes over, help carry the boxes to her car. But in the end, as a stepmother, your job is to love more and extend more. It's hard, and may not be fair, but nothing will be lost, and everything can be gained by expressing more love than is expected or required.
Peter Falkenberg Brown is passionate about writing, publishing, public speaking and film. He hopes that someday he can live up to his favorite motto: “Expressing God’s kind and compassionate love in all directions, every second of every day, creates an infinitely expanding sphere of heart.”