Withholding love is abusive. The relationship feels bad because he is neglectful, and this is abuse. Would you want any of your children to live this way? What would you tell them, knowing what you know now, if they found themselves in this situation, after years of trying? Most parents would suggest that the adult child would move on, and find love.
Remember the parable of the olive trees in Jacob 5-6. When the trees aren't growing well, they are fertilized, and when that doesn't work, they are moved to a better part of the orchard, some grafted into other trees.
The feeling of lack of love and loneliness in marriage have been shown to shorten lives. It's unhealthy. It's toxic. Move to another part of the orchard for better growth and development. The Lord doesn't want us dying in grief and loneliness.
Maybe as a preliminary step is a temporary separation, where he may come to appreciate you when you are gone and he can't take you for granted.
I am a man and I am in the same boat. In forty years of marriage my wife has condensended to comfort me when I has a traumatic issue a grand total of four times. Her needs and wants are what's important to her; I am supposed to meet my own needs without her help. I hope God has a special hell for neglectful spouses. I have done all I could to be a good priesthood-bearing husband, but what angers her is that I don't obey. In her eyes, I should be obeying her. (Yes this is a temple marriage.) When I don't obey, she doesn't speak until I grovel and beg forgiveness. I am to the point that I don't even apologize for not obeying -- hence it's pretty quiet in our house. My bishop and stake president BOTH tell me I am the one at fault -- without hearing my side; they refuse to hear my side. Where we live the woman is always right according to the priesthood leaders. I am very alone.
This was an awesome article of one LDS man's efforts (and success) to not only save his marriage but to make it wonderful.
I kind of took Bro. Steurer to task in another recent article for taking so much of it addressing to the wife (who had asked a Question) the things her wrong uncaring husband should do.
For this article, he has not done that, even tough he probably has much advise for this husband.
I admired how he only addresses what this wife who's asking the question CAN do HERSELF, regardless of whether her husband wants to respond or do anything to improve the relationship.
I admire his willingness to make suggestions to HER--and not fill her with more frustration or sadness for pointing out what the husband SHOULD do, but which he won't, and over which she has no power.
I noticed the difference Bro Steurer, whether it was intentional or not. Thanks for your efforts to help any who write questions to your column.
"My husband has never loved me. I don't know why he married me. It makes me feel worthless. I don't even have children to love."
Oh Jan2, your words tear my heart out. You deserve worlds better. God bless you,
Here's the thing I keep thinking. You need personal revelation to decide if you should stay. Pray and ask if your decision to stay is right. God has a plan for you and for your life and it's not to be miserable. Still, some with horribly difficult marriages get an answer to stay. Some like me got the answer (shockingly) to leave. Then I was led out with great care and compassion.
There was a lot of pain and it was hard but I'm happily married to someone else now. It's not perfect but it is so much better and I'm always grateful when I see my ex husband that I didn't have to stay. I got a second chance. God is a God of second chances. Ask him for direction.
I have to add that I prayed earnestly for 2 years. I didn't get an answer but I kept knocking and got small direction or pieces of the answer. I think it's because I needed to work as hard as possible to see if things would change before I left. The guilt was already really strong. I didn't ever see myself leaving a temple marriage and though I haven't missed him for a day, I did miss marriage a lot.
I read a lot from prophets about divorce. I remember reading how we would get a choice in the next life whether we wanted to stay married to the person we were sealed to. There is choice, but make sure you have direction from the Lord.
I'm sorry you have this pain. You're not alone. Many people face a degree of this when the kids leave. One of my friends surveyed members of the church to ask if they would marry the same person again if they could go back and start over. A lot said they would not. It was anonymous but telling. I believe it's possible to heal and that you can be happy again.
been married for 0ver 50 years with no physical contact for 25 - my regret is that i didn't end it 25 years ago and moved on. circumstances are such that it would now be devastating to her if i ended it at this stage of the game so im living with it.
I'm so afraid to make a comment here. Is it really safe to say something and readers not know who you are?
I am heart broken for this woman. It is a tragedy to have lived in such a state for so long. Every woman and man deserves to live in a marriage relationship where they feel cherished and needed and loved.
There are so many things in this life worse than divorce and this sister is being held hostage emotionally. Move on, find someone who needs and cherishes your love and that will reciprocate that love!
I have experienced a "loveless" marriage. It is improving daily. There is a great lack of information to judge this Priesthood holder unworthy, There are many questions I would ask before I condemned either of the spouses.
Has the husband communicated why he feels the way he does? Has the couple considered counseling? Are they clients of the author? If so, what's the purpose of the question?
Elder Oaks said in a recent conference we as spouses will be happier staying in marriage than they will be should they leave. (paraphrased) The key phrase is found in Jan's comment. The sons of Lehi and the daughters of Ishmael "made it work" If any of those became disenchanted with their marriage, where were they going to go?
We all must work to be the best we can be until we are safely dead.
My husband has never loved me. I don't know why he married me. It makes me feel worthless. I don't even have children to love.
This priesthood holder is unworthy of his priesthood and temple recommend. He is being spiritually abusive to his wife. She deserves better and I believe Heavenly Father would not expect her to stay in this abusive marriage, because that is exactly what it is. So sad.
It's not just wives who experience the abandonment described. It can happen to husbands, too.
When I hear about loveless marriages, I often think of the Book of Mormon and how Lehi's sons simply had to find a companion in the small group of the daughters of Ishmael. Somehow they had to make it work. They will be married for all eternity if they are among the faithful.
C H Higgs, she says she has shared her feelings with him about it in the past.
"If you are choosing to stay, then you do have to accept the reality of how he feels and how he’s treating you."
It's so easy for a therapist to make such proclamations from across a desk. Where does codependency start? Who is saying that she must simply 'accept' an emotionally dead husband—whom she is even afraid to approach with the problem? Sometimes separations are a useful thing; I think he might need a slap upside his brain-dead head.
Are you sure your husband even knows how you feel?
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