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Living with a spouse that cannot show love

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When a man who does not know how to show love or receive love gets married to a woman who also does not know how to show love or receive love, the equation is balanced. Such a couple can have a sexual relationship without pouring out love, raise their children in a colourless manner and perform their roles as husbands and wives in a colourless manner.

In such marriages, the husband may provide all the needs of the family, while the wife may cook delicious meals and perform her duties. This is what someone called, “functional marriage” about thirty years ago.

But it becomes a huge problem when one of the spouses knows how to give and receive love, while the partner does not know how to give and receive love.

People who are not yet married or are in courtship should watch out for differences in this very important area so that the differences are ironed out and both parties counseled into a mutually acceptable equilibrium point from where they can begin to build their love life.

But what do you do if you are already married to a spouse that does not know how to emotionally and physically give love or receive love? Divorce him/her? No. Keep complaining and sad and angry? No. Among other good means, you may devise, you can add these:
• Politely let him/her know that there is a big problem in an area of your marriage that needs to be solved.

• Go for counseling alone on what to do.

• Use wisdom to get him/her close to your counselor with a view to counseling him/her.

• Use wisdom to bring books/CDs and put such CDs when he/she is in the mood to listen.

• Keep being loving. Keep giving him love and teaching him/her how to love because withdrawing your love means that you have resigned yourself to life imprisonment of an emotionally or physically loveless marriage and family. What is needed here is patience. Keep being patient with him or her like a Chinese teacher who is teaching somebody who just relocated to China the Chinese language. Though this process might take a long time, endure because at the end your purpose will be achieved, as has been the case in many cases of those who patiently endured and kept teaching their spouses the love language.

• If you have already made up your mind that nothing can change your spouse to be a loving person, then you can turn to Psalms 27:10 for another source of joy and happiness. This scripture says, “When my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.” A Bible translation translates “Then the Lord will take me up” as “But the Lord will take me in.” Another says “The Lord will hold me close.” While we all need human love, the greatest love operating on planet earth is the love of God, which the Bible describes as passing all understanding. In John 15:13, the Lord Jesus Himself describes the love of God this way “Greater love has no man than this…”

Focus your attention on enjoying the love of Christ, the children, friends, and others.

• Go to God in prayers that He should give you the ability and wisdom on how to live with a spouse that cannot show love. And then, begin to learn to enjoy your life and minimise depending on your loveless spouse as your only source of love, joy, and happiness. Even while still working on your spouse, work on yourself by learning to enjoy other sources of family love and the love of God already provided for you. Love you.


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