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Old 13th January 2014, 11:59 AM   #193
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Re: I don't love my wife and never have...

This is an incredible thread. Thank you Raymond, Chosen, Roses and many others for your wisdom, and Sunny and Squeaky et al for your honesty and openness.

If anyone still wonders how one can end up married but never "in-love" with their wife, my story might help. I am not yet married or even engaged, but it's about time to decide, and there's no good reason not to marry. That's the key. No good reason not to.

She's a divorcee and didn't believe in marriage -- but her past can be forgiven, especially as we've spent 18 months having wonderful discussions with books and counsellors learning together what marriage should be.

She's boasted of her sexual conquests and being a "relay runner" -- but she's learned the wrong of this.

She seduced me and I am wretched with shame -- but we have managed to abstain for half a year.

She puts on weight and, except when she smiles, looks old and plain -- but how shallow am I?

She'd prefer her career to children -- but she'd support a house-husband.

Now for her virtues. We met at church, we say evening prayer at home together, she sang in the choir for a year just to be with me, she plays violin duets with me because I love it, even though she feels inadequate because she isn't as good as me. She comes cycle touring on weekends with me even though it's not really her thing. She's kind to my strange brother, patient and thoughtful to my family, shares her family Christmas / New Year with mine, she takes me to science talks and events (she's a scientist) and comes to plays and operas (I'm not exactly as scientist), she supports me in my work, she encourages my cooking, she's wonderful company and she makes me laugh and feel good about the world. I could go on for quite some time.

I do also cherish her, though I'm lousy at it and it isn't enough. I've learnt and am still learning her love-language of touch, I spend Saturdays in the library with her while she works, I quit singing for her at a critical time (this is a big deal in a cathedral), I do her chores when her freelancing has its 'years of plenty', I stay up late and wake early with her, I go hiking in the bush with her, I go along with her crazy ideas, and I wish I could think of more to do for her.

But. The divorce, the sex, the looks and the career-focus rankle. They are personal to her. Whereas anyone else might have none of those blemishes, yet have her virtues. If I marry her, I might forever be wondering how much more I could love a woman who had the virtues, and who was also pure, beautiful and motherly. In a crisis, I would forget the virtues and remember with bitterness the "red flags". I could blame my poor husbanding on her for being impossible to truly love.

It's easy to judge someone for marrying without being "in-love", but I can understand how it happens. Love is subtle and fragile, easy to contrive for long-enough to make a vow, and difficult to sustain. The fear of being or falling out of love is a poison, which is perhaps what the "in-love" butterflies are for, to get you over the hump and into marriage, and as a backstop in a crisis when you would remember how it felt to be "in love" and so have the will to create love again. Without the "in-love" feeling, and with the fear of a loveless marriage, who would marry? Someone cowardly, perhaps, or maybe someone incredibly courageous who has enough faith in true love to do without being "in-love". I have huge respect for the people on this thread who have admitted to being those people. I don't know if I have the guts to be one of them.

P.S. I don't mean to hijack this thread from magneto, in fact I hope my story is a helpful perspective.
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