Question

Dear Father,

I am looking for an answer.

Given that, thank God, I still have faith, I am now dealing with difficult situations in the relationship with my husband. Apparently, he also comes from a Christian family, but unfortunately, we clash on many things. We have been married for almost 7 years, and have a wonderful son of 6. Because of various vicissitudes of life (such as: difficult pregnancy and childbirth, the loss of my father, difficulties pertaining to my husband’s job, and my newly enrollment at the university), we have postponed the second pregnancy. 

I would actually be open to life, but my husband is not. For this reason, every time he sexually approaches, I feel a sense of malaise. I perceive his approaches as if he were only looking for his own pleasure and fulfillment of the senses. But in reality, the emptiness remains in him.

I pray for him. Nevertheless,I cannot see daylight.

I think that many marriages end because of a lack of continence and rejection of chastity, for everyone is aimed at pursuing endless hedonism.

My husband believes that I do not love him anymore, and that my refusals are due to people close to me.

What to do, if one finds herself tied for life to someone who is incapable of truly loving himself, and therefore, cannot love others either?

I thought he was a man of faith, but having known him, I understood that his was just a faith of facade. And yet, what to do now? I married him fully understanding of what marriage is about. Do I now have to suffer the consequences of it?

I entrust myself to Your prayers and thank you

M.


The priest’s reply

 Dear M.,

1. I also believe that many marriages end because of the lack of continence and rejection of chastity. In other words, marriages end because of inability to love. Many people confuse love with physical attraction.

2. To love means to give. And to give means to be able to give up yourself for the contentment of the person you love, going beyond his or her merits and demerits. 

3. Mother Teresa of Calcutta said that she learned from God how to love. People maintain that they are, by themselves, able to love. However, this is an illusion.

4. You learn to love from the Lord when you go to Mass and listen to His words through the mouth of the priest: “This is my body which will be given up for you.” Until one offers oneself in sacrifice, one has not yet begun to truly love.

5. You asked me: “What to do if one finds herself tied for life to someone who is incapable of truly loving himself, and therefore, cannot love others either?”

My answer is simple: to become saints.

And becoming saints means every day repeating what we hear at Mass for our family members: “This is my body offered in sacrifice for you.” And also: “This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.”

6. Currently, your husband seems to be unable to love. Well, show him how you should love each other. Show him how to love with your conduct that you learned from Christ.

7. I believe that through this trial the Lord is calling you to love him even more. Love your husband with the heart of Christ, with those sentiments so well expressed by St. Paul, when he says that Christ’s way of loving is “patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Cor 13: 4-7).”

8. You tell me you thought he “was a man of faith, but having known him,” you “understood that his was just a faith of facade.”

It may be so. However, it is also true that in times of tiredness and bitterness, we are led to see everything in a sinister way, even what is good. We forget that others too can be dealing with tiredness in faith, moments of dryness, and inner trials similar to those that we are also facing.

9. You conclude: “I married him fully understanding of what marriage is about. Do I now have to suffer the consequences of it to the end?” You should not say that. You should instead say: I want to love him to the end with an ever greater love in resemblance of our Lord who “loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end (John 13: 1)”.

Once you will have given yourself completely to the end, you will be happy and able to say: I loved my husband with the heart of Jesus Christ.

If he sees this in you, but also by your merits, I am convinced that your husband will receive the grace to have his eyes opened and to eventually see what true love is.

I will gladly pray for you, your husband, and your most dear son.

I wish you all the best and bless you.

Father Angelo

original post is available in Italian