Dear Manay Gina,
My wife and I married ahead of schedule because we were expecting a baby. In working hard to be a good provider and father, I neglected to be a sensitive husband. Now, my wife says she doesn’t love me anymore. I love her and I promise to be a better husband. Is it possible to save our marriage when only one spouse wants to see it work?
You can’t make your wife stay with you, but you must make your best effort in the area of changed behavior, and pray that the Holy Spirit will work in your wife’s life.
You certainly are starting at the right place by acknowledging your past inattentiveness. Maybe you also felt trapped into the marriage. Talk about these things with your wife, and seek her forgiveness. The next step is to court your wife again. This might feel hokey, but behaviors of kindness and courtesy will eventually become more natural between you, in time. Ask her to help you right the wrongs. Remember what you once had between you. Go back and fan that original spark! Start doing the things that worked for you in your early days together.
You ask if it’s possible for only one spouse to “save a marriage.” If both partners in a relationship are deeply committed to Christ, they can work through virtually any problem. If your wife is convinced that Christ understands her unhappiness and will eventually overlook a sinful choice, there’s little you can do to convince her otherwise.
But your changed behavior might sway her. It might also help to seek out a third party – a pastor, priest or other authority figure – who might help your wife realize that God wants her to honor her marriage vow. No matter what happens, keep praying.
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“Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.” – Kahlil Gibran
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Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org (Gina de Venecia)