This email came through to my desk last week and it left me feeling very concerned for the young person who sent it. It said:
“I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for two and a half months. We are engaged to be married early next year however I’ve some doubts about him. This is because everybody thinks he loves me except for myself. He has never said “i love you” throughout this period; not even once! I don’t feel loved enough and yet am scared to walk away. Do you think our marriage will work?”
In answering this email I will presume that this person actually has a choice in the matter as to who she marries as this email came from a non-western country. And as I have only a small part of the story I will answer it on the basis that I may be making a few assumptions.
There are a couple of issues being raised in this email. Firstly is the fact that this person has never heard her boyfriend say he loves her. Does this actually mean that he does not love you or that he doesn’t know how to say “I love you!”?
If he has never had it said to him by a parent or significant other as he was growing up then he might not be able to say it. Alternatively if he has grown up without love then he may not know what it feels like to be loved or to love someone else. In this regard he may not know that it could actually be safe to love someone and not be let down or disappointed by that person to whom he may have bared a very vulnerable part of himself.
Of course it may simply be that he does not love you and if that is the case then you should think very carefully about committing yourself to this man on a long-term basis. And as for everyone else thinking that he loves you; what do they base this opinion on? Has he said something to them that he is not willing to share with you? Or are they basing this conclusion on his behaviour and how he treats you?
The other issue that this email raises is whether such a relationship, where people don’t, or can’t speak their truth about love, can actually work. My thought on this is that no marriage can work if both parties aren’t willing to trust the other with their love and with their soul which involves the deepest and most profound parts of themselves.
When you don’t feel loved
Despite all of this the most telling part of this email is reflected in the statement “i don’t feel loved enough and yet am scared to walk away.” My only response to this is; if you don’t feel loved enough at the beginning of your relationship don’t expect to be loved enough later on. I’d like to qualify this by saying that as a relationship continues, and as you come to know each other better, the love generally becomes deeper and more heartfelt.
But this doesn’t just happen. It is the consequence of an open and expressed love that comes from the care a couple shows to each other over time. It could even seem that if that person were to go away that it would feel like having a limb removed as they are such a fundamental part of your own being.
I would also like to ask this person what it is you fear that prevents you from walking away. If you feel that there may not be someone else for you, there is. In actual fact there are probably millions of people around the world that you could be compatible with and with whom you could make a great relationship. If you fear your friends or families judgement remind them that this is your life to live and that you must make your own choices. If it is that you fear him or his retribution then you need to remove yourself immediately from this toxic environment.
Finally let me add one more point. You have only known this person for such a short time before making your marriage plans. Take the time to get to know each other. I don’t have a belief that there is a particular time frame you should be together before getting married but two months, especially when there are doubts, may not really be long enough to come to know anyone well enough to commit to them for the rest of your life.
So until next time – Relate with Love