EWTN.com - Nullity of Marriage: "Nullity of Marriage
Question from Judy on 10/3/2008:
My husband and I were married legally outside the Church and then had our marriage blessed inside the Church. We have been married for six years.
My husband has been through a rough upbringing. Mother committed suicide when he was 7 y.o., and father is an alcoholic. His 4 brothers all have mental illness, Bipolar Manic, Schizophrenia, Depression. I believe my husband suffers from at least depression. He has seen a psychiatrist in the past, but refuses to continue to see him and will not take any medications for depression. My husband after much prompting from me is finally seaking spiritual direction, praise God. However, am I a doubting Thomas for having hope in this marriage? In other words, my husband doesn't love his neighbor. He says he loves God, but how can he love God if he doesn't love his neighbor. The doubt comes in and I think, if he doesn't therefore love God, how can he truly love me? I have a lot of health issues with autoimmune disease and the stress of this relationship in the past has not been good for my physical and emotional health. Please advise and God Bless.
Answer by Rev. Mark J. Gantley, JCL on 10/10/2008:
Especially considering the psychological factors involved, I would be cautious of judging your husband's ability or intention to love. Jesus teaches that we need to love both God and neighbor, but just the fact that he stresses that they need to go together implicitly acknowledges the fact that, for some people, they do not.
After all, we might be called to love everyone. But in reality, we do not. We might love some people and not others. Your husband very well might love you but not certain others. He also might have feelings and intentions of love but have difficulties expressing this. I really don't know, but I'd encourage you not to assume the worse."