Married to a man I don’t love

June 09, 2023

Dear Pastor,

I am a 41-year-old married woman. When I met my husband, I did not love him. I was living with my sister and her husband.

My sister was not very good to me; every day she told me I should try and get out of her house. She told me I should not use her bathroom at any time.

I was doing housework to support myself, and one day I met this man who became my husband. He told me he loved me. I asked him if he knew of anywhere I could rent. He said he was living alone because he and his woman broke up and she moved out. I told him that I only wanted a place to sleep. The next day we met again and he told me he was thinking about me all night and he liked me. He said that if we became friends, I could live with him. That was a Wednesday. By the Sunday we moved in together.

When I told my sister I was leaving, she told me that the only reason why she did not want me to stay with her was because she was afraid that her man would become involved with me, because she saw him looking at me many times. I was not even aware of that. I told her man that I was leaving and he gave me US$20 and told me that if I ran into any problems, I should let him know. When my man came to pick me up, my sister's husband recognised him and they greeted each other.

This man and I got married after three months. I used to force myself to have sex with him because he is a drinker and a smoker. But apart from this problem, he helps me. When I moved, we bought a new bed and he gave the old bed to a homeless man. I kept my job because the people liked me. A lawyer helped me to get my papers straightened out because I was now married to an American.

I did not know he had three children. One day he said that one of his daughters would like to live with us. I did not object, but when I met her, she told me that she had a young baby, and the father of the child didn't have anywhere to live, so she would like him to live with us. Her father told her that I would have to decide. I thought about myself and what I went through with my sister, but finally, I told his daughter that she could stay with us until she turned 18. She did not bother to come, and I was so glad.

Whenever my sister needed help, she called me and behaved as if we were good friends. Her husband and my husband used to go out together. My husband told me things that my sister was doing, like keeping a younger man. One day my sister's husband called me to say he was leaving my sister because he caught her with another man in his house. Her husband gave her one week to leave his house. The man she was having sex with can't help her. I have to be helping my sister while I try to hold my marriage together with a man I did not love at first.

My marriage is not going so well, but my husband does not abuse me and we are trying to save enough to buy a little house.


Dear E.D.,

Your sister did not treat you well, but from what I have read, she is depending on you to help her now that she is in trouble. You were not guilty of having an affair with her husband, but she kicked you out, believing that that was possible.

You were forced into marrying a man you did not like when you first met him. But so far, the marriage has worked, and your sister's marriage has broken up. I am sure you did not rejoice over what has happened to her. Perhaps she wanted you out of her house because she wanted to have certain freedom to carry on her business. You did not have to report her, because you were not even aware that she had a certain trade that she was practising. Her husband caught her in the very act.

I hope that with professional help, your husband and you will learn to live together. I hope that he will stop the heavy smoking and drinking, and that both of you will even attend church together. Although your sister did not treat you very well, if you find yourself in a position to help her, please do so.


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