"If an individual is able to love productively, he loves himself too; if he can love only others, he cannot love at all." Eric Fromm, The Art of Loving
After seven years of doing my best to win my husband's forgiveness, I recognized he was unable to forgive because he did not know how to love. Although he professes his love for me, his actions proved otherwise. I went throughout the house and took down all the pictures of us. I wanted to make a clear statement that I knew without a doubt, he did not love me.
He was baffled by my actions. He could not believe I didn't believe he loved me. I told him time and time again his actions spoke louder than his words and I finally accept what I see and I will no longer listen to what he says.
He does not love himself. There is no way he loves me. When he became ill and I saw how much he was giving up on himself, it really pushed the reality that he did not love himself, so how could I truly expect to get love from him?
I left my husband behind because until he loves himself, we will never have anything real or of value. Yes, we've been together a long time. In the beginning, for about five years, I was like most women, giving and loving too much. When our son was born, my husband showed great interest in being a caretaker. Instead of feeling like he couldn't do things, I helped him hone his nurturing skills. In many ways, he is a better parent than I am. We both had a lot to learn. I did, he didn't.
Yet, there was still something missing. The biggest piece of the puzzle, self-love. His lack of self-love is what has led to the life he has today. I had to ultimately leave him behind if I am to ever be loved, because until he learns to love himself, he will never be able to love me.