I was married for fifteen years, with two children… before my husband abandoned me…. About five years ago, I began a new relationship. I have four grandchildren now. It turns out that my partner doesn’t like for them to come to my house, and that hurts me a lot. I have tried to talk to him, but it’s useless; he doesn’t want them to stay overnight on Saturday. I am really desperate; I’m about to explode! I don’t know what to do, if I should put an end to this relationship and live alone so that I can enjoy my grandchildren whenever I want to or can.

I’d really like to give my life to God…. I’d like some advice.

Dear Friend,

We are glad that you have submitted your case, but unfortunately we don’t know all of the details of your situation. If the house where you live belonged to your partner before your relationship with him, then maybe he is afraid that your grandchildren will damage his belongings. Maybe he has some kind of emotional disorder that makes it difficult for him to be around people. Or perhaps he is physically ill and the noise of children affects him negatively. But you didn’t mention any reason, so we must assume that his only reason is that he doesn’t like children. And you said “my house” when you talked about where you live, so we also will assume that the house does belong to you and not to him.

People who really love each other are willing to compromise in order to make their partners happy. Has your partner already compromised in ways that you didn’t mention? If not, it is clear that he doesn’t really love you that much. Have you thought about how much you are willing to give up to please a man who doesn’t even love you much?

On the other hand, you have four little ones whose lives can be greatly enriched by spending time with you. And your relationship with your children, who are those children’s parents, can also be strengthened if you no longer have someone who comes between you and those who really love you.

If you have followed many of our “Cases of the Week,” you have probably noticed that we believe strongly in marriage. God designed marriage so that men and women could make lifelong commitments to each other and create loving families. Unfortunately, when people try to make loving families without the commitment of marriage, there is a critical element which is missing. Without commitment, there is less willingness to work out problems and less incentive to compromise. Of course, married people have problems too! But the promises that they made to each other during their wedding are powerful bonds which, with God’s help, can serve to sustain the relationship as they work through the difficulties.

It is possible that your partner will want to marry you if you tell him that you are no longer willing to live with him unless you are married. But if that happens, please make sure you come to an agreement about visits from the grandchildren before you marry him.

Grandchildren are to be loved and enjoyed!

Linda and Charles