Saturday, June 20, 2015

A fine line between love and hate

I know each of you have heard the old saying that there is a fine line between love and hate, but do you know exactly what this saying means?  I have watched a friend of mine time and time again go back to the man that disrespects, abuses, and cheats on her.  Now, I can understand her desire to keep her family together, she does have 3 children by this man.  But when the children witness the abuse that she suffers time and again. What point do you reach the point that enough is enough.  I have talked to her about her relationship and she told me that she would know when she has reached that point.

It is amazing what a person can endure and suffer just to make someone other than themselves happy.  What bothers me is that if things don't change soon in my friends life I can see that she will eventually walk away.  However, in the meantime she has to worry that her 4 year old daughter who is so much older and smarter than her years can see and knows that her mommy and daddy are not getting along very well.  What damage is being done to this child as she grows older watching her mother suffer quietly at her daddy's hands?  I can tell you that either she is going to develop trust issues, or she is going to accept that what her mother is going through is acceptable behavior and will look for a person just like her dad, and then the chain of abuse just continues.

In my own personal life, I spent 12 years with someone that mentally and physically abused me, I should have left way before I did. But, I had fooled myself into thinking that my partner at that time would change and realize what they were doing to me.  I also believed or taught myself to believe that this was his way of showing his love and affection towards me.  I chose to ignore the warnings and input from my friends and before I realized what was happening I was isolated from my family and friends and moved 400 miles away.  I found myself in a new city with no friends and dependent directly on my partner. I have to say that for the first 5 years of my relationship with him it was all good, the abuse didn't set in right away and was a gradual thing and sort of just snuck up on me.

In actuality my relationship didn't start to turn negative until I started making more money than him and I wanted to assert a bit of independence.  Once, I started realizing that something was wrong I found myself alone and isolated from everyone that cared about me and that I cared about.  By that time I was alone and not really sure what was going on. I just knew that him and I began fighting more and more and couldn't seem to meet on common ground about any situation that came up.  So, yes I am familiar with abuse and failing relationships.  I can also tell you that my experience colored how I reacted to other men that came into my life afterwards.

I was telling my friend just the other day that I truly did understand where she was at, and that I could tell that she was doing exactly what she needed to do to tolerate the situation she has found herself in.  I expressed my fears about what her children were seeing and being exposed too.  I could also tell that she isn't happy where she is at and who she is with and that if she didn't do something about it soon. See I can see that her attitude toward her partner has changed and I know exactly where that is leading her, and I am afraid that she is at the point where the two sides of this fine line meet.  But the approach to the line is filled with only a few possibilities, and that is that change has taken place and contentment and acceptance has been achieved or resentment and intolerance has continued to build up.

One thing that I do know is that the line is different for each person, and varies greatly.  The human heart has a great capacity for Love and each person can love multiple people at the same time and in different ways.  Love has many different phases that it goes through and it can grow in even harsh conditions.  For example you can love your parents, children, relatives and even multiple partners. If you are religious and have a Christian background you know that there are at least 3 different types of love that are described in the Bible.  They are called Eros, Agape and Philos and are described in the Bible.  Eros is know as erotic love or sexual type of love and is considered selfish.   This kind of love is based on physical traits and the strong  feelings we have against one another and it usually develops during the 1st stage of a romantic relationship.  Agape love is the special term which represents the divine-love of the Lord towards His Son.  It is the love that God commanded all believers to have for everyone whether he or she is a believer or not. Agape love is never determined by our feelings, and surprisingly you don't have to feel it to give it.  Many times this is considered unconditional love and once you start demonstrating it, you will start feeling it.  Philos love is unique kind of love and it is what you feel toward a friend or a pal.  This love is for those that are close to us and who we have shared experiences with.

Depending on how old you are you might remember the song the Rose that was sung by Bette Midler.  In that song she describes love as a rose, and tells us how it blossoms and blooms.  Love is a seed that is planted attraction, watered by friendship and trust and grows and blooms into a beautiful flower.  In other entries I have talked a good deal about love.  But this is the first time that I have gone into the different types of love.  What we haven't actually covered is how we can transition from loving to hating.  It is my belief that if a relationship isn't based on a foundation of friendship and trust then mistrust, abuse and resentments tend to build and what was once love can quickly and irrevocably be turned into hate.  If you remember I once told you that when a person in your life takes more than they contribute then just like a checkbook you become out of balance and overdrawn, and it takes you cutting them loose to bring your life to finally find balance and you can move forward.

Be aware of your feelings, listen to them with not only your mind but your heart as well.  If you start feeling resentment or bitterness toward the one you love or are in a relationship with do both of you a favor and let it go and move on before either of you get hurt. Life is too short to deal with regrets and it certainly doesn't mean that you should allow someone to abuse you.  Keep in mind that there are many types of abuse, physical, mental as well as emotional.  Both of the mental and emotional abuse may be hard to see when it is happening and might creep up on you unaware.  I further believe that a relationship is a partnership and an agreement between two individuals and should be honored.  However, but don't put yourself in harm's way and if you feel that you are being abused then I suggest you get out of the situation and move on.

Yes, there is a fine line between love and hate, and you have to be aware of the signs and symptoms.  Don't let your life go out of balance, and remember that there are more fish in the sea. You don't have to settle and whatever position, situation or path you find yourself in or on you have choices.  Remember if you don't love yourself no one else will either, and why should they.  Put yourself and your feeling forefront and make sure that you are fair in your understanding of those you surround yourself with.  You must make life your own and be open to change, be flexible at all times love freely and believe that what you give you will get back in return.  Understand that no one has the right to abuse you in anyway, and no one has the right to make yourself feel any way about yourself.  If you find that someone does make you feel a certain way or you strive to get another person's approval then you have given too much power to them over you.  Take that power back and make yourself happy no matter what your circumstances.

Think about what I have said and be careful about who you bring into your orbit and who you give your heart too.  They could just end up disappointing you and pushing you away from them.  You are important,  you are unique, and you deserve the best.

As I told my friend she has to look out for herself and her children. No one else would look out for them like she will and she needs to be happy if not for herself then for her children.  No child should ever have to see their mother being abused, it could definitely lead to a pattern of behavior that no one wants repeated by their offspring.

Think about these things my friend and ask yourself are you happy?  Do you feel any resentment or bitterness towards your partner?  If so, do yourself and those around you a favor and cut your loses  and move on.

As always my hopes and dreams are with you,

Uncle B