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#60141 - 02/15/06 06:46 PM Re: Unconditional Love?
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Adam,

Big safe hugs my friend. You needed to say all that and I am glad you did. Love and trust are such fragile emotions and so easily shattered in a survivor, and the only way we get them back is to talk about how we lost them in the first place. That's where we have to start.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#60142 - 02/16/06 06:27 PM Re: Unconditional Love?
SilentLambsSO Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 5
Loc: Atlanta
Quote:
Originally posted by Lloydy:
Quote:
Some may be using the words "unconditional love" simply to express a desire for a healthy, loving relationship - in that case it's no big deal.
Well I'm certainly guilty of that, I use the term "unconditional love" - or "unconditional whatever" fairly loosely. I'm very aware that what I recieve from my wife, family and close friends does have conditions attached, as this whole topic has expressed so well.

I guess that the true meaning I attach to 'unconditional' is more like not being judged on what happened to us as kids, and what we've done as adults if we are prepared to accept, and be a part of making, boundaries and actively seeking help to change our present behaviours.

The fear that kept me silent for so long was mainly the fear of not being believed - either through ignorance or bigotry.
Disclosing to my wife after 25 years was terrifying to me because in all that time I was unable to gauge how she might react.

Happily she has never said anything that I could take as negative about my abuse or acting out, and together we created boundaries to help prevent the acting out occuring again, so I think that the creation of boundaries and the non judgemental acceptance of all my behaviours that we agree are abuse related are a kind of special arrangement that we have that includes some unconditional love.

I have no intention of trying this out as an experiment - but if acted out again, maybe in a time of depression or stress, then I believe we would stay together and work through it again,
But If I had a one night stand with another women, I'd be homeless quicker than I could "sorry, but ...."

Maybe "unconditional love" isn't the phrase to describe what I mean ? But I believe that love can have some unconditional aspects to it.

Does that make any sense? I'm struggling to express this idea a bit.

Dave

PS.
"Happily she has never said anything that I could take as negative about my abuse or acting out,"

She has obviously made plain her views about my acting out, she hates the very thought of it.
But she was obviously prepared to think it htrough, talk to me about about, and think some more, before she arrived at her viewpoint.
And that didn't include hating me, but she hated the act and everything that led up to it.



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#60143 - 02/16/06 06:29 PM Re: Unconditional Love?
SilentLambsSO Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/14/06
Posts: 5
Loc: Atlanta
Explain to me "acting out" please.

Not familiiar what it means in this arena.

Silent


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#60146 - 02/17/06 05:05 AM Re: Unconditional Love?
evanescentjoy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/28/05
Posts: 46
My T also said that unconditional love doesn't exist. I think that saying this, however, is misleading and leads to confusion.

I do believe that unconditional love exists - not only between parents and children, but between friends, lovers, etc.

Just because you have definite conditions for how a person in a relationship treats you (no cheating, lying, betryal, etc) doesn't mean that you won't still love him if he breaks these conditions.

It just means that you won't stay with him. But more often than not, the love continues. There's a difference between unconditional love and the unconditional continuation of a relationship.

_________________________
"Become who you are." -Nietzsche

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#60147 - 02/18/06 12:42 AM Re: Unconditional Love?
Andrew Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/25/03
Posts: 1192
For me, the only unconditional love is what I feel for my children. Everything else has conditions attached to it. Peace, Andrew
P.S. great thread

_________________________
there is no courage without anxiety

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#60148 - 02/18/06 01:19 AM Re: Unconditional Love?
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Evanscentjoy

Quote:
There's a difference between unconditional love and the unconditional continuation of a relationship.
I think that sums it up for me, and says in one sentence what I spent volumes trying to express - and not get quite right!

How often do we hear about people who have seperated from people they still love but can't live with?
I still think there are aspects of love we both give and receive that are unconditional, but outside of that we're subject to conditions - break them and we face the consequences.

Dave

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#60149 - 02/18/06 09:36 PM Re: Unconditional Love?
SAR Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 3310
Loc: USA
My issue with the comparison of parent-child unconditional love and the things Trish and others are saying about the expectations that adults bring to the relationship, is that I don't think that in a healthy parent-child relationship, unconditional love means the same stuff as those adults are looking for.

I know what Trish is saying and I don't deny it-- there are people out there looking for someone to save them from responsibility and consequences, to shoulder all the hard work of a relationship, to help them and give to them until, without any self-exertion, they become better people.

That's not what parent/child love looks like to me, as a parent or a child. First of all, having unconditional love doesn't save you from being hurt. I don't think I was abused because my dad didn't love me enough-- even if I can say that him doing X,Y,Z might have made it more difficult for the abuse to happen. I don't think that loving my kids 100% can keep them from the world (as scary as that is) or from their own bad decisions.

And I know for a fact that loving my kids unconditionally doesn't let them off the hook (and it didn't let me off the hook when I was a kid either) when it comes to most of life. It is one unconditional part of a relationship that is full of responsibilities and expectations.

Even when love is unconditional, respect and admiration are not, and I have never felt like earning those things is less important because I already know that someone loves me, or that hurting someone isn't a big deal because they love me. It feels TERRIBLE to let down people who love you no matter what.

My father has expectations of me, he still holds me to a certain standard and lets me know when I have made mistakes. If I committed a crime, I know he would still love me-- but I also know he would expect me to face whatever consequences there were for my crime.

If he didn't expect me to be responsible or face consequences, that wouldn't BE unconditional love. It would be something else... and I'm not sure what to call it, but I don't like it any more than Trish, and I don't like it when parents do it either.


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#60150 - 02/19/06 04:17 AM Re: Unconditional Love?
evanescentjoy Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/28/05
Posts: 46
Quote:
Originally posted by Andrew:
For me, the only unconditional love is what I feel for my children. Everything else has conditions attached to it. Peace, Andrew
P.S. great thread
I would like to add that unconditional love is not, as some would suggest, universal between parents and children, either; similarly, there are certainly parent-child relationships in which either the child, or parent, or both decide to discontinue the relationship because certain expectations or conditions have been broken.

I know of many cases in which parents certainly love conditionally, and children love unconditionally and vice versa.

Personally, I don't believe that everyone is capable of loving unconditionally and that goes for parent-child relationships, as well. But the fact that not all are capable of this does not deny the existence of this type of love in any variety of circumstances, whether parent-child, brother-sister, lover-lover, friend-friend.

Again, I'd like to make the distinction between loving unconditionally and continuing a relationship where the 'conditions' have been broken - these are not the same thing. Also, it's not to be confused with disciplining small children, which is a separate matter, altogether.

_________________________
"Become who you are." -Nietzsche

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#60151 - 02/20/06 03:58 AM Re: Unconditional Love?
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
I have watched this thread with a lot of interest, and Andrew and SAR's posts tempt me to comment in support.

I would also consider my love for my children to be unconditional, but that means that I don't take the easy way out when trouble arises or let them do that either. That course of action gives them false ideas about how they will have to function in the adult world, and at the end of the day it's irresponsible on the part of the parent.

Unconditional love for a child means doing what you know is right even when the immediate result will be a shitstorm and a bitterly disappointed child. Compassion and caring have to include an appreciation for the need to teach lessons about that uncomfortable area called "consequences".

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#60152 - 02/22/06 03:46 AM Re: Unconditional Love?
susskinsdrew Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 23
Loc: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Wow, what an incredible meeting of the minds! I see truths in ever single post here. Thanks for making me think about this further.

Susan


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