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Love takes COURAGE.

Updated: Dec 21, 2021

"But I really love him and I know he loves me.” This is the response I hear, over and over, when women voice concerns and frustrations about mistreatment and abuse happening. It is easily one of the most common inner conflicts women face in relationships. This statement is said even in the worst of domestic violence cases. The collective beliefs we have learned about love being the ultimate salve - the card that trumps even the worst of problems - is not only incredibly harmful and sometimes life threatening, I believe it is also one of our greatest myths. Simply loving someone cannot cure or invalidate a relationship full of toxicity and disrespect. We cannot love someone hard enough to make them stop abusing us. We cannot love someone hard enough to make them stop drinking. We cannot love someone hard enough to make them act respectfully. It can be simultaneously true that we both deeply love someone and that our relationship with them is destructive and harmful. It can be simultaneously true that we acknowledge our deep love for someone and acknowledge the most loving thing to do for ourselves and them is to end the relationship in its current form. We often think loving someone requires us to stay with them regardless of their treatment of us. We think UNCONDITIONAL LOVE means UNCONDITIONAL RELATIONSHIP. But sometimes the DEEPEST UNCONDITIONAL LOVE requires LETTING THEM GO. Unconditional love means being willing to acknowledge when your relationship is actually LIMITING each other. Holding each other back. Forcing each other to manufacture feelings and values you don’t actually share. Love acknowledges the truth. Love is brave enough to say “I love you. I see our relationship is harming you and myself. I RELEASE you because I love you enough to stop selfishly forcing you into a box you don’t fit into. Releasing you now does not take away from the beautiful season of partnership we have shared together and I will always celebrate the experiences we have lived together.” This is LOVE. This is HARD. This takes COURAGE. People have literally harmed and MURDERED each other because they were unwilling to acknowledge the ending of their season. They were unwilling to allow their partner to evolve from the person who once was an honoring and loving fit into someone who chose a different path. Love is not just a word. Love requires the courage and honesty to close a chapter that is no longer benefiting both people.

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