Love wounds and marks
Any heart not tough or strong enough
To take a lot of pain, take a lot of pain
Love is like a cloud, it holds a lot of rain
Ooo-oo love hurts’
(Nazareth: Love Hurts)
From songs to television shows and books, it seems widely accepted that love hurts at times. To an extent it is probably true.
A child may be upset by the parent saying that they can’t have the latest game console or not allowing them to be out as late as their friends.
A husband may feel rejected because his wife says that she is too tired to have sex.
A wife may feel angry towards her husband because he is watching a football match on the television and not responding to her.
We all hurt others even though we don’t do so intentionally.
The parent doesn’t want her child to be upset but knows that it is not in the child’s best interest to get whatever they demand. It may be better to wait until their birthday to give them the game console they desperately want and it may not be safe for the child to be travelling home late at night.
The wife may be too tired to have sex because she has been up every night feeding a small baby. She is not saying she is too tired in order to hurt her husband, but feels that she doesn’t have the energy at that time.
The husband may simply be so engrossed in the football match that he doesn’t hear his wife speak to him. He is not ignoring her to make her angry – he simply hasn’t heard her.
As shown in these examples, in a relationship, we may unintentionally hurt someone or be hurt ourselves.
The key word is unintentionally. When it is unintentional, we will strive to resolve the conflict and mend the hurt that we may have caused. That doesn’t mean that the child gets whatever they want, the wife is no longer tired or the husband should stop watching football on the television. What it means is that we try to recognise where each other are coming from, are able to express our opinions and reach an agreement, compromise or understanding.
This is how we love each other – through compassion, empathy, being supportive and understanding.
However in some relationships compassion, empathy, supporting and understanding doesn’t happen. In some relationships, love hurts too often. In some relationships, hurt is intentional.
Some relationships are abusive.
But it can be difficult to distinguish between unintentional hurt and abusive hurt, which is why those in abusive relationships are often confused, full of inner conflict and may feel as though they are going mad.
How do I know this? Because I was in an abusive marriage for 17 years.
I felt the confusion of not being able to work out what was wrong in my marriage, yet knowing that something was. The confusion of not knowing if what I was experiencing was a normal part of marriage or not. The confusion of not being able to understand the rollercoaster of emotions that I felt every day.
The inner conflict of believing that marriage was important and not to be thrown away, yet being constantly exhausted at trying ways to fix the relationship. The conflict of wanting to create a secure two-parent family unit for my children, but without them being affected by the tension in the house. The conflict of wanting to help my husband with his own hurt while also wanting him to stop hurting me.
I felt that I was going mad. Each time that I thought I understood what was bothering him and how he felt, something changed again. The words that he said in one conversation would contradict with his words in a later conversation. Nothing matched up or made sense, leaving me to think that I was going crazy.
I’ve created this site because I struggled with confusion and inner conflict during my marriage. I hope to show you that you’re not going mad if love is hurting, nothing you have tried is working and nothing makes sense.
During my marriage, I thought that I was the only one experiencing those emotions which resulted in me not sharing my feelings with my friends and family. However, I now know, from talking to others, that my experiences and hurt are sadly experienced by others – both men and women – in relationships, yet they often feel alone as I did.
I hope that this site helps you to feel less alone and less confused.