The Problem with I Love You

August 16, 2011 by crystal lea  
Published in Relationships

When did so many of us go from longing to hear those three little words to fearing the possibilites of what they might mean in today’s world? This article goes into some of the darker conotations to those words that are supposed to bring joy, but don’t always manage to do so.

I Love You.

Ah, those three little words that so many of us fantasize about hearing.  Be they whispered in our ear or shouted from a mountain top.  Three words that songs and poetry glorify.  Words that can both inspire and delight.  Everybody dreams of their happily ever after.  “All the world loves a lover!”

But how about the flip side of the rose colored coin?  Ever wonder about that?  Ever known one of those people who seem to shudder at the mention of those pretty little words that are meant to bring such joy? 

In today’s society you are just as liable to know someone who shuns the words I Love You as you are to know that person who gets all sappy and smiley about them.  What are the reasons behind this shift in thinking?  How did those three words end up inciting panic instead of awe?

Simply put?  Life happened. 

In an age when an average estimated 1+ million women are severely abused in a relationship each year, and an average estimated 2+ million men as well, is it any wonder that the words I Love You can cause so many people to wind up leery?  After all, how many of those who were doing the abusing in those relationships usually followed up said abuse by throwing in the words I Love You.  “I love you, but…”

I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that love CAME with “buts” attached. 

I grew up in a household that taught me to equate the word love with fear.  Many a time I saw my mother verbally, mentally, and/or physically abused and it seemed that each time it happened the words I Love You were scattered about more than ever I heard them on a “good” day.  Years after my parents divorced because my mother was done being a victim and finally found the strength to make it on her own?  Yeah, he still “worships the ground she walks on” and will “love her til the day he dies”.

Even at the ripe old age of 31, I still have yet to understand how that works. 

Love, if you go according to the definition set in abusive relationships the world over, is a tool used (or the excuse given) for many to be able to lord power over someone we should be protecting.  You say the words I Love You and all of a sudden you have the right to know where they are, who they’re with, how long they’re going to be gone, and why the hell they aren’t back yet.  If the person you “love” doesn’t give you the right answer?  Well then if you have to teach them a lesson then it’s only because you love them, right?

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