As a society we have romanticized the idea that couple love to be real and pure, must be, we say, “unconditional.” Where do we get such an idea?
As a society we have romanticized the idea that couple love to be real and pure, must be, we say, “unconditional.” Where do we get such an idea? What do we really mean by the term “unconditional love”? Does it mean to keep loving through thick and thin? In poverty and in disease? Should we continue to love even in abuse, in aggressiveness, in ingratitude, in adultery, or even after a divorce?
The use of the term unconditional is a problem, why an “unconditional” love would cover each of these situations without serious discrimination. And some of them are not humanly possible, much less recommended.
The meaning that we as a society give to this term is an even bigger problem, since we think that loving without conditions means blindly giving everything and bearing everything from the other person without designating rules or commitments to be fulfilled in the relationship.
This is a serious mistake, because the rules or “conditions” in love are essential. Without compromises, love cannot exist, let me explain why.
First of all, where does the idea of ”unconditional love” come from?
It is quite possible that the notion of “unconditional love” has its origin in religion, since it teaches us that the love that God has for us is infinite and unconditional. The problem occurs when we try to recreate that love in our human relationships, with the wrong sense of what it really represents.
Recently, I read an article published by pastor and marriage counselor Mark Gungor, where he explains the mistake we make in assuming that love must be unconditional, without rules or laws.
Unconditional love does NOT exist
In his article, Gungor explains that the idea of unconditional love has been adopted from the concept of love that we think God has for us. However, we have given it a wrong meaning and very at our convenience. To explain it better, ask yourself this question, Do you believe that God loves you exactly as you are with all your flaws, or does He love you IN SPITE of all your flaws?
God’s love is infinite, however He has created rules, or conditions, that you must follow if you want to enjoy His promises. These rules are not to give you His love, but they are a requirement to receive the rewards He has created for you. God loves you, DESPITE your flaws, DESPITE your flaws, not unconditionally theirs. There is a big difference that you must understand.
Now, if the idea of unconditional love comes from God, but even to enjoy his promises you need conditions, why do you think you should give your rewards to someone who does not meet your conditions? You can love a person with all your being, DESPITE their flaws, but that does not mean that you should continue to indiscriminately provide your rewards WITHOUT them fulfilling their commitments to you.
Think about it, if love in marriage were truly unconditional, what would be the purpose in keeping respect, in pledging fidelity to each other? For a marriage to function properly, both parties must meet their commitments and conditions that ensure the happiness and emotional stability of the other. Love you must take care of and nurture it, otherwise it simply dies and becomes other feelings that we confuse with love.
Love doesn’t mean trust
If someone ever told you the phrase, “If you really love me, then you will trust me,” let me tell you that instead of being a demonstration of love, this was a manipulative key phrase.
The fact that you feel love for someone does not magically give that person your absolute confidence. Yes, it is true that love must be in conjunction with trust, but these are two feelings that, although they must go hand in hand, must also be born individually. Trust is born from clarity, respect, and open communication. If these conditions do not exist, trust is never born and love dies.
Without conditions nothing is possible
If we look at it from a larger perspective, the universe is made up of rules specifically delineated for your existence. We live in a world of rules where any activity, any sport, any job or profession that you do has defined rules; conditions to function properly. How do you think our society would function without these rules?
The same applies to love relationships. There are rules and conditions that we must follow to keep our marriages healthy and happy. Our wedding vows are conditions; they are promises that we must keep towards our spouse and our spouse towards us. If we make mistakes, we must change and be better. If we miss our marriage, we must make up for the mistake and not make it again. Why? Because they are the necessary conditions for a healthy union.
If you cling to maintaining an unconditional relationship with a person who does not value you, does not respect you, abuses you, cheats on you without remorse and does not keep his commitments to you, you will only achieve your own unhappiness.
So love in marriage should be neither unconditional nor blind. It must be clear, open, committed and determined. With these conditions, they will be able to grow and maintain the love of a couple DESPITE the mistakes that they will undoubtedly make along the way.