Know more about unconditional love

There is no phrase so misinterpreted as “unconditional love.”  People use it as an excuse to stay in bad relationships or toshame someone into staying in one. They use it for some ideal they chase when they are not even sure what it means. They use it when they say, “I believe inmarriage,” or “I believe in loving someone until they can love themselves.” or “I’m religiousand want to love unconditionally,” or “I can’t say ‘If you do this, I’m out’ because that is not unconditional love.”

Unconditional love REALLY means, “I love you no matter what happens,” NOT “no matter what you do to me.” It means UNDER ANY CONDITION life throws at us.  I promise not to scream at you because I’m having a bad day.  I promise not to look for love elsewhere if you are. I promise not to blame you if we hit the skids.

The original marriage vow ideal is love, honor, and cherish, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.  In other words, the “for richer or poorer….” part means UNDER ANY CONDITION. If we’re rich or we’re poor. If we’re sick or we’re healthy. If the sun is shining or it’s snowy.  No matter WHAT conditions our relationship has to endure. I will love, honor and cherish you.

Unconditional love does not mean “I love you if you hurt me.” That is not in any wedding vow imaginable. No one says that on their wedding day or whenever they commit. And no one SHOULD.

Commitment ends when repetitive hurt comes in or when a relationship ending INSTANCE comes in (cheating/abuse).  Unconditional love means, “I love you. Love is an action, and you come first with me.” Unconditional love means, “I love you NO MATTER WHAT CONDITIONS OCCUR.” No matter what life throws our way, I will not take it out on you and I will not forget you exist.”

If we are healthy, we must set boundaries for people to stay or go in our lives. These are standards, and they don’t disappear when you find someone to settle down with.

Many people get upset when a person continues to be the person they met. “He’s so messy!” “She’s a nag!” If those things were present when you met and built a loving relationship together, why is it different now? Accepting someone, warts and all, means you knew this going in, so why did you expect it to change?

We’re not talking about terrible, horrible things like cheating or abuse.  We’re talking human foibles.  We’re talking about the little irritants that were present when you met.  If you overlooked them then, continue to overlook them now. If you need some compromise because now that you’re living together, it’s turned into a GIANT irritant, that’s fine.  But don’t lose your mind or withhold your love over it.

On the other hand, if your partner’s behavior is hurting you, why are you getting in deeper instead of getting out? You can’t accept unacceptable behavior, put a ring on it, and expect it to change. However, if you really can’t accept it any longer, it’s time to go.

It’s not fair to enter into a relationship expecting someone to change but that’s a mistake you can avoid in the future.  Don’t let anyone tell you that you promised to love and cherish and now you’re stuck.  You’re not.  But if you have a good partner who is good to you and you make a commitment, unconditional love means you don’t love that partner under ONLY good conditions or withhold love when they forget the jar of pickles for the party.  You love that partner no matter what life has in store for you including their occasional lapses, mistakes and goofups.