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  • FIRST POST
    • AubreyMac
    • By AubreyMac 11th Jan 18, 3:57 PM
    • 1,300Posts
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    AubreyMac
    Unconditional Love
    • #1
    • 11th Jan 18, 3:57 PM
    Unconditional Love 11th Jan 18 at 3:57 PM
    I was discussing this with a friend yesterday. My friend believes you can only have unconditional love for your kids and parents and not anyone else. I believe all love has conditions – if someone treats you bad enough for long enough, then your love for them can eventually die, even if that person is your child or parent.


    I love some relatives whole heartedly, but they’ve never treated me badly long term so I’ve yet to prove my own theory that my love could die for them.

    My friend is divorced and she was hurt very badly so I think it’s made her resistant to love again in a relationship. Therefore she channels her love to her kids as it’s a safer bet.
    Me – I’ve experience not attaching to and disassociating from relatives that I ‘should’ love such as a parent or sibling (without going into detail). Therefore I can, if I choose to, love someone whole heartedly even a partner.


    So, what are your views on ‘unconditional’ love?
Page 1
    • AndyBSG
    • By AndyBSG 11th Jan 18, 4:47 PM
    • 944 Posts
    • 1,171 Thanks
    AndyBSG
    • #2
    • 11th Jan 18, 4:47 PM
    • #2
    • 11th Jan 18, 4:47 PM
    It doesn't exist.

    My mother raised me up until the age of 8 when I was taken into foster care due to physical abuse at the hands of my step father(fractured skull, broken legs... Not just a few bumps and bruises).

    I did still love and miss my mum but my younger half sisters and brother were never taken into care or deemed at risk as they were my step fathers own children and had never laid a hand on them(huge social services failing as he simply started abusing them in my place but that's another matter).

    My mother and step father were both druggies and as a result my oldest sister picked up their habits.

    My sister died two days before her 18th birthday from a heroin overdose after spending 2 days in a coma.

    I was deemed next of kin at the time as my step father had disappeared and my mother was sectioned under the mental health act.

    So, a week after my 21st birthday I had to be the one to give consent to turn her life support machine off.

    Any feelings of sympathy or love for my mother died that day and were replaced with abject hatred.

    That hatred faded to complete ambivalence to the extent that when my mother committed suicide a couple of years later while homeless and high on heroin I didn't feel a single pang of remorse or even glee.

    Ever since then I have been well aware that my love is not unconditional.

    I love my children but can say that I will never love them unconditionally because their actions could see that love rescinded... Hopefully though the way I bring them up will never see them stoop to the levels it would take for that to happen.
    • seashore22
    • By seashore22 11th Jan 18, 4:54 PM
    • 817 Posts
    • 1,656 Thanks
    seashore22
    • #3
    • 11th Jan 18, 4:54 PM
    • #3
    • 11th Jan 18, 4:54 PM
    I think you can love your children unconditionally, but not like them very much. Loving your children unconditionally doesn't mean that you forgive and accept everything they do.

    I loved my children equally and consistently when they were children. Sometimes I didn't like one, sometimes I didn't like the other. I expect if one did something terrible now, I would feel the same, love them, but not like them very much.
    • DUTR
    • By DUTR 11th Jan 18, 5:09 PM
    • 11,110 Posts
    • 6,351 Thanks
    DUTR
    • #4
    • 11th Jan 18, 5:09 PM
    • #4
    • 11th Jan 18, 5:09 PM
    I was discussing this with a friend yesterday. My friend believes you can only have unconditional love for your kids and parents and not anyone else. I believe all love has conditions – if someone treats you bad enough for long enough, then your love for them can eventually die, even if that person is your child or parent.


    I love some relatives whole heartedly, but they’ve never treated me badly long term so I’ve yet to prove my own theory that my love could die for them.

    My friend is divorced and she was hurt very badly so I think it’s made her resistant to love again in a relationship. Therefore she channels her love to her kids as it’s a safer bet.
    Me – I’ve experience not attaching to and disassociating from relatives that I ‘should’ love such as a parent or sibling (without going into detail). Therefore I can, if I choose to, love someone whole heartedly even a partner.


    So, what are your views on ‘unconditional’ love?
    Originally posted by AubreyMac

    My views are it's not a status thing whether conditional or unconditional. And if one has it, gves it or doesn't doesn't make them a better person than the next.
    • ska lover
    • By ska lover 11th Jan 18, 6:27 PM
    • 2,614 Posts
    • 6,395 Thanks
    ska lover
    • #5
    • 11th Jan 18, 6:27 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Jan 18, 6:27 PM
    I agree with that if anyone treats you bad enough, for long enough, you can stop loving them. It is sad, but we are all human
    The opposite of what you know...is also true
    • Cheeky_Monkey
    • By Cheeky_Monkey 11th Jan 18, 6:49 PM
    • 1,492 Posts
    • 2,990 Thanks
    Cheeky_Monkey
    • #6
    • 11th Jan 18, 6:49 PM
    • #6
    • 11th Jan 18, 6:49 PM
    I think that you only get unconditional love from a dog
    I used to be indecisive - now I'm not so sure
    • Robisere
    • By Robisere 11th Jan 18, 6:52 PM
    • 1,990 Posts
    • 2,797 Thanks
    Robisere
    • #7
    • 11th Jan 18, 6:52 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Jan 18, 6:52 PM
    I am almost 73, but remember every blow struck by my mother except the last, which put me in a coma for 3 days. My dad, whom I did love unconditionally, took me to an aunt to live for almost 3 years. The first (paternal) aunt was a 22 carat !!!!!, whose son my cousin tormented me until I hit him, whereupon his mother beat me. My mother's half brother was ashamed of his sister and took me to his other half-sister, a widow who cared for me for 2 years. I grew to love the family: a male cousin almost my age and his 4 sisters.

    When I returned "home" my mother had been receiving treatment for mental illness, was on medication and tried to be my mum again, but I did not, could not love her at all. At 13 I left home to work on a funfair, was brought back by police. At 16 I went to sea for 2 years, at 19 I joined the Army. When I had leave, I spent a few days at "home" and the rest with my aunt's family. I still loved my dad, but I could never again feel anything for my mother. I didn't hate her as such, there was simply no feeling there that there should have been between a son and his mother. I dearly loved my aunt, unconditionally. She took me into her family when she could ill afford to keep another child. She worked 3 jobs to do that, but we never went hungry and I was treated as one of her family.

    I cared for my parents when they grew old and ill: my dad went first and I grieved for him. 7 months later, when mum died, I stood at the graveside dry eyed while my much older brother cried. I felt nothing.

    For along time I drank and partied hard, then met the lady who is my wife. She saved my life and I love her so very much. Unconditionally? Definitely.
    There may be more than one way to skin a cat.
    But the result is always inedible.

    • Eric_the_half_a_bee
    • By Eric_the_half_a_bee 11th Jan 18, 6:55 PM
    • 855 Posts
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    Eric_the_half_a_bee
    • #8
    • 11th Jan 18, 6:55 PM
    • #8
    • 11th Jan 18, 6:55 PM
    I think that in general we are not very good at predicting how we would feel under circumstances that are dramatically different from those we have previously experienced.
    • Judi
    • By Judi 11th Jan 18, 9:05 PM
    • 15,605 Posts
    • 65,278 Thanks
    Judi
    • #9
    • 11th Jan 18, 9:05 PM
    • #9
    • 11th Jan 18, 9:05 PM
    I love my kids unconditionally. They upset me at times but theres nothing that they could do or say that would make me love them any less.

    Everybody else, well treat me bad enough and yes my love would die.
    'Holy crap on a cracker!'
    • Gavin83
    • By Gavin83 11th Jan 18, 9:39 PM
    • 4,812 Posts
    • 7,670 Thanks
    Gavin83
    I wonder if a parent would still love their child if they killed one of their siblings and therefore another of your children. I wonder if people would still love their child if they were convicted of abusing and killing children.

    There are some horrible things people can do, I wonder if whether pushed to the very extreme that love would truly remain unconditional.
    • Judi
    • By Judi 11th Jan 18, 10:44 PM
    • 15,605 Posts
    • 65,278 Thanks
    Judi
    I wonder if a parent would still love their child if they killed one of their siblings and therefore another of your children. I wonder if people would still love their child if they were convicted of abusing and killing children.

    There are some horrible things people can do, I wonder if whether pushed to the very extreme that love would truly remain unconditional.
    Originally posted by Gavin83
    Well i'm not in that position but i know this.

    Could i forget the day i held them in my arms for the first time?

    Could i forget the day they took their first steps in real life?

    Could i forget the first day they went to nursery/school?

    All these things amongst others i cherish in my heart. It would be impossible to erase them from my memory.

    Could i hate what they have done enough to banish them from my life completely? Yes i could, but you couldnt stop me loving them.
    Last edited by Judi; 11-01-2018 at 11:05 PM.
    'Holy crap on a cracker!'
    • POPPYOSCAR
    • By POPPYOSCAR 11th Jan 18, 11:06 PM
    • 10,936 Posts
    • 22,910 Thanks
    POPPYOSCAR
    I was discussing this with a friend yesterday. My friend believes you can only have unconditional love for your kids and parents and not anyone else. I believe all love has conditions – if someone treats you bad enough for long enough, then your love for them can eventually die, even if that person is your child or parent.


    I love some relatives whole heartedly, but they’ve never treated me badly long term so I’ve yet to prove my own theory that my love could die for them.

    My friend is divorced and she was hurt very badly so I think it’s made her resistant to love again in a relationship. Therefore she channels her love to her kids as it’s a safer bet.
    Me – I’ve experience not attaching to and disassociating from relatives that I ‘should’ love such as a parent or sibling (without going into detail). Therefore I can, if I choose to, love someone whole heartedly even a partner.


    So, what are your views on ‘unconditional’ love?
    Originally posted by AubreyMac
    I agree with this.
    • AubreyMac
    • By AubreyMac 11th Jan 18, 11:27 PM
    • 1,300 Posts
    • 3,024 Thanks
    AubreyMac
    Some very moving stories here, thanks for sharing.


    It is great when you can feel......apathetic I guess is the right word, feel nothing about the people who've wronged you. I goes to show you're passed the anger and have forgiven so that you can move forward. It's when you antagonise each other that shows they have a significant hold on your life.
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 12th Jan 18, 3:12 AM
    • 1,199 Posts
    • 1,305 Thanks
    badmemory
    I love my son absolutely & unconditionally & know that he could never ever do anything which would even come close to even embarrassing me. However, my parents never loved me/us & that is damaging. They fulfilled their "duty" to us. Certainly brought us up to know right from wrong without too much physical punishment (it was totally acceptable at the time). But that lack of love/affection does do damage. I went through both their funerals and could not even raise a single tear. So am I a bad daughter, well maybe I am, but of one thing I am certain, I may not be the best parent in the world (in fact I am sure I am not) but I am a better one than they were. Unfortunately, a lot of the time I still love them, whilst also often hating them - I obviously need help - which I got - which is why I can actually talk about it.

    So yes if someone is bad enough to you for long enough it becomes normal even "acceptable", except it really isn't. They don't even stop when you become an "adult". It damages your whole life, until you realise that your whole life has been at their command. Even when they are dead they still hold sway over you. They are still messing with your life.
    Last edited by badmemory; 12-01-2018 at 3:20 AM.
    • mikeeboy
    • By mikeeboy 12th Jan 18, 5:09 PM
    • 144 Posts
    • 72 Thanks
    mikeeboy
    What is unconditional love?

    Would you give up your life for theirs? (Assuming you're not a pensioner when the decision would be easier)
    • mikeeboy
    • By mikeeboy 12th Jan 18, 5:12 PM
    • 144 Posts
    • 72 Thanks
    mikeeboy
    I think that you only get unconditional love from a dog
    Originally posted by Cheeky_Monkey
    I recently had a conversation with a lady that loved her dogs, and I gave the reason that dogs give you the love back unconditionally.

    You can't get that from partners.

    Between mum and kids maybe, but in adulthood you don't live with your mum (some do I know)
    • Newusername1
    • By Newusername1 12th Jan 18, 6:13 PM
    • 129 Posts
    • 68 Thanks
    Newusername1
    I just use people for sex.
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 12th Jan 18, 6:39 PM
    • 1,463 Posts
    • 1,511 Thanks
    Fireflyaway
    I do think you could forgive your kids and love them to a greater degree than anyone else. There is a special bond I think. Not unconditionally though. Some things to my mind are just unforgivable and would get in the way of any feelings of love! Abusing a child, murdering or torturing someone, rape, kidnap to name a few. I just don't see how I could love anyone who did that stuff.
    • seven-day-weekend
    • By seven-day-weekend 14th Jan 18, 8:39 AM
    • 30,012 Posts
    • 56,220 Thanks
    seven-day-weekend
    Well i'm not in that position but i know this.

    Could i forget the day i held them in my arms for the first time?

    Could i forget the day they took their first steps in real life?

    Could i forget the first day they went to nursery/school?

    All these things amongst others i cherish in my heart. It would be impossible to erase them from my memory.

    Could i hate what they have done enough to banish them from my life completely? Yes i could, but you couldnt stop me loving them.
    Originally posted by Judi
    My husband and I were talking about this the other day, and came to the same conclusion as you.

    Nothing would stop us loving our son, even if he were someone like Ian Brady. We may hate what he did, we may never have him in our presence again because of it, but we would never stop loving him and praying for him to see a better way.

    However, I think a parent or other care-giver abusing you when you are their child is a totally different kettle of fish because they are supposed to love, cherish and protect you and I think love can be killed under these circumstances.
    Last edited by seven-day-weekend; 14-01-2018 at 8:44 AM.
    To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and to sing it to them when they have forgotten it
    'All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”: C.S. Lewis
    LOving and caring Corbynista to Jacob Rees-Mogg : 'Why don't you F*** off and die?' J.R-M 'If I do, will you please pray for my immortal soul?' '
    • JayJay100
    • By JayJay100 15th Jan 18, 10:10 AM
    • 196 Posts
    • 377 Thanks
    JayJay100
    I was talking to my auntie about this, the other day. She has three grown up children, one fantastic one, one okay one and one dreadful one. The dreadful one has been an utter swine for the whole of his life; he has a gambling habit, and has been bailed out by his parents on numerous occasions. He won't think twice about stealing from friends and family. and he's also a habitual liar. He's lost his wife, and, when they were younger, he could only see his children on supervised contact, as he even stole from them. Eventually, my uncle refused to bail him out any more, and there was a breakdown in their relationship, although my auntie was still helping out on the quiet. The breaking point for my auntie came at my uncle's funeral; their son heckled the eulogy, laughed out loud at parts of it, sent vile text messages to his children during the service, and put a long rant on social media. A lot of friends and family saw the rant, and although my auntie doesn't know the exact content, she knows enough to be deeply hurt by it. My auntie immediately cut him out of her life.
    We're now two years on, and she's missing him dreadfully. In our conversation, she was trying to justify his behaviour, by saying that perhaps he's mentally ill, or it would have been worse if he'd done x, y, or z. Time seems to be dulling the hurt, or the hurt of living without him, is greater than the hurt of what he's done. I think that there is unconditional love there, even when she despises his behaviour.
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