25 Apr

Unconditional love? What is it?


unconditional. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

‘Unconditional love is known as affection without any limitations. This term is sometimes associated with other terms such as true altruism, complete love, or “mother’s/father’s love.” Each area of expertise has a certain way of describing unconditional love, but most will agree that it is that type of love which has no bounds and is unchanging. It is a concept comparable to true love, a term which is more frequently used to describe love between lovers. By contrast, unconditional love is frequently used to describe love between family members, comrades in arms and between others in highly committed relationships. An example of this is a parent’s love for their child; no matter a test score, a life changing decision, an argument, or a strong belief, the amount of love that remains between this bond is seen as unchanging and unconditional.’

I always say that I love my husband unconditionally…but do i?

After a conversation (or 2) in which a friend asked whether I worried that he was going to do this all over again…if in a year or 2 he turned around and told me that all this ‘progress’ was bullshit…

I got thinking…what if? But what’s the point in what ifs? Like i told her…I worry about that happening every single day but I cant live focusing on that. I just have to trust that it wont happen…I mean…what else can I do?

So I spoke to my husband… I asked him to please PLEASE tell me if -in a year say- nothing had changed, if the therapy had had no affect on him whatsoever…if there wasn’t even the tiniest change…to tell me, to call quits…because the idea of this worry becoming a reality absolutely petrifies me and honestly, if it did happen I don’t think I could cope.

He agreed, he said it was fair enough and after that we actually had a really great week. We were more relaxed, we were ourselves (as far as i know) and we had fun…it was like a weight had been lifted and we bonded again. Maybe the idea of a time limit; the reminder that i will NOT stick around forever in a completely loveless marriage brought to light the seriousness of the matter. We got it out, we spoke about it and in some ways it gave us a reason to put in a little more effort, to delve deeper and to try harder.

But that’s not unconditional love on my part is it? That’s me putting yet another IF on it, adding another rule… I’ll love you IF you get help; I’ll love you IF you stop lying…I’ll love you IF something changes within x amount of time….

Or am i missing the point? Is unconditional love the idea that even if he didn’t do any of the above I would still love him…regardless of whether I stayed or left? But then leaving would be giving up wouldn’t it? and that would mean giving up on us…giving up on our love…and that’s not unconditional :/

Is it possible to have unconditional love for someone whom isnt related by blood?…I used to think it was…but now I’m not so sure



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28 responses to “IF….

  1. johncoyote

    April 25, 2013 at 9:54 am

    Unconditional love is for few things only. Our children, maybe our homeland and the people who raised us. I believe with marriage. Unconditional love come with time spend together. A very good topic in the blog. Easy to understand the meaning of unconditional love. It mean someone or something we would die to protect.

    • Comfortably Numb

      April 25, 2013 at 10:28 am

      Thank you, I agree with the theory of it but in reality I dont think its possible to love without SOME conditionals involved…or at least unless the other person loves you unconditionally in return…which again is conditional.

      I think theres a very thin line between unconditional love and allowing someone to take advantage of you

      Thanks again for the response

  2. beetleypete

    April 25, 2013 at 10:06 am

    I have never felt that unconditional love really exists, and why should it? We should not be expected to stay in love with someone however they treat us, and when they do things in extremes.
    I am not counting children here, as I don’t have any, but I suppose it does happen with them. As ever, Pete. X

    • Comfortably Numb

      April 25, 2013 at 10:32 am

      I suppose its like the parents of murderers…their child has committed something terrible and yet they would still love him/her….but then sometimes they cut them out completely and ‘disown them’ -doesnt mean the love stops entirely though

      Perhaps unconditional love (in family) is just another word for ‘feeling responsible for’ someone or feeling obliged to love them because you spawned them lol


  3. writingthebody

    April 25, 2013 at 10:49 am

    I think the love of parents nowadays approaches it – your child has no one else to stand up for her; you are the last line of support, the one she counts on. But love for a partner is different in nature – and with what you face, he has already broken the thread. He has broken the deal. Of course there need to be conditions. If he meets them, well, then it is one step at a time….you are hard on yourself, and I must say I originally thought you were hard on him – I have been told off this morning by a different blogger for making such errors….and I did it to you as well. Can he help it? I do not know. But yuo have created the space for him to say so. Can he work on it? He can. I am not optimistic, I must say. But you are the one who is there..

    I know I cannot bravely stand up to the scorn of a woman, and maybe he cannot be brave enough to do that with you. But you seem to me to be giving him so many chances, surely he must see that. And why would he lie about progress, or lack of it? Why….I wonder. because he is a man I suppose. And I suppose you need to see if you are getting the love and support more generally you need. Are you now?

    • Comfortably Numb

      April 25, 2013 at 11:01 am

      Thanks for the reply, It comes and goes – the love and support. Good days and bad days like with everything I suppose.

      Its really hard when one person is so lost while the other (me) tries to help AND deal with the ‘grieving process’ or coming to terms with what is happening around them – especially when hormones or illness or lack of coffee come into play lol

      Some days I feel fine, its almost like i forget that there is an issue but then something happens, a comment is made, an admission is …well admitted lol and that horrible gut punch feeling comes back and it starts all over again.

      Its nice to see your change of heart over a matter of comments. like I said I welcome other points of view in the hope that I will understand the world a little better.

      My counsellor asked if it annoyed me when i went into a session feeling fine and he made me doubt it again and would leave feeling worse. It DOES annoy me…but I thought about it and went back with the realisation that i NEED it, like a sparring partner.

      I need people to question me (every now and then) so that i can defend or argue my own choices, so i can work it out for myself and gain some different perpective.

      I worry that people see me as a push over, as someone who is weak for letting him have such a bad effect and for sticking around but im not stupid. I weigh things up – either alone or on here, I dont let him walk all over me, i do stand my ground.

      I didnt start this blog to slate him (although there are a few angry posts but come on..i need to rant SOMETIMES LOL) I try my best to understand what he is going through – whether he understands it himself or not- and this blog helps me to do that – thanks to the input of others and just letting it all out.

      I agree, there HAS to be condition in love…otherwise its just one person getting taken advantage of…and thats not love.

      (sorry went off on a bit of a tangent -ive just got my coffee rush so my fingers dont want to stop lol)

      • writingthebody

        April 25, 2013 at 11:08 am

        Coffee is good, isn’t it? I am intrigued that people see you as a pushover – the fact you are trying to drive the relationship to a functional place is not pushover behaviour, it is commitment behaviour. In this comment too, you clearly say that you are making a judgement….again, I think that is what you have to do, to weigh things up. I am bothered by the fact that he seems to think it ok to have admissions here and there. Is there some way of structuring that so there is no unexpected revelation? I feel, maybe I am wrong, but I feel you suspect somewhere in you that perhaps he is still looking at those sites, or wanking? Trust in other words.

      • Comfortably Numb

        April 25, 2013 at 11:17 am

        The trust is gone and WE are trying to rebuild it one step at a time – with the help of his therapy. It seems that he impulse lies and is dealing with that for now and trying to establish the reason(s) behind it.

        I am also bothered by the trickle of admissions, i would rather it all came out in one go to let me deal with it but its just not how his mind works apparently (google/therapy/my own counselling backs it up)

        I am hoping that eventually the truth will come out entirely; i know from more recent revelations however that there is still more to come. I dont believe he does anything to hurt me on purpouse, i honestly believe he is a very lost and confused person…but that doesnt mean im going to allow it to go on forever


      • writingthebody

        April 25, 2013 at 11:24 am

        No Beth, absolutely not….you sound like you are well and truly young enough to start afresh. He has a lot of stuff he seems to not want to give up. His lying seems to be even worse than I have been….and I really see my own situation as a problem. I am trying to get what I call vertical integration – I am so sick of being multiple people. I am the funny guy to one person, the complaining guy to another, the masochist to another, and well the useless partner to another. But he does not sound like he has any sexual kinks beyond a need to look at porn. I cannot see why he cannot get past that actually. My masochism nearly drives me insane – even I am fed up with myself. But I do know this about my own patterns of self-deception (and this is definitely part of it with your husband – he is telling you lies, and he knows about those, sure, but he is also lying to himself, or deluding himself about who he is and what he wants). I guess I know that from inside. I am nowadays alert to my own theatre, my own little shows for others – that used to half fool me as well. Life is so short….just so short, yet it is hard to get past some patterns, I am afraid.

  4. greenembers

    April 25, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    You keep coming up with these questions that wreck my tiny brain… this is a good thing! Okay so I am trying to work through this. I think love can be unconditional but our demonstration of love can be conditional… if that makes sense. I still believe that love is a skill though, anyone can learn to use it but some are more talented at it. If someone wants to be good at it, with time they can develop it, but it takes time and dedication. I think from what you have written your husband has shown progress but some days just might be worse than others, if he keeps working at it though, I feel he will reach his emotions. The thing is though, he has to do it, all you can do is encourage him on. I hope my ramblings make sense, lol.

    • Comfortably Numb

      April 25, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      They do indeed, over the past few days (as you know) things have blown up again (posts to come) and my counsellor told me pretty much what you just did – I didn’t cause this, I can’t cure him and I can’t change him… All I can do is encourage him to do that. I need to not necessarily accept what is going on but accept that it’s not my fault and I can’t fix him x

  5. Mocha

    April 25, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    I hear these term often, unconditional love, unwavering love, undying love…true love, forever love…etc…I know people that say there is no such thing and I know people that scalp the earth to find such a thing…I know people that use the terms and really have no idea what they really mean…I’m pretty sure I’ve used them before with not knowing what they truly mean…I’ve come to terms with they don’t mean forever, they are not a permanent thing…but an in the moment thing…how you act in the moment is what define them…A movie I saw sometime back called Friday Night Lights…the head coach of a football team described the being perfect as such: “Being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there. It’s not about winning. It’s about you and your relationship with yourself, your family and your friends. Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn’t let them down because you told them the truth. And that truth is you did everything you could. There wasn’t one more thing you could’ve done. Can you live in that moment as best you can, with clear eyes, and love in your heart, with joy in your heart? If you can do that…you’re perfect!

    This is how I equate unconditional love…That I did everything that I could and I could look at myself and say I did…after that may the chips fall where they may…

    • Comfortably Numb

      May 1, 2013 at 3:25 pm

      I just stumbled across a whole selection of unanswered comments -including this one-I blame the phone! So, sorry about that and great insight -as ever, Thank you xB

      • Mocha

        May 1, 2013 at 6:47 pm

        lol…no worries…you get them when you are meant to get them I suppose 🙂

  6. ioniamartin

    April 25, 2013 at 6:21 pm

    I think everyone has pretty much already said it, but here is my opinion: Unconditional love is something that each of us must define by ourselves based on our situation. If I love someone and they do the unthinkable I may not like them anymore, but will I still love them regardless of what they did or if they are in my life anymore? Most likely.

    • Comfortably Numb

      May 1, 2013 at 3:25 pm

      Sorry I thought I had replied to this already – Thank you, I like that view xB

  7. Mohamed Ossama

    April 25, 2013 at 7:21 pm

    Very intriguing topic. I think love becomes unconditional when it exists although there are no ties between the sides. I don’t see love between a mother and her child as unconditional, there is one hell of a tie between the two. And similarly its not either the love between you and your husband. Unconditional love is something very unique and different from the normal love that we understand.

    • Comfortably Numb

      May 1, 2013 at 3:26 pm

      I would have to agree there, (sorry i didnt reply sooner) xB

  8. Nowan Zen

    April 25, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Unconditional love does not always mean staying in a relationship. You can love someone unconditionally from a distance. For example, I love my ex unconditionally, would do anything for her, be there for her if she needed me, but we simply aren’t good for each other relationally. Unconditional love means you care about them, you are concerned about their well-being, you want to continue as part of their life. But it doesn’t mean the relationship that drives you to despair is where you need to be.

    • Comfortably Numb

      April 25, 2013 at 9:20 pm

      Good response 🙂 I like you…maybe I’ll keep you around for a while before returning you to that coffee shop

      • Nowan Zen

        April 25, 2013 at 9:56 pm

        Might I have a cookie?

      • Comfortably Numb

        April 25, 2013 at 10:18 pm

        You may have 2

      • Nowan Zen

        April 25, 2013 at 10:36 pm

        Oh you know how to speak my language! Not the jabber of the furniture, but the language I actually understand.

  9. behindthemaskofabuse

    April 26, 2013 at 1:36 am

    It seems you’re awfully hard on yourself over all this. I love my parents but they are not allowed in my life because they abuse me.

    • Comfortably Numb

      April 27, 2013 at 9:46 am

      Thats a really simple way of putting it…but it makes sense and i agree, thank you x

  10. sparkleglistenfade

    April 26, 2013 at 3:29 am

    Love is wanting what’s best for someone regardless of whether or not that includes you. Sometimes that even means leaving them for their benefit.

    Loving someone unconditionally is loving them regardless of how they are towards you. Completely separating your feelings for and towards them from how they feel and are towards you. Someone can hate me, and I can still love them. Someone can be abusive towards me, and I can still love them. Loving them is not the same as allowing them to degrade you. You have to also love yourself unconditionally.

    Sometimes the only way to be able to do this is to emotionally distance yourself – I love you, I am here for you, but I am taking the power to hurt me away from you. I no longer look to you for MY emotional support or well being, I no longer feel like I can depend on you because you let me down, because I do not feel love from you – but your feelings and actions do not determine the way I am. So if you choose to look to me for emotional support, that is your choice and I will never let you down – despite the fact that you did me. That’s me being true to who I am, what I believe in, how I feel. If you don’t love me, that’s your choice – but I didn’t love you because you loved me.. so why would I stop?

    • Comfortably Numb

      April 27, 2013 at 9:52 am

      Brilliant response – thank you! The thing that worries me is HOW do i distance myself without going too far the other way and not feeling anything (good towards him) at all? It doesnt feel right, its not who i am. I didnt marry him so i could distance myself, I married him because he DID give me the support i needed and because I could be myself with him. I suppose i need to come to terms with the fact that that marriage didnt really exist, things have changed and I now need to adapt to it and accept it OR walk away :/

      (This is where i stamp my feet and have a childish tantrum screaming I DONT WANT IT TO CHANGE, I WANT MY HUSBAND BACK!!!! lol)

      Thank you again xB

      • sparkleglistenfade

        April 27, 2013 at 7:24 pm

        Your marriage did exist. We just often have trouble coming to terms with the fact that truths are neither stagnant nor universal. The fact that it may not have been real to him doesn’t change the fact that it was real to you. The fact that it’s no longer real to you doesn’t change the fact that it once was. You are just no longer in the same marriage, no longer married to the same person – which is unfortunate, sucks and is in no way your fault. It’s also just the way things are. We’re in a constant state of evolution for better or worse. Your husband could have just as easily have been changed from unknown and unseen future events.

        It leaves you in a position where you need to determine this new situations worth. Your previous situation is gone – it will never be same even if your husband returns. He has scared you, damaged that trust and security. You either decide that you are ok being in a relationship without that there (or that you will be, or you wait a while to see), or you leave.

        The thing is that we can not control or change the way other people are or feel. The only choice we have is to decide if we accept what they offer us or not. The only thing we determine is how we respond to them. You decide if you offer your love and support without contingencies of receiving the same – altruistically. The moment you stipulate that you must receive something from someone to give it to them you are no longer truly doing it for their benefit but for your own.

        If you distance yourself from needing his reciprocation of feelings and support and find that you no longer feel anything good towards him, then your feelings and longing for him are rooted more in the way that he made *you* feel rather than how you actually feel for him.


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