Love is enough.
Caring about someone almost as much as you care about yourself is not enough.
The problem with modern life is we tend to confuse the two.
Here's a few tips for helping figure it out:
1. If you think he should always forgive you for saying hurtful things when you are angry at him. Because, after all, it's pretty hard to control yourself when you're mad and people say stupid stuff when they are mad all the time.
That's not love.
2. If you can get angry without wanting to hurt because you would never hurt him.
Yesterday I read a Facebook post from a young woman who's long term relationship just ended. She was understandably devastated. I have no idea what ended the relationship or how healthy the relationship had been. I was bothered by her post, however. She basically made a claim that everyone says stupid hurtful things in a fight with someone you love. That such behavior is common and therefore always forgivable. He couldn't have loved her enough because he couldn't forgive whatever it was that was said in the last fight.
I feel for the young lady. I'm not saying she was in the wrong in the relationship, because I don't know the circumstances. Honestly, I don't care. It's none of my business and I wish her well in the future.
I will say her post was wrong. Not everyone behaves like that when they argue. Not everyone finds such behavior acceptable. It is not the behavior of mature, loving adults.
So I worry about her. I worry about the teenage girls she's friends with who saw that post and believed it. I worry about all the women who commented on her post basically telling her she was right. That everything said in a fight is always forgivable.
We have these modern examples of romantic movies with absolutely horrible relationship patterns. They meet. They fall in love. They have some stupid big, horrible fight with absolutely horrible things said to one another. They make up and everything is hunky dory again. Happily Ever After. Same story in romance books. There's this idea that big horrible fights equal passion in a relationship. And hey, who doesn't want passion?
I'm not saying that loving couples never argue. Of course, they do. They just control their tongues. They don't say things to hurt each other. They can disagree without being horrible to each other. This is real. This is the way it should work.
I'm rambling. I guess I was bothered by that post because it's such a pervasive idea in American life. It worries me. I try to teach my children, but what will their spouses believe? Will my sons have to put up with that kind of crap (or think they should put up with it)? Will my daughters? I don't know. I don't think this issue will keep me up at nights, but it was bothering me enough that I felt the need to write these things down, to structure them, to send them out "into the void."
I don't know everything. Some days I don't feel I know very much at all. I do know Love is enough. But it has to be love. Caring is never enough to get us through. Life is hard. Life needs true love.