Reality Reflection: Bad Love

Today I want to talk about a difficult topic: bad love.  Most of what we’ll talk about today may not apply to you, but I do have a message for those who experience only good love in their lives towards the end so I encourage you to read the whole post.   I know right now the world is full of good endorphins and thoughts of how you can make your sweetie happier with Valentine’s Day on Tuesday in the US.  But there’s a dark side of love that I feel should be addressed and it’s not something we’re comfortable talking about or really want to admit exists.  Now, I’m not talking about bad love as in the situation where you don’t love the person you’ve married anymore and decide to get a divorce.  That’s not necessarily bad love, that just means for whatever reason or reasons the relationship didn’t work out or it ran its course and now it’s time for you two to move on.  We’re also not talking about the type of love that some people can’t understand like multiple partners or BDSM or same-sex partnerships.  Those people are in consensual relationships, it’s just not one that everyone can fit into their box that is their understanding of love.

The bad kind of love is really not love.  It’s the date rape situations, abusive partner, abusive parent, abusive child, or even abduction/slavery situations.  There are people around the world of all ages who have to fight to stay alive, to not give up hope, who pray for a chance to get out of the situation or for someone in their life to finally say something about the bruises or broken bones.  We’re always outraged when something like this ends up in the news, but yet we seem to want to stay blissfully ignorant to how many people actually deal with this on a regular basis.  Yes, in the past few years many parts of the world have started to stand up for people in bad love situations, but there are still major obstacles and things that need to be overcome.

I can’t pretend to know what someone who’s on the receiving end of bad love experiences or is going through. I’m thankful that my life has always had good or average relationships.  From what I’ve learned or heard about I know that for the person giving the bad love it can be, to use a word we’re all familiar with, an addiction.  They are addicted to the feeling they get when they bad love someone.  They may also not have a moral compass or they may think that they’re doing the “right” thing.  Years later some people do experience some guilt about the situation or their actions, but that’s not the case for everyone.  For those on the receiving end of bad love it can be a very difficult road not only get out of the situation but to rebuild afterwards.  In some cases they’re tasked with finding help for the person who hurt them all those years, especially in the case of a parent or child.  But it’s that first step that is the most difficult for most people: getting out of the bad love situation.

If that’s you and you’re in a bad love situation, know that you’re not alone.  There are people who will help you, and are willing and able to help you, it’s just a matter of you reaching out and asking for the help.  I know that can be very difficult especially if your situation is especially serious.  But you can’t blame yourself for being in the situation or believe that you deserve whatever is being dished out to you.  That’s not the way that anyone deserves to live.  At the end of the post I’ll list some resources that you can check out if you need to get out of a bad love situation, and I invite you to share resources you know about as well.

For those of us who experience good love it’s very important that we take off our rose colored glasses and realize that as much as the world has progressed in 2017, there is still a long way to go.  Find an organization that helps fight bad love and make a donation, share a tweet or post about them, donate your time or knowledge or skills, or help raise awareness in some other way this Valentine’s Day that there are people out there who need help and that there are resources available to them.

National Domestic Violence Hotline
RAINN

Darkness to Light
Youth dating and abuse resources
Domestic Shelters
Dr Phil’s list of resources
Male Survivor
The Safe Alliance

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