Romance in MARRIAGE really 'Unconditional love'?
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Navigation »Talk About Marriage »Talk About Family, Marriage and Relationships »General Relationship Discussion » Romance in MARRIAGE really 'Unconditional love'?

General Relationship Discussion Although anyone can post anywhere on Talk About Marriage, this section is for people interested in general relationship and marriage advice.

View Poll Results: Is the romance in MARRIAGE really "Unconditional Love"?
Yes. I think it is. 4 16.00%
No... Nope. I have requirements for my spouse! 20 80.00%
Not sure. Maybe? 1 4.00%
Voters: 25. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-24-2013, 04:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Romance in MARRIAGE really 'Unconditional love'?

Is the romance in MARRIAGE Really unconditional love?

I just keep running into this this phrase on different posts and various places in threads...
It so grates on my nerves. I will always love my wife. Spouses do make a commitment to do this, yet there are actual vows. It seems when marriages have problems, then people want to think that the love for a spouse should be unconditional love?!?

I do NOT understand this. I o'bide by my vows, and I expect my wife to do the same...

The tone seems to be that somehow the "unconditional love" is greater than love with vows!?!?

Parents and children share this type of love, **but**
Why should people feel as if they should feel a similar love connection to a spouse?
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Romance in MARRIAGE really 'Unconditional love'?

Nope, romantic love is not unconditional love. Romantic love has many conditions, and if not met, the love will die.

You have to stoke the flames, keep the fires burning, those things require meeting certain conditions.
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Romance in MARRIAGE really 'Unconditional love'?

I agree, not being a scandalous ho (gender neutral), seems to be difficult for many.
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Romance in MARRIAGE really 'Unconditional love'?

Why you gotta be a hater? I loves me my scandalous ho's.
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Romance in MARRIAGE really 'Unconditional love'?

I'm not sure what you're getting at. When I got married, I didn't make any vows - we signed some papers, but they weren't "until death do us part" vows. We had known we wanted to spend our lives together for a long time already, and we were making it official.

You should WANT to be with your spouse - you should have a great deal of respect for your spouse, or you never should have gotten married. If you lose respect for your spouse (and this should be a difficult thing to do), then you shouldn't be with them anymore. You can't live your life out happily with someone you don't have respect for.

"Love" is such a funny word... it means so many things to so many people. I think I do love my SO unconditionally... but I'd probably still love him if something terrible happened, and our relationship ended (even if I'd lost respect for him, perhaps).

Anyway. Everything in life is about priorities, in a way. If your values prioritize the vows you made ("until death do us part") over your happiness or the happiness of your spouse, then that's your decision to make - and it's an admirable one. But I think it's just as admirable to decide that both people will live happier lives apart, and that this value is more important.

Both people should know (via communication) what their partner expects from them, and what they can expect from their partner. If you go outside of that, you've broken trust, and respect can fall. That's not the same as love.
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Old 05-24-2013, 04:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Romance in MARRIAGE really 'Unconditional love'?

Unconditional love is a myth
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Romance in MARRIAGE really 'Unconditional love'?

You touch on a very interesting topic here. Marriage vows are conditional by nature. For instance, if my wife promises to "have and to hold" only me, and then decides to "have and to hold" someone else, she has broken her vow (condition for marriage) and the marriage could be dissolved.

However, I think the idea behind unconditional love would be nested "inside" the vow structure of marriage. That's why couples talk about "deal breakers", which are basically things that a spouse would do that would make marriage (or at least living with the said spouse for a while) impossible.

But deal breakers aside, I view unconditional love more in terms of loving your spouse even when he/she isn't very loveable at the moment. It is about making sure that your spouse doesn't have to earn your love, but being assured that your love is always there even when he/she makes mistakes or is having a rough time. Of course, these sorts of actions are also part of most wedding vows, but I'm talking about the day to day here.

According to the book, Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, the Respect He Desperately Needs, by Dr. Emerson Eggerich, the day to day activity of love and respect is far more important than simply knowing that at some point in your marriage you committed some things via a set of vows. To show love and/or respect to your spouse even when he/she doesn't deserve it is, in fact, what "doing your vows" looks like. Otherwise you get into what Emerson described as the "crazy cycle", where one spouse withholds love because the other spouse is withholding respect (or vice versa). The result is that the relationship crumbles as a result of the constant power struggle. An example:
"She hasn't responded to my need for sex for days. That isn't right and even goes against her vows and shows that she doesn't respect me. So why should I continue to do romantic things like writing her affectionate notes or cuddling with her? Until she realized that she is treating me like crap and standing on my air hose, I'm not going to go out of my way to do those things that she likes me to do for her, either."

Obviously the above example is immaturity -- but I believe many spouses play these sorts of games, even if they don't actually rationalize them out like I did above. For instance, my wife has a lower drive than I do. I discovered she was purposefully withholding affection from me (which is my love language -- physical touch) so I wouldn't desire her as often. This had the opposite affect on me because I was starving for her affection and the only way I seemed to get any affection was when we had sex. Her love language is words of appreciation/validation. So when she would withhold affection I would naturally want to be more affectionate (not her love language -- didn't turn her on at all). I then would become resentful and began to get all critical and pissy with my words. This, in turn, invalidated her and did the opposite of what she truly needed from me -- words of validation and appreciation. So she withheld more affection (and consequently sex, too).

We didn't get on this crazy cycle with the intention of hurting each other -- it just happened automatically. How unconditional love enters the picture is this: I decided to break the cycle by showing her love that I felt at the time she didn't really "deserve" (condition). I wrote to her my feelings, but I also made it clear with words of affection and validation that I was crazy about her and that I appreciated (a whole list) of things that she has done/is still doing in our relationship. I apologized for my critical words and for standing on her air hose even though I felt like I was also suffocating.

She didn't need to earn anything to get the above treatment. She didn't need to measure up, stop doing anything, or say she was sorry first. That is the unconditional part of what went on.

Does this make sense?
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Romance in MARRIAGE really 'Unconditional love'?

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Originally Posted by tacoma View Post
Unconditional love is a myth
Well, if we want to get into technicalities, sure. I mean, I can't imagine every possible condition that could apply...

But I can't think of any that could affect my love for my SO... or my love for my cat, or my sister, or many of my hobbies. I guess it depends how you define love, too.
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Romance in MARRIAGE really 'Unconditional love'?

Everyone has deal-breakers. Cheat on your spouse often enough, beat him/her severely enough or often enough and the most loyal among them will toss you to the curb. Having said that, I do believe that withholding affection or sex simply because one doesn't feel ridiculously "happy" or because one's spouse has a perceived flaw or two isn't acceptable.
We all enter into marriage with expectations but that's all they are...expectations. They weren't carved in stone by the finger of God and they don't constitute marching orders for one's spouse. Failing to have each and every one of your expectations met is not an excuse for withholding affection.
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Romance in MARRIAGE really 'Unconditional love'?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eyuop View Post
But deal breakers aside, I view unconditional love more in terms of loving your spouse even when he/she isn't very loveable at the moment...
Thank you for being more coherent and organized in your thoughts than I was in mine. I very much agree with what you have to say.

----------------------

Marriage isn't just the commitment you've made in front of your family with specific wording and clauses. It's a generalized commitment to be the person your spouse needs you to be, and to work as a team to make your shared life into something you both want.

I'm assuming an example that should spring to mind is a cheating spouse - they've broken vows. But, I really don't think that has much to do with love. I could see how someone could cheat on someone they love, if other things had gone awry; and my definition of "love" allows me to love many people at a time, even if I only sleep with one of them. *shrugs*
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:24 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Romance in MARRIAGE really 'Unconditional love'?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Faiora View Post
Well, if we want to get into technicalities, sure. I mean, I can't imagine every possible condition that could apply...

But I can't think of any that could affect my love for my SO... or my love for my cat, or my sister, or many of my hobbies. I guess it depends how you define love, too.
Or you don't have an imagination as creative as I do.

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Old 05-24-2013, 05:39 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by tacoma View Post
Or you don't have an imagination as creative as I do.

Could be!
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Old 05-24-2013, 07:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Default Re: Romance in MARRIAGE really 'Unconditional love'?

My love for my husband is conditional.

It is deep, and it would take a lot for it to end. But it could be broken.

The only people on Earth I love unconditionally are my children. There is nothing they could do that would ever end my love for them. And I'm even considering the worst things humans do.
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Old 05-24-2013, 08:18 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Romance in MARRIAGE really 'Unconditional love'?

Romance and unconditional love are two different things. I think when it comes to a romantic relationship, there's no such thing as unconditional love. To me, unconditional love applies to my family and close friends.
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Old 05-25-2013, 03:11 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Default Re: Romance in MARRIAGE really 'Unconditional love'?

I don't really think anyone is capable of unconditional love.

I haven't spoken to my blood family since my mothers death because of the way they treated her and I.

If I were to go home today and my daughter was straddling my wife's corpse while eating her liver with an ice cream scoop I think my love would immediately be shown to be "Conditional"
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