Love-according to me
Love vs. 'In love'
What is the difference between love and being ‘in love’? I imagine the answer to this will vary dependent upon who is answering the question-but I will give it a go…
I was married to the love of my life for more than 17 years and I was more ‘in love’ with him the day I discovered he was gay and that our marriage was over, than I had been the day I first knew I was ‘in love’ with him. Unfortunately, for me, he did not reciprocate, was incapable of it. He claims he loved me and still does…which is perhaps why he tried to be something he was not-straight.
The first time I saw him look lovingly at his boyfriend, the same way I used to look at him, is the first time I realized he had never looked at me in that same way. He couldn’t-and how could he, when he was lying about who he was and what he wanted?
I was hurt and angry at first, and I became incensed when people insisted that he loved me. I loved him and was ‘in love’ with him and I could not see where love played a role in the deception, lies, and betrayal, he perpetrated for so many years. I was so ‘in love’ with him I was incapable of recognizing that he was not ‘in love’ with me. They say that love is blind-love is not blind, in my opinion, real love, unconditional love, allows us to see past all the faults, flaws, shortcomings, and continue to love in spite of them. However, when you’re ‘in love’ you see only what you want to see, the heart blinds you to the truths about not only the person you’re ‘in love’ with, but to the truths about yourself as well.
I realize now, that in his own perverse way, perhaps he loved me so much, he did not want to hurt me, let me down, or disappoint me, by revealing the truth to me, so he did what many people do when they love someone-he tried very hard not to.
The difference being, I had needs he didn’t meet and couldn’t meet, but being ‘in love’ and loving him as I did, I overlooked those needs-gave up those needs. Whereas he loved me enough that he ignored his needs for a time-but because he was not ‘in love’ with me, he sought and met his needs elsewhere. Perhaps if he had denied his needs as well as he had mine or at the very least sought to meet those needs with someone…anyone, other than within my family, I might be more convinced that what he did was out of love or for love. Unfortunately, for me, and for our family, his love or version of love was all about lying to me.
I feel as though our entire life was a fraud, he is a fraud, I asked for a friend and he mistakenly heard me say fraud. He said he didn’t always know, and because he did not want to be, yet he knew enough to act on it, give in to it. As for not wanting to be, there’s nothing wrong with being gay, I never asked him to deny his sexuality. I deserved the respect of honesty, I deserved a choice, should have been given one, I deserved, if nothing else, honesty and respect.
I kept trying to prove to him that I forgave him, loved him, and believed him, all the while, he kept right on lying to me. He should have loved me enough, supposedly loved me so much, yet, he continually lived a lie, kept right on lying to me. Perhaps that’s the difference between ‘love,’ and ‘in love,’ when you love someone, you can see the faults and shortcomings, but when you’re in love with someone, you’re blind to them. Being in love or loving someone are or may be vastly different, dependent upon whom you ask, but both loves, all loves, require and deserve honesty, where it’s given unconditionally.
Maybe there’s no difference at all, maybe the only difference is in the person and or persons giving, granting, exchanging, expressing, sharing, etc. love. Whatever the case is or may be, it is because I love him unconditionally, that I must forgive and have forgiven him, that’s what it means to love, or love means to me, at least the version of love I believe in. That’s love-according to me.