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The Not 100% Complete FAQs for the Pretty Fucked Up Person in a Pretty Fucked Up World

Various kinds of Love Hell described for no good reason...

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Okay, so let's just suppose that someone was accidentally involved in a relationship that involved constant fighting that they can never win but would not leave that relationship even after like, a long time of this crap, and everything.

Sound familiar? Of course it does. If you do not have at least one friend who has been in a relationship like this, you do not have enough friends. The reason you don't have enough friends is probably because you are too busy being in a relationship like this yourself.

So why do people stay in relationships like this that make them miserable and make their friends alarmed and parents disapproving and so on? Well, lots of reasons actually, but Jesus Christ, I can't devote an entire eternity to explaining all possible reasons so I will focus instead on the reason I feel like focusing on.

I've addressed this before, but what the hell. It's a biggie.

Sometimes a relationship is a losing war for love.

Sometimes you will stay in a relationship and fight with someone because you believe, deep in your deluded little heart, that the person you are fighting with loves you or should love you or will love you or had better love you or would love you or...something else like that, when in fact, the person you are fighting with doesn't really love you and has no intention of doing anything stupid like that ever.

Some people like to fight with people they do not love because it makes them feel powerful. Correction: It doesn't just make them feel powerful, it makes them powerful in actual fact. At least powerful with respect to the person they do not love.

And some other people put up with this because they absolutely positively cannot stand the thought of someone not loving them. The thought feels like death. Or the feeling feels like death. Sometimes it feels like death because at one time it kinda sorta was like death. Sometimes people are born to or grow up with adults who do not really love them and statistically speaking that's actually pretty fucking dangerous. Evolution is alert to this kind of danger and when it detects it, it says things to itself like 'oh shit. this is bad. let's not tell the youngster growing up with people who do not love him/her about this danger because he/she will get all freaked out and not be able to maintain. that would be even worse. we have a slim chance of survival as it is, but we would have an even slimmer chance if major freaking occurs. We will not be able to completely quell a persistent sensation of Ominous Dread, but at the very least, we must pretend we don't notice that Junior or Juniorette is attempting to grow up with a Dangerous Lack of Love.'

This particular circumstance is neither common nor uncommon. It occurs with Bell Curve Like Frequency, which basically means that maybe 20% of people escape it entirely and have no idea what Persistent Ominous Dread would feel like. Another 20% of people grow up in Incredibly Deep Shit and laugh at mere sensations of Ominous Dread as they merrily plow their ways through Sensational Crime Sprees or whatever it is they do to cope. And around half the people in the world, more or less depending on god knows what, have various intermittent sensations of Ominous Dread that come and go depending on circumstances.

Which means that most people are at least somewhat vulnerable to accidentally hooking up with someone who will push their Not Entirely Loved Ominous Dread Buttons and make them not want to leave someone who doesn't love them because their evolutionary brains really don't want to admit to the existence of the whole Not Entirely Loved Phenomenon at all because it brings up bad memories and the evolutionary brains keep whining things to themselves like "Wouldn't it better if we would all just pretend that everything's going to work out sooner or later and love will appear? Doesn't that sound like a good plan?"

The answer is that it seems like a good plan, but really, as plans go, by the time you are let's say, 14, it's not really all that great a plan, at least when it comes to boyfriend/girlfriend type relationship thingys.

Since most people aren't that horrifically scarred by life, most people eventually figure out, 'oh this is not fucking working out,' they bite the bullet eventually, leave the person they fight with but don't receive love from and life goes on. Actually, even people who are horrifically scarred by life figure this out and move on.

But occasionally people don't. Figure it out, I mean. Maybe they are Emotional Scaredy-Cats. Maybe they are Stupid Optimists. Maybe they have become Addicted to Fighting. Maybe they figure this relationship is a Good Way to Avoid Actual Love. Maybe They Are Used to Life Being Like This Anyway, So Who Cares? Maybe they believe that the Healing Power of Their Own Intense Love Will Work Miracles. Maybe they are Economically Dependent. Maybe they are Saddled With Children They Will Endure Anything to Protect. And so on.

But even though this constitutes a semi-decent list of Good Reasons to endure constant fighting because you are unwilling to bear the reality that the person you are fighting with does not love and never will...staying in a relationship like this is still Not A Good Plan.

Which means we now have to move on to the Brutal Advice portion of the page. If you (or someone whose life you feel like interfering in) is engaging in fights designed to Get That Other Person to Admit to Love, then the relationship needs to end. Sometimes it needs to end very carefully, but it needs to end. Sometimes people with power are not all that enthusiastic about losing the object of their power, but still...the relationship needs to end.

How can you tell if you are fighting to get someone to love you who doesn't? Usually the sheer intensity of the emotion will give you some solid clues. Sensations of suicidal attachment are not uncommon, as in thinking you will DIE if the person breaks up with you. If you start feeling that way, then you should say to yourself "uh oh. that's pretty fucked up. ooooops. i need to ratchet this situation down and start inching backwards toward the door and then run like holy fucking hell.' Because basically, that's exactly what you should do. Cautiously, but expeditiously. You will not want to, because hello, you are thinking you will die if you do so, but in fact, you are somewhat more likely to die if you don't.

That's simple enough.

Sometimes, however, the clues are more subtle. Actual death sensations are not involved. Sometimes you just feel like you want to refuse to end a fight until the other person apologizes. Which seems perfectly normal, right? And which, in fact, is pretty normal. But then, you gotta check. Does the other person in fact apologize? How often? 50/50 ratio or an always/never ratio to your disadvantage?

If the person doesn't apologize, then can you say to yourself, 'hmmm, maybe this person doesn't love me?' Refusal to apologize, of course, does not always constitute Indisputable Proof that another person doesn't love you. Sometimes the other person just thinks he or she is right. Which is terrifically annoying but does happen sometimes.

But that's not the point. The point is whether you can face the fact that lack o'love is a possibility. And be williing to find out. And be willing to live with the answer.

If you can't live with the answer, then you've got yourself a one-way ticket to Being Trapped Forever in Love Hell. Cuz you won't be able to leave until you get what you want, which you're not going to get, cuz it don't exist, ergo, voila and in cognito, you are completely fucking trapped. And sometimes you are trapped while developing a reputation as an asshole who cannot stand to lose a fight.

To add a serial twist to the plot, some people who are otherwise seemingly quite successful at everything else do not appear to be permanently trapped in Love Hell and yet they are! They are just trapped in Serial Love Hell instead of One Long Love Hell with the Same Person. In other words, the person gets into a relationship in which he or she fights like hell for love, doesn't get it, freaks out, pitches a fit, dumps or gets dumped, and then amazingly rushes right back into another relationship that is almost exactly the same!

If this is your pattern, then you are just going to have to take the advice of my new two favorite Love Gurus, Jim Carrey and Mike Myers, and get cool with yourself. Or else rack up a lot of Highly Dramatic Relationships That Always End in Bitter Heartbreak. Which you can certainly do if you want.

If you don't want or are just getting tired of things, then you get cool with yourself by realizing that a) people don't really have to love you if they don't want to and if you try to make them love you by constantly demanding that they do it will often turn out that they still don't. That's realization A.

Realization B is that your life has already been horribly painful due to lack of love and the discipline of not trying to get it from people who aren't going to cough it up is not going to make it any more horribly painful and eventually will make it less horribly painful. Which is actually what your Evolutionary Brain Centers don't believe but which is true.

They don't believe it on the basis of an otherwise very sound theory, namely that pain you put off experiencing until tomorrow is obviously and significantly less painful than pain you are actually feeling now. Which in a way is true. Because hello! any pain that you are feeling now is definitely worse than not feeling it, although supposedly if you are going to feel it later it will still be bad then. But hey, that's then, why worry about it now?

This is the I'll Have Surgery On My Knee Later, When It Gets Really Bad and I Can't Walk theory of relationship management and evolution greatly favors it. It would just as soon you put off relationship surgery until things are really bad and you can't walk because it's afraid of going under the knife.

So how can you tell if the fighting you are engaging in is a sign of Love Tenderly Developing Through Conflict or a sign of Feeding the Hellacious Greedy Love Hell Monster That is Your Life? Well, a certain amount of attachment will develop in both cases, but a clue as to the nature of the attachment lies in whether you are generating more tenderness as you go along or whether you are generating more passion. Passion is addictive, while tenderness sprouts uncertainly from understanding. If your fights lead to understanding, then tender love is uncertainly sprouting. If your fights lead to Desperate Frenzied Passion then Desperation is developing.

Suppose you are married and the fighting is incessant? Suppose things used to be good, so you are reluctant to adopt the "He/She Never Loved Me" theory and yet understanding does not seem to be occurring and perhaps is fading semi-rapidly into the background seemingly never to be resurrected again? Suppose you are completely fucking confused all the goddamn time and not liking it all that much.

In this case, you are simply Married.

This happens. Sometimes when two people love each other very much, they get married. Often following this event, they will attempt to live with each other for long periods of time. After about 7 years or so, give or take, depending on circumstances, they will come to an Awful Realization. The Awful Realization is that their lives are now completely entwined and entangled with each other's and they can no longer fucking move from the kitchen island to the kitchen sink without tripping over the damnable and messy tangles of Unsorted Stuff that arises from having lived for 7 years more or less with another person and his or her messy Unsorted Stuff that is now getting in the way of you navigating through your own messy Unsorted Stuff.

Communication seemingly becomes impossible becasue it has to wend its way through a booby-trapped Hell Zone of Unsorted Stuff and by the time it gets to the other person it picks up all kinds of Unintended Meanings, Bad Memories, and Explosive Friction Material. It will occur to you that the two of you Do Not Agree on Anything.

There are two cures for this.

Cure #1: Not getting divorced even though you really really want to. This seems like an odd cure, but it works eventually and then often ushers in a Golden Era of Happy Marriage-ness.

Cure #2: Getting a divorce even though you really really don't want to. This also usually cures things, although in an extraordinarily painful manner.

Basically, if you don't do what you want, things will turn out all right, although I'm not telling you that they will do so in an easy or light-hearted manner.

All right, let's summarized what we learned today!

A) If you are trying to get someone to love you who does not, leave. End the relationship. Cautiously if necessary, but leave.

B) If you keep getting involved with people who don't love you so that you can try to force them to--quit it. Just cut out that shit and don't get into another relationship until you can stand not being in one.

C) If you are Married--good luck!

Hey, while we're on the topic of love hell, why not explore the fascinating topic of arguing?




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