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Why do I still love him?

Women often struggle with their feelings of love for their partner. Perhaps others have suggested that you are “crazy” for still loving him. We do not think you are crazy. We think you are having normal feelings that make a lot of sense, given your situation.

When you first met your partner, he demonstrated a lot of positive behaviour and it was this depiction of himself that you fell in love with. You have now seen him do very hurtful and self-centred things but you still remember the person you first thought he was. On top of this, those more positive looking behaviours keep coming back around. This has to do with the Cycle of Abuse – Honeymoon, Tension, Explosion. He first presented you with Honeymoon behaviour and he returns, at times, to that more positive looking behaviour. If all you ever saw from him was Explosions, it would probably be easier to stop loving him but the Honeymoon behaviour sparks hope in you – that is the intention of Honeymoon behaviour.

Also, women have taught us, love is not an emotion that can easily be turned off. If you have been in relationship for a long time with your partner and have loved him for many years, you will not likely loose those emotions over night. Love is not like a light switch that can just be flicked off. It seems to die out slowly for most women. Abuse destroys it slowly, kind of like cancer slowing destroying good cells.

Some women have found it helpful to journal what their partner has done to them. Sometimes seeing the negative things in black and white can help you remember just how devastating his abuse can be. Some women have reported that when they feel they are being “honeymooned” they look back over their journal and that helps them to see things more clearly. For many women, journals have helped them to see that the “bad” greatly outweighs the “good”. (If you keep a journal, be sure to keep it well hidden from your partner. If there is no safe place to hide it, journaling is probably not a good idea for now.)

The fact that you are a loving person is not a shortcoming in you. You are probably a compassionate person capable of commitment. This is a good thing. But maybe your partner is not worthy of your kind and open heart and maybe you want to begin to shift your love, care and concern away from him and towards people who do deserve it. One person who for sure deserves your love, care and concern is you!

When Love Hurts