What Do You Think of Unconditional Love?

Five Girls In Swimming Pool

Article by Wendy McCance

I made a mistake the other day.  I felt strongly about a subject I had held in way too long and took it to the public section of Facebook.  It all began like this; Someone I am close with has a boyfriend I can not stand.  This boyfriend is controlling, manipulative, insecure and treats this close friend of mine in a way that I have unfortunately seen before.  My first marriage went a lot like what I see happening.

This friend went through all of my trauma with me.  She knows better than to get sucked into this type of toxic relationship.  Unfortunately, I believe that my friend has always been fairly insecure and doesn’t give herself much respect in terms of what type of person she allows herself to associate herself with.  A guy shows her attention and she looks for it to turn into the love of her life.

On Facebook, this boyfriend made some comments about his repulsion towards seeing a woman as a referee and that his view was that they should stay in the kitchen.  Within moments of his post, many women took to their Facebook page telling this guy how offensive his comment was.  Within a few moments more, this friend of mine took down his comment.  I had been holding in my feelings for a long time.  This friend does not ever want to hear anything but positive thoughts about anything she does in her life.  I have been walking on eggshells knowing that if I said a word, the friendship would cease to exist.  Seeing all of these friends of hers stating their views, I wrote something as well.  I wrote, if you need to edit another person’s comment, maybe they aren’t the type of person you should be hanging around with.  I got a reply from my friend that said, whatever happened to unconditional love and not judging others?  My reply was, unconditional love is bullshit.  If you see someone you love going down a path that is going to bring them pain, as someone who loves them, you can’t sit idly by and just watch it occur.  You want to show love, support and care and would like to help them out.  During this back and forth war of words, other people who had no idea that there was a conversation going on started putting in their two cents.  Next thing I knew, my comments had a ton of likes and reply’s mirroring my view.  That is when I realized that it should have been a private conversation and took it down.

What I was stunned by was the passionate responses I had read.  Obviously this was a subject that had touched on many peoples lives.  I was talking to my kids about their feelings toward unconditional love and what they would do in a situation like this with their own friends.  I know this will sound extreme, but I compare it to a person who is standing there with a gun to their head ready to shoot.  Should I get involved because I love them, care about them and don’t want to see something horrible happen to them?  Maybe like my friend and her theory on unconditional love, I should just do nothing.  Stand there give her my blessing and let her know that no matter what she decides I’m behind her unconditionally.  Honestly, what a bunch of bullshit!  If her idea of a friendship is to watch a train wreck, I’m not interested in seeing the carnage.

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Wendy McCance

Wendy McCance is a Michigan based freelance writer and social media consultant. Wendy has gained attention as the founder of the popular blog Searching for the Happiness which can be viewed in 9 local papers online, including the Oakland Press. The combination of writing skills and social media knowledge is what makes Wendy such a powerhouse to work with. Stay tuned for opportunities to advertise, guest post and as always, have your questions answered.

To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]

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25 thoughts on “What Do You Think of Unconditional Love?

  1. This is a concept that I’ve struggled with having been married to a man who struggled with addiction and mental illness. I can tell you I loved him with all my heart. Even when he lied, even when he stole, manipulated and quit taking his medication. He was a beautiful man, husband and father when his illnesses were not wreaking havoc in his mind. I loved him when he was at his worst, but I was miserable in that relationship because of his behaviour. He left and I still loved him.

    I struggled and wrestled for three years prior to our separation. I wanted to leave, but I loved him so I couldn’t. If I left it meant I didn’t love him. I put up boundaries that he walked over and he accused me of not loving him. It was chaos. I became confused and lost and resentful because I loved him unconditionally but I couldn’t live like this and neither could my children. After he went off his medication he went manic and left me and the kids. But he still expected money, and crash at the house on occasion and I let him because I loved him “unconditionally” at the expense of my own self respect and that of my children.

    Finally, I attended a DV seminar and the guest speaker said “my love for my wife is unconditional however, my relationship with her isn’t”. This hit home for me. Personal boundaries and respect for self, is so important. This changed the way I viewed unconditional love and relationships.

    My situation is different than noted above. In this case, letting her know you love her and you’re there is important. But in the event her relationship with her boyfriend starts affecting you negatively you may need to take some Time, love her from afar until she asks for your help and support if she ever wants to leave.

    I loved my husband anyway, after all of it, but I had to love him from afar, and wait until he asked for help and support.

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  3. I think that there are two problems here. The first is that this should have been a private discussion. That’s just my opinion but……

    The second has to do with “unconditional love.” I believe in unconditional love. I have unconditional love for my husband and my son and a number of people to whom I am not related. I know that it is unconditional love because my husband particularly has tested that on a couple of occasions and yet he lives. But I do not believe that unconditional love means not making any judgments. The only people about whom I am completely nonjudgmental are folks I don’t give a shit about. Good grief. You have been through a similar situation. You, more than anyone, are in a position to make a judgment. And as a friend, you pass that judgment along. As a friend, you are also very careful HOW you pass that along. You do it privately and you do it with kindness and concern. And you always do it from the standpoint of, “You are my friend and I love you and I will continue to love you and be here for you no matter what decisions you make, but I cannot help but be worried for you.”

    Perhaps “I can’t stand your boyfriend” is not the best approach. Maybe, “I’m trying to like him for your sake but it’s hard,” is better. Finally, recognizing that this may have a LOT to do with YOU and your experiences is not a bad thing on several levels. The fact that you’ve been through this makes you more aware. But you also have to admit to your friend that you are NOT capable of being completely neutral about this subject BECAUSE of your previous experience. Be willing to admit to her that you are dragging your own baggage into the situation. But ask her to please love you unconditionally and not make, as a condition of her friendship, your inability to divorce yourself from your feelings of past hurts.

    Make sure that she understands that this isn’t all about her or her boyfriend. It’s also about you and your past difficulties. Because it is, you know……. (You do know that, don’t you?)

    I hope you work this out. It sounds like she is going to need a good friend in the future and she won’t be able to bring herself to come to you if she thinks that it means that you will tell her that you told her so and now you have “won.”

    Nobody said it would be easy…..

    Kay in Hawaii

    • Great advice. I really appreciate your opinion on the subject. Thankfully she does know that I will always be there for her without an I told you so. Unfortunately, for the time being at least, she has backed away from me because she has chosen to continue this relationship. Can’t blame her for that though, I understand that since she knows I’m so worried about her in this relationship, it’s easier to just not be around me so that she doesn’t feel conflicted.

  4. Unconditional love is the love God has for His children. I do love unconditionally. Unconditional love does exist. I am not loving of certain ugly, negative BEHAVIORS. I can disagree without beginning World War III. I don’t argue. I have no trouble telling someone what I think of the way they treat others and yet they know I mean them no harm. Strangely the more accepting I am of others, the more positive people I attract into my life. I sat here for quite sometime attempting to think of a person I associate with that has unacceptable behaviors that I could not find love for. Nobody came to mind.There are many who don’t agree with me and they don’t need too.

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  6. I read all the comments and all the information shared I’ve heard before. Therefore, I’m going to share something that was told to me a few years ago on the subject of Unconditional Love. I was told: There is no such thing as Unconditional Love; there is only LOVE.

    • Believe what you like; if you don’t like it then don’t believe it. Belief doesn’t make things true or false, like unconditional love VS love. Beliefs are the thoughts that we become focused on, and the directions that we think into, because that is the direction which we are leading our mind. We can focus on the limits of being conditional, or the be focused on the freedom of not having conditional restrictions. The relations we have in the world have to do with the actions within our mind. So we attract people that are reflecting our inner most beliefs; whether we are conscious or unconscious of these thoughts.

  7. I saw the words: Toxic, Sucked-in, and a Train Wreck in yur discriptions. These terms indicate blaming it on others, and in doing so, we direct our Power away from us., because we believe them and not our desires. “So I guess it is their fault.”

    There is nothing to forgive if you have not held any agandas with false expectations; which have been fulfilled with disappointments. These negative terms: Toxic, Sucked-in, and a Train Wreck came from the reactions within your own mind. These others that you have attracted are mirroring your beliefs. CHANGE YOUR THINKING! Everything that discribes UNCONDITIONAL LOVE, does not have conditional circumstances or limiting situations surround these expereriences.

    Uncoditional Love is simply Love without conditions, no matter what conditions are appearing, only Love is in expression. If you don’t like whomever is in a relationship with you, and you do not agree with them, just know that Love is the answer. You can know that you Love them and you do not desire to be with them. Happiness unfulfilled is unhappiness. Since yu desire happiness, you must be happy first and prject that unto others before it is returned to you. Jesus said, “Love one another.” When we Love each other, we are Loving God.

    Do nt judge by appearances, but forcus on your desires, and accept them for everyone involved in yur situations, so that you may evolve into graciousness and freedom without conditions, and have freedom become your choices of happiness.
    …with Love,

    • Hello Robert,
      I’m not sure where you are going with your comment. I can tell you this, if I see someone with a gun to their head and they want to commit suicide, I am not going to stand by and let them know that I am not judging them, that I love them unconditionally and that whatever they do is fine by me. Unconditional love only means that you are there for them no matter what. You love them. At the same time, because you do love them, you are going to have an opinion and want to protect them from harm. Without caring and interacting, there is no friendship, no love and no relationship. People can’t be close without feelings, opinions and care for each other. If someone wants only to be around others who have no opinion and won’t let them express their views from time to time, they are holding that person hostage to a fake way of relating and that is a manipulative and controling relationship.

      • Thanks for your replying to me Wendy.
        You have discribed an extreme scenario about being suicidal. I was speaking of a Spiritual concept, not a case of extreme circumstance that included physical details. I do agree with you that everyone should be able to express an opinion about how they feel and what they believe. I have had friends that are “always right” no matter who else has another idea. I consider them control freaks when I hear them speak of something. Sometime I just say “No” to these types of people, and do not let them control me. If they do not want to undertand me, then they can stay limited in their littleness. I can think whatever I want to think. I have found that everyone is not right all the time, but we have the habit of wanting to be right, and will fight unto the death of it. “We will die to be right.” That is not wisdom, it is reative thinking. We are all subject to incorrect thinking. The one’s that think they are always right, are more often wrong when they do not consider the views of others. I am in agreement with what you believe because I can understand what you have discribed in your opinion, and support your right to think as you choose. Remember that opinions happen after the fact, and Love is the Spiritual Truth that is always available before, during, and after the facts, opinions, and stories have gone.

        All the Best to You,

        • Hi Bob, in the context you are thinking, I do not throw out opinions unless asked. I appreciate that people have different views than each other. There is no right or wrong, just personal ways that people live their lives. When I wrote this post, it was based on an extreme situation and I felt an opinion was needed. Thanks for your thoughts.

  8. Here are my thoughts. Unconditional love does not mean that you will always agree or not speak up when you have a concern. In fact, if you truly care, it is a responsibility to do so for that individual. I’m not talking about things that are mundane and have little intrinsic value. It’s the big things that could cause harm to that friend that needs a voice and should be heard. Unconditional love means you will always be there when times are tough (opinions and all). Sadly I lost my best friend to domestic violence. I have often wondered if I could have saved her life by more strongly stating my concerns for her welfare in her marriage.

  9. The only uncondtional love is the love that a parent has for a child……………….all other love has conditons with it, it is very hard to stand by and watch someone you care about be treated in a way that is not what we would prefer to see. I have two sisters who are in relationships that are bad for them and I hate seeing it but all I can do is be there when they need me………As you know I have three daughters and each of them have had boyfriends I did not like and would have loved to run over with my car but as long as I didn’t see them being disrespected I kept my opinions to myself, and no it wasn’t easy but I did it…………..now if someone posts of Facebook then they are inviting people to comment and if they don’t like the comment they maybe they should have thought more before posting the status…………

  10. i was pretty excited about the female referee.
    But, as always, most humans gravitate toward the arrogant, the rude, and the conceited.
    Not sure what the surprise is here…

  11. Your feelings and attitude toward friendship do you credit… This is a subject about which there will never be a completely consensual understanding; everyone is going to feel differently, and have different standards on how love should be…. Unconditional love, to me, means that, no matter what a person does, I will still love them; but, that doesn’t mean that I will always approve of what they say or do, and the love I hold for them will insist that I discuss it with them…. the only way to kill love is to refuse to adapt, to decide that what one believes is more important to us than the love we feel. And that is conditional, and always will be…. It’s a deep subject, for sure, and one that carries a lot of emotion… and we all decide for ourselves what love means…. Thanks for a thought provoking post…. 🙂

  12. Unconditional love is a very tricky thing, and so are detachment and noninterference. It’s true that unconditional love means not making value judgments about whether a person (or a thing or an event) is “good” or “bad”. But that does NOT mean you have to agree with or condone the person or his/her actions, etc. It simply means that you are able to give the person love, no matter what they do. But even that is tricky, because giving someone love doesn’t mean you have to stay in a relationship with them, especially if they insist on doing something that you (and they!) know very well is destructive.

    Detachment doesn’t mean that you don’t care. It means that you don’t let the situation upset you to the point of making foolish choices for yourself or saying something you will regret. It means realizing that the situation is not likely to change and deciding what you will do about it without letting your emotions tell you what you “should” be doing - by someone else’s lights.

    Noninterference is the hardest thing - it means allowing someone to make their own mistakes. If you have already told your friend how you felt, and if she still doesn’t want to listen, what can you do? You can’t browbeat her into breaking up with this guy, etc. You wouldn’t want someone else to browbeat you into doing something you wanted to do. Obviously, this woman has a lot of issues that drive her behavior, and if she is not willing to deal with them, she is not going to change. Sometimes the most loving thing you can do is walk away. At least that is a definite “consequence” of her decision. If she decides to continue to make excuses for her boorish boyfriend, then she will lose you as a friend, even though she will probably interpret that in a bad light. But it’s not just about HER, it’s about YOU. If her behavior is making you crazy, don’t you deserve to get that situation out of your own space?

    Finally, I’d like to suggest that this friend of yours is possibly mirroring your own dilemna. You said, ” I wrote, if you need to edit another person’s comment, maybe they aren’t the type of person you should be hanging around with.” In your case, if you need to argue with the person about their choice of what to do on their FB page, then is that the type of person YOU want to hang around with? In other words, how upset are you going to let this friend make you feel? Just a thought….

    • Hi Linda, so perfectly said. I knew that voicing my opinion would be basically give me some relief about keeping mum and most likely would put an end to the friendship. Honestly, at this point there really is no friendship if there can’t be open, honest communication.

  13. sounds like your friend knows she is making a mistake with this man, but doesn’t want to hear it from others. She sounds like she wants approval from you as a friend even tho it goes against what you believe. Friends like this can turn into enemies very quickly. they take but don’t want to give. but they only want to take the positive (to them) and not the negative. I have been there….I know about it. For what it is worth, my opinion is to walk away, before you have an enemy instead of a friend.

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