Unconditional Love - Dr Ellen Kreidman PhD. Marriage & Relationship Expert
In one of Dr. Ellen’s lectures on “Unconditional Love” she talked about Lois who had decided to call it quits after twenty-two years of marriage. “Enough is enough,” Lois said Dr. Ellen first met her. I want to light him on fire – not light his fire. Lois couldn’t understand why her husband didn’t realize that HER way of thinking and doing things was the right way. Once she understood that their differences were not a matter of right or wrong, and gave her husband permission to be himself, she experienced a tremendous change in their relationship. In response to her new accepting attitude, her husband took her in his arms and said, “Now, this is the woman I married.” A short time later, her husband sent her flowers for the first time in twenty-two years, with the following note:
How can I put into words how I’ve felt being with you the last few weeks? I feel like a teenager again. I can’t wait to come home to the new woman in my life. The change in the way you treat me makes me want to spoil you for the first time in years. Thank you for bringing back the woman I married. All my love, Stan.
The first principle in making a love relationship work is to love someone for who he is, not what you fantasize he should or could be. This is love in its purest form – the kind of love most women give to their newborn babies. There are no qualifications necessary to receive this love; it’s automatic.
Only as the baby begins to grow do we start to use the word if. “I love you if you get good grades.” “I’ll love you if you make me proud.” “I’ll love you if you do what I say.”
We do the same thing with our mate. In the very beginning, when you first fall in love, you truly do love that person for who he is. Later, your love becomes conditional: “I’ll love you if you will stop watching sports on TV so much..” I’ll love you if you’ll just be a better parent.
If, as a lover or parent, you are offering love that is conditional – love that always has an if attached to it – then it becomes necessary for your mate or child to qualify for your love. Conditional love requires a person to wonder whether he is worthy, deserving, meets the requirements, or is otherwise eligible for your love. We have to qualify for a job, not a relationship! Unqualified love means there are no prerequisites, no contingencies, no requirements for your love. It is a gift given with no strings attached. What you see is what you love! This is not the case in your professional life. There you have to meet requirements, pass inspection, make THE GRADE; BUT IT CANNOT BE THE SAME WITH YOUR PERSONAL LIFE. Qualified love is too impersonal.