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By makrivah On 2014.04.03 22:13
When does love become unrequited obligation?

By LOHENGR1N On 2014.04.03 23:50
The romantic in me says never. But I guess the answer lies in one's feeling of or definition of love. This could become a lively discussion topic, I myself have a hard time comparing or relating love and obligation requited or otherwise to each other. Then again this is me and other will have differing opinions I'm sure and I'll be interested in reading them.

By Witsend On 2014.04.04 00:12
Excellent question. I will be thinking on it deeply tonight. It's something that most likely touches all of us here at some point.

By jcoff012 On 2014.04.04 11:57
I, too, have been mulling over my response to this...I am a through and through romantic, so my reaction is that love never ends. Loyalty doesn't end, either. That loyalty is part of me, NOT an obligation. I loved my mother in law, so I cooked for her, fed her, helped her with her toileting...she was not able to show me she loved me back, but i knew...and know.

My husband is my first and only love. We have been together since we were 17, and will be married for 47 years in June. I loved him then, now, and will always.

I guess my "take" on this is that it is not a question in my existence. I do not see love as conditional. Before we removed life support from our daughter, we had a discussion about longterm care, what it would mean to the rest of our family, what it would mean in our lives as a couple...but, mostly, what would it mean to HER...Perhaps that was our life defining moment that we fall back upon now...Putting HER needs, desires, wishes became the deciding factor. We loved her enough to let her go. I love my husband enough to help him get through all the stages of PD.

This is my opinion...each person has to deal with PD at his or her way. Love is a huge part of the PD journey. I choose to believe that love is there, even if he may not be able to show me later, so I am here for the long term. Jane

By Freespirit On 2014.04.04 13:26
I agree with Al. It depends upon what your definition of "love" is.

I can only speak for myself when I say that for me, love is not defined by "obligation," but rather by "comittment." To me, there is a huge difference.

Very interesting topic indeed. . .

By McCall On 2014.04.04 15:11
love does not ever become obligation, if you feel obligation you don't feel love, commitment is something else you should feel love and commitment.
I believe in eternal marriage and so my love is eternal, if I do all I can to care for my husband in this life and if he precedes me in death he will be there, no longer sick on the other side to greet me when I get there and we will move on through eternity, as husband and wife and have our eternal family with us both our ancesters and our decendents. These end of life factors are just one more step in the obstacles of mortal life.

By jcoff012 On 2014.04.04 22:40
Just found this quote online (not attributed to a specific person)...

'Love is not an obligation and saying it is impoverishes it.'

By Poostie On 2014.04.05 00:39
McCall, you and I share the same beliefs. It is a religious belief for me and I'm looking forward to eternity with my husband being whole and our family and love going on forever. In the meantime I love him dearly and as long as God gives me the ability I will take care of him as best I can. Not saying that I don't feel tested and tried along the way--I'm human. But I don't want to be bitter and I want to give help willingly and with the caring that I feel for this man that I've shared 57 wonderful years with. My prayer is that God will help me remember this and will help me stay strong on the hard days.

By ResistanceFutil On 2014.04.05 07:04
Usually around 3:17 am after a few previous nights of little sleep

By McCall On 2014.04.05 11:34
mine is also religious belief, LDS. and I feel the same way about it you do, I pray that Heavenly Father will give me the strength and the grace to carry on till the end.

By JulieB On 2014.04.05 14:32
I thought this was a good topic too. I had to think about it for a while. I believe love changes over the years, but can still be as beautiful as it was at first, if not in different forms of beauty. And I do think commitment has a lot to do with love. Feelings ebb and flow. I might not always "feel" love, but I can choose to "be" loving. My husband has been someone who is easy to love, so I feel very blessed that this has been my reality. You all inspired me...God bless everyone today. xoxo

By CandleMaven On 2014.04.06 01:46
Someone said " does not become obligation, if you feel obligation you don't feel love."

I'm sure you meant that *you* couldn't feel both love and obligation, since you can't of course, speak to what any other person feels.

Hmm. act or course of action to which a person is morally or legally bound; a duty or commitment.

How did that become a dirty word? Should it be said with a sneer?

Most days, I am here because of the love I once had--a shade of which I still feel...and the sympathy I feel for someone who has no one else. It's a choice I made carefully, and with knowledge of what the rest of his life could entail. Other days, it's pure obligation. My husband didn't get cannonized just because he's got PD. He's still quite capable of being a jerk.

I've been contemplating leaving the forum, and I think this topic's responses elucidate why now would be a great time for me to withdraw.

By JulieB On 2014.04.06 10:29
Oh, Candlemaven...your goodbye made me sad. If you're reading this, let me say that I always appreciated your honesty and the way you spoke your reality just as it is.

Some days I feel like I can cope and I find enough grace to be loving and patient, and other days I feel like crumpling into a heap and sobbing. And there are some days when I'm truly mad at all this merciless disease has robbed from us. It feels like Groundhog day. Here we go again, here we go again. Same few things over and over -- help Michael walk, help him eat, help him go to the bathroom, help him rest. There is no more conversation between us, which is the loneliest thing. And then the guilt that comes from knowing you think it's Groundhog day (it's a movie for those who haven't seen it) and can't be thankful for a change. And while my husband doesn't act like a jerk, I'm quite sure that if he did, my own jerk-like tendencies would surface quickly and we'd be even more sad than we are some days.

All that to say, I hope you'll reconsider and keep posting. I have a feeling there are many people out there who don't post comments, because they're too sad to speak out their realities. Those are probably the ones who read your comments and say, "Whew, I'm not alone in this at all."

Your posts have been so needed, Candlemaven. I hope you'll come back, but if you decide not to, I wanted you to know that I'll miss you.

God bless you and your PWP....

xoxo Julie

By jcoff012 On 2014.04.06 18:34
Candlemaven, I have almost left several times, but I hope you don't...there was a reason (whatever it was) that you sought out this forum...Everyone has a personal answer to the tough questions. With some we agree, with others we cringe...No each his own.

One of the first questions I asked was one on which you made a statement...Why does PD make a normally wonderful man become a real jerk? Got a few lively answers and a few on which I rely...The same could be true for you...Try to take what you need and ignore and accept those opinions or comments which are not pertinent...You and only you know what PD is like for you and your PWP...

As for cannonizing...I HAD to laugh at that one, and I still am...My "saint" is far from it, but, then again, to me, he is closer than most husbands...I speak of him glowingly because he is wonderful and always has been...Again, ask me in ten years...may be a different story! Lol

I hope you stay if it helps one person has all the answers, and I am sure you will be able to help someone while you are finding a place of respite...Hang in there, Hugs, Jane

By Mary556 On 2014.04.06 23:27
How do you define "love"... or "obligation"? A guy in a bar once said that Eskimos have a hundred different words for "snow" but we have only one word for something as important as love.

Not speaking for anyone else, but when a person says that obligation negates love, they could be using those words to mean that love is an action we choose freely whereas obligation is something we HAVE To Do. If that is your understanding, a good deed done grudgingly is not really love.

Some believe that love is not a feeling, but a decision to act in charity towards another person. That could be easy when the loved one is your dear parent or beloved spouse; your love is mutual. Love is tested when the other is not able to reciprocate or is undeserving of your love at the moment. Your two-year-old may hurl some hurtful words at you in a burst of anger. But you love them anyway. You have a duty, an obligation to take care of that child, when they are sweet and when they are poopy, in sickness and in health... regardless of your own personal feelings or at times when you lack any feeling whatsoever.

Sacrificial love, putting the other ahead of yourself without receiving any reward, recognition or gratification... that is the highest form of love, "agape". My personal understanding and belief is that self-sacrificing love is saintly love inspired by Divine Love.

By BCS46 On 2014.04.07 02:07
Wow! what a topic!!

We were only married 5 years when my PWP was diagnosed. Now 15 yrs later, I grieve for my partner, the hugs, the cuddling, the kisses....none of that happens anymore unless I initiate it.

And, understandably when I am wiping up drool, and helping him change his diaper and stripping the bed @ 3:30 a.m. I am not feeling very romantic, and neither is he.

We still talk and laugh together, and I still love him; however there is no more passion. I miss that.

I will never abandon him, but I sure miss having the man in my life find me attractive and want to touch me & hold me. Hugs have always been important to me, and he used to be a great hugger. No more.

By Marilyn-NJ On 2014.04.07 13:02
So much of our feelings are tied into this topic. You can analyze what PD takes from a couple, you can feel sorry for all the things you've lost but the touching, the closeness, the warmth that once was is the most hurtful loss - to me. I come home to the man who is still is my husband deep down, but then the bone-chilling issues hit me smack in the face. It is so very hard. I ponder it especially when I'm "off duty."

By VioletV On 2014.04.07 16:46
I've followed this discussion, and had not been sure what I thought about it.

I think this topic must have been on my mind, though, since I found myself remembering a seriously difficult relationship with a partner (never married, but, still . . .) who never worked, felt very entitled etc. etc. That relationship was seriously burdensome, and I stayed in it for far too long out of a sense of obligation (my craziness -- but I finally got some sense!)

Out of those thoughts I said to my DH the other day that even though PD is a pain in the rear, and makes so much of our life difficult, I never feel burdened by HIM--and I know what it feels like to be profoundly burdened by a relationship.

I think I'm different than many posting here since I married my DH PWP knowing he had PD -- and a 12 year old daughter. I ask myself if I really KNEW what marriage to a PWP would be like, and, of course, I did not. But I did know that he was the person I should have been married to 20 or 30 years ago, and if that had been the case, and he'd gotten PD, this is what it would have been.

So while I regret what PD has taken from him and from us (I've never heard him play the piano), I have never regretted marriage to him. That's about as close as I can get to an answer. For better or for worse really means just that, I guess.


and, P.S. guess whether PD or a 12 year old stepdaughter has been the harder adjustment ;)

By Freespirit On 2014.04.08 08:04
LOVE your post, Violet!
Made me smile outloud (if that's possible). :)

By mylove On 2014.04.08 09:11
Violet, you could be telling our story. Thank you!

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