Love hurts... that’s what everybody says, right? There’s even a song that’s literally titled “Love Hurts”. Still, the way we usually imagine it is that once you find “true love”, the hurting stops, and we move on to living happily ever after. Well, at least that’s how it usually goes in movies and books, right? Ah, but the truth is that true love and also marriage will hurt, especially when they’re done the right way. In other words: true love will be, and should be, painful.
But of course, there’s more to it than what one short sentence might imply. So, let’s just read, shall we?
When we say that true love should be painful, we’re not talking about being abusive, obsessive, or other destructive tendencies. No, love is painful because true love means opening up ourselves and exposing vulnerabilities. And sooner or later, we will get hurt. But... love is like heavy exercise for our hearts: it makes us stronger than before.
And like any good exercise program, love asks us to do hard things. What’s more, it will only get harder as time goes by. Because love (and marriage) will likely involve things like fighting over the family budget, facing a wayward child, comforting each other after the death of a relative, and so on. Even the romantic notion of “growing old together” means watching our partner slowly but surely succumb to the ravages of time. Not to mention that most relationships will also need to go through things like long stretches of time spent apart due to work, or perhaps even serious diseases and accidents.
So, no, there is no such thing as a painless love. But instead of worrying about how relationships are painful, we should worry about how we react to that pain. Will we grow bitter and close our hearts, or will we embrace that pain with an open heart and find comfort in that we are no longer alone?
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