Visualize this… You love coffee. You have it every morning and it gives you the required buzz to work all day. However, if you don’t get it one day, you might start having a headache or a lethargic day. At that very moment, you will crave for it and maybe feel a certain amount of hatred towards it that why are you so much dependent on it.Another example can be the work that you do, your hobby which takes up a lot of your time or an addiction which you hate but are dependent on it and love it while you are in it.
Same can be observed in relationships. You love your friend/parent/sibling/spouse. You always want that person to be around you. You love everything about that person, but then there is that one habit of him/her that makes you feel uneasy in the beginning. Later it becomes uncomfortable. You feel withdrawn and irritate. Agitation builds up. You get annoyed and upset easily by those small things. You still ignore those things and BOOM! A day comes when you just explode into a rageful state of intense hatred towards that person. You might even think of ending up that relationship. A day or two pass by. You sleep off your emotions. The person might apologize or you start thinking that you have exaggerated the issue. You start thinking about all the good times you have spent with that person.You decide to let it all go and give compromise another chance, while neglecting what can and should be improved. After a few days, it happens all over again.
Now if you haven’t been through this emotional turmoil, you might have noticed it around you in your family or your social circle. You must have heard the words ‘I DO NOT CARE’ from your loved one, when they actually do. If these feelings are left unmanaged and unaddressed, than you may end up having a ‘co-dependent’ relationship, i.e. dependence on the needs of, or control of, another person. Therefore, staying in love-hate relationship is not a healthy option at all.
A love-hate relationship is one in which emotions of love and hate are simultaneously present. The emotion alternates from love to hate, or hate to love, just like a mood swing. This happens when the emotions are intense.This relationship is complex and the swing of love is like a drug that you constantly strive to achieve and keeps you addicted towards the relationship. If you do not get that, you feel hatred.
So how this emotional turmoil might hurt your relationship with your loved one?People end up just living for that swing of love in their relationship and they will get desperate for it. If they get desperate, they will end up making things worse for themselves. They might become controlling and manipulative. It may appear in the form of jealously, and may even take up the form of emotional and/or physical abuse. They may become overly dependent on that person or might end up in a vicious blame-game. Watch out for all these warning signs in relationships when that happens. Maybe it is already there in the form of light humour mixed with blame and criticism.
Why does this all happen? It happens because we do not know how to communicate properly. It happens because we choose to ignore when small things going wrong and let it build till the tipping point. It also happens because we are impatient. We want things to be perfect without putting much effort in it. We start holding grudges. We forget that there are faults in us that we need to work on. We stop focusing on the positives and we maximize the negatives. Unrealistic expectations definitely play their role too. Sometimes people are just unwilling to change for others. Remember, love does not change to hate in a day. It is change over a period of time.
Looking even more closely at it from the paradigm of psychology, researchers from Yale University found that one factor of ending up in a love-hate relationship is because of low self esteem.
Why cannot we just accept that no one is perfect and get along with them?
It maybe because we never learned to do that from the start. We take the positives in relationships for granted. We never encouraged that person. We have never learned to express ourselves effectively. We have not learned to forgive properly. It maybe because we have not even put ourselves in that other person’s shoes to understand what that person is going through. Another major reasonsis that we have not set up proper healthy boundaries in our relationships.
How can we express ourselves to our loved ones without hatred?First step is learning to communicate assertively! Do not let it build it up to the limit where you just cannot take it anymore. Do not let it spoil your relationship. What most people do wrong is to ignore the mistakes, and hoping that they’ll solve overtime one way or another. Or that you might become used to it. That is not going happen. Try talking about it with love and respect. Try assertiveness. Show your concern. Work on it.Also learn to change for the better. Learn to forgive properly. Try to listen to the other person actively. It is because we ignore certain things we do not like about that particular person that gradually takes over our feelings of love. Do not let hatred take over and take away your senses. In the words of Stephen Covey, ‘Seek first to understand, then to be understood.’ One step at a time will make a huge difference in giving you a healthy relationship and it is all worth it.
If you think you are still unable to do it. Professional counseling will guide you through it to mend your relationship with skills and knowledge.