Common belief is that when a couple hates each other divorce is around the corner. But think a second time. When you loath someone how easy is it to get the person out of your mind? Try as you might your thoughts keep coming back to the object of hate. If only you could just divorce the person, at least from inside your head.
While speaking with a sailor about his marital problems he stated he hated his wife. When I replied that was a good thing he was surprised. But then I pointed out that love and hate are not opposites. He was intrigued. Both entail intense emotions. They are closely related, two sides of the same coin. At their root both evidence a powerful connection between two people. Think about how much energy it takes to truly love and hate. Rather,
Once a couple has gotten to the point where one of them is unmoved by the other the marriage is in trouble. Dispassion destroys any incentive to work issues through. Like physical fatigue, it saps the strength needed to confront difficulties. They fester to the point where the aggravation of their presence is greater than the turmoil of divorce.
Similar to the love-indifference dichotomy, attraction and revulsion are not opposites. Again, both are strong responses to another person.
This is why people rubberneck at automobile accidents and other gruesome sights and delight at horror movies. Irresistibility and repulsion evoke often uncontrollable emotional and physical responses.
When developing self-discipline, mental acuity, and relationships an important key is being able to respond rather than react. Respond means your words and actions are in harmony with your values and the image of yourself you are creating. React communicates a lack of self-control and generally does more damage than good.
Knowing that the opposite of a strong emotional response is not a different strong emotional response means you can defuse a situation. You'll stay on the love side of the love-hate coin. If your child or spouse screams hateful words you can view them as a temporary inability to express powerful, loving emotions since both grow from the same root. Admittedly this is easier with your child.
Ironically, the key to preventing love and attraction from becoming indifference and coolness is using the latter two to gently bring the other person back to the same, strong emotion you feel. Mastering this technique will help you live harmoniously, which in all likelihood is part of your plan for living intentionally.
Question – What is your view of the connection between love, hate, and indifference?
Please comment on this question or ask another question below.
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