​When Love Equals Loss

For years now whenever I feel truly loved, it makes me cry. Not just a subtle cry, but I grieve with a heart wrenching cry of my soul. Even if someone affectionately embraces me. Not a casual embrace, but the lingering kind that makes you feel accepted, as though you belong. I don’t know if unconsciously this has played a part in isolating myself.

In her book, Daring Greatly, Brene’ Brown refers to this as foreboding joy. She explains how we all experience this in some form or another in our lives. For many of us, when we experience joy we often find ourselves immediately shifting into a fear of losing it. To some degree this is a mutual experience we all share. Whenever you risk loving, you risk losing. She states that some of us rehearse tragedy in our thoughts and live in perpetual disappointment.

Isolation is different than being lonely. It is an aloneness that cuts deep into our sense of belonging. It has been one of the most painful things I have experienced.

While listening to this part of the audio book, my husband asked me to pause it and then he looked at me and said, “This must be what it feels like to you whenever you feel love. When you feel love, you also feel at the same exact time immediate and tragic loss.” He put into words what I have been experiencing for years. 

Having a name for what I have been experiencing is very powerful. Without a name it is confusing. These deep emotions have kept me from many experiences. I even stopped listening to music for years because I had no explanation for the deep emotions many songs evoke in me.

Whenever I feel deep love, I cry a deep grieving cry that has been confusing for me. When I feel love, I feel loss. Deep love equals deep loss. The deeper the love and connection, the greater loss I feel.

I turned to my husband and said, “I spent the first fifteen years of our marriage preparing, no bracing myself, to lose it instead of enjoying what I have or being present.” My husband looked at me very affectionately and said, “I have been waiting for you!” It has only been within the last year, since starting my blog, that I have been able to find joy in his love for me.

Let me state, that I am blessed beyond measure to have my husband!

When people tell me this, however, it feels like they are putting a silver lining around a very painful life. I say this because as awful as being alone is, nothing prepares you for the battle of letting love into your life after a life of abuse and loss. No one knows, but my husband, what it has been like getting to where I am. It has been a long and torturous road just trying to experience love in my life. 

This has not been the easy way out!

We have struggled immensely in our marriage. After being married for only one year, I left for a year. I was so scared and filled with fear. My husband never stopped loving me or being there for me. We lived far apart for that year and he called me every day and we talked on the phone for hours each day. Maybe this was safer for me. 

At some point I did, however, realize that I was going to suffer either way. And I decided I would rather suffer for love even though I didn’t know if I was risking more than I had to lose, or how I would make it if I lost once again. He just kept telling me he was never going to leave me, that he would always be here for me no matter what. And only time could confirm this.

I realized that being apart from him did not take away my struggles. And so we spent the next thirteen years going through the struggle together side by side.

From the time I was a small child, almost every person I loved, I lost. None of them were in a natural way. I was side swiped in life. They were final, complete, and without any closure or grieving. They just kept mounting and mounting all the way through my adult life. It wasn’t until yesterday when my husband and I heard Brene’ talk about foreboding joy in her audio book that my husband actually put into words what I experience when I feel love.

It is an excruciating existence when love equals immediate and tragic loss!


20 thoughts on “​When Love Equals Loss

  1. This post is so insightful, I am blessed to have come across it today. I have a friend who is grieving the loss of love, and it’s caused him to put up walls and distance himself from the people he cares about. Underneath it all, I know what’s going on, but on the surface, I can admit to being frustrated at times. He comes and goes, and the only thing I can come up with is that that feels safer for him. I’ve decided to be a safe place for him, even if he disappears for months, because I understand deep loss, and ultimately I want to help him. You and your husband have inspired me to be more patient and compassionate and realize that every person is on their own unique journey, and some journeys are very painful. Wow, thank you so much. 🙂 And I love the quote you started your post with. All I can say to that is, “Amen.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Anita, this was very touching and sweet and compassionate! We need more people in the world who do not put a time limit on grieving. Lucy told me today to not be ashamed that it has taken me so long to trust my husband… grieving takes as long as it takes for each of us. God bless you for being a soft place for your friend to fall. Never underestimate what you are doing. I don’t think healing can ever happen in a vacuum. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Laurel, I get it! The effects of abuse are devastating! We all have our own triggers and fears. I have interacted with you enough that I respect your decision on this! It just makes me sad and angry that it has to be this hard! Sad and angry for you, for me, for everyone who has been abused. And sad that this part of our struggle is something hard for others to grasp! Hugs to you!


      1. I know you understand. I do though, sometimes wonder if my cavalier attitude and quick responses of “never again” are not a defense mechanism….but I also know that the very thought of another man putting his hands on me would not only disgust me but probably terrify me.
        I think I’ll be okay. I’m good at self-protection, I guess.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It probably is! And without deep love and devotion, no man should ever touch you! You can’t know what that kind of love will feel like unless you experience it. But if you shut out every opportunity, you can also be guaranteed you never will! I do get though the overwhelming need to be safe!


  2. I’ve had to many bad relationships that have left me emotionally drained. I know love is a feeling that brings happiness and everything but it can damage you beyond repair too. I’ve experienced the latter too often. I feel what you feel too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This makes me so sad for you! I can understand this. It is easy to know in your head that they were all the wrong people or even bad people, but on an emotional and even physical level it is very difficult to overcome. Love should not be so rare to find! My heart goes out to you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so sorry to hear this Angelica! Thank you for sharing! I do hope that knowing what it is you are experiencing and having a name for it will at least help you to understand yourself and your feelings better. While it will not change our responses, it at least can help us to have compassion for ourselves. And since so many can relate to this, to also know that you are not alone! Hugs!!!


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