What is love? I’ve been with this guy for a year and we fight a lot and he always tells me how horrible he thinks I am and I know most of the stuff he says isn’t true or its just an exaggeration of the truth and so it makes me not want to be with him because it really affects my mental health ( i have severe depression) and i’ve told people about him and they always say he’s abusive and i always say i cant leave because i ‘love’ him but what is love? Do I really 'love’ him or am i just afraid.
If you’re with someone who tells me how horrible you are, lies to you, exacerbates your existing mental health issues, and people in your life believe he is abusive: leave him.
Sometimes “love” isn’t enough. Sometimes you can love someone’s ‘potential’ - who they might be if they could let go of the hatred and anger and pain that cause them to act in abusive ways. Sometimes, we get so caught up in the positives - maybe the sex is great, maybe on his good days he’s really really good, maybe he’s very funny - and we become convinced that those positives absolutely must cancel out the negatives.
Sometimes, we mistake any heightened emotion for love. This is why people like to take dates to horror movies, and why people will report that someone is more attractive to them if they first see that person in a dangerous situation. I am sure that this person makes you feel very strong feelings - but the strength of those feelings doesn’t mean you should stay with him.
Love does not hurt. Love is incompatible with abuse. Love does not make you afraid. Leaving this guy might feel hard, and lonely, and scary, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. You deserve to find love that makes you feel good, that builds you up, that doesn’t make you wonder whether you are in love or “just afraid.” Let go of the messiness here and set yourself free. You can do it. You’re worth it. If you are worried about him using emotional, psychological or physical violence to make it harder for you to end things, enlist the help of friends or a professional. Check out my resources here.