This book began as a therapeutic effort to control the negative within myself and convert it into something positive. For many months I have spoken with thousands of people about love after each of them had read, “When You Love Someone…Really Love!” A great many of these people felt that lack of commitment is probably the biggest single reason for most divorces. Wholeheartedly I agreed.
I refer to this present time as the “disposable era,” when almost everything is simply discarded and replaced. Because of this era I believe the attitude has spilled over into our relationships with our loved ones. Rather than living up to our commitment, we see divorce as fashionable. This is also to say that we too lightly allow ourselves to begin relationships with a lack of serious commitment, with the thought in the back of our minds that if our expectations are not met we will simply get a divorce.
The mass media has also been popularizing divorces in print, on radio and television, and in films. Our society has condoned the advertisement of the ease with which you can “…get rid of the problem,” the problem being our inability to live up to and keep with the responsibility to our commitments, which can be very difficult at times.
In the time that it has taken to complete this book I have learned a great deal from the individuals with whom I have spoken. I have also come to the awareness that many people (outside of the two individuals who are slowly divorcing one another) are being affected by the separations in our world. Children and in-laws and friends are the most affected, as well as co-workers, employers, employees, students, teachers, clients and strangers. The quality of the work done by those being affected is altered: sometimes for the better, but more often for the worse.
Another major revelation is the amount of physical illness generated by either or both of the people directly involved. The mental and emotional strains produced and repressed or released affect the health negatively and sometimes quite seriously. The shame that I perceive in this understanding is that this all happens in the name of real love. …
It seems to me that it is instinctive to experience a totally personal and selfish pleasure from loving, but there is another kind of experience in being loved. Regardless of whether love is selfish or not, the circumstances that lead up to and may or may not end in divorce many times have nothing to do with love. Environmental conditions play a large role in all our lives. The responsibility that a person feels directly affects his or her reaction to stresses and strains, as well as the ability to love and be loved. All of this adds up to a surprising divorce rate in our society. … I have heard somewhere that the divorce rate has begun to decline. I want to believe this. I also hope that this small effort I have made will diminish it even further.
In a world where children are the audience, some of us adults are acting out our parts for their spectating minds from their births. It is a poor experience for a fragile psyche to be taught right from wrong and have to witness the lies, hypocrisy, disrespect, lack of consideration and commitment, and mental, emotional, and sometimes physical abuse directed at one another from the two people whom the child depends upon. It was once said to me that children involved in separations must rationalize between what is being said and what can be believed. They must face the thought that they too may not be loved.
This brings me back to “When You Love Someone… Really Love!” I do admit it is an idealist way of expressing one’s feelings that is seldom if ever reached. Despite this, I believe that in a universe as small as each one of us, where there is an abundance of misery, loneliness, anger, apathy, frustration, resentment and disease, we each should reevaluate our methods of expressing love.
M. A. Butcher