A true story of unconditional love when my wife of 11 years left me for another man
A post I wrote about unconditional love on the “Life Is A Fork In The Road” Facebook page has raised the question about whether humans are capable of true unconditional love. Here is the quote that inspired me to write this true love story: “Love is unconditional. It is a spiritual state, not an emotion. It’s not a choice you pick at a fork in the road….it exists forever.” Is this just an ideal we strive for but can never attain or is it possible for a human to actually love someone unconditionally, love them even if they do something we hate or they decide to leave us?
The human condition is affected by all types of pushes and pulls from our emotions, upbringing, personality, temperament, ego and experiences. This makes us who we are and it also makes us imperfect and fallible. Of course, that’s what makes life interesting. Can we rise above all this and actually love someone unconditionally? The post I made was not just something I pulled from the sky because it sounded nice. It was based on my own personal experiences and observations. Now, for the first time since I started collecting stories from others, I am going to share an inner voice experience of my own that first awakened me to what true unconditional love means. This is a true love story on many levels.
I Was Not My Wife’s True Love
The year is 1986. After being happily married for 11 years, my wife suddenly and without warning told me she was divorcing me to go back to a man she had dated before we met. There were no obvious problems in our relationship. No arguments. Nothing was going on to indicate any trouble brewing. Even after she told me this, she never said there was anything wrong with us. She just said that she had come to realize she loved this other guy in a way she didn’t love me and that’s all it was about. Two days after she told me this, she moved into an apartment. The guy left his wife of 25 years that same day and moved in with her. They got married within the year and she remained with him until she passed on a few years ago.
Hearing this coming from completely out of the blue crushed me. It was like I was run over by a steam roller. I have never before nor ever sense felt pain like that. I had imagined we would spend the rest of our life together. I didn’t want anyone else. I loved this woman with all my heart. There is no way to describe the hurt and pain I felt. It was like every cell in my body was being torn apart and run through a food processor.
Unconditional Love Isn’t About What the Other Person Does
Yet, within hours of hearing this something else from deep within me spoke loud and clear. This was my true inner voice of wisdom. I still loved this woman as much as I had before she broke the news. I still wanted her to be happy. I still cared about her. If she would be more happy with someone else rather than me, that was her choice. I realized at that moment that if you truly love someone, you want them to be happy, you want the best for them even if that means not being with you.
This realization did not make the pain and hurt go away. It was so severe and intense that it took me over three years to finally get back to being me. All my friends told me she was no good and would say unkind things about her. They thought that would make me feel better. They simply didn’t understand. The way I saw it, how can someone go from loving someone to not loving them overnight just because they did something you didn’t want. That would negate the previous 11 years as if they never existed. It would disrespect all the good that happened in that relationship.
A Love Song About a True Love Story
A couple months after she left, I did a very strange thing which was the next step in helping me move forward with my life. Once again, my inner voice of wisdom came through loud and clear. Suddenly, I started thinking about this guy she went back to and how he must be feeling. I literally began to look at this through his eyes instead of mine. That inspired me to write the lyrics to a love song written from his point of view. Maybe someday a songwriter will happen along that could put some music to this and turn it into an actual song.
Lyrics by Don Shapiro
Courtesy of Rykristo Music Publishing
You told me we were through
It was what we had to do
We made our beds before we met
When our love’s fate was set
Our homes blazing oh so bright
With anger and more in plain sight
So we sought solace as one
Embraced away hurt on the run
It wasn’t right
It wasn’t right
To fly away in the night
To believe we could unite
So you hid our love
Deep inside of you
Tucked away from view
Ticking for too many years
Ticking through a thousand tears
You locked your love far away
Deep in memory so they say
We became friends for many years
Saying hi without any tears
The years have taken flight
Family chains wrapped so tight
As our seedlings grew up, oh wow
You’ve come back for my love now
(bridge to finale)
You couldn’t keep your love locked away
Just ticking til judgment day
So you threw away that old bed
And came back to me like they said
How was I able to still consider her happiness as being of paramount importance after what she had done? How could I go through the most devastating pain and hurt imaginable without having any ill feelings toward her? How could I possibly write a song lyric that was a love song written from the other guy’s point of view? There is one and only one answer to these questions. I loved this woman unconditionally regardless of what she did. I am living proof that it is possible for a human being to love unconditionally.
It’s one thing to wax philosophically about what we believe is and is not possible concerning the human condition until we are thrown into the fire and discover how we respond in the moment. I wasn’t thinking about the meaning of love or the concept of unconditional love before this happened. Nothing like this had ever happened to me before so I was not prepared for it. Maybe we never are. If you had asked me a year earlier what I would do under such a circumstance, I’m sure my answer would have been different than what I actually did. How I responded to this situation came from deep within my heart and it was as real as it gets. My reaction surprised me and inspired me.
What Unconditional Love Really Means
Since then, I have given a lot of thought to the meaning of love versus how the word is thrown around all too easily. From this experience, I came to learn what true love means. The test of true love, unconditional love is this: would you still love the person even if they did something awful or left you for another? Would you still care about them and want the best for them? If you can answer that question yes, you love unconditionally. If you answer that question no, what you are feeling is not love. It may be a very strong emotion and feeling of attachment but it is not love
The state of true love occurs when the love that is inside of us aligns at a deep energy and frequency level with the love that is inside of someone else. This connection isn’t about desire, attraction, enjoyment, similar interest, common values or emotions. It is something that simply happens outside of human control. Once that internal love alignment occurs, it will last forever. It can never be broken. Our spirit is forever connected to the other person’s spirit regardless of what happens with us on a human level.
True Unconditional Love Is Not a Choice
I honestly don’t know why some people have the capacity to love unconditionally and others do not. It is still a mystery to me why I was able to act and feel this way through such a nightmare. I have my doubts how many could go through this experience and discover their capacity for unconditional love. From my experience, this was not a choice. It simply reflected the state of love that existed inside of me and my natural and normal response due to that state of love.
It may be just fine for many people to exist in relationships based on strong emotional ties that they call love even though, in reality, it is not love at all. Unconditional love may sound like something wonderful but it appears we have no control over its occurrence though it would be something that I would hope all people would strive to find.
Relationships Are Conditional. True Love Is Not.
Relationships are conditional. True love is not. We can and will place all kinds of conditions on having a relationship with someone based on a laundry list of human issues. We may decide we don’t want someone in our life anymore, even one of our children, if their behavior is too awful for us to handle. Most parents love their children unconditionally, even step children and ones they adopt. If we truly love, love unconditionally, then regardless of what someone does, we will still love them whether we want them in our life or not or whether they want us in their life or not. True love never dies. Love is a spiritual state, not an emotion.