"Unconditional love." It sounds so romantic, so accepting, so amazing. But in reality, it is such an unhealthy concept.
How can one unconditionally love a spouse who molests their children? How can one unconditionally love a child who murders innocent people? I realize I have selected extreme circumstances to make my point, but point made.
There ought to be no such concept as unconditional love. Yes, my friends, it is necessary to make judgments, to discern good from evil, sacred from profane, and right from wrong.
I was so impressed recently when the mother of an adult son called me on my radio program to tell me she was excommunicating him from her life. It seems he impregnated a recent girlfriend with no intention of marriage.
Mom called because she told her son in no uncertain terms that if he was going to go to the hospital the day of the birth, he was not to bring his current bimbo. He brought the bimbo.
She was astonished at how unbelievably insensitive he was to do that to the mother of his child. She informed him that although he was her child, her flesh and blood, that his behavior was so totally unacceptable that she didn't wish to have contact with him.
Did it hurt her to do this? Of course it did. But in her mind it was necessary to maintain the dignity of her family. She took a stand. So few do.
There is the sad parade of mothers who hang onto their drugged-out, irresponsible, destructive children. Popular psychology has named these folks "enablers," in that they enable the problem person to continue their problem behavior.
"Enablers" are not saints. They are largely people who hide their own inadequacies in total investment in the problem person. I don't believe for a moment that enablers are motivated by unconditional love. Rather, they are fulfilling their own emotionally unhealthy needs.
If you somehow force them to stop "enabling," they typically lapse into confusion and depression, and generally feel lost.
This is most evident when the problem person — on his or her own — decides to clean up their act. It is typical for the enabler to do things to undermine their progress. Suddenly the unconditional love turns to anger and impatience.
The bottom line is this: Healthy love has conditions!
Dr. Laura (Laura Schlessinger) is a well-known radio personality and best-selling author. She appears regularly on many television shows and in many publications. Read more reports from Dr. Laura — Click Here Now.
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