Friday, July 10, 2015

The Intimacy of Love and Hate

My sweet blogger friend, Susan of The Most -- Of Every Moment, wrote a post on love and hate last week. She created an interesting list of things that she simultaneously loves and hates, depending on the facet she's focused on. I enjoyed reading the post as it highlighted the complex relationship we sometimes have with things in our lives, that it's not always as simple as loving or disliking something in its entirety. You can check it out for yourself here.

On that post, she tagged me and some other wonderful bloggers. So here is my personal take on this love-hate topic.

I'm very careful with these wordsLove and Hate.

To me they are both very strong and meaningful words, and should never be used loosely. I don't believe you can really love or hate unless you fully know and understand someone or something. These feelings assume a deep level of intimacy with whatever is loved or hated. 

That said, I've decided to focus my list on marriage and family life since these are two realities that are very dear to me and definitely possess intimate knowledge of. 

Let's start with things I LOVE about my marriage and family life...

The sound of my boys' laughter. This to me is the pure sound of joy and it melts my heart every time. It's like the Divine whispering to me, reminding me that this is all that matters, that life is good.

Spooning. My nights never seem complete when I don't feel my husband hold me close in the middle of the night. It doesn't have to last all night and I don't think I'd last too long anyway because I'm a restless sleeper. But feeling his arms around me and our bodies fitting perfectly in each other's arches always reassure me that everything is alright, no matter what we went through all day long. 

Five star food reviews. It's not always easy satisfying everyone in my family when it comes to meals. I still have a picky 8 year old, not to mention the pressure I have to always try to satisfy both Filipino and American palates in our household. So when I make something and hear "That was really good, Mama!!" (and they both call me Mama), it makes all the hard work truly worth it. 

PDA, but only on a non-embarrassing level. I'm merely talking about holding hands, or arms wrapped around the other, kissing my son (although sadly he's beginning to be shy about this now), or the occasional goofy stuff my husband and I do to each other such as winking at the other or pinching the other's cheek. I love these random acts that make me and my boys feel loved. 

Receiving special occasion greeting cards or notes that bring me to tears. Birthdays, anniversaries, mother's dayall these make me look forward to the kind and loving words that my boys come up with to show their affection and sentimentality. My husband is not a poet but he certainly always chooses the best greeting cards. And when he finds the words, writes his own note, with my son adding his spontaneous and completely unfiltered words of appreciation, they never fail to make me cry. 

Certainly I don't love everything. So, from the top of my head here are five things I HATE with regard to family life...

Cleaning bathrooms. Even after all these years, I still hate cleaning someone else's bathroom mess and please don't ask me to expound. I'm sure you can all imagine the kind of grime I deal with living with two males. 

Homework time. I still don't understand why I must suffer along with my son when he gets home from school as he deals with homework. It's not that I do things for him but I can't resist the compulsion to monitor him and make sure he's doing what he needs to do and is doing it right. I honestly don't recall my parents doing the same to me when I was in school. Was I just more disciplined, or were my parents just busier and I have more time being a SAHM? It could be a combination, who knows? When you've unlocked the secret to finding the right balance between caring for your child's success and teaching them a healthy level of autonomy and accountability, please let me know. I'm still not that consistent. 

Not knowing what to cook. I don't mind cooking, as a matter of fact I enjoy it. What I hate is when I run out of ideas to cook and every dish I think about simply bores me. Although when I start thinking this way, I try to force myself to change perspective. It could be much worse, right? At least I still have something to cook for my family.

Worrying. I wish it were possible for me to care about someone and not worry or be obsessive. But this is the curse for most of us. As I always say, Love and Fear are more intimate than most of us would like to acknowledge. Whether it be about my family's safety, health and general well-being, you name it, I worry about it. I'm not proud of it and I definitely hate it.

Hurt feelings. But this is inevitable, isn't it? Vulnerability is part of love, and love is what we share in our family. Just as we have the power to bring immeasurable joy to each other, we can also wield that power to break each other's hearts and cause the other pain. I may hate fighting, miscommunication, and feeling hurt, but we have to accept all of it as part of learning how to better love each other.


I'm supposed to tag a few blogger friends on this post and challenge them to create a list of 10 things they love, and 10 things they hate. As this love-hate list has morphed now since the original, I'd say you can create your own list involving loves and hates depending on how you want to interpret it. You can make a simple list of what you love and hate, or create a theme, or whatever sort of configuration or iteration your creativity dictates. I obviously deviated from the original idea so I won't tell anyone how to write theirs.

I want to emphasize though that these bloggers are in no way obligated to create such a post. However it would be interesting to see what they come up with as this list of amazing bloggers features both humor and 'serious' writers. I hope you can find the time to visit these great sites!

Have fun ladies!

Marie Nikodem Loerzel of Rock the Kasbah
Krysta Manning of The Thoughtful Mom
Rena McDaniel of The Diary of an Alzheimer's Caregiver
Janine Ripper of Reflections from a Redhead
Sarah Schmitt of Salty Bug


  1. Powerful words they are!
    In terms of cards, I was just thinking the other day how my husband gives me cards, and while I appreciate the effort, they are not *for me* what I crave.
    (Everyone's love language is different.)
    It's funny how, as important to me as the written word is, what I value more is the spoken word.
    Tender words spoken aloud by him to me are what floats my boat.
    Wonder why that is?

    1. You're absolutely right about the love language, Susan! Have you taken that quiz or read that book about the 5 love languages? Words of affirmation are always high on my list and since I know the Hubs isn't too much into 'talking', I take what I'm given. If he can be sweet via cards, that's fine by me. Don't we all learn to adjust our expectations, esp in marriage? hehehe....Thanks for your thoughts! xoxo

  2. What a beautiful post Joy! I like how you mentioned that you don't use either word p love or hate - lightly. While I like that it is common to say that we love something or a friend - I think the use of the word "love" in a romantic relationship should be reserved for only someone truly special! Thanks for continuing this challenge - and I really enjoyed your post!

    1. And thanks to you for tagging me, Susan! It was fun and challenging doing this! Hope you're enjoying your summer and that it's not too hot where you are! :-))

  3. Great post Joy. I love what you said about caring about someone but not worrying about them. How I wish that could be!

    1. You and me both, my friend....*sigh* Thanks Lana!

  4. What a great post Joy! I did mine a couple of weeks ago but thanks so much for nominating me. After this past camping trip I may be tempted to put mosquitos on the most hated list!

    1. Ohhhhh, HATE mosquitoes and bugs in general! I got bit a few years back while staying at my SIL's lakehouse and the itch drove me insane!!!! grrrrr!! Kudos to you for surviving camping! ;-))

  5. I really enjoyed this and found myself agreeing with a fair bit of it. My thinking hat is on and I will create a list...of some description...hmmm

  6. This is a great list! And thank you for thinking of me and tagging me :)


Let me know your thoughts!