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Love, clarified

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Want2BHappyAgain posted 9/17/2020 16:21 PM

One of my threads that had the most posts ever was..."My H loved me even when he cheated". I stated that my H loved me while having his A...even if it was in a screwed up way. I was bombarded with replies on that thread to let me know how WRONG I was !!! Most of the replies quoted the Scripture passage in 1Corinthians 13:4...which starts off with "Love is patient, love is kind...".

I came across a Bible devotional that brought me back to that thread...and I believe it shows how ALL of our views could be explained . It is a plan that is in the YouVersion Bible App. It is called "Love is God's Language" for those who would like to read it .

This devotional talks about how there are quite a few words in the Greek language that describes the one word that we use for LOVE today. The four that they touched on were...Eros, Phileo, Storge, and Agape. These helped me to understand a lot about some of the posts I see on here. Many BS's talk about how their WS state that they loved their BS...even though they had an A. These threads are almost all blanketed with the reply that there was NO WAY a WS could love their BS...because if they did...they wouldn't have cheated. This was also what the adultery co-conspirator told my H when he said he loved me . Maybe that is why I am adamant that he loved me during that time...I don't want her to be right !!! Anyway...from what I read...I believe a person CAN love someone they are cheating on...depending on the Greek word for love that they use .

I will start with Eros. Eros was the Greek and Roman god of love...but the Greek word eros also is the term for "sexual love". This type of love is merely emotional and sexual...but it is not enough to sustain a relationship without commitment and giving. My H told me on Dday that he felt love for the adultery co-conspirator...and I believe this is the type of love he felt. There was no commitment or giving between them...it was purely selfishness on both of their part. Needless to say...this love did not last. My H has now even gone so far as to say he never felt love for the adultery co-conspirator...but that is a whole other thread I posted about .

Phileo refers to brotherly love...and is most often exhibited in a close friendship. We have a choice when it comes to phileo because its relationship is based on our likes and preferences. My H told me how much he and the adultery co-conspirator had in common...so I believe this type of love was something he felt for her also...or tried to have anyway. When pressed on it though...he could only come up with TWO things they had in common .

Storge is an affectionate love...one we feel for our family or spouse. This type of love is naturally occurring...not forced. THIS type of love is what I believe my H felt for me at that time. We had been married over a quarter of a century by that time...and had already gone through the eros and phileo stages.

Agape is the most powerful and noblest type of love . It is a sacrificial love. This word was what was actually used by Paul when he wrote to the Corinthians. It does sound a little weird to say, "Agape is patient, agape is kind..."...but it wasn't in Paul's day . THIS type of love is what most people on here describe as an "action". This had NEVER been the kind of love my H had ever given me before Dday. I didn't realize it at the time...but I never allowed it.

I have always been a giver. My H has always been a taker...and it just seemed to FIT for us to keep those roles in our M. I learned from the book "Not Just Friends" that the takers in a M are usually NOT the happiest . This word...agape...helps me to understand that reasoning . My H had obviously been patient and kind...but not all the time. Neither had I. As it turns out...we were only like this when it suited us to be. I always liked to sacrifice for my H...I wasn't comfortable having him sacrifice for me though. This is probably the worst mindset I could have had...even though my intentions were good. We all know what that road to hell is paved with !!!

I also believe this type of agape love is what I was trying to get at when I wrote my thread titled, "My Next Step"...where I was saying I wanted to "submit" to my H...but was terrified. If I use the word "agape" instead of "submit"...that is more of what I was trying to accomplish .

I am a simple Cajun...and never heard about these words that describe LOVE before. This devotional about the different definitions of love gave me several "aha" moments...and maybe it might do the same for some of y'all . I have to say though...that all four words have been encompassed in the LOVE my H and I now have for each other .

36yearsgone posted 9/17/2020 16:46 PM

Want2BHappyAgain:

You gave an excellent exposition of each of the four koine greek words used to describe a type of love.

Unfortunately with English we use the single word "love" to describe all sorts of different types of love. We make love, love a movie, love popcorn, ice cream a nice glass of wine, but none of these really describes agape.

Look at those four words again.

Eros, as you stated, is about sexual love. It is not necessarily emotional, it is certainly sexual, but more about one's self than the other party. Eros focuses more on the sexual and what the one feeling Eros wants at the moment. It can be combined with the other types of love, but in and of itself, it is not a "love" that offers anything long term. For some people it may be as simple as FWB.

Phileo: you described this very well. It is indeed a brotherly love, a friendship type of love. It is non-sexual, but can be highly emotional as those in Phileo can feel strong emotional attachments to their friends.

Storge: is the close ties and affection one generally feels for family members, especially our children. It is also a non-sexual love (hopefully).

Agape: this is probably the purest word for describing a true love. It is pure. It is faithful. It is not selfish. It always seeks the best and never acts uncomely or unseemly.

I think I remember the post you referred to.

Those who actually have Agape love do not have affairs. A betrayal is not part of the Agape vocabulary. I have Agape love for my wife. I can guarantee she did not have the same type of love for me.

Thumos posted 9/17/2020 17:16 PM

In other words, "I love you but I'm not in love with you."?

😂

I'm quite familiar with the koine types for love. I don't believe my WW felt any of those things for me during her affair or for a time after.

And I'm suspicious of any WS who says they did.

[This message edited by Thumos at 5:17 PM, September 17th (Thursday)]

Want2BHappyAgain posted 9/17/2020 20:56 PM

36yearsgone...thank you for your sweet compliment...but I really didn't write the meanings of these words. I copied them .

I agree with you about the agape love...because I wouldn't have cheated on my H. I easily turned away from the advances...that part was OFF LIMITS. The only issue I have is that agape was described in the devotional as unconditional love also...and I don't have that for my H. There are definitely conditions NOW!!

Thumos...EXACTLY!! I got that spiel on Dday too. Until he confessed to fucking another woman and I told him the M was over. Then he couldn't think of anything else but how much he was IN LOVE with me . It's funny how they aren't in love with you...until they find out you aren't in love with them anymore .

I have never heard of koine before...so I had to look it up ! These 4 words make a lot of sense for the different types of love. I can wrap my head around my H caring for me as in the storge type of love by the way he set the "rules" up before anything became physical between him and the adultery co-conspirator.

I used to feel the same way you did after I divorced my 1st H. IF he had any type of love after I caught him the 1st time he cheated...he certainly didn't have any left to do it to me again! But my 2nd H has changed my mind . His actions before and after his A were the turning point for me. It is amazing how our hearts can change when we give them to God .

CaptainRogers posted 9/17/2020 22:02 PM

Those who actually have Agape love do not have affairs.

Truer words have not been spoken. That one hit right in the feels...

Justgetitoverwith posted 9/17/2020 22:43 PM

And why would anyone want to settle for a partner who only shows the other kinds of love?

Want2BHappyAgain posted 9/18/2020 09:27 AM

CaptainRogers...yep. Seeing the definitions for these 4 types of the 1 word we use today definitely opened my eyes. I was having the agape type of love for my H...but he wasn't anywhere NEAR to having that type of love for me at the time . The GOOD thing is that agape love can be achieved by anyone...well...anyone who WANTS to. My H has achieved it now. I let it go on Dday though. But I have been working my way back to it...I just didn't know there was a word for it before now .

Justgetitoverwith...the best way I can answer your question is from my own experience...because I didn't know better . I have a friend who lost her Mom when she was 8 years old. I asked her one day how it felt to not have the love of a Mom...because I was so devastated when my Mama passed away. She shrugged her shoulders and told me that she guessed she didn't miss what she didn't have.

This kind of sums up why I "settled". I never had agape love from either of my H's...and I didn't miss what I never had . The love I felt from my 1st H was definitely eros love. Once he didn't have that feeling for me anymore...he started looking for it from someone else. We were young when we got married and I thought this eros love was the end all be all! Looking back NOW...we never even felt phileo love...there was very little we had in common.

My 2nd H and I were actually friends first...so we had phileo love already. When he came back into my life after I was separated from my 1st H...eros love came about . We both had storge love for each other...but I never felt comfortable with my H "sacrificing" or "giving" to me. This is something I need to explore more about myself. But...without my H being allowed to "sacrifice" or "give"...he never could feel that agape love for me...maybe? I don't know...it is something I am just now realizing...so I don't know the answer...yet .

I DO know that after Dday my H was going to have to change. I also knew that I would have to allow him to show me his unselfish...giving...sacrificing side. It seems so simple NOW...but it wasn't at the time. Like I said...I am a simple Cajun...and something that apparently is very easy for others to understand had not been something I understood...if that makes sense.

sisoon posted 9/18/2020 10:57 AM

The Cambridge English Dictionary defines sacrifice as

to give up something that is valuable to you in order to help another person.

IMO there's a difference between giving something up with no expectation of getting something in return and giving something up expecting a return.

In a close relationship, like an M, I find it impossible not to expect returns on my gifts. I do things that I know my W will enjoy simply to give her pleasure - but I know she does things to give me pleasure. I've been conditioned to expect a return.

It turns out that my W did and still does a lot of stuff that seem to be sacrifices but actually came out of her fear and co-dependence. She performed acts of service partly out of love, but partly to keep her demons at bay.

IOW, what looks like charity/selfless love - agape - is often mixed with ulterior motives, and ulterior motives often can poison the agape.

*****

What follows is very hard to explain, but here's an attempt:

With respect, there's a strong strand of Jewish-Christian-Muslim thought that is anti-sex. I suspect that the use of the 4 terms for 'love' is an attempt to get people to focus away from sex. It appears that most of the literature about these 4 types of love is from Christian sources.

To me, sex is a gift that is given to most of us, a gift to be enjoyed, a gift that enhances one's spirit. Sex can be highly spiritual. I know sex can bring out our worst, publicly in many cases; I believe it also brings out our best.

For me, and for a lot of us, love for my partner does not exist separately from my sexual desire. Desire is part of everything I do for her. She's under no obligation to give me anything in return for any specific thing I give her - but if she stops showing love for me, I'll eventually stop giving, too.

So ... I have a hard time arguing I don't have ulterior motives. My sacrifices aren't co-d, but they're conditional.

*****

A person in agape may not cheat on a human partner. But since I don't see much agape in Marriage-type relationships, I don't see how I could maintain a close, Marriage-type relationship with another human being if I focused too much on agape of love.

Life is messy. That causes a lot of pain, but it gives us great opportunities.

[This message edited by sisoon at 11:12 AM, September 18th (Friday)]

Want2BHappyAgain posted 9/18/2020 13:08 PM

In a close relationship, like an M, I find it impossible not to expect returns on my gifts. I do things that I know my W will enjoy simply to give her pleasure - but I know she does things to give me pleasure. I've been conditioned to expect a return.

This is very interesting...thanks for sharing sisoon . I have written about it before how I was not getting sex regularly while I was with my H in the Netherlands. His job was demanding...he worked long hours...etc. I sacrificed a regular sex life over there because I didn't want to pile MY wants onto his very valuable time. Of course...after I had to leave that country...he managed to have a regular sex life with the adultery co-conspirator...while I was still sacrificing at home .

Anyway...I believe that is one example of a sacrifice I did as you showed the definition. Maybe I had been conditioned to NOT expect a return? I am not sure if that is it...but I do know that my actions as a wife seemed to reflect how the wives I grew up around acted. Maybe it is a cultural thing...since I grew up around Southern Catholic Cajuns? I hadn't been brought up with knowing about these 4 types of love...and it is like a eureka moment for me to know that love is defined like this! In any case...your post has given me something else to ponder...so thanks for that !

My Catholic upbringing towards sex was that a married couple could not defile the marriage bed. I took that to mean that everything except adultery was a GO. And MAN...we WENT . After us both having a relationship with God now...there are definitely things we will NOT do anymore...such as including others in our indulgences. One of the nice surprises to this is that by losing that aspect...we have gained more intimacy . I guess it is because we see each other through a new pair of eyes so to speak...and it is absolutely incredible .

For me, and for a lot of us, love for my partner does not exist separately from my sexual desire. Desire is part of everything I do for her. She's under no obligation to give me anything in return for any specific thing I give her - but if she stops showing love for me, I'll eventually stop giving, too.

I am a little confused on this one. Are you saying that if your wife can't give you sex anymore...that you will stop loving her? Or...if you stop having a sexual desire for her...then you will stop loving her? I do know that my sexual desire for my H stopped on Dday...when my love for him stopped too. But it came back within an hour . For ME...it was because I have always had the mindset that I do NOT want to be with anyone who does NOT want to be with me. I felt this was what my H was saying by having sex with another woman...but it wasn't. I have been able to STOP the sexual desire and love in both of my M's because of this mindset...so I definitely don't want to change that part at all!!

I do know that my H has sacrificed for me in our M now. I also know that I let him do it...without returning anything...on purpose. Our roles were reversed...I became the taker while he became the giver. Honestly though...it didn't give me the fulfillment that being the giver had done. When I took that "next step"...and became a giver again...I felt better . That MAY be the ulterior motive...and if it is...I'll take it !!!

thatbpguy posted 9/18/2020 14:59 PM

Those who actually have Agape love do not have affairs. A betrayal is not part of the Agape vocabulary.

And I'll agree with the Captain, it's impossible to have this love within oneself and betray.

CaptainRogers posted 9/18/2020 23:01 PM

With respect, there's a strong strand of Jewish-Christian-Muslim thought that is anti-sex.

That's because more pastors/rabbis need to spend more time teaching through Song of Solomon. 🤩

Want2BHappyAgain posted 9/19/2020 08:28 AM

thatbpguy...I agree...and I believe that is why my H won't cheat on me again. I won't go so far in agape love to where my love is unconditional though. I only hold that for my children and God now . I counteract that with the eros love...which will ONLY be for my H .

CaptainRogers...I LOVE that book in the Bible!! I also read a lot of Kim Kimberling's devotional plans in the YouVersion Bible App...and he is all about having a healthy sex life in a M .

sisoon posted 9/19/2020 09:12 AM

I am a little confused on this one.
You and me both.

Are you saying that if your wife can't give you sex anymore...that you will stop loving her? Or...if you stop having a sexual desire for her...then you will stop loving her?
Well, I have some trouble with sex, too. (You know I was going to maker this gender-neutral if I could, right?) I'm very grateful certain drugs are now generic....

There have been times in our M when one of us couldn't do much sexually. The desire is there, though, and I guess that's been enough for us.

There were times in the first couple of years after d-day I did not desire my W, but I still loved her. I'm one of those who think I can D even if I love my W. Desire that goes away because I'm angry about infidelity is reason to leave. I thought we'd be happy together if our desire diminishes because of age or can't be satisfied because of physical limits. That was a good guess.

I do know that my sexual desire for my H stopped on Dday...when my love for him stopped too. But it came back within an hour .
Me, too.

...I have always had the mindset that I do NOT want to be with anyone who does NOT want to be with me. I felt this was what my H was saying by having sex with another woman...but it wasn't.
Me, too. That's why the 3 most critical questions for me were:

Do you love me?
Are you in love with me?
Will you be monogamous from now on?

The toughest question for me to ask was; Are you in love with me? I might also have asked, 'will you stay in love with me,' but I'm not sure.

*****

Hay, CR! I dropped that paragraph because it came close to arguing about religion. But I agree with your point.

[This message edited by sisoon at 9:14 AM, September 19th (Saturday)]

Want2BHappyAgain posted 9/20/2020 12:52 PM

Thanks for the clarification sisoon...I understand now .

Your questions made me think back to my Dday. My H started his confession with the words, "I love you like I've never loved anyone else...but I don't think I am in love with you anymore". So the first 2 questions you asked...were already answered by my H. The third question...I didn't have to ask because I knew in my heart that IF he ever did this again...there would be no further discussion.

After Dday we talked about what happened on Dday. From this I can see where the four types of love came into play. My H always had the storge love...but the phileo and eros love were lost during his A. Agape love was pretty much nonexistent as I've stated in my first post. On Dday I think he got the phileo and eros love back...and started to go toward agape love. For ME...I felt all of the four types of love UNTIL Dday. I did get the eros love back that day...but I believe it is because it is a selfish type of love...and I definitely became selfish on Dday. The phileo and storge love came back as the trust came back. Agape love was harder because it is a sacrificial love. I was NOT going to sacrifice anything more!! But the longer I went without showing it...the more I wanted it. I just didn't know what the word was that I was feeling .

I have come to realize that a person can have the other three types of love and still do alright in life. But when you give of yourself out of love...and it is reciprocated...the feeling is indescribable . God had the answer for us all along to a happy and healthy M...to a happy and healthy LIFE...we were just too ignorant to see it.

Notaboringwife posted 9/20/2020 13:33 PM

"My H loved me even when he cheated". I stated that my H loved me while having his A.

My FWH said the same thing thing to me over and over again during our separation after D-day.

We both understand now after 15 months of R, that he loved the home he had, with me in it during his affair and that he did not love me.

So i'm not sure what love definition this fits under....?

WhatsRight posted 9/20/2020 14:53 PM

Those who actually have Agape love do not have affairs.

“Agape” love, as I understand it, is the love that only God has for us. I don’t believe that we are able to ever achieve that.

But it is certainly a standard to work toward.

Want2BHappyAgain posted 9/20/2020 15:01 PM

Notaboringwife...looking through the 4 types I have listed on here...I would think the one that best describes what y'all have talked about is phileo love.

Phileo love is not an affectionate type of love like storge love with family or a spouse. It is more of a friendship from what I am understanding. He made the distinction that he didn't love the house itself. It wasn't a home without you in it...is that what he is saying? I would think friends or roommates would fit this type of love if that is what he was thinking you were at that time.

I am new to looking into these 4 types of love...so maybe someone else can define it better...or come up with other types of love .

The main thing though is what type of love do you feel for each other NOW?

Want2BHappyAgain posted 9/20/2020 15:11 PM

WhatsRight...I know I have an unconditional love for my children. From what I have read about your relationship with yours...I think you have that too .

I would tend to agree with you because I definitely do NOT have unconditional love for my H...there will ALWAYS be conditions now!

But Paul used the word agape when he was writing the letter to the Corinthians to describe what agape is. To ME...it is something to aspire to. I can wrap my head around that!

I also know that without that part of the equation...I wasn't WHOLE...if that makes sense.

WhatsRight posted 9/20/2020 20:12 PM

Thanks for the kind words.

It is easier with our children, which may fit perfectly into the model of God being our “Father”.

But definitely something to aspire to. Even to our imperfect waywards.

Want2BHappyAgain posted 9/20/2020 21:34 PM

WhatsRight...I totally agree . I will never say never...because I KNEW I would never stay married to a cheater after the mess I went through with my 1st H. Yet here I am . Soooo...maybe one day I will feel an unconditional love for my H. For right now though...I am very HAPPY with where we are .

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