Our expert, psychologist Elena Shpundra, reflects on the axiom: love is pain. Where did the idea come from that to love is to suffer? Who supports her in women and who benefits from it? Why do we ourselves so often expect only pain from love – and most importantly, what to do with all this now? Read our new article!

love and painlove and pain

About love from the pages …

When I was young, I used to read the novels of Sidney Sheldon. Their heroines, young, beautiful and talented women, became victims of deceit and perfidy of men, villainous bosses, envious rivals, and crafty relatives.

They overcame fire, water and copper pipes in order, in the end, to wrest happiness from fate, and along the way it is also desirable to punish the guilty. And of course, they became happy not alone, but next to some handsome man.

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Who was also a man of difficult fate and not the simplest way of life. At one time I even thought that Sidney Sheldon was a woman. It seemed to me that only a woman can describe the feelings, desires and experiences of a woman so subtly and knowingly.

In the era before the Internet, the author could be found in the Great Soviet Encyclopedia. But Sheldon was clearly not in her format. It was only in the mid-90s, when photos of the authors began to be printed on the back of books, that I discovered that Sidney Sheldon was a man. But I did not stop loving his novels and re-read them all.

I also reread Victoria Tokareva. Her romances were less adventurous and extreme than Sheldon’s, but no less tormented. The heroines of Tokareva were also deceived and abandoned by men. In parallel, they could still overcome the burden of serious illnesses and the death of loved ones.

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In general, by the end of the novel, the heroine did find happiness, having been hardened by all the circles of hell, and I poured out my three buckets of tears. And she desperately fantasized that someday I would also become happy, but for this I would first have to suffer.

My sad experience, the life of my mother and many women around were added to the book stories. All this perfectly fit into the neurotic’s picture of the world – and led to the fact that for a long time I quite sincerely believed that love is equal to suffering and enduring.

If without suffering, then this is not love at all. Our path is through thorns to the stars. No other way.

Parents add

Most recently, I led a group for parents of teenage children. The topic is reverent and urgent – teenage sexuality.

And to the very first question – did they talk with the children about sex and what did they tell – the parents diligently listed: they talked about physiology (menstruation, nocturnal emissions), about pregnancy and that you can get venereal diseases during sex, so condoms are our everything .

And almost all parents said that they gave their children books or encyclopedias about sex, let them read and figure it out themselves.

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On the one hand, I was happy. My sexual institutions were reduced to my mother’s slurred and bashful message about critical days and scary documentaries that were shown at school about venereal diseases and about children who are born to drug addicts and alcoholics.

Well, to what I comprehended with men empirically and which fit very well into the picture of suffering.

On the other hand, although nearly 30 years have passed since the famous “there is no sex in the USSR”, little has changed in practice. We continue to tell children about the negative aspects of intersexual relationships – unwanted pregnancy, rape or harassment, shameful diseases.

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But we do not say that sex is pleasure. We have feelings and sensuality. And having sex with someone you want, who you are attracted to and who is dear to you is one of the most enjoyable aspects of a relationship.

Yes, parents should not be guides for children to the world of carnal pleasures. All this will be done by partners. But, as before, focusing only on the bad and terrible face of sex is adding bricks to the image “to love is to suffer”, relationships are to endure, and living is generally a test of strength.

My recipe for happiness

I stopped reading melodramas. I stopped watching melodramas. And she excluded from her life men who provide suffering and brain drain, instead of giving comfort and good mood.

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Now I am only interested in what entertains or gives food for thought. And people with whom communication brings joy.

And with regret I read women’s posts on psi-forums: “He doesn’t know who to choose – me or his ex, ignores my messages and disappears for two days, says that there are a lot of me in his life, doesn’t give gifts, doesn’t introduce friends , sex is rare and on my initiative. And he screams, and yesterday he beat me. Tell me, is there a chance for our relationship?

These are my former comrades in the harmful and stupid idea “love is pain.” Women with a broken program of normal relationships.

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I still love novels about women. Anna Gavalda. Maygull Axelsson, Elisabeth Strout. They tell about women’s life authentically.

Not savoring the drama, not speculating on tragedies, not convincing readers that only by suffering can you get a bonus in the form of love, and sex is definitely “50 shades of gray”.

photo: unsplash

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