December 2, 2016

Love is Enough—Except when it Isn’t.

Grant Porter/Unsplash

I know you love him, dear heart.

Love is enough, you tell yourself.

But deep in the hollow of places you don’t want to explore, you know it isn’t.

It used to be, back when it was whispered under summer skies with salty air in your lungs. When it was murmured beneath cherry trees that blossomed with the promise of harvest. When it was breathed against your neck as morning sun spilled golden light upon tangled sheets.

It used to be enough, back then—back when love was shiny and new.

But summer skies are soon defeated by dark-coloured clouds as cherry trees stand naked and forlorn in the starkness of winter and golden light recalls something beyond your grasp.

Love is enough, you tell yourself.

You know he loves you, even when he hurts you. He’s sorry, always sorry. He wants to try harder, wants to do better, if you’ll only give him another chance. You wipe away the tears that stream down his face. They are real tears, genuine tears, sincere tears, and you pull him close to you, forgive him, say you’ll stay.

Love is enough, you tell yourself.

You believe in a love that can overcome, and you love harder. You love with all you have, all you are, all you can. You love until you are on the floor, until there are no more tears, until he has destroyed you to your bones and even when there is nothing left of you, you love.

Love is enough, you tell yourself.

You wait for your love to sink into his skin, to spread through his cells, to seep into his bones and gush through his blood. You wait for your love to restore him, change him, stitch his broken pieces together. If you just love hard enough, he will understand love, he will love you better.

This is the power of the love you believe in, the love you give at any cost. The love you long so much to receive yourself.

Love is enough, you tell yourself.

Except, when it isn’t.

Because sometimes, it just isn’t.

It just isn’t enough.

Sometimes, no matter how hard you love, it will never be enough.

It will never be enough to know respect, trust, commitment, loyalty, compassion, empathy, kindness, gentleness, support.

It will never be enough to overcome control, possessiveness, jealousy, manipulation, blame, guilt, neglect, anger, lies.

It will never be enough to restore what is broken, to make things right, to regain what has been lost, to cover all sins, to fill all gaps.

It will never be enough to make it worth the stay.

It will never be enough to withstand another day of abuse.

It will never be enough to make him love you with the love you deserve.

I know you love him, dear heart. I know you long for your happy ending. I know you wanted love to be enough. But you give your love away to one who does not understand it—one who does not deserve it.

The one most deserving of that love, dear heart, is you.

For you are a rare treasure, precious and irreplaceable. You are light to the darkest corners of humanity, rain upon parched fields, the warmth of flames under star-laden skies. You are calm rivers and wild oceans, breathless winds and hurricanes that rage, tropical nights by the sea and overcast days covered in blankets of fresh snow.

It’s time to walk away. For when love destroys the sacred heart that beats inside your fragile chest, then love is no longer enough.

Don’t settle for a love that does not see the incomparable beauty that is you.

Go now, and love yourself with the love you deserve, the love you are entitled to.

Love yourself with the love he could never give you.

Love yourself so fiercely that you know without a doubt the love you are worthy of, that you may never again settle for anything less.

Love yourself, because even though love isn’t always enough, you, dear heart, always are. You always will be.


Author: Kathy Parker

Image: Grant Porter/Unsplash

Editor: Toby Israel


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Stephanie Waters Samuelson May 12, 2017 6:09am

Recently discovered Kathy Parker. Love her blogs!

Stephanie Waters Samuelson May 12, 2017 6:08am

Thank you. Your words always touch me and remind me of who I am and where I'm going.

Timothy Irving Jan 26, 2017 2:56pm

"You wait for your love to sink into his skin, to spread through his cells, to seep into his bones and gush through his blood. You wait for your love to restore him, change him, stitch his broken pieces together...." I'm just going to stop this article right here and ask a simple question: What the hell did you marry, and WHY did you marry someone to change them? Let me leave one word here- manipulation. Ladies and gents; if you read some shit like this, you should ask yourself what the world owes you, why the world owes you, and why do YOU not provide whatever it is for yourself? Don't look outward, look inward. I can build a comfy seat, put it into my vehicle and drive my comfy ass to work. I can build an addition, plant some trees or hang a hammock in the shade to relax and enjoy life, but people are not inanimate objects designed to make you feel better. People are not tools, nor are they clay of which to mold to your liking. Find a pair of shoes you like before you purchase them. If you can't find any you like- go barefoot.

Stephanie N. Hackworth Dec 5, 2016 3:19pm

Thank you for writing this article. I'm at a place in my life where I really needed to read this.

Katie Cosulich Hoover Dec 3, 2016 5:48pm

Beautiful article, brought me to tears!

Jennifer Evangelista Dec 2, 2016 1:21pm

Thank you!!!!

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Kathy Parker

Kathy Parker is a freelance writer, poet, spoken word performer and author of The Unravelled Heart, her first collection of poetry and prose.

She writes of abuse, trauma, domestic violence, loss, grief, survival; but also recovery, healing, overcoming abuse and empowering women in the truth of their worth.

To date, her poetry has been published in Anti-Heroin Chic and Black Bough Poetry.

She is a contributor for 10 Daily, The Mighty, Thought Catalog, The Minds Journal and Elephant Journal. 

You can also find Kathy at her website, This Girl Unravelled, or at FacebookTwitter,  Instagram, and YouTube