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Can you love someone you do not or no longer respect?

Some love, some say, is unconditional. I wonder: Is there such a thing? Does it bloom or continue even when respect has fallen by the wayside? Will you, can you, still love your spouse or friend if you learn they have acted in ways that have erased your respect? Can love and lack of respect co-exist? Why? Why not?


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    Jun 20 2013: Sometimes the people you do not respect need your love the most. Also, sometimes you do not respect people who deserve your respect. A parent's love does not depend upon whether they respect their child, they love the child no matter what. Without a definition of love your quest will be a goose chase. What do you mean by the word love?
    • Jun 20 2013: Edward, thank you for your response.

      I posted this, curious about how others might answer, using their own definitions.

      Loosely, I'd say that "love" (for me) could be conditional or unconditional, depending upon the object. We see love perish every day for any number of reasons. Look at the divorce rate.

      Respect has dual, unrelated meanings for me 1)-- something accorded unconditionally to someone's innate humanity and 2. conditional, predicated on the way someone chooses to live.

      But anyone who answers will have their own definitions. What are yours?
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        Jun 21 2013: The etymology of the word "love" is not simple. There is sexual affection; brotherly, familial affection; social care and concern for others; fondness for one's children. My personal belief is that one ought not claim to love another person if one is not devoted to doing everything possible to achieve the very best God offers for that person. Otherwise the word is diminished and diluted.
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      Jun 20 2013: Good point Edward...."Sometimes the people you do not respect need your love the most."

      I also agree with your statement..."A parent's love does not depend upon whether they respect their child, they love the child no matter what"

      I believe we can respect and love a person, and not respect certain behaviors. What do you think?
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        Jun 20 2013: I think the two emotions (respect and love) are independent from one another. To commit an isolated act which rightfuly causes a loss of respect should not result in the loss of all respect for all time. I agree it is better to tell someone who acts on a poor decision that you do not respect their actions in that specific matter. As Mr. Dahlen says below, not many people act in a constantly dishonorable way. If folks love and respect only those who never make a mistake there would be no love or respect at all in this tattered old world.
      • Jun 21 2013: Colleen,
        "I believe we can respect and love a person, and not respect certain behaviors."

        I can say I love my children and grandchildren, directed to them, but in my mind,
        I separate my love of them, segregating family members, into 'friends and
        I love my friends.
        My acquaintances?
        I put up with.

        My experiences are taken from the loss of the lives of 2 son-in-laws to drug and
        alcohol abuse, and with one daughter and her 2 sons who do the same, and
        with my other daughter, whom after being a widow found her way to normalcy.
        And with her son, who almost lost himself to drugs, but returned from the brink.

        My sons-in-laws were scallywags. Never sober. Too old for my daughters.
        I should have put them in jail, but, caught between my perceived loss of love
        from my daughters, I did not.
        Time wounds all heels, and in this case it did.

        Today, my daughter with her drug problem has gotten a bit older, and a bit wiser.
        I suppose she will soon reach the stage where I can once again love her.
        I can hope, I so want her to be my friend.

        Today, one of her kids is in jail because of drug use, and has a long rap sheet.
        But the other one is in a half-way house, going through a court-allowed drug
        program. Both are acquaintances of mine, my grandchildren.

        They stole from their grandmother, her money, in grand amounts,
        her coin collection, her computer, and other things they could sell.
        She still loves them? But she brings her cash to me for safe-keeping
        when they visit.

        If I let the one that today resides in jail enter my house, he cases it continuously
        while here, and can be assumed to be stealing my diabetic shot needles. Needles
        were found on his person when last arrested, a couple of days after his last visit.
        I have many friends with the local cops. We get a chuckle or two.
        Love can wait for him until he can waken to reality.
        Maybe 50 years from now.
        Ya think?
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          Jun 21 2013: Frank,
          I am very sorry about your losses and your challenges.

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