How do you love someone you can't stand?

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Many times I read posts that say, I can't stand my mom, although I love her. I don't understand that. I don't love my mom. She's always been difficult, controlling and a perfectionist. I can tolerate her in small doses but have no feelings of love. My older sister feels the same way about our mom as I do. I don't hate her, I just don't enjoy her joy sucking attitude on life. My friend says she feels the same way about her dad and thinks it is because she grew up in such a disfunctional home. Any thoughts?

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"I can't stand that sh*tty old woman, she made my life a living HELL when I was growing up, and I can't wait till she goes into a nursing home/croaks!"

...blink blink....sadface....'But....but....she's YOUR MOTHER!!!'

'Yes, more's the pity. I got stuck with a real lemon.'

There you have it, the truth of many many caregivers who daren't say anything about the 'poor little old ladies in such sad circumstances'. If you are doing caregiving to the best of your ability, that's sufficient, isn't it? Why - HOW - should you start loving, or even liking them at this point?
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Don't beat yourself up. It is what it is. The world is full of damaged people, and most of them reproduce. With family and my in-laws, I often switch into "tolerating an annoying co-worker" mode. It sucks, because we want a better connection with family. But sometimes it's just not there.
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Sorrynotsorry, It is okay not to feel love for your mom.
The advice is: It is not your responsibility to caregive your parents, but it is your responsibility to see that they are cared for.
You have been hurt and need to protect yourself, that is so very understandable.
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Vstefans, I thought you had said: Love is a decision as well as an EMOTICON. lol
You are right, it is also an emotion.
We know there are different types of love.

There is a song that says: LOVE IS NOT A FEELING, IT'S AN ACT OF YOUR WILL.

I have heard it said, if you act in love, you will begin to love. OR,
Fake it till you make it. Means, just performing acts of love can be love.
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Aha. Love is a decision as well as an emotion.
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I think it's OK not to love someone.....it's just that in our society it's unacceptable to say that. I've heard more than a few people say 'well, of course I love her/him...I just can't stand being around them! Just because they raised you or related by blood doesn't mean you have to love them, especially since many were physically/mentally/verbally abused by them when they were small and even as adults. How can you love someone who has done that to you? and why should you? Blessings, Lindaz
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LindaS - rambling is OK. Liking is something you prefer. I don't like my mother or most of her behaviours and prefer the company of others. I do love her in that her welfare is important to me and I act to see that she is cared for, even at my own expense sometimes.
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What is the difference between like and love? I don't distinguish between the two, I think I know like but not sure what love is. Perhaps because I grew up in a none loving or liking household is the reason I don't understand. My parents didn't ever hug their children or speak to us much. I'm 70 and still clueless what love is. Golden I just saw your post on this subject. This helps me a lot. This is how I grew up!! She was the doer, Dad the distant worker bringing home the money. My mother didn't have mental issues but my dad did. They both grew up in dysfunctional families, very cold and distant and that is how I and my siblings were raised, although boys, men had more importance in the family then girls. Anyway, I've rambled.
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Sorry,not sorry...you do not have to love them. It is so hard when they treat us so badly....only being nice when it benefits them. We do have to respect them...and some days it takes every molecule of what is left of me to pull that one off.
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Loving - the feelings - and loving - the actions are two different things. I don't feel much love for my mother nor from her. Jessie, I appreciate your point that some can't give or receive it - not their fault and not yours.

For me love focusses on actions. By caring for someone I am showing them love even if I do not feel it and they do not feel it from me. She did care for me and give me opportunities in life which were in my best interests, She did many other things that were not in my best interests. Does she love me - as much as she is able, I think, which is limited due to her mental illness. Do I love her - in my actions but not much in my feelings. Does she feel loved by me? I hope so - even if it is just a little.
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