"Dysfunctional" Love Songs

Listening to the radio it is easy to get lost in the fantasy world of love that you hear described in most "love songs". Most of the time we sing along without even realizing that the song is depicting a very dysfunctional relationship. We dream of this love being real when we hear of it, and some are even disappointed when their relationships don't live up to these songs. This week Imagine Hope will dissect "dysfunctional love songs" to help you see the parts of this fantasy world that are unhealthy.

Dysfunctional Love song #1- Do I Have To Say The Words? by Bryan Adams
Rescue me from the mire
Whisper words of desire
Rescue me - darlin' rescue me
With your arms open wide
Want you here by my side
Come to me - darlin' rescue me
When this world's closin' in
There's no need to pretend
Set me free - darlin' rescue me
I don't wanna let you go
So I'm standin' in your way
I never needed anyone like I'm needin' you today
Do I have to say the words?
Do I have to tell the truth?
Do I have to shout it out?
Do I have to say a prayer?
Must I prove to you - how good we are together?
Do I have to say the words?
Rescue me from despair
Tell me you will be there
Help me please - darlin' rescue me
Every dream that we share
Every cross that we bear
Can't you see - darlin' rescue me
I don't wanna let you go
So I'm standin' in your way
I never needed anyone like I'm needin' you today
Do I have to say the words?
Do I have to tell the truth?
Do I have to shout it out?
Do I have to say a prayer?
Must I prove to you - how good we are together?
Do I have to say the words?

I've always been a Bryan Adams fan, but there is a lot of dysfunction in these lyrics. This song is asking to be "rescued" and "set free" which depicts a strong dependency and enmeshed relationship.  This phrase: "I don't wanna let you go, So I'm standin' in your way, I never needed anyone like I'm needin' you today" screams a person who is looking out for themselves and not respecting potential boundaries being set by their loved one (i.e. "So I'm standing in your way"). Then there is the series of questions which shows a person not speaking their needs with their partner (i.e. "Do I have to say the words?" and "Do I have to shout it out?"), dishonesty (i.e. "Do I have to tell the truth?"), and a feeling of begging and desperation (i.e. "Do I have to say a prayer?"). Lastly the phrase "Must I prove to you- how good we are together" seems to sum up the feeling of the song which is a person fearing or experiencing the loss of a relationship and painfully attempting to hang on as it ends. I am sure each person has an interpretation of the lyrics, but I hope that you will listen to the words of love songs and learn how to prevent it's dysfunction to become a reality in your relationships!

Stay tuned for more love songs this week!

Written by Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW

Teri Claassen MSW, LCSW is a licensed therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Teri enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Teri also does family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling.  Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield.