"Dysfunctional" Love Songs- Part 4

After reading Teri, Tammy, and Natalie's blog posts on "Dysfunctional" love songs, by now you've probably got several in mind of your own (if you haven't stopped listening to them because of how scary the reality of them has turned out to be!).  Like Natalie and Tammy were saying, I used to sing along to this song (Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis), finding it beautiful and filled with loving adoration... even with the words "bleeding" and "love" together! Until I really listened to the words...   It talks about a girl who has been hurt so many times, she closes her heart off to loving, until she meets this "incredible" sounding person who allows her to feel love again, with no boundaries, despite the warnings of the people around her.  Check it out: Closed off from love, I didn't need the pain Once or twice was enough and it was all in vain Time starts to pass before you know it you're frozen

But something happened for the very first time with you My heart melted to the ground, found something true And everyone's looking 'round, thinking I'm going crazy

But I don't care what they say, I'm in love with you They try to pull me away but they don't know the truth My heart's crippled by the vein that I keep on closing

You cut me open And I keep bleeding, keep, keep bleeding love I keep bleeding, I keep, keep bleeding love Keep bleeding, keep, keep bleeding love You cut me open

Trying hard not to hear but they talk so loud Their piercing sounds fill my ears try to fill me with doubt Yet I know that the goal is to keep me from falling

But nothing's greater than the rush That comes with your embrace And in this world of loneliness I see your face Yet everyone around me thinks that I'm going crazy Maybe, maybe

But I don't care what they say, I'm in love with you They try to pull me away but they don't know the truth My heart's crippled by the vein that I keep on closing

You cut me open And I keep bleeding, keep, keep bleeding love I keep bleeding, I keep, keep bleeding love Keep bleeding, keep, keep bleeding love You cut me open

And it's draining all of me Oh, they find it hard to believe I'll be wearing these scars for everyone to see

I don't care what they say, I'm in love with you They try to pull me away but they don't know the truth My heart's crippled by the vein that I keep on closing

You cut me open And I keep bleeding, keep, keep bleeding love I keep bleeding, I keep, keep bleeding love Keep bleeding, keep, keep bleeding love

You cut me open And I keep bleeding, keep, keep bleeding love I keep bleeding, I keep, keep bleeding love Keep bleeding, keep, keep bleeding love

You cut me open And I keep bleeding, keep, keep bleeding love

First of all, this reminds me of a Romeo and Juliet type song, and remember that not only were they characters in a story-- they also lost their lives!  While relationships can be difficult, to equate them all to being painful means that something is seriously wrong.  She talks about being "frozen", then meeting someone where her "heart melted to the ground", while "they" (family/friends?) are apparently confronting her about how unhealthy the relationship is ("I don't care what they say, I'm in love with you; They try to pull me away, but they don't know the truth").  Let's get one thing straight... while it's important to make your own decisions regarding your life and relationships, if your support system is that concerned about you, where they try to "fill your ears with doubt" or pull you away from someone, you might want to listen!  There could be an element of truth in what they say and they could be seeing red flags that you are too "enmeshed" to see.  She says "I know that the goal is to keep me from falling", when maybe... just maybe, it's their goal to keep her safe!  Even SHE says that her "hearts crippled by the vein that I keep on closing".  Maybe she wants to think for a minute about why she keeps closing it to begin with-- Is it because the person she is with is unhealthy?  Is it because she doesn't have good boundaries and limits to how much she "gives" or is expected to love ("I keep bleeding, keep, keep bleeding love")?  Apparently so, because she uses the words "It's draining all of me".  Relationships that drain us simply aren't healthy (despite what all of the love songs tell us).  So, just when you think Leona is empty, in rushes the love of her life to "cut her open", where she allows herself to be vulnerable again. This is dysfunctional because it suggests that there are no boundaries involved (we don't allow others to determine our boundaries in healthy relationships), and she is looking for someone to rescue her from her "world of loneliness".  It isn't healthy for individuals to become dependent on others to make their hurt go away, nor is it healthy to enter into another relationship when you haven't grieved and become "whole" again.  Hopefully, Leona will figure this out before she bleeds anymore...

So, what is your favorite "Dysfunctional" love song?  Can you identify the parts that are unhealthy?  And how many times throughout your life have you equated a love song to the "ideal", when in reality, it isn't that healthy or ideal at all?  Not to worry, because there ARE healthy songs out there that depict healthy relationships.  Stay tuned to next week's IHCG blog... we'll be discussing THOSE songs!

Joleen Watson, MS, NCC, is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. She enjoys doing marriage counseling, relationship counseling, couples counseling, and individual counseling.  Imagine Hope also specializes in family, child and adolescent counseling and serves Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield, and Fishers.