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Love's Executioners

Editorial note: I decided to tackle this month's theme, Healing Between Genders, from a few viewpoints: marriage, general social and of course, spiritual.

In a dying relationship, I know I'll always see two things: apathy and lack of respect. I call them Love’s executioners.

Nothing, I repeat nothing, is more toxic to love than apathy and lack of respect. Both choke the life out of any possibilities that could be created.

It’s hard to own up to not respecting someone. It's even harder to accept someone else's apathy toward you.

Love’s executioners are at the root of the general gender wars. Women are raped by disrespectful and apathetic men who want power. The objectification of women in pornography and advertising has the same root cause—it is an attempt to control women by those who want to dominate them.

I'm not a man hater. I recently celebrated my twentieth wedding anniversary to a man I love dearly. I’m 99 percent content in my relationship. The remaining one percent of the time, when I’m viewing all the little things under the microscope and allowing that one percent to cover the windshield of my marriage, nobody is happy—especially not me.

Sometimes I'm surprised at how that one percent seems so important. Other times, I remember it’s only one percent, and I can let it go.

When I focus on the majority of my relationship—the 99 percent—I see that mutual respect and concern for wellbeing are critical components of our happiness.

Not long ago, I read a blurb about a marriage memoir. The author claimed the husband was 50 percent jerk—down from a 99 percent jerk before the book! At the core of the 50 or 99 percent, the husband is disrespectful and apathetic.

In my humble opinion, fifty percent isn’t good enough for me or for anyone else. I know how hard it is to tame one percent—let alone a much larger number.

(By the way, if you'd like to read a wonderful marriage memoir—not the one I speak of here—try Laura Munson’s This Is Not The Story You Think It Is.)

Relationships are either growing or they're dying. They're just like individuals—expanding or contracting, consciously or unconsciously.

Who wants a dying relationship? Anyone?

I didn't think so.

So explain how fifty percent jerk is acceptable.

See the problem? It’s impossible to thrive—much less grow—in toxic energy. The nature of apathy and disrespect is that, left alone, they become the 99 percent.

This is why you should be upset at advertising that demeans and objectifies women. It’s why you shouldn’t be silent about any abuse of power.

Women tolerate far too much apathy. Apathy is stagnation, and stagnation is a steppingstone to death. It’s why we panic when we sense it in our lives. Yet, because we don’t want to make waves, we unwittingly conspire with these toxic energies and allow them to exist in our life. Inevitably, they become the 99 percent.

Yes, women are victimized sometimes, but generally, whether we experience the 50 percent jerk, the one percent imperfection, or something in between depends on what we give ourselves.

Giving and receiving are the same energetic loop. You can’t give apples and expect bananas in return. When you love and respect yourself, a 50 percent jerk is untenable. You'll expunge this. If you're eager and enthusiastic about your own life, you’ll experience the 99 percent contentment.

If ever there is a second, a whiff, a potential that my husband is not respecting me or is feeling apathetic, my world stops.

It’s true. Ask him.

Nothing else matters until I'm clear with him about the message he's sending me with disrespect or apathy.

It’s how I keep the one percent one percent.

Come Visit me at

Karen-Monroy · 2781 days ago
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  •  JennyleefromTN: 
    "A relationship is either growing or dying." It hit me right between the eyes and squeezed my heart today. What a fantastic post, especially since we are in the midst of three teenage children right now. I need to carve out more growing time with my husband! Thanks for the reminder!
     2780 days ago·1 replies1 replies 
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  •  Elle: 
    That is so true. I completely agree with you. It starts with how we see ourselves, self-respect.
    Apathy and lack of respect, I've seen this happening in a friend's relationship. Lack of communication leading to apathy and they stopped caring, sad.
    Great post
     2780 days ago·1 replies1 replies 
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  •  Queenie: 
    Brava, darling!
     2780 days ago·1 replies1 replies 
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  •  Robbie: 
    Love the the call for self-respect and your constancy in reminding us all how important it is. Thank you Karen, for this and so much more - I echo every single word that Ana wrote!
     2780 days ago·1 replies1 replies 
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  •  AnaLewis: 
    Oooh Karen! This is powerful stuff!!! Thank you so much!!!!!! Might want to think about writing about marriage. You have such a great perspective combined with a killer sense of humor. This piece goes in the Karen Hall of Fame.
     2780 days ago·1 replies1 replies 
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Love's Executioners