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I love you in the English language is said to express all types of love in a variety of contexts. In the Italian language, there are two ways to say it depending on romantic, familial, and platonic love.
Yet each person has a certain standard for which phrase is used and how — even if they choose to mutter it from their lips. “Per voler bene ad una persona” means you want well for a person; that you hold their best intentions and happiness in your heart and can be used romantically and with family and friends. Some may argue that “ti voglio bene… I want well for you” is more profound than passionate love. Others believe that “ti amo”…which is the literal translation of “I love you” is said only between lovers or even strictly reserved for the love between parents and their children in an unconditional sense. However, others think that both words can be used interchangeably.
Growing up in an American family in which my parents and grandparents said “I love you,” signified that hearing and saying those three words were the true indicator of being loved and giving it in return. Although followed by so many actions of “love” as well, these three words carried a lot of weight and impact on the verbal language that I was taught and brought up to speak. In Italy, a country where men, women, and children are surrounded by representations of love, passion, and romance, from antiquity through modernity, from what I’ve gathered, “I love you” doesn’t seem to grace the lips with frequency or perhaps at all.
As an American woman learning to love an Italian man, I was determined to understand the different usages of both proclamations in Italian along with learning how to speak and respond to his language of love. It wasn’t until I read the book, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, did I begin to contemplate how love is expressed in a variety of ways.
Furthermore, this summer while spending time with two Italian couples who have adopted me as their own, kindly shared their most intimate experiences and spoke from the heart. Lucina and Silvio have been married over 50 years and complement each other through an evenly balanced companionship. She is the ultimate caretaker and even in his eighties, he’s her constant stabilizer and source of calm. Lucina asked, “Silvio, have I ever said I love you?” With a gentle smile and a shaking of his head, “No,” he replied. “But do you know that I love you?” “Of course.” Silvio followed up that he too has never shared those words with his wife. It is demonstrated through actions and there is no need to say and hear it.
After some reflection, they both expressed that it was something that perhaps they are unable to say because the words don’t come naturally. Lucina, also quite interested in this topic, decided to ask her close friends about their relationship dynamics. One couple revealed that they too have never told each other “I love you” but rather call each other by nicknames of affection to signify it verbally.
“Marisa, for someone who is so smart and wise beyond your years, how could you have not understood that love is shown in different ways?” Lucina asked. From that point forward, something clicked.
Every Tuesday night I join another couple for dinner, who have been married for almost 50 years. While dining, I enjoy observing their ease together. Ezio appreciates Anna’s talents in the kitchen and listens intently when she speaks while Anna finds great security in Ezio’s never-ending protection and guidance. The couple, explained that perhaps it’s the older generation that is unable to find the words of love, but it’s through their actions that speak volumes. They describe it as being less expansive outwardly, but in the rapport they have created it’s demonstrated daily. Ezio describes “ti amo and ti voglio bene” as having the same value, but it’s something that he has rarely said. “Maybe ti amo is stronger because when it’s true and not false—it expresses more passion, but today, it’s used without substance and without the continuity of action,” he added.
Although they both were in agreement that there are those who say it, they believe that there are many who are simply incapable of uttering those words. Ezio describes his generation as more reserved, but they speak through gestures and everyday acts of service.
The younger generation, he believes, says it more often and many times without giving it true value.
I asked Anna and Ezio what their secret is to a long-lasting and happy union. Ezio replied, “Within a couple, both brains are different — where one thinks in black and the other in white. But there has to come a time when comprise is necessary.” He lovingly looked at Anna with a big smile and finally said, “T
Are you dating a control freak?
At first it might have been charming: he orders for you on dates , wards off creepy guys at the bar, and wants to protect you. What girl doesn’t like being taken care of? But there’s a thin line between wanting what’s best for you and deciding what’s best for you.
Whether he’s jealous , chauvinistic or just plain insecure, there’s no excuse for controlling behavior. A healthy relationship consists of respect and support, not one person calling all the shots.
After going through women’s most cringe-worthy submissions, we chose the five biggest signs that you’re dating a control freak . While these red flags may not be deal-breakers, we suggest you proceed with awareness. After all, if you pay attention, no one can tell you, “I told you so.”
1. He critiques everything you do.
Often under the guise of wanting to help you — whether it’s to improve an area of your life or to keep you from embarrassing yourself — men who find a way of criticizing your behavior and choices are flexing their control muscle.
“While out to dinner with a guy I had been dating for a few months , he asked if he could show me something. He then proceeded to teach me how to eat properly. Being British, he couldn’t stand the vulgar way Americans hold their forks and knives while eating. After teaching me how to hold my silverware, he told me that he wanted me to eat the ‘British way’ for the remainder of dinner.”
2. He tells you what to do with your own body.
Whether it’s monitoring what you eat, convincing you to take pole dancing or preventing you from getting a tattoo, there’s a point when his concern for your health and appearance can become obsessive .
“I once dated a guy who forbade me from using tampons. The reason? He didn’t want anything inside me but him.”
3. He puts down your girlfriends .
Controlling men have a way of isolating women from their gal pals. It could be that he refuses to accompany you on group outings with your friends, or that he demands to know where and with whom you are at all times. One of the tell-tale signs that he’s slowly cutting you off from your friends is his readiness to bad-mouth them.
“In my early twenties I was engaged to a man who wouldn’t let me sit at the bar with my girlfriends. Why? Only sluts did that.”
4. He doesn’t support your interests outside of him.
If a man is insecure and controlling, you can bet he doesn’t want you doing anything to improve yourself — unless of course it’s for him. God forbid you realize you’re too good for him.
“After being at a dead-end job for five years, I decided I wanted to go back to school for a Master’s Degree. I was super-excited about the programs I was looking into and thought my boyfriend would be thrilled to see me so happy. Instead, he told me he didn’t support me going back to school because if I got a degree I might eventually make more money than him, which apparently ‘isn’t how it’s supposed to be.'”
5. He doesn’t trust you.
If you can’t drive his car, make dinner reservations or walk your dog without him overseeing your every move, he’s officially gone from protective to overbearing . When your man doesn’t have confidence in your ability to do even the easiest of tasks, it’s a sign that you’ll always be a sidekick and never a soul mate .
Relationship Is DOOMED (According To Relationship Experts)
Watch out for these warning signs.
Relationships are tricky and no one wants to feel like they’re wasting time. However, it’s not always easy to tell if your relationship is going well or if it’s over and dying a slow death. There are the usual telltale signs your relationship if over like lots of fighting and distrust, but there can also be less obvious signs that you don’t want to miss if you want to stay in love .
According to experts , there are a few things that you should be paying attention to in order to figure out how your relationship is going.
1. Your partner disrespects you.
“One immediate sign is if a partner belittles the other and treats them with disrespect, privately or publicly,” says Barbara Bloomfield, a counselor and author of Couple Therapy: Dramas of Love and Sex .
2. Your partner emotionally abuses you.
“ Another sign of emotional abuse can be a partner who is very charming and nice in public but who changes completely once the front door is closed. One of the first signs of domestic abuse is someone not wanting their partner to see friends and family or to work outside the home. This kind of behavior tends to come on gradually and is a sign of a controlling partner .”
3. You feel incompatible.
There are other warning signs, like not being able to think of things to talk about, or not wanting much physical contact; however, these things aren’t necessarily signs your relationship is dying and heading for rough waters.
Sometimes people just need assistance with learning how to properly communicate , and other times, a person’s childhood or upbringing can make them less inclined to touch.
“But if neither has anything to say to the other, yes, that feels like an incompatible relationship ,” warns Bloomfield.
4. You act on your fantasies of having a different life.
Even if you find yourself wondering what life would be like if you left your partner or were dating someone else, it doesn’t mean that the relationship is doomed. However, Bloomfield says that it’s healthy to daydream about different life scenarios, although acting on them is not a great idea in all cases.
“We all imagine different futures and this can be a good way of reminding yourself about what you value about your current set up,” says Bloomfield. “I always ask clients who are puzzling: ‘Can you achieve what you want to achieve in life and stay in this relationship?’”
5. You have the same fight over and over again.
However, if you find yourself always fighting the same battles with your partner, it may mean that one of you has some deeper issue that needs to be worked out.
“If you find yourself having the same argument all the time , that’s a sign that you’d benefit from professional help,” advises Bloomfield. “There’s usually an unconscious element in why we choose our partners, sometimes the reasons are not so healthy and so it’s important to become more aware of why we might be repeating the same patterns.”
It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3… 4, 5!
By: Jeremy McKeen
Some of you should not be married .
You know who you are, possibly. It’s hard to tell unless you get married and then realize, at some point, that it isn’t for you—or that it was at one point, and is no longer (possibly when you were young and your brain wasn’t fully formed), especially when it’s supposed to be forever.
The funny thing about that is that “forever” is a time-sensitive concept for mortals who usually die before their 100s, but the sentiment is nice. If marriage really meant you’d be married forever, even after death, possibly while populating planets for all of eternity, then it might change the conversation. But that’s not marriage , that’s a sci-fi concept most people fear.
The idea for couples is supposed to be “until death do you part,” but it seems that, like most young people who don’t know yet that they aren’t invincible, death is a far-off concept, and not at all considered by the very ones who should be considering it.
So death, then. Or, you know, until something better or less boring comes along. Or until the kids are a little older. Or until that final fight to end all fights, and you need someone new.
It’s hard not to be cynical about marriage in an age where our heroes and culture constantly celebrate and—at the same time—dismiss the very real and personal choice to enter into wedded bliss. Most marriages end the same way “best friends forever” relationships end: they were, for a time, relevant. Then something happened, and then the couple realized that their time was up sooner than death or forever.
Yikes on bikes built for two.
1. Don’t get married. Just don’t do it. Unless…
Before you know it, you’ll be married and eating pizza and wings on your couch with your beloved, staring at the next seven to eight decades of your life. It’s going to happen.
But why? It seems that most humans gravitate towards marriage or at least domestic partnership, so we’re talking about a deep, human tradition that doesn’t have to require a license and rings. But most people spring for the legal side of it, changing last names and throwing a big party with cake and a DJ (or, if they’re really good, a house band).
But marriage, while practiced by almost every adult, shouldn’t be. This is evident in the divorce rates for first and second-time spouses, which show us that more than 40% of us just aren’t good at staying married and faithful (if you’re the kind of person who wants a faithful spouse ). And 90% of us won’t take on that second marriage until its mortal end.
What we’re good at is getting married because, well, why not? Contrary to statistics, it makes sense to become domesticated and want to be with that someone forever.
2. You must first like the person you’re marrying.
Soon, as a married couple, you will be (or be near) old, fat, balding, and without any of the charm you might have had once. It happens. You’re going to live and suffer through life with one person who is supposed to be magically matched to your personality. So you should like that person.
Yes, love is important. Some would say it’s all you need, but they were wrong.
You must like the person you’re going to suffer through life with. And I use the word “suffer” in all of its meaning, from the light stuff to the heavy: changing jobs, having kids, losing loved ones to death and distance, and the never-ending money problems (if you’re alive and have a bank account, then you will have money problems at some point, and sharing a bank account is just as a risky experiment as marriage itself). So you have to like the person, and want to be with them all the time.
Now you can’t make yourself like someone, so right here we have one of the reasons divorce is so popular: hordes of marriers who just stopped liking the person they pledged their life to.
Before marrying I had a number of girlfriends who I liked and loved. But there was always an indication that I needed to get out of the relationship before I stayed too long at the party. This inner navigation, or “voice” usually spoke to me along the lines of “oh no, you don’t like her any more—get out now,” and luckily I listened, every time, even when I had played too long.
But with my wife , I never had that voice. I’m in love with my wife, of course. But I really like my wife, and that counts for so much more. She and I have built a world that I really like, and look forward to every day of my life.
Love is easy. But the hardest thing in the world is to get someone to like something—or someone—they just don’t.
3. Don’t cheat. Don’t fucking do it.
Think about this: up until the last hundred years or so (and still, today, in many parts of the world), we’ve had, over hundreds of thousands of years of human culture and tradition, multiple versions of marriage. From legally bound and slave wives, sister wives, and child brides to polygamy and same-sex marriage, “the institution of marriage” is a prodigiously layered creature.
But in the First World, we’ve accepted “ monogamy until death” as the majoritive and legal norm, and have come up with many variations of cheating as to define the things that draw us away from that one legally bound person. Whether it’s an emotional affair or harmless flirting, the best thing is to a) identify the attractive element that leads you to stray, b) call it what it is, and c) fucking walk away from it.
But most people don’t and never will do that. In fact, most people seek a secret freedom within their marriage where they hope they will be able to betray their spouse and have the best of both worlds. Only one world includes someone who will be made a fool out of, and the other usually ends abruptly or embarrassingly so. And the relief that comes from the end of a cheating relationship is never worth the pain it causes all parties.
But what’s so great about both worlds when each is incomplete at some point? Some marriages or committed relationships start with infidelity , and end up lasting. There’s no judgment here. There are better ways to end a partnership than humiliating your best friend and then going broke to pay people to legally separate you from the very same old best friend.
4. If it works (and it’s healthy), then it works.
Some people are so miserable in their marriages and it’s not the fault of the marriage or spouse, it is just the certain time period they are stuck in. Those who marry young or marry because of a child on the way, or those who marry because religious doctrine demands it, might just make it and stay married until death.
Or not. There’s no prescription for how long or how happy a marriage should be except that it should be healthy and work.
Some marriages only work for a few years, and the individuals involved are smart enough to call it quits. Some marriages work here and there, and last decades, even lifetimes. And some people do very well going from relationship to relationship and never marry. Think about it: more of us in our 30s and 40s are marrying later in life because we’ve had several relationships that didn’t end in marriage, and this taught us what to look for in a first marriage.
There shouldn’t be any shame in divorce nor should there be in not getting married. Finding someone who works and is healthy for you is the only thing that matters, especially if you’re going to have children. But there is no perfect narrative except the one you’re working on, and hopefully building with the person who is right—and healthy—for you.
5. There is no fairy tale ending, unless there is.
Our way of life, from multimedia storytelling to tabloid culture and news coverage is consumed with pairing—the tragedy and comedy of it, the minutiae of it, and the never-ending lead-up and break-apart of it. It is what fuels us.
Kids will come and grow, careers will sprout and break, and we’ll still be flirting in the nursing homes and wrap-around decks of our houses in retirement. The spouse who leaves a marriage for a better life, with or without another spouse, might just create that fairy tale ending. The reality, however, is that an ending doesn’t last from the age of the divorcee at the time of the divorce until death. An ending is an ending, with a strong rising action, turning point, and years of falling actions and revelations leading up to it.
Our problem is that we’re too damn young and think life is cemented for us each decade; we should know better now that we’re living longer, and look forward to each year as a regrouping of our sensibilities about life and our choices with our spouse.
Most people just want someone who loves and accepts them, and will keep their spot free on the couch after a long day. We want to belong to someone amazing and build a small tribe to carry on that legacy. Or something like that.
And, for the record, if I could stay with my wife forever, even after death, and just host and go to afterlife parties for all of eternity with her as my date, then I’d be just as happy as I am sharing the couch with her after the kids go to bed in the here and now, and on until retirement, and then until my final breath. I really like her, like like her. More than all the others in the world.
Marriage is the only school where you get the Certificate before you start.
It’s also a school where you will never graduate.
It’s a school without a break or a free period.
It’s a school where no one is allowed to drop out.
It’s a school you will have to attend every day of your life.
It’s a school where there is no sick leave or holidays.
It’s a school founded by God:
1.On the foundation of love.
2.The walls are made out of trust.
3.The door made out of acceptance.
4.The windows made out of understanding
5.The furniture made out of blessings
6.The roof made out of faith.
Be reminded that you are just a student not the principal.
God is the only Principal.
Even in times of storms, don’t be unwise and run outside.
Keep in mind that, this school is the safest place to be.
Never go to sleep before completing your assignments for the day.
Never forget the C -word…Communi
Communicate with your classmate and with the Principal.
If you find out something in your classmate (spouse) that you do not appreciate,
Remember your classmate is also just a student not a graduate, God is not finished with him/her yet.
So take it as a challenge and work on it together.
Do not forget to study the Holy Book (the main textbook of this school).
Start each day with a sacred assembly and end it the same way.
Sometimes you will feel like not attending classes, yet you have to.
When tempted to quit find courage and continue.
Some tests and exams may be tough but remember,
the Principal knows how much you can bear and yet it’s a school better than any other.
It’s one of the best schools on earth; joy, peace and happiness accompany each lesson of the day.
Different subjects are offered in this school, yet love is the major subject.
After all the years of theorizing about it, now you have a chance to practice it.
*To be loved is a good thing, but to love is the greatest privilege of them all.*
*Marriage is a place of love, so love your spouse.
More grace from God*
Send this to all your married friends to encourage them, and to your unmarried friends to counsel and educate them.