Myths of violence disguised as love

There are different myths of romantic love that can turn into violence and be lethal, even to the point of femicide. Blackmail, lies, the "law of ice", jealousy, blaming, intimidation, and control of the partner, start with hurtful jokes.

Myths of violence disguised as love
From Love to Violence. Photo by Annette Sousa / Unsplash

There are several myths of romantic love that can turn into violence and be lethal, even leading to femicide, said Daniela Villegas Mercado, a specialist in feminist youth activism of the Center for Research and Gender Studies (CIEG) of the UNAM.

"It must be made clear that there is not only one love in life. There are no ideal couples; this is one of the great romantic myths that must be discarded. There are no such unions, nor will there be, it is impossible to be happy forever, in that logic, the day and everyday life are overwhelming. What there can be is a good dialogue, but if you can't give it either, you have to learn to let go most healthily," he said.

Some others are the fantastic couples, the "better half", with the argument that "love is blind", or that "true love can do everything", elements that are not positive, but as they have been socially normalized they are the ideal doors to "exclusivity, submission, possession and emotional exploitation".

The above is linked or justified with sacrifice; that is, putting aside my needs because the alibi is that love is sacrifice, this is disguised as commitment and this feeling; under these myths, freedoms are restricted. The ideal is to seek emotional or affective education to build healthy relationships, before a couple of approaches. Individuals should be educated from an early age, from the home, to instruct them in respect to engaging in dialogue with others, not to put aside their needs.

Warning signs

A red flag is an alert used mainly in social networks to indicate that there is a problem, risk in an affectionate relationship. This theme is linked to a tool called "violence-meter" (graphic classification of the various manifestations of violence in the couple), which decodes behaviors that can even be considered "naive" or "innocent" because they are normalized.

Blackmail, lying, the "law of ice", jealousy, blaming, intimidating, and controlling the partner, are consistent attitudes that start with hurtful jokes; from there on, the first red flag can be considered to appear. "We do not have to wait until there is a physical aggression for a red flag, from the moment hurtful jokes appear the person's self-esteem is undermined," she clarified.

A process of greater vulnerability begins, because the person who receives these behaviors from his or her partner begins to doubt himself or herself and distances him or herself from his or her circle, friends, family; he or she loses confidence. It is not easy to get out of a relationship like this, to tolerate these attitudes because people are ashamed of the situation they are in. It must be clear to us that the fact that younger people decide to separate more quickly than previous generations does not necessarily make them weaker.

In Mexico, we need to strengthen the institutional infrastructure for those women who are in situations of risk and economic, physical, and emotional violence for gender reasons, to have a place to take shelter. They would have a space, a shelter for containment, "to achieve peace, certainty, and then begin to link autonomously," said the doctorate from the Department of Gender and Cultural Studies at the University of Sydney, Australia.