To Love Someone Means You Occasionally Want To Murder Them

Photo: Serge Bielanko
selfie of author

For all of love's passion and release, for all of her sublime lift, for all that potential to lift us up into the limitless blue sky with just a nod and a wink, love still has a lot of punk tendencies. 

True love then, it seems to me, requires a finely honed skill that many of us flirt with but few ever master — and that's the ability to recognize that sometimes you really want to kill your better half. 

I mean, obviously, by tossing the word "murder" into the mix here I'm kind of taking a hot piss all over my dating life, so let me throw in one tiny thing: I'm not implying that I'm ever overcome by the urge to swirl enough arsenic into a morning cup of coffee to bring down an elephant. (Oh, you. You just cocked an eyebrow. You terrible thing).

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But true fires flare up when you're committed to loving. So when we talk of love and killing in the same breath we're not onto anything shiny or new here. This is ancient stuff. Because what we're talking about is that forever line we have to walk up to time and time again with our spouses.

"I love you so much. But I can't deal with your total inability to pour yourself into my blood. You disagree with me. You see things differently. You won't go down on me. Tonight I want to make ham salad out of your familiar body and serve it to the old ladies at the church down the street."

What? Is that too much? Too real?

You knew this was coming when you came chasing after the title of my piece. And you're here for a reason. The reality of being in love is a total mindf*** from the start. (And you know damn well you've dreamed up my whole ham salad scenario on your own before.) 

We might as well admit it to ourselves: There comes a time when light and gentle murderous daydreams are a form of walking therapy. Let's mix all this darkness up with wellness. Because no one can say we're crazy if we spin it that way.

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So what/who's to blame for these murderous thoughts? Time.

Time always ends up leaving us hanging in love. Initial effervescence fades because time rubs away at it with meth-head vigilance. That stain of first-year sex and romance and infatuation is impossible to remove. (Although it would be kind of cool to eradicate that stuff from our brains sometimes.)

I look back on the early stages of loves I've known and like anyone else, I'm mystified. What the hell happened? Where did all that lust and insane connection go? How did I end up being with someone I still have wildly deep feelings for and yet have days when I wanted to make Christmas ornaments out of her spine bones?

And even worse, how could she ever possibly look at me, at the man I am, with my giving spirit and my oral abilities and my Thai stir fry? How could I possibly gaze at that man across the kitchen counter and still be overcome with the primal urge to bash my head in with one of my heavier Oregon Trail books that I bought from Amazon for $65 behind her back when bills are due? 

How do two people find themselves at that point?

It's the familiarity thing. And the contempt thing. I refuse to print the cliché but you know what it is and we both know it holds water. Besides, our point here isn't to deconstruct any of this sh*t anyway. 

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No. Our reason for venturing down the scariest alleys of our feeble minds is this: We all need to laugh a little more and be pissed off a little less. For real. It's totally cool to want to kill our lovers and wives or boyfriends sometimes  and we should be able to see and know that.

As the years go by, we learn to roll with love or we don't. Divorce rates would seem to indicate more and more of us grow impatient with everything. But we still want love. We still need it.

More and more people seem to think they can just have lots of love affairs, then cut them off when the visions of stabbing a loud gum chewer in their lover's eye indicate the end is nigh. But I don't know; I think there's an old-fashioned romance that rises up out of all this love and murder. 

Think of it this way: In the end, I only wanted you to love me more than anyone you ever loved. More than the stars in the sky. More than the blood in your very own veins. And so, selfishly, whenever I felt you were pulling away from me, whenever we argued so bad or slammed those doors or said those things and I grew scared of losing you or was mad at myself for losing me, I wanted to make everything better right away.

I was so desperate. I panicked. I went down to the kitchen. I drank a cold beer and I could hear your footsteps thumping around upstairs.

And so I did the only thing I could think to do, lame as it was: I closed my eyes, took a long swing, and I made six huge bowls of ham salad out of your sorry ass.

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Serge Bielanko is a writer and musician whose work has been published on Babble, Huffington Post, and Yahoo.