You Always Hurt The One You Love

I was watching the recent movie, “Blue Valentine,” last week. In one touching scene, a lead character offers the song, “You Always Hurt The One You Love,” to his sweetheart. (Most people know the song as recorded by The Mills Brothers.) It’s a great scene, where the song is sung with just the accompaniment of a ukulele, set in a storefront. Here are the lyrics:

“You always hurt the one you love,
The one you shouldn’t hurt at all.
You always take the sweetest rose,
And crush it till the petals fall.
You always break the kindest heart,
With a hasty word you can’t recall.
So, if I broke your heart last night,
It’s because I love you most of all.”

I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking that I’m not the only person who has hurt the ones he’s loved. I wished I hadn’t when I saw that scene in the movie and I wondered why I did so in my life. I think that, especially after we’ve known another person for a while, we become comfortable in being brutally honest with that person. And, maybe, brutality is the key in hurting people we love. In hindsight, there’s no need to be brutal, especially with someone we love and know well. If a couple, for instance, has a disagreement, there might be room for compromise and, if not, a kind critique could replace the brutality. Two people can certainly disagree and still love one another. No one has everything in common.

So, with apologies to the writers of a great song, I have to disagree with the last two lines: “So, if I broke your heart last night, it’s because I love you most of all.” That’s a poor excuse.

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