When You’ve Been Burned by ‘Love’…

Having faced rejection from an abusive father, abandonment from an abusive husband, and then betrayal by a boyfriend she thought was the “real deal,” Becky asked “What’s wrong with me?”

But Becky, as many of us do, was asking the wrong question. The question is often not “What is wrong with me?” but “What is wrong with this representation of ‘love’?”

At the root of our hurts, as women, is what I call “distorted love.” We thought it was real. But then we were burned. We trusted it as love, but discovered it was manipulation. Sadly it can take several years, multiple relationships, and countless scars  to finally realize that true and perfect love exists only in the One who is truly perfect: Jesus Christ.  In my newest book, When a Woman  Overcomes Life’s Hurts, I point out that we can achieve healing and wholeness when we recognize the difference between real and distorted love. Distorted love says “what’s in it for me?” And real love, as demonstrated by God toward us, says “what can I give so that you can be free?”

In John 15:13, Jesus said: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” And then Jesus did just that for us, whom He called His friends.

God also gives us a beautiful description of real love in First Corinthians 13:4-8 where we are told  that love is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs and does not delight in evil. Furthermore, we are told that love “always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres” and — get this — “love never fails.” So if someone promised you love but didn’t persevere, if they promised you love but changed their mind, if they told you they loved you but now they apparently don’t, LOVE did not fail, that person did.

Were you hurt by someone who distorted the meaning of love? Your heart can begin to heal when you realize the difference between distorted, manipulative, self-seeking love, and love that is sacrificial, unconditional and ever-present.

Don’t settle for less any longer. Set your standard higher by placing any claim of love  next to the sacrificial love of Jesus. Lay a description of that man or parent or friend against the Bible’s description of love in First Corinthians 13:4-8. Then ask God to show you His idea of love and protect you from anything that falls short of it.

I would love to hear from you. How have YOU protected yourself against distorted love?

About me

Cindi McMenamin is an award-winning author and national speaker who helps women find strength for the soul. She has nearly 30 years experience ministering to women and inspiring them to let God meet their emotional needs, grow stronger through their alone times, and pursue their dreams with boldness.


Receiving God’s Touch
October 27, 2015
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Where is God When it Hurts?
September 22, 2015
What to Do When a Husband Cheats
July 14, 2015
What If He Loves Someone Else?
July 07, 2015
Advice for the Frustrated Wife – Part 2
December 09, 2014
A Letter to Jesus from 1987…
October 28, 2014
It was cancer…and that’s what got me thinking…
October 21, 2014
Is it time to let go of your marriage?
August 27, 2013
Staying Strong During Stressful Times
July 09, 2013


Reply October 18, 2012

I protect myself against distorted love with I Corinthians 13:4-8 !!!

Reply October 25, 2012

I protect myself with daily prayer and reminding myself constantly Proverbs 3:5-6. I have to trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. Every time I listen to myself..I get it all wrong.

Reply November 7, 2012

It hurt so much when you feel that someone might love you but he changed his mind so soon. You were picked up and then thrown away.

Only God is always there and I can always talk to Him and I don't need to be afraid of His rejection.

    Reply November 7, 2012

    Linda, I hear your heart. And I hope it's a comfort to you to know that God has experienced the hurt along with you. Nobody treats His daughter like that and gets away with it! Lean into Him because He will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).

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