Revelations by members here, a relative who had an abusive spouse, and (don't laugh) a Doctor Who episode "The Beast Below" all got together in my head and popped out an idea I'd like to bounce off you.
Please do not refer to anyone here by name even if they have discussed personal things elsewhere as I would like this to be as intellectual a discussion as possible.
It is known that people abused as children have a greater than average likelihood of ending up in an abusive relationship when they are an adult. We "know" that some seek out these relationships because that's how they view love: as abusive.
Consider for a moment that some of those who were abused as children are very empathic. On a subconscious level they could understand that an abusive person, like their abuser, would be unable to have a long term relationship with a well-adjusted person. So, when that empathic person grows up they do not seek out someone abusive because they think love is abuse but because they know any abuser they meet will never have any other chance for a relationship. They do it not because they feel they themself need to suffer but because they cannot allow another to suffer even if it hurts them. They understand the abuser is showing love the only way they know how to and that they are the only person who sees that and can be there for them.
Objectively, one could argue that an abusive person should not be allowed to be in a relationship until they are treated for their abusive behavior. But an empathic person is looking at things from a very subjective viewpoint and would probably never consider such an idea.
Given the wide variety of people there very well might be those who think love is abuse but I now wonder if there is far more to such relationships than we currently "know". Responses?