It’s not that love is absent in pathological relationships.
Love is present in pathological relationships as much as it is present in healthy ones. Because people are wired for love and connection.
Pathology is characterized by intense, frequent, unresolved conflicts. Maybe the pathological ones were only exposed to the violent kind of love. If they are not tearing each other apart, colliding, conflicting, fighting, they don’t feel the presence of love. If you are not always giving them attention, making them the center of your universe, they feel neglected. It reminds them of their old memories, the last time they were abandoned when they were helplessly dependent on others. So they go crazy. They see love as madness, like a storm. But love isn’t any kind of madness. It’s anything but a storm.
Their diseased self is unable to experience love at it’s purest. That love isn’t fighting for control or attention. The two in love can have their own priorities, lifestyles, livelihoods and still experience the kind of love, which is as calm as the moments after the storm has passed. This is the kind of love that we all should desire.