I love so many things about him. I wish cutting my feelings off for the person who hurt me was as easy as I used to think it would be. Preventing your heart from forgiving someone you love is actually a hell of a lot harder than simply forgiving them.

This quote is from Lily’s first entry to Ellen as an adult, which takes place in Chapter Twenty-Five, when Lily is staying with Atlas and trying to figure out what to do about her abusive husband. This emphasizes that it’s not easy to stop loving someone just because they cause pain. Lily realizes how hard it is for her to grapple with feelings of love for Ryle. Just as Ryle’s love is toxic to her, her own love for Ryle becomes dangerous, working against her own best interests. This impulse pulls her towards loving Ryle and forgiving him, and Lily’s struggle is to prioritize herself and her own needs over the strong urge to forgive the man she loves. As a teen, she thought the decision to leave a violent man was straightforward. But now that she has firsthand experience, she understands that it is a different kind of torture, too.

Just because someone hurts you doesn't mean you can simply stop loving them. It's not a person's actions that hurt the most. It's the love. If there was no love attached to the action, the pain would be a little easier to bear.

This quote takes place in Chapter Thirty, during the moment when Ryle puts his hand on Lily’s pregnant belly for the first time, and they share a moment. Here, Lily articulates how her love for Ryle and Ryle’s love for her are the source of her pain. It would be easier for her if the person causing her harm was a stranger. Then, she could feel her anger and resentment with no counterpoint. She wouldn’t struggle to choose her own well-being over her abuser’s. But Lily is trapped, in a sense, by her feelings of love. The physical pain Ryle causes her just compounds Lily’s heartache. The combination of love and abuse also makes tender moments like this one painful for Lily because they evoke the life the couple could’ve had together. In a different world, Ryle and Lily peacefully raise their child together. The loss of the life that could’ve been fills Lily with grief.

"He doesn’t love you the way you deserve to be loved. If Ryle truly loves you, he wouldn’t allow you to take him back. He would make the decision to leave you himself so that he knows for a fact he can never hurt you again. That’s the kind of love a woman deserves, Lily."

This quote takes place in Chapter Thirty-Two, after Lily confesses to her mother that Ryle has been abusing her. Lily expects her mother to advocate for Lily to go back to Ryle. Instead, her mother teaches her an important lesson about the intersection of love and abuse. Though Lily’s love for Ryle has made it difficult for her to leave, she hasn’t spent much time thinking about what the abuse means about his love for her. Her love for Ryle may not be destroyed by him hurting her, but his actions illustrate that he doesn’t love her enough to protect her from the pain he himself causes her. Despite the fact that Ryle knows he can’t control his temper, he continually pushes Lily to take him back. When Lily does decide to divorce Ryle, she echoes her mother’s words here, asking Ryle to imagine what he would say if their daughter were with someone abusive. They both know that their daughter would deserve so much more—and that Lily does, too.