I'm sure you've heard it from this blog time and again - understanding doesn't make it hurt any less. And really, it doesn't.
Whenever someone tells you, "I hope you understand," they generally think that if you do, things would get easier. It placates their conscience, knowing that you know where they're coming from. However, the folly of that is in thinking that once they do see where you're coming from, then there's nothing left for you to do. That it's okay. It's not, and it shouldn't be.
Understanding does not imply complicity, much less assent. I understand why the Crusades happened, but I certainly would not approve of what happened back then. It's a bit sad that like an apology, an acknowledgment of understanding gives one the mistaken notion that they are completely in the right and free of any culpability. And then they find the temerity to lash out and get angry when they realize that this doesn't take them off the hook just like that.
Understanding isn't a magical panacea. It only means that someone could see how someone could do something, or how something could have possibly happened. It doesn't take away the pain. At least, not enough to just let it be ignored. So please, just so you don't sound like an idiot, when someone tells you "I understand," don't go assuming that they have no problem with the fact that you hurt them more than you ever could know.
Oh, my bad. This seems to be getting a tad autobiographical, and the past three essays have been rather downers, in all honesty. I hope I could change that at some point, but let's just toss January into nega month, seeing how I'm rather sick and tired of the words "I hope you understand," because understanding doesn't really do much to ease the pain, in the first place.
Anyways, I think I've made my point already: no, understanding doesn't make things hurt any less. Stop using it as an excuse!
"Of cooourse I understand that you're a psycho neo-Nazi and your ridiculously lopsided views on racial equality make you feel entitled, no perhaps, even compelled, to curbstomp my face. Yeah, it's cool."