It’s such a common thing to say, but it’s not true.
All relationships are different, just like the people in them are.
It is very, very possible to hit someone that you love.
Love and violence are not mutually exclusive.
Just because a person is not capable of handling their anger in a proper way does not mean they do not care for you, and while I almost understand why someone would say this, I don’t. Not quite.
They need to get help.
It is never ok.
But just because they did it, doesn’t mean they don’t.
Maybe they don’t enough.
Maybe they don’t at all.
But maybe they really, truly do.
It doesn’t make someone weak to believe that someone that beat them loved them. Love is not enough, love should not hold them to someone that hurts them in any way, but attempting to convince them that the person that loved them really didn’t is arrogant and cruel on your part. You weren’t in the relationship, and you don’t know. And sometimes that belief is the only thing that keeps them sane; sometimes it helps them maintain their self respect when they can’t for the life of them figure out why they remained in such an awful situation for longer than they should have.
Either way: “If he loved you, he wouldn’t have hit you” doesn’t help.