Hopeless Romantic: Limits of Love

Julio Silva
Julio Silva

At what point do you let go of love?

In order to answer that question, let me begin with a bit of background.

I grew up in a family environment in which honesty and integrity were two of the main values we lived by. This was enforced especially through the institution of my parents’ marriage. My parents are two people who have been strong and faithful to each other for over 20 years. In fact, my parents’ relationship is one that most people would try to exemplify.

I once asked my mom what her secret was to making sure that she and my father stay strong and happy in their relationship. Throughout my entire existence, I have never seen them get into an argument that lasted more than a couple of hours. My mom always tells me that communication is key. She told me she never let herself or my father go to bed mad. Both of my parents stay up all night talking about their disagreements. In the end, she said she doesn’t do it because she loves him, but because she made a promise that for better or for worse, they would be honest and true to each other.

It makes me wonder: at what point does one let go in a relationship? If my parents have maintained their promise to one another, does that make cheating the ultimate breaking point of marriage?

Ignore what you’ve read in the Nicholas Sparks novels and all the romantic comedies about those who have cheated or have been cheated on. They all seem to have the same stereotype for a cheater: a sleazy dirt bag who doesn’t care about anyone other than themselves. Although this may be true in some circumstances, is cheating an end-all, be-all?

Cheating does not indicate that a person is evil, or in some cases, a complete asshole. However, it may underline a few more important characteristics within a person. After asking a few friends about their views on what would happen if they got cheated on, it was unanimous: this person would get the boot. When I really think about it, it makes sense. If you’ve dated a person for a few months and they already cheated on you, it probably should be a good enough indicator that you might want to just leave them.

It was when I put myself in the position of my mother though, that I realized what I would do. If I was 25 years into my marriage and my spouse were to cheat on me, I would probably stay.

Some of you are probably thinking, “Julio why the hell would you stay with someone who stopped loving you and cheated on you?” The truth is that my partner probably didn’t stop loving me; it was simply that something died within our love, and they felt they needed to seek something else, somewhere else.

The truth is, I wouldn’t want to throw away something I worked on building for so long. If you truly love someone, you fight for them and for the love that you built. You can’t throw something like that away and simply act like it never happened. There are circumstances where a relationship really isn’t worth fighting for anymore, but if you have a feeling that it can be saved, go after it.