Posted: Saturday, February 4, 2012 10:34:31 PM
If there’s anything I’ve realized about life in my short fifteen years, it’s how essential love is to each of us. When people don’t feel enough love, they do drastic, hurtful things. When they do feel it, people grow and beautiful things happen.
The society we live in is centered around one type of love, the romantic type. We are drawn to a good love story, with a simple happy ending.
There are other kinds of love, they are just less talked about. Love between family members, good friends, owners and their pets, and even a forbidden kind of love.
I have some experience with forbidden love.
This November, my world was blown up when I found out my dad was having an affair with a married woman who he had fallen in love with. He is still partnered with her today. As the news of this scandal circulated through my town, I watched people’s reactions curiously.
To most of them, even people my dad had been close with, it was like he had killed someone. I was angry naturally, but I also got to see things no one else did. I saw my dad interacting with his girlfriend, I saw how in love they were.
It made me think a lot about different kinds of love. I do not stand by my father for what he did. But I think my experience has given me a different take on “forbidden love.”
We have so many rules for love. Who you’re supposed to love, who’s too old or too young, too different, too rich, too poor… But the heart does not have the same set of rules. Sure, people can stop themselves. But aren’t we told over and over to follow our heart? Is it really fair for us to judge people who do just that?
As I sit here writing this, my father and his girlfriend are sitting across the table from me playing cribbage and laughing. He is losing badly, but has a big smile on his face.
This is the part of infidelity that no one talks about.
I am still trying to figure out what it all means, and how I really feel. But there are three things I do know to be true.
I know that he is my father, and I still love and respect him.
I know it was a lack of feeling loved that drove my father to take an interest in someone else, a hurtful and drastic decision.
Lastly, I know it was a feeling of love like never before that made him act on that, and bring out an ultimately positive change in his life. My father acted out of love. Selfish, irresponsible love—but still love. And that part of the story is beautiful. After a couple months, I understand that much.
I encourage people to love boldly, whatever that means for you. You might as well; love is essential. Not to live, but to be alive.