Do Cheaters Love? Ode to My Muse.
This has become a popular topic of late among my stories and friends, so here goes:
I think that you can love someone and cheat on them. "Here we go again," they think. Allow me to explain first. That being said, I agree that not all cheaters love their spouse/partner, and many cheaters probably don't understand love at all. But some can, and some do.
There are different kinds of love. My love for my girlfriend...I don't think it's the same kind of love most people in healthy relationships have. I honestly and truly love my girlfriend. I care about her happiness. But I do lie to her...about my happiness. I know that she is much happier in our relationship than I am. Normally, that would not be a problem for me. I would just end it and move on.
However, part of my character and who I am, is that I fall in love with ideals, and this girl is just that. In a world where people are corrupt everywhere, she clings to hope and virtue and honesty with such tenacity I have never seen elsewhere. She has a heart as big as the world, and every time I look in her eyes, I see it there...what it is to love, so deeply, so desperately, that it remakes the universe every time she breathes. I decided long ago, when we first got together, that I would shatter the heavens and pull the stars out of the sky to preserve this...total innocence, this true love. That look must stay in her eyes, because therein lies Eve before the fall, free of sin and evil...the bastion of human goodness. Love that intense cannot be unrequited.
Surely, you say, this is an exaggeration. I assure you, it is not. She would never hurt a person. She feels no wrath. She does not lust. She makes love and never has sex. She does not know greed or envy. She does not covet. She forgives all people their sins and pardons their errors in judgment. If humanity has an examplar, she is the one. An angel would envy a soul so bright and pure as hers.
We argue all the time. Not angry, hateful fights. We fight about life, and people, and human nature. She always takes the side of angels, while I advocate for the devil. I love the discussions. She knows my heart is darker than hers, but she still loves me in spite of it. Maybe she's trying to save me, but I don't think so.
She inspires me. She believes in people, and that's why I do as well. When I met her, I had almost abandoned all hope in humanity, but she opened my eyes to their potential. While she seems to see more of human greatness than I do here on earth, I pursue the idea that we could all be better, greater...more like what she believes us to be. I differ in the philosophy of it, though, because I feel it would come about if we freed ourselves to feel without restraint. Different versions of the same story, but the world as I know and see it would not exist if not for her.
Why not, some might ask, break up with her and just be friends? This would be impossible. She is far too delicate, and I know that because she has told me that her world would end if we ever parted. She never uses it as a threat, because if she did I would push her away...but in the silent moments when we are close, and honest, she tells me this. It's not my excuse, it's a reason.
It goes far beyond this, however. In the beginning, when I was pretending to care more for her than I did, I realized how happy this one, simple lie made her. A relationship based on such a large lie, that of true love, you might argue, cannot survive. But it has, because I have committed to the lie. Not because it makes me happy. God knows...often times I wish I could be free to act on my own. No...it's because it makes her happy. I am willing to live with this lie forever, because her happiness is more important to me than mine in this matter, and what other definition is there for love, but to put someone else before yourself?
That is partially why I cheated when I did, because one night acting on my own enabled me to continue living this lie. It is also partially why I could never tell her. Not because the confession would shatter the relationship, because I'm not so sure that it would...no, because in confessing the cheating I would be admitting to the greater sin of living the lie of being as in love with her as she is with me, and this would ruin her forever. Why cheat at all, then? Because I see the world differently than she does. I don't use this to excuse my actions, I use it to explain them. She acts on virtue; I act on passion. The two together, we balance each other out. To most people I must simply seem a terrible, awful person. I just consider myself her polar opposite, and despite my disdain for blind faith in humanity, in her it is...perfect. There is no other word for it. I suppose it's like how Lucifer hates and loves God simultaneously...yes, that's exactly it.
It may not make much sense. I don't love her the way she does me, so I lie to keep her happy, because I am in love with her soul, and her dreams, and her perfection. I don't expect everyone to understand; maybe no one will.
This is not self-denial. This is not rationalization. This is pure love, not so much for the person, but for everything the person is. I would die for her. She means more to me than anyone could ever understand. I don't believe in her view of the world, but I would fight to my last breath to preserve her dream of the way the world could be. I didn't want to be with her forever, but she wants it, and for her I will do it. I am not like her, but her world is more perfect than mine, and I believe in her.
That is an ideal. That is what I love...that is the only way I know how to love. And she is the one I love. There could never be another, and I will lie to our deathbed to preserve it.