A Love Story

There's a new movie showing right now, starring Aga Muhlach, Maricel Soriano and Angelica Panganiban called A Love Story. It is about an illicit love affair that could question one's belief on marriage and true love. According to its writer, Vanessa Valdez, the story answers a number of "ifs" in marriage — what if one realizes the one they're married to is not the one they want to spend the rest of their life with or what if you meet the woman you want to make your wife only after you've gotten married. Now, that is definitely a problem. A film with the theme of an extra-marital affair is nothing new. In fact, this is an oft-repeated topic since movie-making began. I remember the movies The Philadelphia Story (1940) and it's remake, High Society (1956) and the scenes where the daughter refused to invite her father to her wedding (her second) because he was such a philanderer. I remember the mother telling her daughter very matter-of-factly that her father's affairs did not mean that he no longer loved his wife and family...that oftentimes, men just can't help themselves...and that sometimes affairs had nothing to do with love. But then again, sometimes, it does and it is these kind of affairs that changes lives and love stories. In Falling in Love (1984), Robert de Niro and Meryl Streep met fleetingly while riding a train to work and soon found themselves falling deeply in love and in the process hurt their respective families. In one scene, where Robert de Niro "confessed" to his wife and said something like, it's not an affair, nothing like that has happened and his wife slapped him and said, no, it's something worst...you fell in love. There are many more love stories like this...The Prince of Tides, The Bridges of Madison County, Before Sunset, all dealing with themes like infidelity in marriage, faithfulness, true love and second chances...and finally, making a choice between doing the right thing for his/her marriage or doing what he/she thinks and feel is right for his/her extramarital affair with the hope that whatever choice is made will result in the least regrets.

Attraction between people happens to everyone, single or married. Faithfulness for married couples is always a struggle because the temptation of another woman or man and the possibility of having an extra-marital affair is never absent. It will take years and a lot of maturity for married couples to finally be able to say that they have settled down and that nothing can ruin their marriage. Falling in love with someone other than your spouse is not a sin, it can happen to the best of people. The problem lies in the fact that society has a pre-conceived notion of what marriage is and what a husband and a wife should be, or what an extra-marital affair is and the kind of people who enter into such a relationship. For most men and women who are having an affair, their marriage is something that they would like to keep forever and when confronted to make a choice, they'd choose their spouse and children without hesitation. But there are affairs which turn serious enough to end a marriage because as someone put it "it's worth it". But marriages don't end just because of an "affair"...the affair is usually the end-point of an already bad and unsatisfactory marriage. So what does one do when you find yourself in this situation? Aga Muhlach says he prays...I did that too, when confronted with the fact that pretending to be just friends was no longer possible, and that continuing to see each other will lead to the inevitable, and since I had no intention of becoming the other woman...I turned my back and walked away. Besides, I asked myself, if it was "worth it"..worth the guilt, the tension, the pain it would give others...and the answer was no...which probably was the same for him because although disappointed with my decision, he accepted it and his last words to me when he saw how upset I was in ending our friendship was...in time, I will forget him and he will try to forget me...as time passes, the hurt and the pain will disappear and, he was right...I remember him with some regret maybe, but I'm no longer angry that he wanted more than what we already have...

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