Somehow, over dinner a few nights ago, my family and I got on the topic of cheating. Someone said they understood why people married to someone with a terminal illness cheat and they didn't think it was that terrible a thing to do. I certainly could understand why someone would be tempted to cheat in such a situation, but it absolutely appalled me to think about cheating on someone, especially when they are so vulnerable.
I know there are movies and stories where couples tell their partners to try to date other people while they are still around and that's fine. I can see the logic in that. What I don't see the logic in is how people can think it is OK to cheat on someone who is struggling so much already. I'm not naive to the fact that relationships are difficult and that throwing in illnesses of any sort, terminal or not, can be a difficult hurdle to get over.
However, I also believe in the importance of commitment, especially in marriage, the ultimate form of commitment. Couples take a vow to be with each other in both good and bad times through sickness and health. Commitments are not just for the good times. It's not hard to be committed when things are going well. What really tests the strength and love of a couple is hard times.
It seems we live in a world now where ghosting and hookups are part of the norm. People think it's OK to leave when the going gets tough. People think they always need to be in a relationship to be happy. Yes, there are times when relationships have run their course and people should never sacrifice their own mental and physical health to make a relationship work. And yes, being a relationship can be fun and exciting, but it is possible to be alone. Relationships are a privilege, not a right. Yes, they can be fun, but they are supposed to be challenging. They are supposed to require sacrifice. It is completely illogical to expect to be happy in a relationship all the time.
There will be times when one person can give 90% and the other person can only manage 10% and vice versa and that is OK. WIll it be frustrating? Of course! But that doesn't mean you give up. If people do not have the empathy and compassion and patience to be with a person through good times as well as bad times, perhaps they should just stay single.