December 5, 2023

Two days before the end of love month, let us revisit the Supreme Court turning nostalgic with love and romance.

“Man has not invented a reliable compass by which to steer a marriage in its journey over troubled waters. Laws are seemingly inadequate. Over time, much reliance has been placed in the works of the unseen hand of Him who created all things.” (G.R. No. 119190 Jan. 16, 1997, Torres, Jr., J.: Chi Ming Tsoi vs. Court of Appeals and Gina Lao-Tsoi)

The choice of whether to marry – and necessarily, whom to marry – is a personal decision that a person makes for themself. This individual decision must be made, as much as possible, completely free from external pressures. After all, marriage can and will change a person’s life. (G.R. No. 21416. Nov. 24, 2021, Leonen, J., Jhonna Guevarra et. al vs. Jan Banach, G.)

We recognize instances when the breach of one’s commitment in an intimate relationship is a consequence of their realization that marriage may not be the wisest path they could take given the circumstances. For this reason, litigation to the sorrows caused by broken heart and broken promises must be discou-raged. (G.R. No. 21416. Nov. 24, 2021, Leonen, J., Jhonna Guevarra et. al vs. Jan Banach)

“A marital relationship overwhelmed by disappointment and disillusionment may have produced a sad but not a void marriage.” [CA] .R. No. 250287. July 20, 2022, Lazaro-Javier, J. Zeth D. Fepolan vs. Neil F. Fepolan. G)

The intimacies between husband and wife do not justify any one of them in breaking the drawers and cabinets of the other and in ransacking them for any telltale evidence of marital infidelity. A person, by contracting marriage, does not shed his/her integrity or his right to privacy as an individual and the constitutional protection is ever available to him or to her. (G.R. No. 107383, Feb. 20, 1996, Mendoza, J.: Cecilia Zulueta vs. CA and Alfredo Martin).

Love is useless unless it is shared with another. Indeed, no man is an island, the cruelest act of a partner in marriage is to say “I could not have cared less.” This is so because an un-given self is an unfulfilled self. The egoist has nothing but himself. In the natural order, it is sexual intimacy which brings spouses wholeness and oneness. Sexual intimacy is a gift and a participation in the mystery of creation. It is a function which enlivens the hope of procreation and ensures the continuation of family relations. (G.R. No. 119190 Jan. 16, 1997, Torres, Jr., J.: Chi Ming Tsoi vs. Court of Appeals and Gina Lao-Tsoi)

Thirty-year-old teacher falling in love with a 16-year-old student. x x x If the two eventually fell in love, despite the disparity in their ages and academic levels, this only lends substance to the truism that the heart has reasons of its own which reason does not know.
But, definitely, yielding to this gentle and universal emotion is not to be so casually equated with immorality. The deviation of the circumstances of their marriage from the usual societal pattern cannot be considered as a defiance of contemporary social mores.(G.R. No. 49549 Aug. 30, 1990; Regalado, J.: Evelyn Chua-Qua vs. Hon. Clave and Tay Tung High School,Inc.)

And finally, absence makes the heart grow fonder?
And although absence can indeed make the heart grow fonder, the opposite can just as well be true: out of sight, out of mind. (G.R. No. 173294, Feb. 27, 2008. Corona, J.: Renne Enrique Bier vs. Ma. Lourdes A. Bier).
Love struck justices indeed prove they too are humans, believing in Alfred Tennyson’s “better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”