This is a prevalent misconception in many people's minds--that love,like merchandise,can be"stolen". Numerous states,in fact,have enacted laws allowing damages for"alienation of affection."
But love is not a commodity;the real thing cannot be bought,sold,traded or stolen. It is an act of the will,a turning of the emotions, a change in the chimate of the personality.
When a husband or wife is "stolen"by another person,that husband or wife was already ripe for the stealing, was already prediposed toward a new partner.The "love bandit" was only taking what was waiting to be taken, what wanted to be taken.
Most of us, when young, had the experience of a sweetheart being taken form us by somebody more attractived and more appealing. At the time, we may have resented this intruder--but as we grew older, we recognized that the sweetheart had never been ours to begin with. It was not the intruder that "caused" the break, but the lack of a real relationship.
On the surface, many marriages seem to break up because of a "third party". This is, however, a psychological illusion.The other woman or the other man merely serves as a pretext for dissolving a marriage that had already lost its essential integrity.
Nothing is more futile and more self-defeating than the bitterness of apurned olve, the vengeful feeling that someone else gas"come between" oneself and a beloved. This is always a distortion of reality, for people are not the captives or victims of others--they are free agents, working out their own destinies for good or for ill.
But the refected lover or mate cannot afford to believe that his beloved has freely turned away from him--and so he ascribes sinister or magical properties to the interloper. He calls him a hypnotist or a thief of a homebreaker.