Actor Santiago Cabrera on How to Fall in Love Over and Over Again
"We’ve been together for nearly two decades now and still, more than ever, you make me want to be a better man, a better father, a better husband."
Love letters are wasted on youth. No matter what artistry and passion go into the prose you once laid out for your lover, the letters lack, well, life experience. When you devote yourself to someone, partner with them, and have a child together, then you have something to write about. Before, you were stumbling in passion. Now, you’ve truly found love. In Found Love, we celebrate the unique love partners feel for the mother of their children.
A strong character for me is someone with a real sense of justice, a person with a true understanding of what is right and what is wrong and who lives up to it. That is you. You are a human being with an impregnable moral compass, always standing up for what you think is right, never wavering, never being corrupted along the way.
The world is a better place because of you. You help people. You’re good at it. I see it happen in even the simplest interactions. In the space of a single conversation I’ve seen people grow right in front of you. It’s as though a weight has been lifted off their shoulders or they’ve discovered a new truth they hadn’t seen before.
You are also so caring. You have a genuine empathy and are always asking what does the other need? What will make things easier for them? You put others before yourself, without ever losing sight of your own goals. And your intelligence comes through in everything you do.
You are such a resourceful mother. Always present, always creating the space for our child to thrive. You are there every step of the way, but most importantly, you know when to get out of the way so that our child gets to freely explore their full potential. There’s a whole field of possibilities out there, and you create a safe space for them to thrive. They’ll fall but then pick themselves right back up, because they know it feels safe. It’s so wonderful to witness and be part of.
People always ask me, ‘How do you stay with someone for so long?’ I tell them, ‘Have you met my wife?’ We’ve been together for nearly two decades now and still, more than ever, you make me want to be a better man, a better father, a better husband.
Is this cliché and kind of corny? Yes, but, that doesn’t make it any less true. You challenge me to become a better person. Not in the daring sense of putting pressure on me. Just by being yourself and leading by example.
We’ve had tough times, of course. Partnerships are hard. We’ve butted heads, have had to make it work from a distance at times. There have been many sleepless nights of diaper changes, and many fights over who’s cooking more? Who’s doing more? The whole catastrophe of marriage.
I’m not going to pretend it’s all been perfect. There are always going to be bumps along the road, and we all have to work at it. Mistakes will be made. I know I’ve made them.
But at the end of day, my love, admiration, and respect for you, Anna, is so real. There’s such beauty in being with someone for so long. A sort of innocence remains. That child-like quality we had as we were falling in love with each other is ever-present. We always see each other, and feel each other truly. No pretenses, no explanations needed. It keeps us grounded through time.
As I put down these thoughts, you are in our backyard. Your hands are in the dirt as you tend to our new strawberry patch. A perfect metaphor, as you bring such nourishment and sweetness to our lives. You truly are one of a kind.
Santiago Cabrera is an actor who currently plays Cristóbal Rios on Star Trek: Picard. He is also known for his roles on Big Little Lies, Heroes, Musketeers, and Merlin. He currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife, theater director Anna Marcea, and son Kilian.
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