In the mid-19th century, in a time of Victorian morality, challenging the rules of the aristocracy to which she belongs, the lovely Matilde Peñalver y Beristáin (Adela Noriega), falls in love with Adolfo Solís (Mauricio Islas), an army soldier with no fortune; trusting that her father, Hilario (Ricardo Blume) - a fair and kind man - will let her marry him. But her mother, Augusta (Helena Rojo), is determined to force Matilde to marry a rich man in order to save the family from bankruptcy. Manuel Fuentes Guerra (Fernando Colunga) is the perfect candidate. He is an honorable and handsome young man who has just inherited a vast fortune. Augusta ignores the fact that Manuel is the illegitimate son of Joaquín Fuentes Guerra (Julio Alemán), a powerful landlord who raped a poor native girl, and who only recognized Manuel as his heir on his deathbed.
Using all kinds of intrigues, the arrogant Augusta and her son Humberto (Ernesto Laguardia), send Adolfo to prison then convince Matilde to believe that he is married and have children. Overwhelmed and full of despair, Matilde surrenders to her mother's pressure and agrees to marry Manuel, especially after she learns that he has paid the family's debts. Adolfo escapes from jail and immediately goes to look for his beloved Matilde, who has just married Manuel. Desperate, Adolfo manages to secretly speak with Matilde to clarify the misunderstandings. Swearing they will love each other forever, they decide to run away, however, Manuel discovers them. Deeply hurt, Manuel is not willing to give her up. He forces her to leave with him and on their wedding night where he tells her he desires her and takes advantage of her but she does not fight him. The next day she questions herself whether she liked it or not. She does not love her husband and has to put up with Antonia (Chantal Andere), the former administrator's daughter, who is in love with Manuel.
Meanwhile, Adolfo, after an intense and frantic search finds Matilde; intending to bring her back, poses as the new ranch administrator. Manuel, unaware of Adolfo's real identity, sympathizes with him and gives him a special, friendly treatment. In spite of the situation, Adolfo has to admit that Manuel is an honest, noble, fair man. At that point, Manuel and Matilde discover that they have been victims of Augusta's and Humberto's deceit. As time goes by, the subtle attention, the glances full of passion and Manuel's avid desire end up conquering Matilde's heart. Suddenly one day, she realizes that the love she felt for Adolfo has disappeared and that in its place has come a new, more intense feeling, a real love towards her husband. Full of grief, Matilde tells Adolfo the truth. Although she does not want to hurt him, her love no longer belongs to him.
Heartbroken, Adolfo accepts his reality and leaves the ranch the same day Matilde announces to her husband that she's with child. Unfortunately, the couple's happiness does not last long. Manuel discovers who his new administrator was, and in an instant, everything falls apart. Matilde's pleas and explanations cannot convince Manuel, he feels betrayed once again and cannot forgive her. Driven by anger Manuel doubts his paternity and throws Matilde out of the ranch. Later, he tries to forget her with Antonia, starting a compromising relationship that will later make his reconciliation with Matilde more difficult. Eventually, he realizes he cannot forget Matilde, and... The story continues with the more stomach-knotting turn of events.