Where did the idea of a soulmate come from? The notion that you are meant for one person on this earth and you are charged with finding them or living life all alone. Maybe it’s because in the story of Adam and Eve, the man looked up and there she was – the only other person on the planet – pretty obvious, right? Now that there are more than 7 billion people roaming around, it’s a little more complicated.
When we meet with couples in crisis, we often hear a similar theme in the narrative: I think I made a huge mistake. What if I married the wrong person? Sometimes this is said in front of the spouse in question. Ouch. And then there is the situation where a new person has been introduced into the equation, and this has got to be the one! It is so romantic to think that we have a destiny to find that one person we were meant to be with, even a responsibility to do so, and if we meet them after we have a life created with someone else, who cares? This is my soul mate, everyone should understand that I deserve to be happy.
The truth is that there is no ONE person, the only one who will bring you joy. That’s not their job to begin with. Your spouse is not here to bring you happiness.
There are a lot of people who could have been your spouse, several that you came into contact with over the years. We may expect to meet our one and only and just know that this is the one, but think of all the stories where the couple knew each other for months or even years before discovering that they had a future together. Timing plays a huge part in the equation. Not very romantic, is it?
If you believe the notion that there is one person for you, instead of holding them closer with gratefulness, you will be tempted to wonder if you made a mistake. Because marriage gets hard at some point. For us, it was around day 5, for others it could be years, but it happens. When difficult times come, we tend to doubt our decisions; this is too hard, I must have made a mistake. Life would be so much easier if I was with my soulmate. What if we erased this idea completely from our thoughts and got to work at making the very best with what we have?
It reminds me of the difference between having a biological child and adopting; it may seem ideal to bring a baby into this world that is a combination of both you and your beloved, but being able to tell a little person that they were chosen for your family – now that’s magical because it means that you will work hard to make sure they fit. In marriage, it may seem romantic to say that you met and fell in love at first sight and lived happily ever after, but what about the story of the two people who chose to do this life together, come hell or high water, we are in this together? In my opinion, that’s where the magic is.