I Don’t Believe in Soul Mates :: 22/52

Let’s talk about love. Do you believe in the idea of a soul mate? This week, talk about your experience with love and discuss what you believe, and also be sure to touch on what helped shape those beliefs.

Aw, a prompt about love. Nuzzle up to it. Let it kiss your face.

Then step back into reality. Because, seriously, reality is much harder than the kisses on the movie screen. Seriously, why is life so much harder than that?

Unlike what [most] movies profess, I don’t believe in soul mates. I believe you choose your mate and that is your choice for life. No matter the ups and downs (my God, I’m saying this to myself right now), no matter the ups and downs, he is your choice for the rest of your life.

Obviously, I’m not talking about any sort of abuse that happens. That is always a reason to leave. You have to, for the safety of your life (and your children if you have them). I’m telling you right now, please leave if there is abuse. No one will give you flack for that. And if they do, give them my number.

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But, marriage. It’s hard as crap.

I remember people yelling “Don’t do it!” when my husband and I got married. How dumb and stupid I remember thinking. But I realize that in our society, in our time, marriage is hard to accept for life for most of the population. They’re telling me not to do it because in their personal experience, it was horrible. It was hard. It wasn’t what they thought it would be. And I see what they mean now.

It is hard as heck. It isn’t what I thought it would be.

But it does something you. It changes you. It changes you in ways that you never knew possible. You look back at 5, 10, 15, 25 years later and you say “Damn, I didn’t know I could be who I am today. I am a totally different person.”

You are different.

You are selfless.

You are generous.

You are strong.

You accept grace in crevices that you didn’t know existed.

And you are better for that.

You are transformed by a union that the world tells you is too hard to even try.

But screw the world. Be transformed by something that everyone else is afraid of. Let that transformation envelop you and make you whole.

Because marriage isn’t around to make you happy. It’s not, I hate to tell you. It’s not, I hate to tell the guy yelling at the newlyweds “Run away, now!” Your spouse is not there to make you happy.

My husband is here to make me whole. To make me better. To make me see the parts of me that were allowed to be selfish and bring those to the surface to die. He is here to make me put another person’s needs before my own. And, really, what are humans if not that — constantly striving to make life better for another.

I do not exist to make my husband happy. I exist to make him wholly who he was made to be.

My friend Erika re-posted this on her Facebook from Cup of Jo the other day, and I thought it was not only a beautiful description of the “happiness” issue of life, but is so incredible relatable to marriage as well ::

“I actually attack the concept of happiness. The idea that—I don’t mind people being happy—but the idea that everything we do is part of the pursuit of happiness seems to me a really dangerous idea and has led to a contemporary disease in Western society, which is fear of sadness. It’s a really odd thing that we’re now seeing people saying “write down three things that made you happy today before you go to sleep” and “cheer up” and “happiness is our birthright” and so on. We’re kind of teaching our kids that happiness is the default position. It’s rubbish. Wholeness is what we ought to be striving for and part of that is sadness, disappointment, frustration, failure; all of those things which make us who we are. Happiness and victory and fulfillment are nice little things that also happen to us, but they don’t teach us much. Everyone says we grow through pain and then as soon as they experience pain they say, “Quick! Move on! Cheer up!” I’d like just for a year to have a moratorium on the word “happiness” and to replace it with the word “wholeness.” Ask yourself, “Is this contributing to my wholeness?” and if you’re having a bad day, it is.”

—Hugh MacKay, author of The Good Life

*drops the mic*

linked with Shell // Danielle // Jessica 

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Jenna

Jenna is the mama behind A Mama Collective. She has three beautiful daughters who cause a lot of chaos and joy in her life. She also has a husband who is gracious and kind, and who looks away when cloth diaper mail arrives.
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Comments

  1. says

    Thank you, Jenna. Wonderful truth that I think many people need to hear and know they are not alone. Shared your post with a friend, we were recently talking about difficulties in marriage and this post spoke exactly to what we were talking about.
    Linds recently posted…I Stopped DreamingMy Profile

    • says

      Marriage is so difficult, and I hope that every person comes to understand that no one’s marriage is perfect (yet I still wonder if some marriages are..). I think once we let go of the idea that there are perfect ones, we don’t feel so alone.

  2. says

    I am in love with this post. I don’t believe in soul mates, either. Marriage is so freaking hard, but it’s not because I didn’t find my one true soul mate- it’s because marriage is between two very different people, living together and trying to figure out how to make it all work.
    Shell recently posted…Dads Aren’t Puppy Dogs: Pour Your Heart OutMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks, Shell :) It is so hard, you’re right. I tend to get annoyed or anxious or something when people sugarcoat it. Or, I just sit in wonder if they’re being honest. It’s a weird feeling for me.

  3. says

    So true – I am a better person today because of my husband – and I hope he feels the same. We joke that it is FOREVER… But it is – and although that can be daunting – it still feel good and comforting.

  4. says

    The one thing I have learned in my 15 years of marriage is that when you find the right person, you will realize you are two different individuals. My strengths compensate for his weaknesses and vice versa. Marriage can be hard at times, but we have far more easier times because we have never lost sight of who we are as individuals and it makes us stronger as a couple.
    Crystal recently posted…It’s Not That I Don’t Care…My Profile

    • says

      You’re so right. It’s so important to recognize each other’s strengths and weaknesses and continue to be that stronghold for each other in the ways that come easier to you! The part that I really struggle with is… I know my weaknesses, now I just need to actually WORK on them. Thank you for your wisdom, Crystal :)

  5. says

    Replace happiness with wholeness–so profound!! I think every married couple should take a class or go through counseling because there are so many challenges that come up. And yes, grace and unselfishness, on both parts, are HUGE. Great post!

  6. says

    What a great prompt. I too don’t believe in soul mates, I believe that you chose the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, a person to grow old with but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. My husband and I entered into this beautiful sanction of marriage knowing full well that it wasn’t going to be easy, that we were going to go through hard times, but we made a promise to always work through them. I think Hollywood does an excellent job of making people think marriage is supposed to be always passionate, always honeymoon like and always easy. I hate the idea of soul mates actually… and although I admit there was a time in my life where the hopeless romantic in me wanted to believe there was such a thing as a soul mate, I am confident in saying that the idea is absolutely ridiculous. I feel marriages fail because of this false promise of someone coming into your life to make you happy forever…

    Thanks for a great post, it’s nice to see that someone else sort of understands my point of view on soul mates :)
    Tawnya Faust recently posted…Marriage After Baby: How to Keep The SparkMy Profile

  7. says

    Wow…just wow. This is an idea I’ve been toying with as of late, and after reading this and how you’ve worded it? Just yes. Being a single mom and having everyone tell you that you need to find someone to make you happy is hard, because I want to be happy with myself, by myself. Not because of someone else.
    Ashley recently posted…oh hey, Friday!My Profile

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