Some of you won’t like what I have to say here. In fact, if you consider yourself “a romantic,” this article might initially anger you. But please read the entire article prior to chiding me with your remarks in the comment section! Honestly, understanding this concept can save marriages!
The Myth of the Soulmate
The idea of soulmates is a well beloved myth indeed. Those that hold this expectation generally believe that there is one, and only one, right person to marry – their soulmate.
The idea of a soulmate is quite a romantic notion and has been the plot of countless cherished books and movies. But, please pay attention – this myth is incredibly dangerous. Let me explain!
Dangers Caused by the Soulmate Myth
There is one major hazard for those who prescribe to this myth. Those who assume that marital bliss is a result of finding their one soulmate dangerously shift responsibility away from improving themselves or nurturing their marriage.
In other words, rather than working hard on our own individual improvement and working equally hard at nurturing our marriage, we can be tempted to assign all the blame to the spouse.
A 2014 study noted that couples either view their marriages as destiny or growth. Couples that view their marriage as destiny generally believe that their spouse is their soulmate. One of these researchers, Dr. Spike W. S. Lee, noted the following during a recent interview:
“If we are soulmates, then nothing will go wrong in our relationship, and it will be easy. A conflict makes a destiny-believer question whether the current partner is actually their soulmate, and then they give up on working it out.”
Too often, “destiny” couples who are not happily married (though they had ironically once believed that their spouse was their soulmate), simply believe they were duped and that they didn’t marry their soulmate after all. Somewhere, their soulmate must still surely exist.
Can you see the danger here? Not only are we less likely to work at a marriage if we assume it will come easily to the two of us (due to the belief that we found our “one and only”), but couples are also more likely to sever such a union when times get tough.
There is, of course, a need for certain marriages to end in divorce. But I suspect the number of actual divorces would be much lower if we realized how poisonous this soulmate myth actually is to the marriage relationship.
Lest you feel sorry for my wife for my utter insensitivity to this well-beloved myth, might I suggest a more romantic solution?
Each of us should spend our best efforts in becoming one another’s soulmates. Now that really is romantic! See, I told you I’d make it right!
Becoming each other’s soulmate is a worthy goal for every couple. So, while my wife could have found marital happiness with other guys and I surely could have married other women, today neither of us could imagine life without each other.
Become Your Spouse’s Density (I mean destiny)
Becoming each other’s soulmates doesn’t just happen accidentally. Rather, it is the result of intentional effort, love, forgiveness, and a reduction in our selfish tendencies. Unlike the dangerous soulmate myth, actually striving to become one another’s soulmate would be a fantastic (and realistic) goal for any couple striving towards a ridiculously happy marriage!