Forget “Soul Mate”

23 Jul

The Share Your Life prompt for this week is to give your best marriage advice. Now, mine may sound a bit odd, but stick with me. My advice: forget “soul mate”. I know, I know, how can forgetting “soul mate” be marriage advice? Isn’t marriage all about your soul mate?

The problem with the term “soul mate” is that it creates unrealistic and unfair expectations. After all, your true soul mate takes care of every need without being asked. A true soul mate knows how you think and thinks just like you. And everyone knows that real soul mates don’t make mistakes and require forgiveness all the time.

What are the problems with these expectations? Well, expecting that your true soul mate takes care of every need without being asked prevents you from truly appreciating your spouse. If you take for granted that your spouse supports you, helps clean dishes, and the million other little things that our spouses’ do for us every day, then you forget to appreciate those little things. Now, I know that a lot of people would say “Well, my spouse should do those things, why should I appreciate them?” To which I reply that we all like to be appreciated and appreciating your spouse makes them feel good, makes you feel good, and generally encourages warm-fuzzies. I try to appreciate my husband every day and once in a while, I will write him a cheesy letter or card letting him now that I notice all of the wonderful things that he does and I appreciate every one. I know, gag, right?

Moving on to the second expectation: your true soul mate knows how you think and thinks just like you. Now, every person has a different history and way of thinking, never mind differences between men and women generally. So expecting our spouses to think like us is not very fair. I know that most people don’t think that they expect their spouse to think like them, but when your spouse do that one thing that drives you absolutely crazy, you can’t help but feel like they must be trying to drive you nuts. I mean, that thing that drives you absolutely crazy is so obviously a bad thing to do. There is no other possible explanation but that they know it is a bad thing to do and do it anyway specifically to drive you absolutely crazy. The thing is, though, that spouses do that thing that drives you absolutely crazy because they don’t think like you do and they just don’t see it the same way that you do. To them, it isn’t something that would drive them crazy so when they do it, they aren’t trying to make you crazy, they are just thinking differently from you. And you know what, that’s fine. Because, let’s be honest, if husbands thought like their wives that would just be  . . . really weird.

The final expectation that the words “soul mate” evoke is the idea that your soul mate shouldn’t need your forgiveness. After all, if they think like you and are always supposed to take care of you, what could they possibly need forgiveness for? Being too perfect? But, the truth is that your spouse is human. We all need forgiveness and understanding. Even if you have found the best possible spouse, that spouse is going to have flaws and make mistakes. Don’t assume that just because it seems like your spouse needs a lot of forgiveness, they must not be your soul mate. Because unless your soul mate is not human, then they are going to need forgiveness!

So, my best marriage advice is this: forget “soul mate”. Find a word that fits your spouse. I like “partner”. It doesn’t create any expectation except that my spouse and I are making our way together. We may not think alike and we may need each other’s forgiveness, but neither of those things is incompatible with my husband being my partner.

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4 Responses to “Forget “Soul Mate””

  1. Lori July 24, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    Great post! Lots of good ideas. There is no perfect husband out there but I do believe if you ask God, He will give you the perfect one for you. But not having any expectations is a very good thing.

    http://www.lorialexander.blogspot.com

    • thepreggersplan July 29, 2011 at 3:17 pm #

      Very true. I think it is unfortunate that people sometimes expect their spouse’s to be perfect. It’s funny, but no one thinks of how it feels to have that expectation turned around and for their spouse to expect them to be perfect!

      I also think that it is important to ask God for patience as well, since while your spouse may be perfect for you, they aren’t actually perfect. 🙂

  2. jesusistheparty July 25, 2011 at 10:10 pm #

    Great post! My husband hates that phrase so for his birthday a couple of weeks ago, I bought him a “soul mate” card. He laughed about it ’cause he knew I was joking! But later than night, I asked him if it was o.k. if I called him my “cell mate” since we were both prisoners of Christ! He totally agreed. Cell mates for life we are!!

    • thepreggersplan July 29, 2011 at 3:16 pm #

      I love the play on words! I will have to tell my husband he is my cell mate tonight, we’ll see how he responds! 🙂

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