A couple of weeks ago one of my girlfriends sent me a link to a post on Trusty Chucks entitled “My Husband is Not My Soul Mate.” Given who sent it (we have very similar beliefs about many things dating and marriage related) and the title itself, I knew I was either going to hate it entirely or absolutely love it.
First of all, Trusty Chucks is a fabulous site. I have complete blog envy of Mary Graham and the work she has done. Second of all, how she got the idea for this particular post was both heartbreaking and eye-opening. One of her students, a 7th grader, wrote, “It’s not fair that people with disabilities get judged by how they look. Some adults don’t get soul mates because of how they are looked at.”
Well played, 13 year-old. I both hate and love that you know that. I was less than a year away from thinking Mike Modano was my soul mate at your age. You, my little friend, have a much better grasp on reality, no matter how bad it sucks.
As Mary goes on to say, that student’s statement alone is worth a thousand different topics, but it was the words “soul” and “mate” that got her attention. She said her first instinct was to immediately run home and tell her girls “that soul mates aren’t real. That this isn’t something to dream about, something to wish and hope for. Because it will let you down and make all your real, healthy, and sometimes-disappointing relationships feel less than.”
When I read that I realized even at my advanced age, divorced for five years and still single I have absolutely no freaking idea how I feel about any of that. My first husband was obviously not my soul mate. I have a list of 438 reasons why I am perfectly okay with that, one being I had no intentions of being a level 50 mage when I grew up (yes, that part of my life was totally an episode of Big Bang Theory). But here’s the part that will potentially make you roll your eyes at me: I still believe in soul mates. But I also believe what Mary had to say:
He is my husband, my best friend, my lover, my favorite person to talk to, my biggest cheerleader, and my family.
But he does not complete me, fill me up, or make my world.
He challenges me, encourages me, and talks me down off cliffs, but he isn’t the end-all-be-all of my world. That is a dangerous thing to ask of a relationship because I’m in love with and married to a flawed man. And he married a really flawed Mary.
I could honestly cut and paste the ENTIRE post because it’s that good. But her site is more than worthy of your visit, so I will refrain. The way she described her husband, Chris, is what I personally believe to be the quintessential description of a soul mate. As she says, I also don’t believe in anyone “completing” anyone else. That is absurd. We are in control in completing ourselves. I do, however, want someone to complement me.
I am a grown ass woman. I have many faults. Among them, I despise cleaning and wasn’t exposed to good financial habits growing up. Those are two things I am working on but with which I find extreme, mind-numbing difficulty. But I know how to take care of myself without much help. I’ve never missed rent, my car is paid off and my electricity stays on. Neither I nor any of my animals go hungry (though they’ll try to convince you otherwise). So as much as we all have our moments of lusting for a “sugar daddy” (do not lie, you’ve done it too!) I do not need that or really any man. I proved that to myself by surviving an unexpected eight months of unemployment on my own. But would it be amazing to have a partner in crime with whom to get into shenanigans, navigate the rest of this life, support my bad decisions and screw up our own kids? Abso-freaking-lutely. I don’t need you to find my missing glass slipper and whisk me away to your castle. I just need you to be able to carry me out of the bar when my glass slipper breaks my ankle – cause it’s been known to happen – and take me to our regular sized, maybe kinda messy home. I also need you to kill wasps and make sure the tires on my car are rotated. I don’t have unrealistic expectations here, people!
That was a long explanation of saying I know it won’t be a Jerry Maguire-esque ending of “you complete me”. It won’t be rainbows, butterflies and fairy dust. My pastor recently said that marriage isn’t defined by the for better, for richer and in health moments. And I completely agree with that. It’s the worse, the poorer and in sickness moments when it would be lovely to have someone the most.