This is part 3 of my journey of meeting and marrying my soul mate. In this series of articles, I share how I found authentic and conscious love and how you can, too. In part 1, I wrote about how my childhood set me up for disaster. In part 2, I wrote about how my childhood affected my choice for a husband. In this article, I want to share how, by working on myself, I made better choices for my future.
In relationships, a person’s way of relating to their partner is affected by any number of things. Maybe it’s their mood for the day/hour, their personality, their self-esteem, how they look at the world, how they feel about their partner in that moment, etc. And can you see how each of these things can be influenced by your childhood? How loved and accepted you felt, how many challenges you faced and how you processed them, even how many siblings you had and their place in the family?
Parents aren’t perfect, but it’s what you do with those imperfect moments that can help or hinder a child.
In these articles, there are no “bad” or “good” people. They’re just people who were hurting. I view these experiences as learning opportunities. My intention is not to blame or shame them. My intention is to provide an idea of what it was like to be me, experiencing my challenges from my point of view. My sisters, my parents, and my ex will have different perspectives and interpretations of these experiences. They’ll process them differently. Now that I’m an adult, it’s detrimental to my well-being to blame my parents and ex for what happened. As an adult, taking responsibility for our thoughts, words, and actions is empowering.
What I relate to you is my experience and my happy ending.
Writing It Down–My Soul Mate Vision
When I separated from my now ex-husband, I swore off men and dating. Married for 17 years, I wanted to focus on healing myself and my little family. I didn’t want to go through heartbreak like this again. I was so traumatized by the experience, my therapist labelled it PTSD. The break-up dredged up and tore wide open old wounds of past emotional pain. When I first found out about the affair, I wondered if I would get through the betrayal. However, at nearly 40 years old, I decided I was through trying to push down pain that went way beyond the breakdown of my marriage. I was determined and focused to work through all of the issues that had held me back. I hadn’t truly confronted my childhood pain, so I ended up reenacting my issues with my marriage and relationship. I recognized that to move forward in life with any semblance of healthiness, I would have to go through it- all of it- and not skirt around it.
With the help of a skilled therapist, I worked through my childhood issues and the intense pain of the breakup. I faced my fears of being alone and worked on my self-esteem and self-love. I learned better ways of communicating and started looking at what my needs were.
In the first month after the split, a friend suggested I write down what I wanted and needed in a man and a relationship. I told her I was not interested in ever getting involved again in a romantic relationship. I didn’t want to take the chance. She insisted, saying that just in case I ever did want to venture back out into the relationship world, wouldn’t it be nice to have a list I could reference that had all the qualities and traits I desired? Hmmm….To humor her and myself, I did it. I thought it was a good idea at the time. If, for some reason I did decide to start dating, I would have a list of reminders of what I wanted and needed. I later called it my Soul Mate Vision.
First, I found a notebook to write in (see picture on the right). My children had an extra school notebook so I used that. I personalized it with angel stickers I had on hand- because doesn’t everyone? (I love angels.) Then, I wrote the qualities of a man and a soul mate that I needed. After writing two pages of qualities, I closed with a time frame. As I was writing these things down, I began to open up to the idea that I deserved to have someone like that in my life, if that should happen. Just because I had been deeply hurt in the past, didn’t mean that I had to spend my life swearing off men in a desperate attempt to never learn how to be in a healthy relationship. After I finished the list, I put the notebook away in a drawer. I forgot all about it.
Getting Back into the Dating World
Later that year, a friend asked if I was interested in her setting me up on a blind date. It was a gentleman she had known for a long time and she thought he and I would get along well with each other. He had ended a serious relationship with a woman who had a son and she thought we’d be a great match. I told her I would have to think about it. At that point, I was creating a nice life for myself and children, I was working hard in therapy to excavate my deepest issues, and I really liked my own company. Did I want to invite someone else into my life?
After a few days of thinking it over, I told my friend to go ahead and arrange a date. To my surprise, she told me that he was not interested. He didn’t want to become involved with a woman who had children.
Instead of feeling rejected- again- I became curious. I had opened myself up to the possibility of dating. I had taken a risk, been rejected, and yet I was okay. It wasn’t devastating; it was freeing! I didn’t take the rejection on- I knew it was about him and I appreciated the honesty he demonstrated. I learned a lot about myself from this experience and one of the surprising takeaways was that if I decided to go on a blind date with this guy, I was ready to stick a toe into the dating world.
I did not like to go to bars so I decided to join Match.com. Simple enough. Except, after a couple of days on the website, it became clear that the only men interested in a woman with 3 kids, were guys who were married and looking to cheat on their wives. Ugh! I was particularly put off by this because of what had happened in my own marriage. Somehow, I ended up matched up with a man who had a son. He and I started communicating through the website. Before he asked me out on a date, he asked for my phone number to get to know me better. We talked, decided there was a lot in common, and we decided to meet for dinner. This may sound cliché, but I knew as soon as I saw him in the parking lot, that he was THE ONE. My first date in over 17 years and this guy was absolutely amazing!
My Happy Ending
I married the Love of My Life a couple years later. Our blended family is doing great after a rough transition. Being co-parents with exes who had to deal with their own feelings of the transition added to the complexity of handling the remarriage. As I write this, my ex and I are friendly, but this took years of effort and therapy. I think it’s the best gift we can give our children so I am grateful we took that opportunity to try to heal our wounds together for the sake of our kids.
By the way, after about a year of dating, I found the Soul Mate Vision exercise I had done. I was stunned that everything in that notebook matched my soul mate.
My Handsome Husband and I have been together for over ten years now. We have an amazing relationship, but I know that even if we are soul mates, it still takes two people to consciously continue to create a loving, lasting partnership.
Being in a relationship with your best friend, being loved unconditionally has helped both of us to grow individually and to grow our relationship. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have this kind of love in my life. More people can have this type of relationship if they knew how to. We aren’t born with the tools on how to have an amazing relationship. We learn them. Most of the time it is unconsciously, from our parents. We don’t ordinarily seek out relationship advice until we’re experiencing some kind of pain. In my old marriage, I would handle conflict by “shoving it under the rug,” meaning, I would shove down my feelings and not say anything for the sake of keeping the peace. I was gracious, demure, and playing a role. In my relationship now, when things come up, even if they feel uncomfortable, we talk about it. Maintaining soul mate love is as important as finding it. Just like, when you purchase your dream car- you want to take care of it and not let it fall into disrepair. My happy ending continues down a happy path because, even though challenges still may occur, I’ve got a rock solid base to call home.
If you’re interested in the exact method I used to find my soul mate, I wrote a book on it. In it, I describe the actions and intentions I used to manifest my soul mate (even though at the time I did not consciously mean to do so). I can’t begin to describe just how much more meaningful my life has become now that I have my Handsome Husband to share it with. We have so much in common- mentally, spiritually, psychologically…We’re best friends and yes, soul mates. My 30-year old self would not have been prepared for this high level of love, however my openness to growth would have been helpful I suppose. You, dear reader, may or may not be prepared for this type of love, however experiencing it is unlike none other. You deserve to have this amazing experience of love and this level of happiness and contentment in your life. Think about this: how would your life be different if you were in a relationship with your soul mate? Are you worth it?