I was asked to prepare a list of what I would tell young married couples during the first five years of their marriage – that I wish I had been told back then. I know what you are thinking… “but you aren’t married anymore.” EXACTLY! And four plus years after a divorce from a marriage that lasted about 12 years has taught me a great deal. I have learned some things at this stage of life that I wish I had known back when I got married. Because I am long winded, I have decided to break up the list of ten things into separate blog posts… to keep from wearing you out. Today is the first two of my top ten:
1. FORGET THE FAIRYTALE:
High Expectations? …drop them. There is no fairytale romantic happily-ever-after in any relationship. If someone tells you they have the fairytale, they are lying! Plus high expectations can be very stressful for your partner if he or she realizes your expectations are unreachable. Who needs that kind of pressure?
2. SOUL MATE - NO SUCH THING :
There is no such thing as a soul mate. Your mate will never be perfect, no matter who you choose or whom you chose. God gives us the wisdom and ability through life experiences and learning about WHO WE ARE to make a good life partner choice.
Maybe you had more than one option before you made this decision, and don’t fret that you might not have PICKed the RIGHT one. Sadly there is no magic Mr. Right out there for you to stumble upon, and that chemistry you felt when you first met… will disappear. Anticipate the chemistry dissipating because the newness and novelty of this wonderful guy (or girl) will wear off.
So if it’s chemistry you feel (or that you are looking for) – you are in limerence – not in love. Your foundation for your marriage should be based on more of a foundation of common goals, beliefs, and traits – not that chemistry or limerence you felt early on.
You should start building that foundation now if you married based on chemistry alone and thinking this must be Mr. Right. Because, and I quote here from the article: Governors, Quarterbacks, and Soul Mates by Joe Beam, President of Love Path International, “There is not one passage in the Bible that teaches that God has the perfect person for us out there somewhere. And there is no passage that tells us how to know if we actually encountered that person if such a person exists. Should we base it on how we feel? …that won’t work either. Why? Limerence fades away. Always.” You simply need something more than that euphoric feeling to build your future – your stable future – upon.
I wrote these first two ideas from experience, basically; my own and from watching other couples’ relationships. So I am not simply sharing my point of view as jaded, cynical ideas. I also found the article referenced intriguing and it hit my point, nailed it in fact; plus it gave me a great new term to reference the idea (limerence). Can you say limerence?
When I found myself facing divorce, I was thankful to realize I wasn’t walking away from the one perfect guy God intended for me to be with. I don’t take the big D lightly; you know my story. Divorce isn’t the blissful choice you make to get away from someone out of convenience; but when your mate’s choices dictate the only obvious route to take… it’s nice to know that he (or she) wasn’t the ‘one and only’ perfect mate chosen by God. Maybe that doesn’t make sense when you read it… but think about it.
How do you feel about the advice I listed so far …for young newlyweds?
Do you believe in Soul Mates?
How would you recommend couples develop a better foundation if they married their partner based on chemistry alone?
Share your comments below.
Find yourself… keeping it real.