Destiny Unplugged

I don’t believe in soul mates. Don’t get me wrong, I think that my husband and I are a good match. I just don’t ascribe to the philosophy that there is only one person for every person on earth. I think he would be surprised to know that.

I am a romantic. I like flowers and poetry and sweet, thoughtful gestures of love. I think they help to keep a relationship going. But more than that, I believe a relationship, a marriage, takes hard work – with an emphasis on the hard.

I’ve never understood the people who said they had kids to save their marriage. If anything, having a child put a bigger strain on my marriage than any problem that had come before. I think my husband thought that our daughter’s birth would bring us closer together. In some ways, nearly two years later, it has. But at first, the crying of an infant definitely pushed us apart.

I resented the fact that his lifestyle didn’t change much when I got pregnant. He continued to drink beer and go off for weekend junkets with his friends. Meanwhile, I was going to bed at 7 p.m. and watching every bite of food that went into my mouth like a vigilante nutritionist, refusing to do anything that might hurt the baby. The situation was something we had to work through – both of us, for months after our daughter’s birth. Only now do I feel that we are getting closer.

I love him very much, but I do believe that I could have made a life with another person. What if we had never met? It could have happened. What if I had not decided to take the job that sat me in a cubicle right next to his? Where would be today? Would neither of us be married? Somehow, I doubt it. We are both the marrying kind and the parenting kind. We would have found someone else, fallen in love and worked hard at it every day, just like we do now.

 I believe that we are lucky we found each other. I believe we are committed to each other and to our family. I believe in us. I just don’t believe it was fate.

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12 Responses to Destiny Unplugged

  1. Jennie says:

    Wow. This could’ve been written by me. (Although we don’t have a kid yet.)

    I also don’t believe in soulmates. I belive Mike and I made a choice to be together and we have to keep making a choice, every day. We have to honor the commitment we made. Fate and destiny don’t deserve the credit for our successes and they can’t be blamed for our shortcomings.

    I think if I had never met him, I would have met someone else. And we would have faced our own struggles. We would have had our own communication problems. We would have had our own inside jokes and good memories.

    But I met Mike. I met him and fell in love with him and decided to marry him.

    Those were my choices.

    And I continue to choose him. Everyday.

    (This is an excellent post.)

  2. rimarama says:

    Very through-provoking post, Michelle. I don’t believe that there is just one person for everyone, but I do believe that the people who play a large role in our lives are there for a reason, whether they are our spouses, parents, children, or close friends. But I am totally with you on the point that sustaining a marriage takes hard work and whether it survives and thrives or not has nothing to do with fate.

  3. mommymartin says:

    Wow, great post. I believe in soul mates but I don’t believe that if you miss out on one that you’ve missed out on any chance of happiness. Maybe everyone has a few potential soul mates, I dunno. In any case, I’m so happy you found the person who makes you happy.

  4. Christina says:

    Holy shit… that is the most amazing thing. I have been thinking about this very subject a lot for two days. I reconnected with an old friend by e-mail through another old friend. Not a boy friend, just a friend that happens to be a man. I love this person in the way we love our friends and I have known him since we were too young to care about love. I tell my husband everything so I am sure I will tell him that I reconnected – this is not a secret. I hung out with three guys from grade school up until college and I loved all three of them as friends and Kevin, my husband, knows who they are and what they stand for in my life… I am sorry, I am not sure why I am explaining this – I just don’t want it to come off the “wrong way”!

    He is just a friend but it got me thinking about the what if’s that you mentioned. What if I never left CA? what if I stuck around with my friends (including this one) from swimming? what if I had not gone back to grad school? what if… I have been thinking about this deeply and in conjuction with the same thoughts about how having a child did not draw us together but rather pitted us against one another at times. The first 6 months were hard and frustrating and tiresome and I also resented his freedom to some degree. That has all changed now that our son is 2-1/2 but wow that first part of his life was intense and it made me think if we can survive this we can survive almost anything!

    It has really been something to think deeply about this because it has always been there lurking these thoughts but not really anything I could form into words until I just read what you wrote. Thank you for that. I needed a good reminder of this and how I was feeling – you are not alone and that at least helps me to feel to better!

  5. Skiplovey says:

    What an honest post, kudos to you for writing it. Very thought provoking as well. I can definitely relate on the infant challenge. Having a baby has made my husband and I really work through alot of things. We’re better for working it through but it’s definitely challenging while you’re in the midst of it.

  6. Good for you for doing the work. It sounds like you are both commited to making it work – that’s better than being soul mates.

    My take on soul mates aren’t always lovers or partners. They are significant people in your life that appear and disappear. but lovers? yeah, not so much.

    You are a really great person for doing the work and thinking through things.

  7. noodle says:

    I loved this post. I don’t really believe in soul mates either. As someone who’s still single, it’s hard to ascribe to the theory that there’s one person out there for everyone and that I am destined to meet that person. Everyone I know that is married and has had children feels the same way that you do…it’s not some magical way to fix what may be wrong.

  8. Marlee says:

    Nice post! I am not sure I believe in the entire soul mate thing either. (I’ll send that flickr invite soon, I didn’t forget about you!).

  9. JC says:

    As a newlywed, I have spent some time thinking about the subject of “soul mates.” A logical argument can be made on either side of the “soul mate” debate. On one hand, Michelle, it can be argued that your husband is your “soul mate” because you both made unique, individual decisions that brought you together. Is that fate, or same-place, same-time syndrome? Or, is it just blind luck that brings two people together? Perhaps we do have “soul mates,” as it’s possible that our soul is constantly evolving, changing day to day as we go about our lives. Sure, you could have met someone else if you (or your husband) had made different choices, different decisions at earlier stages of your life. But would your souls have been the same if you had? Isn’t it possible that the soul you have now, the soul you have today, would only respond to the mate you have found?

  10. Katie says:

    Wow, this is my first time ever stopping by your blog and what perfect timing. I saw an old friend at a funeral tonight. He was in love with me at one time but I never saw him in that way and we just never got together. However, I left the funeral (guiltily) thinking…what if??? Just like that what if’s you mentioned above. Very thought provoking!

  11. Vixen says:

    Interesting post. Very thought provoking.

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