Reader Question - My husband recently had an affair and is leaving me for a woman he says is his soulmate. I am devastated. I always thought he and I were soulmates and now I feel like I have wasted 8 years of my life with someone who was never meant for me. Can this really happen? Can one person think they have their soulmate, but meet someone new and realize it was all a lie?
I know personally how painful this is. I also know it can be a catalyst, even a catapult, to better things. Truth is soulmate relationships don’t always last forever. That’s a myth that has been sold to us by the media and pop culture. Here’s a quickie history – Soulmates and Soul Twins were created in the dawn of time when souls were split into male and female aspects. Before then, each soul had been both male and female, or a better way to put it, neither male nor female but the trinity of both. Souls migrated to earth to experience the “University of Human Life” and ultimately reunite with their male or female counterpart. We all are human soulmates and every person we encounter in life is a soulmate of one kind or another. (Read more about “The Many Kinds of Soulmates” and “Soul Mates and Soul Twins – What’s the Difference?”) In the beginning of that primitive human experience, people had to focus on survival. Food, shelter, procreation, and defense, not love, were the basis for relationships. As the means to meet basic needs were met, people turned to finding fulfillment and love of all kinds, not just romantic love. And that’s where a lot of confusion comes in. Soulmates, who are all members of our original soul family, come into our lives to help us discover all the many aspects of love – affection, friendship, romance, forgiveness, and finally unconditional. Once their specific mission in your life is fulfilled, they may move on. Some kinds, like Companion Mates, often stay for a lifetime, but even they may veer off on their own track once you both have gained what you needed from your connection. When we begin to understand that there is a good-for-us purpose behind every life event, we begin to see things differently which gives us different options for handling them.
When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer
In a situation like this, you have three options. Two are considered helpful and healthy. One is considered personally destructive, but will still take you where you need to go. That’s the part we often miss – no life lesson or relationship is ever wasted if we pay attention to the nugget of wisdom it brought us. The choice is entirely yours and you will come out changed and on your own best course no matter which route you take. Remember the scene in Wizard of Oz where Dorothy and friends try to choose the “right” yellow brick road? Before the story is over, they learned that ALL yellow brick roads lead to Oz. The same is true in Life.
Here are three Yellow Brick Roads for you to consider:
- Try to Reawaken Your Relationship – Sometimes a mate strays because they feel like the magic has been lost and they don’t realize they have the ability to rekindle it. So instead, they look outside for a new relationship, mistaking that initial “in love” feeling for what they perceive is lacking. Without announcing your intentions, you can infuse your marriage with love. Read The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman and give your husband the love he craves in his own “language.” Think back to when you both felt that “in love” feeling and renew those behaviors. This isn’t about making him go on dates. This is about shifting your own behavior. Don’t think about whether or not he “deserves” this love, especially considering what he has told you. Do this for yourself with no strings attached. If he comes around, that will be your bonus.
- Forgive and Move On – Take a deep hard look at your marriage. Are you really satisfied or just comfortable in the familiarity? If you are truly happy in the marriage, refer to Option 1. If you have harbored some dissatisfaction deep in your heart, maybe he is doing you a stealthy favor. Maybe his soul is doing for you what you won’t or can’t do for yourself – booting you out to find what you really want. It’s possible that YOU are the one who was getting stagnant and needing to be kicked from the nest. If that’s the case, forgive him for the method he “chose” and make peace with it. If you can do that, you will be able to part amicably – which is beyond valuable for the sake of your children, if you have them and for you even if you don’t. It isn’t necessary to remain friends if you do part company, but finding the love and gratitude for what you have shared is essential to your own well-being.
- Nurse Your Pain and Anger – Yes, this is one of your options and it’s often the one chosen by the “wronged” party. Most coaches will advise you to avoid this route and I do echo that counsel. I also know that sometimes it feels like the best you can do and that’s OK, too. Chasing bitterness is generally a personally destructive way to go. Accepting bitterness as step towards healing and moving on can be a powerful and life-changing experience. Even getting stuck in bitterness can have a tremendous impact. But here’s the question for you – Do you really want to suffer for your enlightenment? Enlightenment will come eventually no matter what choices you make. If you choose this path, do it with your eyes wide open knowing that you will be inviting more pain into your life.
Since you are wise enough to ask the question, you are probably aware enough to make a thoughtful decision. Look beyond your hurt feelings which right now probably feel like your nerve endings are raw and exposed. Try to project yourself into your future and feel what you want to feel then. And try to feel it no matter what happens right now. Whether he leaves or stays, figure out how to view it as an opportunity for you to get more of what you personally want. You don’t need to know HOW that is going to happen. That will reveal itself as you become receptive. There’s only one hard “don’t” – don’t try to “guilt” him into staying. That will only backfire and make the situation far worse than it is now. Just remember this - God never closes a door without opening a window, but it can be hell in the hallway. Dance in that hallway, Sista! No matter what happens, you can mend your broken heart.