Came across this great comment while reading the comments of this post: “Those who believe in soulmates are found to be 150 percent more likely to end up divorced.”
This expresses my feelings on life, love and marriage even better than I could:
A few quick thoughts…
Soulmates? That’s a bit like a fairy tale. Nice story, but it isn’t real.
Best result: A couple of good friends who can put up with one another’s numerous…peccadilloes. A few shared interests, with both parties involved in separate hobbies and interests. Decent to good sex…while keeping in mind that it’s really business partnership that you’re involved in, not a porn flick.
Marriage is not a fantasy. Your partner is a real human being. Just like you, they have feelings, emotions, successes, failures, good days and bad. Treat them that way. Always.
Ya gotta be practical, pragmatic and grounded in the real world. Have some fun together and apart, but keep it real.
Start with realistic expectations and you’ll do ok. Anything you go into with phantasmagorical expectations is almost certainly doomed to failure.
Perfection? Nobody’s perfect. Don’t even go there.
That’s with one failed marriage and one successful marriage to my…credit. Seven years invested in the first marriage, twenty-six years this go around. I think I may have a handle on things this time.
Romance? Well, yeah. There’s a bit of that, but it isn’t what the relationship revolves around. It revolves around consideration for one another. iow, simple, common courtesy and treating one another, and other people, as if we were all real, live, girls and boys.
Don’t lie to one another. About anything…except that gift you’ve hidden away for a special occasion.
Humor. Don’t forget humor. A more or less shared sense of humor.
Remember the little things. They count.
If you make a mess, clean it up.
In general, act like an adult, not like a little princess or a spoiled prince.
One last thing. What works for your parent’s marriage, your neighbor’s marriage, or for anyone else you know may not work for you and your partner. Like individuals, every marriage is different.
That’s life, and that’s love. Special, unique, and very often, awe-inspiring, wonderful and infintely surprising.
UPDATE: Heh, of course, half the time I feel the way this guy does:
I find it amazing how many people believe in these medieval notions of love. And the really funny thing about it is that in medieval romances, the relationships are almost always adulterous, as with Lancelot and Guinevere. Strange considering the penalty for adultery at the time–castration for the man, banishment for the woman. But, in arranged marriages, I guess a woman has to have something to dream about.
I don’t believe in soulmates. I don’t believe in love. I don’t even believe in romance, which may sound strange coming from someone with a master’s degree in Romantic poetry, and a minor in medieval literature.
It’s because I understand romance and medieval literature. The problem here, today, is with the law.
Of course, soulmates get divorced. The law allows it. Some medieval idea of love turns sour, and she can take him for everything he’s got. She can even slap him with child support for children that aren’t his.
This is why I have never gotten married. I do not agree to the terms and conditions of the contract. And don’t quote the Bible to me. I’ve read the Bible, several times, in several different translations. This is not about the Sacrament; it’s about the contract. And I’d rather have the money.
All this talk about love and marriage, soulmates, it’s stupid. I am not about to expose myself to betrayal, abandonment and bankruptcy, because of some idiotic idea of medieval romance. And now she doesn’t like it. I really don’t care.
Love is a fleeting emotion. Romance is a game. Just write some silly love poem, make up some rhymes, throw in the word love, and you’re in. Get real.
The problem here is with the law. She has the absolute right to abort your baby, get knocked up by some boy at a bar, slap you with the child support, leave you, take the house and half of your money, have her boyfriend move in so they can raise their love child together. All on your dime. Why any man would agree to that arrangement is beyond my ability to comprehend.
Change the law. Nothing else matters but that. Change the law. Or stop complaining about it.
Yeah, soulmates, give me a break, they have a high divorce rate. It’s no small wonder. The law allows it.
And the man, what about him? He was stupid enough to marry her. End of story.