When I met my husband, 28 years ago, I thought I had met my soul mate. I fell in love with his humor, his creativity, his fun spirit, his intelligence, his can-do attitude and his passion. He was everything I was looking for.
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Then we married, started a few businesses together and had children. Along with the joys, came the stresses and challenges of balancing and sustaining family and work life.
As time passed, it became clear that I wasn’t with my soul mate at all. I longed for the days when we were happy and carefree, laughing together and loving each other freely.
Our mutual dissatisfaction persisted to the point where it became evident that we had to make a choice. We chose each other.
Along the return to a shared life of deep love, caring and commitment, many things became clear. The most important lesson I learned was that if I wanted my husband to feel like my soul mate again, I had to be a soul mate to him.
Here’s what I discovered:
- If I was feeling a disconnect between us, it was because he was, too. We were acting as mirrors for each other.
- The only way to bridge the gap between my husband and I was to open my heart and change my perceptions.
- He could read my thoughts and pick up on my energy. I couldn’t afford the luxury of negative thinking.
- If I wanted love, I had to dig deeper and give more love.
- Instead of focusing on feeling misunderstood, I needed to put more energy into listening to and understanding his needs and his way of seeing things.
- He was as sensitive and vulnerable as I am, in his own way, and I needed to respect that.
- He required that I honor him and value him.
- Love is overlooking your partner’s flaws and not drawing attention to their weaknesses.
- He needed me to focus on his strengths and see and bring out the hero in him.
- He needed me to be receptive to him and his desires.
- If I wanted to be forgiven for my mistakes, it was essential that I forgive him for his.
- Let go of expectations, enjoy giving, and savor the moments of happiness, love and connection.
- Appreciation goes a very long way.
The greatest teaching for me has been the acceptance that life isn’t always seemingly fair. I learned to give from my heart without expecting something equal in return.
It became clear to me that I had to choose in every moment whether I wanted to relate to my husband from a place of emptiness and neediness or from my heart and soul, which is full in every moment.
I also had the choice to look at him and see his best intentions to do the right thing, while letting go of judgment and criticism.
When I finally realized that the one I can truly rely on is my own inner strength, more than ever I appreciated the gift of being able to share my life with a beautiful, flawed and perfect soul mate—my husband.