My husband is not my perfect soul mate. Even after over a decade of working with high school students, seeing the faces of teens when I make that declaration never gets old. It’s like watching every young girl’s dream get dashed. But this is not Disney world; it’s real life, and I don’t think any woman will ever marry her perfect soul mate. Even more, I think until we accept that fact and impart it adequately to our children, we will continue to live in a world that struggles with marital happiness and longevity.
But it’s true- my husband is not my perfect soul mate.
I was taught that in high school, and I’ve seen the truth of that statement more times than I care to count since getting married. My husband and I are not perfect for one another, and we never will be. And do you know what? Our marriage is happier for knowing it.
As a girl, I remember dreaming about my future husband. In my fantasies, he was always a perfect gentleman, he always loosely resembled a Disney prince, and we were absolutely perfect together. We never fought, never disagreed, never experienced even the slightest hiccup of distress. I held on to that dream for a very long time, and I probably never would have abandoned it, except for the fact that I had a very wise adult who set me straight when I was in high school.
Neither my husband nor I is perfect. We both make poor decisions from time to time. We both lose our patience, get frustrated, and even get angry on occasion. And if neither of us is perfect, we can’t really expect to be perfect soul mates. But I do know that we are good for each other, and that we are both better for having each other in our lives. We are both seeking perfection, but we’re not there yet. We want to help each other get to heaven, but obviously we haven’t reached our destination yet.
My husband and I were not soul mates destined to be together. Honestly, I never wanted to be burdened by that kind of pressure anyway. If we only have one soul mate, determined from the beginning of time, that leaves a whole lot of pressure on us. What if we make a decision that sets us on separate paths? What if I was to get sick on the day that we were supposed to meet? What if I screw it up, and he goes off and marries someone else? Who wants that kind of pressure?
Instead, I believe that my husband became my soul mate when we were married. When we exchanged our vows before God and man, promising to be faithful and true, we became soul mates. We are bound to one another, the two that have become one, until death parts us.
We have a common goal, a mission that unites us. We have been called to lead each other to heaven. And now that we have children? We’ve accepted the call to lead them to heaven too.
My husband was never meant to fully satisfy me. He was not meant to complete me, to fill every hole in my heart. Yes, he complements me, and he and I work in sync by acknowledging both our strengths and our weaknesses, but he does not complete me. He does not fully satisfy me, nor do I satisfy him.
The only person who can fully satisfy me is God.
The only way we will be completed is by welcoming God into our hearts, our marriages, and our lives. As I’ve often heard it said, there is a God-sized hole in each of our hearts that only God Himself can fill. My husband was never meant to fill that hole. As the early Christian Augustine wrote, “My heart is restless until it rests in you.” We will never be fully satisfied by our husbands. To place that burden on his shoulders is unfair to him, and honestly, it’s a recipe for disaster. He’s not God after all.
My husband is not my perfect soul mate, and I’m honestly okay with that. I know that I’m not perfect, so I can’t demand it from my husband either. We both want to reach perfection, but we are happy to know that we’ve been given ample grace and mercy when we inevitably fall short. We strive to be better, to do better, and even if my husband is not my perfect soul mate, I am blessed to be walking this journey to heaven with him by my side.