My husband and I were best friends for a very long time before we became intimate. Ours was not a relationship based on being swept off our feet and becoming deeply entangled in romantic love. And, when we decided to become intimate, we lived together for a year and a half before we committed to marriage.
As we were both elder children in very large families with many siblings, adopted children, foster children and cousins to raise, and as we had done a lot of that raising of the younger children, and as we would be continuing to do that and to help them financially as well, we shared the mutual desire not to become parents.
We respected and trusted one another. We shared the same ethical and moral base. Our attraction, affection and shared goals and dreams proved to be the fertile soil in which our love grew.
During the time we lived together we attended pre-marriage classes and explored all of the possible issues and situations that could happen in a marriage and how we would resolve those issues. Next we explored what the basic legal requirements of a marriage contract were and we wrote our own vows. We also created wills and “living wills” as well in case one of us became unable to make their own medical decisions. Then we planned and paid for our own very small and intimate wedding in advance. Lastly, we sent out invitations that stated our desire for the presence of those whom we had invited and made it clear that we did not desire to receive any “presents”.
Taking it slow
I wanted to be sure that my best friend and proposed future husband was truly able to accept me as I was, and fully understood the complexities of my health issues, as well as, my desire to remain independent and free to be myself, to stretch and grow or to wither and stagnate by my own choosing. I knew that without our inherent respect for and trust of each other in relationship, we would be unable to grant each other freedom to treat each other with respect and equality, and to be encouraging, supportive and resilient through all of life’s changes.
I sent him away many times over to form relationships with other women before I agreed to become intimate with him, and to explore the possibility of us committing to a life long childless, but mutually supportive and loving relationship.
The one and only one soul-mate myth
None of our friends, who married at the time that we did, had a relationship like ours. They proved to be unable to love the one they were with over the long term. They fell into love and lust, married and most had kids, and then most found they were unable to remain in relationship, so they and moved on to form new relationships. Only 3 other couples that we know from that time are still together today.
I do not believe there is one and only one romantic, sweep you off your feet soul-mate out there for each of us. I believe holding onto that “one and only one soul-mate” belief means that we overlook the other possible partners we could form mutually supportive, and loving long term relationships with.
- Ideas, theories and beliefs are not necessarily truths.
- A belief is not an idea held by the mind; it is an idea that holds the mind.
- We don’t see things as they are; we see things as we are.
Statistics reveal most of those who did experience marriages to romantic, sweep you off your feet partners “soul-mates” that they thought would “complete” them ended up in 6/10 cases breaking up and moving into another relationship, and another and another ( serial monogamy).
Unfortunately, most also choose to have children to “complete” them before their relationship had been tested, and had proved to be likely to remain sustainable over the long term.