Reader Question: I'm happily married and expected to live out my life with my husband. He is attractive, fun, and a great dad. I love him. Recently, I met a man I believe is my soulmate. I don't want to hurt my husband, but feel so alive and complete with this new man. I wasn't looking for this at all and don't know what to do. If I stay with my husband will I give up the chance to ever be with my soulmate? If I leave my husband, he and our children will be terribly hurt. Why is this happening?
There is no easy answer for this question, and you are to be commended for feeling through this situation consciously and doing your best to be considerate of everyone’s feelings. It also applies to much than *just* your marriage.
First, a little Big Picture perspective...There’s a myth about soulmates that they are always romantic partners. That’s the only kind of soulmate most of us know about, but the truth is romantic partners are only one variety. Each and every person we encounter is a soulmate of one kind or another. There are many different kinds and they serve many different purposes, all with the primary function of helping us awaken and return to original love. Family, friends, colleagues, even enemies and victims are our soulmates. That means both your current husband and this new man are your soulmates.
What most of us think of as a soulmate is more popularly called our Twin Soul. Our Twin Soul is more accurately a "lost" or fragmented part of our soul. (In fact, you are ultimately your own Soul Twin, but that's beyond the scope of this article. For more on Soul Twins, read "Soul Mates and Soul Twins - What's the Difference?")When we meet a person who feels like that "lost" part of ourselves, we feel the connection like a puzzle piece slipping into place. Often when people experience an instant chemistry, they mistake it for that Twin Soul connection, but chemistry and homecoming are distinctly different. One is external, the other internal.
To further muddy the waters, we can also get that homecoming feeling from a Companion Mate. (Check out The Many Types of Soulmates for more on the types and roles of soulmates.)
My guess is you believe this new man to be your Twin Soul, but let’s consider other scenarios as well.
The first question for you to ponder is whether this man's appearance is serving some other soul purpose in your life. Clearly, he has made a profound impact and is here for a profound reason. Regardless of why he has appeared, he is a wake-up call and catalyst, his appearance signaling that a change of some kind is on the horizon. It’s up to you to dig beyond the surface feelings and figure out what that change is. Here are a few possibilities:
- The new man may indeed be the mate you have spent this life preparing for and it is time to kindly and respectfully depart your marriage, doing your utmost to maintain a cordial, loving, and supportive relationship with the family you have already created and obviously care for.
- He may be another kind of soulmate, perhaps a teaching mate, bringing a wake-up call to refresh your current marriage. Perhaps it has become a little too comfortable to the point of being a bit stale and routine, even if you were not aware that was happening. Your attraction to him may be a reflection of your own subconscious boredom. Consider the possibility that his role as soulmate is to catapult your current marriage, not draw you away to a new one.
- His soulmate role may be to help you become free so you can enter an intense personal growth phase or be ready and available when your true romantic soulmate appears. In this case, he may even become your new husband or partner for a while, but the relationship is more likely to be a stepping stone.
- He may be a wake-up call that your husband is experiencing some dissatisfaction of his own. Your husband may have felt mostly content just as you have, yet is sensing there could be something more. Perhaps this man is showing you what your husband yearns for, how he longs to interact with you, and who he could be with a little different interaction from you.
- It’s also possible that your husband's romantic destiny is not you, but that you need to be the one to take this step to lovingly clear the way for him.
The greatest gift this man is giving you is an opportunity for deep introspection and soul-searching. In four of the five possibilities above, he is not your Twin Soul, but is still triggering a crucial awakening for you. Perhaps these questions and thoughts will help.
- Are you willing to end your marriage knowing things may or may not work out with the man you’ve met? What if it turns out he is not The One, but is serving another soul purpose, even if that turns out to only be a brief moment of intense chemistry? Consider the possibility that this man may not become your new husband or partner. If his soulmate role is to help you in some other way, he may be in your life temporarily and you may very well have several relationships, even painful relationships, before meeting The One. Are you up for that? Are you prepared to face life alone, possibly for years? Are you ready for dating as an adult, perhaps losing friends and respect? Are you prepared for a different relationship with your children? Ending any marriage creates consequences as well as rewards. Are you ready to deal with them?
- If this man makes you feel alive, is it the novelty of someone new or is this genuinely different? That’s nearly impossible to answer for most people in this situation because all they can feel is the adrenaline. Try your best to step back and consciously assess what you are feeling. Remember, meeting a Twin Soul feels like connection, not just chemistry.
- Even though you fully intended to stay married, has your marriage become routine and dusty? Could meeting this new man be a wake-up call to spiff things up? Did you feel a similar deep connection with your husband in the beginning? If not, what did attract you and is that still valuable to you both? If you were currently experiencing this same connected feeling with your husband, whether or not you felt it in the beginning, would you even consider leaving him for this new man?
- Is it possible to generate or re-generate a similar level of excitement and connection with your husband? Can you reignite the spark with him? Or is it time to acknowledge this deepest connection was not the basis for your relationship and compassionately move on?
We marry for many reasons - some good, some needy. Even when we marry for good reasons, not all are founded on the profound soul connections we ultimately crave. Your marriage may have been the perfect relationship for each of you at that time, but one or both of you may have outgrown that stage. Most couples don’t grow at the same rate, though some are able to use that in their growth as partners.
There are also cases where one partner wants to grow and the other prefers to stay right where they are. If you are the partner hungering for change, even if that is a sudden unexpected hunger, you may not be able to return to your former contentment and must ask what that will do to your marriage and your hasband. If your desire to evolve has become a propelling life-force, staying may end up harming this man you love who has been your good partner and the father of your children.
The Giver becomes the Receiver is one of life’s most fundamental truths and its purest embodiment is in relationships. What could you give (attention, affection, assistance, for example) to your husband in order to receive the relationship you desire in return? How do you think your husband would respond to the “new” you? If after experiencing the New You he is still perfectly content the way things were or does not want any change at all, how will you respond?
You’ll want to look at this from another angle as well. Ask yourself how you would feel if the tables were turned and your husband had met someone he believed to be his soulmate. How would you want him to handle the situation?
None of this personal growth perspective should come as a surprise, yet it usually does. We accept developmental stages for physical growth and would never fault an infant for not being able to eat a steak or walk or talk. Personal development is much the same. And just as growing pains accompany our physical growth spurts, emotional pain comes hand-in-hand with our personal growth.
Believe it or not, there are no wrong answers here from a soul perspective, though there are unhelpful ways to go about navigating the situation. You can only do your best to determine what is the best course for you, accepting that self love and self care (not selfish love or selfish care) are essential. You have received a cosmic kick in the pants and clearly an action of some kind is required. I’m glad you are taking the time to thoughtfully consider what action to take.
Your first priority is to decide what you want to do with your current marriage before acting on this new soulmate opportunity. As a conscientious person, you can expect some agony through this process. Whether you decide to stay in your marriage or go, you will need to help your husband and children through this shift. If you do decide to dissolve your marriage, there will also be practical issues to consider. Will you be able to take care of your financial and emotional responsibilities to your family? They will be counting on the loving commitments you already made to them. Will you and your husband be able to work out a cordial relationship? Will you be able to collaboratively parent your children? Are you willing to go the second mile, accepting the personal responsibility to make this transition as smooth as possible, understanding that pain for those you love is almost assured?
The truth is we can meet our romantic soulmate at any time under any circumstances. We make relationship choices every day, though not all are as life-changing as the one you face. In some cases, we automatically know the best response. Others require tremendous soul-searching and are bound to cause upheaval.
You asked whether you would miss out forever on being with your soulmate if you decide not to act on this opportunity. The answer is “no.” You and your Twin Soul will ultimately reunite regardless of the choice you make here. You may have been united already even if you are now being blinded by the stories you are telling yourself about your current husband and this new man. Regardless, many soulmates will appear i your life, some romantic, others not, all designed to speed you on your way to your return to original love.
You’ll notice the “answer” to this question is more questions, questions only you can answer. Regardless of what you decide, things will be different from this point forward. You will not be unchanged by this experience and neither will your husband, children, or the other man. You must make the decision you believe is in your own soul’s best interest, then do your absolutely best to make it as painless as possible for everyone else involved.
If this man is indeed your Twin Soul, go for it. But please do it in a kind, compassionate, conscious manner. And remember, being with your Twin Soul does not mean there will be no ups and downs. You will not be immune from natural human experience and can expect to experience challenges, awakenings, and healings. In fact, everything that still needs healing in either of you will most definitely come up. But with your Soul Twin, you will also experience the true meaning of “The Two become as One” and will have each other to help navigate the rest of your awakening.
UPDATE: Over a year later, this post is still gathering comments and private messages. Please check out the newest post on this same topic: I Think She's My Soul Twin, but We're Both Married
Anne Wade is Teacher, Writer, Mentor, and Coach for courageous women in midlife and beyond who want to disrupt their own status quo and design life on their own terms, even in turbulent times. She has developed the Becoming Found process of going within to find and address the inner barriers we have all inadvertently built up against love, happiness, health, wealth and any other desires of our hearts. Teaching women to unapologetically shine like a superstar and live their legacy is Anne’s mission.
You can follow her on her Facebook page “Anne Wade – Becoming found” or join her “Becoming Found” Facebook group.