Should I marry my soul mate if I’m already married?

Recently, I posted a comment that has gotten a lot of attention and sparked several discussions over on Mrs. P’s blog.  In it, the reader writes: “I met my soul mate at 44. I am married and am having a very hard time deciding whether I should go back to see my soul mate and spend the rest of my life with him or stay in my marriage and keep the family happy but endure the pain of loosing my soul mate. What should I do? Wouldn’t God want me to be happy?”  I asked Mrs. P to address her question, publicly, while I privately answered some questions specifically addressed to me (privately because she asked some very personal questions.)  As I mentioned, it sparked some interesting conversation on Mrs. P’s blog.  Once again, I feel that this issue is to important to get lost in the comments section.  So, I’m bringing my part of the conversation  here.  To read all of the comments in their original format, check out the article “Wouldn’t God Want Me to be Happy?

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As a culture, we’ve bought into the idea that there is only one “soul mate” out there for everyone. We’ve bought into “the supposition that God has somewhere out there that one person exactly right for each of us to find and marry. Hence widespread and heightened anxiety that ‘I might be making a mistake,’ for well you might if there is only a single person genuinely fit for you in a world of several million. This is searching for a unique needle in a haystack full of needles” (1). We take no account to the idea that a person can BECOME our “soul mate,” with effort and commitment. Even worse is the lie that a marriage is somehow “less than” if we haven’t married our “soul mate.”

But what if marriage isn’t about finding our soul mate in the first place? C.S. Lewis, in his book The Screwtape Letters, writes from the perspective of a demon ridiculing our culture’s obsession with romanticism. The demon gloats: “Humans who have not the gift of [sexual abstinence] can be deterred from seeking marriage as a solution because they do not find themselves ‘in love,’ and, thanks to us, the idea of marrying with any other motive seems to them low and cynical. Yes, they think that. They regard the intention of loyalty to a partnership for mutual help, for the preservation of chastity, and for the transmission of life, as something lower than a storm of emotion.”

In his book, The Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas writes: “What if God didn’t design marriage to be “easier”? What if God had an end in mind that went beyond our happiness, our comfort, and our desire to be infatuated and happy as if the world were a perfect place? What if God designed marriage to make us holy more than to make us happy?”

He goes on to write: “marriage is one of many life situations that help me to draw my sense of meaning, purpose, and fulfillment from God. [My wife] can’t make me happy, not in an ultimate sense… We need to remind ourselves of the ridiculousness of looking for something from other humans that only God can provide…. The first purpose in marriage- beyond happiness, sexual expression, the bearing of children, companionship, mutual care and provision, or anything else – is to please God. The challenge, of course, is that it is utterly selfless living; rather than asking, “what will make me happy?’ we are told that we must ask, ‘what will make God happy?’ [Paul writes]: ‘those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again’ (2 cor 5:15)… Happiness may well be beyond [us] but spiritual maturity isn’t – and I value character far above my emotional disposition.”

Does God want me to be happy? I’ll answer that this way: God wants me to be blessed. I married a man with whom I have a holy history. I married a man to whom I made a vow before God to love and to cherish and there is no relationship I have with anyone else that will ever be as sacred as the one I have with him. Including a relationship with my “soul mate.” Nothing and no one will ever bless my life more than living inside the will of God, and God’s will for me is my marriage.

“What God has joined together let no man separate” (Mark 10:9).

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(1) Why Christians Have Lousy Sex Lives

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Related Articles:

I Didn’t Marry my Soul Mate

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On Romance and Love and Not Marrying My Soul Mate and an Attack on Poor Mr. Darcy

I can’t have more than one best friend! Can I? And wait… isn’t my husband supposed to be my “best” friend? Maybe not…

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4 Responses to Should I marry my soul mate if I’m already married?

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