Posted by: Alton Rocker | July 8, 2011

Marrying Your Soul-Mate?

This article was written by our friend Heidi Barrier.  Heidi is a pre-marriage counselor and works with our Twogether in Texas couples.  She is also a certified Prepare/Enrich provider.  We appreciate her insight and know you will to.  We look forward to your comments.

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Have you found your “other half”?

Your “soul-mate”? 

Many of us long to feel the excitement of finding the one person in the world that was made specifically for us.  The idea of a soul-mate is very romantic.  Novels and movies often tell of two lovers, tragically separated, that spend their lives searching to find one another.  Then, when they finally meet again, there is a rush of excitement and joy, because we all know that they will go on to enjoy a perfect life together.  But do they, really?

The belief in marrying your soul-mate has invaded popular culture and has replaced the traditional idea of marriage.  Traditional (or institutional) marriage is based on a union of respect, duty, obligation, and shared values.  Spouses believed that family cohesiveness and success was more important than individual desires.  This type of union encouraged stability and longevity.

The soul-mate model of marriage is based more on the ability of a person to experience an intense emotional relationship.  The spouses’ emotional desires are paramount, even if it negatively impacts the family unit.  The problem with this marriage model is that is it impossible to maintain that high emotional intensity experienced in the beginning of a relationship.  Once the fire of love is no longer roaring, a spouse can become disappointed, disillusioned, and start desiring to experience that romantic high again…often with another “soul-mate”.

During the 1960’s, the traditional view of marriage slowly began fading in the culture.  With this change came ramifications that effected marriage, children and society.  For instance, in 1970, the marriage quality experienced by both spouses had fallen and the divorce rate had significantly risen.  Since 1974, over 1 million children a year have seen their parents’ divorce.  Furthermore, cohabitation has dramatically increased over the last 40 years-from 439,000 in 1960 to 6.4 million in 2007.

While the idea of marrying your soul mate may seem ideal, it is also unrealistic and could have serious consequences.  What is realistic is having a marriage based on mutual respect, shared values, and putting the family first.  With the effects of divorce being so devastating, having a lasting and stable marriage sounds pretty romantic to me.

http://www.californiafamilycouncil.org/institutionalmodelvssoulmatemodel

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Responses

  1. Great post! It really puts in a great way how we have felt about marriage and divorce. The statistics were informative as was the entire article.

  2. Kendra, thanks for your feedback. Your encouragement is important to us. Our goal is to keep providing informative articles that encourage strong and healthy marriages. We look forward to hearing more from Heidi.


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