By: Cristina Trette
People talk about searching for their soulmate and twin flame. Or finding that one special person they are meant to be with, who is ultra compatible, and ultimately, “the one”. On an spiritual level, I see why it may be important for two particular people to come together. I like to believe that my partner and I have come together for a reason far greater than ourselves. My partner and I like to talk about our soul mate essence.
But the idea that there is one exceptional partner out there - a perfect match, complete compatibility, someone we will never fight with, someone we will experience nothing but bliss with - is where “the one” or "soul mate" thinking goes wrong.
What happens if you think you find the one. So you decide to get married. But after years of being together, and raising kids, you stop having sex, start fighting all the time, and notice that you are mostly miserable?
Do you conclude that your partner is not the one after all and start searching for someone new?
Or, do you stay in the relationship and use the challenge as an opportunity to look inside yourself and re-create love?
The reality is that unless we deeply explore the struggles we face in love relationships, we are highly likely to have similar relationship difficulties with future partners.
Almost all love relationships have a predictable trajectory: Happiness. Followed by conflict and struggle. Followed by happiness. Followed by conflict and struggle. Followed by happiness.
It is during the conflict and struggle stages that couples are given an incredible opportunity to learn and grow.
And this process is likely to happen over and over again.
What I know from my work is that the couples who have the healthiest and strongest relationships, are the ones who stay together despite the struggle. And, the ones who use the struggle itself as an avenue for self and relationship development.
I am not suggesting that anyone stay in a relationship that is not safe. There are legitimate deal breakers such as being in a relationship with someone who has ongoing untreated addiction, affairs, or abuse.
But I am suggesting that when conflict comes up within love relationships, there can be immense meaning and purpose in this. Our pain shines a light on the exact place within us that needs tending to and exploration of.
I will end with this quote by Tom Robbins,
“We waste time looking for the perfect lover instead of creating the perfect love”.
Cristina Trette, MA, LMFT is a busy mother and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Her passion is centered on helping couples and parents create thriving relationships, families, and wellbeing.
Follow Cristina at: