Several years ago after my ex and I had been separated for about six months, we decided to try a reunion. He had been doing some work on himself, so I felt like I owed him that much. In retrospect, a sense of obligation is really not a good reason to try a reunion. When I told a close friend that my ex and I were trying a reunion, his immediate response was, “You don’t seem very happy about that.” The only thing I could say to him in response was, “It is what it is.” He had definitely read the situation correctly. Three days into the reunion, I already knew that the relationship was not going to work out. Everything about the reunion felt wrong to me. It only lasted about a week, and then I came down with influenza, a clear sign that my body wanted nothing to do with this reunion, either. After a little over six weeks, we both agreed it had been unsuccessful. I don’t see that reunion as a failure, though: The experience very clearly taught me that reuniting with him was the wrong thing to do for me on many levels. It helped keep me free of other reunion fantasies as the divorce proceeded.
In the past decade as my beliefs have changed and grown, I no longer believe that we only have one soul mate. I believe we have many. I also believe that romantic relationships are meant to end eventually. While some of the romantic connections we make may last for an entire lifetime, others are only meant to last for part of our lives. To separate or divorce is not a failure. It’s simply an acknowledgement that you have completed your journey together and are ready to move on to different challenges. Many times we will unite again with those same lovers in other lives as we continue to share a love and work on issues between us that we haven’t resolved. In this life, I've had the privilege of knowing at least two men whom I was partnered with in past lives. With the one, we are only friends and have no romantic connection in this life. However, we share a soul level love between us that creates a unique and powerful relationship. From this perspective outside romantic love, we've done a great deal of healing work on our past and present lives together. I consider it an amazing blessing to have reunited with him as a friend in this life rather than as a lover.
I'm not alone in these beliefs about romantic relationships not being meant to last forever though the predominant view in our Christian society says otherwise. I recently came across an internet article entitled, “15 Real Marriage Vows I Should’ve Made on my Wedding Day.” By far, my favorite vow is the last which reads, “And if one day we realize that the most loving choice in our marriage is to part ways, to grow in different directions, with different experiences, I promise to be okay with that. While I'll never threaten divorce out of anger or fear, I promise to be honest about the health of our marriage, and to ALWAYS hold love and kindness for you in my heart.” This is a healthy view of romantic relationships that I endorse; I love how the author has phrased it so beautifully.
I still have a soul level love for my ex-husband. I always will. He was someone very special to me for a large part of this life. However, he no longer needs to be in my life in that way. Our relationship will never return to what it once was. Even if we wanted it to, there’s no way it could because neither of us are the people we used to be.
© 2015 Elizabeth Galen, Ph.D., Green Heart Guidance, LLC