What determines whether two people can create a good, long-lasting marriage? Is there such thing as a soul mate?
I've been thinking about this a lot the last couple of years. My husband and I have been married 11 years, and together for 14. Our relationship is better now than it's ever been. And each year it gets better.
What's interesting, is that if I were the person I am today when I met my husband 15 years ago, I don't think there is any chance we would have hooked up. And vice versa. We were in the right place, at the right time when we met. And as we spent time together, we changed. And now, we are different people. We are the people who we need now.
If the two of us were single today, and we met today, we'd totally hit it off. We'd be perfect for each other. That's been true almost since the beginning. And although we've changed, we've never lost the overall feeling like we're a good match.
We've been through rough times. We've seen the worst of each other. And we got through it. A lot of it was sheer determination. Part of it might also have been, at some moments, lack of any compelling reason not to at least try. Part of it was life circumstance kept us together. Part of it was the ability to see each other's true self while really upset with each other.
But ultimately, what it boils down to, I think, is that we both just wanted it to work.
When two people come together and both people want to have a good relationship with the other, that's the magic formula. Once one or the other looses this desire to figure out how to do that, then all the other variables fall by the wayside.
It's not common interests or similar perspectives or being together a long time. All these things can be there, and yet a relationship fails.
There's no way we can make another person want to be with us. All we can do when we are in a relationship is decide whether we want to make our relationship good. And work towards that. And when the other person does too, then it works out.
That's what keeps my husband I together, ultimately. We both want to keep our relationship good. We do it in our own way, for our own reasons. But as the years move on, we keep wanting that. We keep striving for that goodness that we so often find in each other.
Oh, and it doesn't hurt that he's totally hot :)
What do you think? What keeps people together for a long time? Is there such thing as a soul mate? If so, why is it that so many people find their soul mate among the billions of people that live on this planet? Why do some people who search so long, never find someone who they could live with?