It must not be enough to destroy solid, traditional, moral values. Apparently we must celebrate their opposite.
Here is a truly amazing piece from the Weddings/Celebrations section of yesterday’s New York Times (hat tip, K-Lo). (Ironically?) appearing under the subheading Vows, here is an excerpt:
But it was hard to ignore their easy rapport. They got each other’s jokes and finished each other’s sentences. They shared a similar rhythm in the way they talked and moved. The very things one hopes to find in another person, but not when you’re married to someone else.
Ms. Riddell said she remembered crying in the shower, asking: “Why am I being punished? Why did someone throw him in my path when I can’t have him?”
In May 2008, Mr. Partilla invited her for a drink at O’Connell’s, a neighborhood bar. She said she knew something was up, because they had never met on their own before.
“I’ve fallen in love with you,” he recalled saying to her. She jumped up, knocking a glass of beer into his lap, and rushed out of the bar. Five minutes later, he said, she returned and told him, “I feel exactly the same way.” Then she left again.
As Mr. Partilla saw it, their options were either to act on their feelings and break up their marriages or to deny their feelings and live dishonestly. “Pain or more pain,” was how he summarized it.
By all means, “act on (your) feelings,” sir. Heaven forbid you, you know, “live dishonestly.” Oh, and please humiliate your spouses in the most-read newspaper in the world, while you’re at it. (Do go read the whole piece. I’ve left plenty of blow-by-blow for you to discover.)
You know, I just knew when I started reading it I’d encounter “soul mate” somewhere, and it’s there. Because, hey, how can you dispute that? If you’ve identified your “soul mate,” and that person doesn’t happen to be your spouse, then well, that’s a free pass to destructive self-indulgence, right there. It’s ordained! It’s fate! Who are we to deny fate?
If you are happy in your marriage and believe your spouse is your soul mate, then I salute you, and may God bless your union for all the eternities. However, if you additionally believe that, from billions of candidates on our planet, only that person could have been your soul mate (and your age exceeds 14 and your IQ 100), then you’re a fool.
Soul mates are made, not discovered. Unless we live in total isolation, it logically follows that we’ll continue to encounter reasonable candidates once in a while. It is a choice to explore such a reasonable candidate. (Gee, I think I said something about the absence of perceived alternatives once.) Avoiding said exploration can tug a bit, and might even flirt with wistful. But the bottom line is you don’t fall in love with a person without your sustained participation. You think honor and respect might have anything to do with love?
“For children love is a feeling; for adults, it is a decision. Children wait to learn if their love is true by seeing how long it lasts; adults make their love true by never wavering from their commitment.” – Orson Scott Card
So is your spouse The One? Or is your spouse just the best one you’ve found so far?