Soul Mates

Naiah wrote a touching description of her marriage on the occasion of their anniversary here. It is well written, and I could never write something like that if for no other reason that a fear of sounding ‘sappy’. Reading this got me thinking about my own marriage.

I have what I feel is a very good marriage. Significantly better than what I suspect most marriages are. We understand each other, support each other, accept each other, love each other, yada, yada, yada, we have a good marriage. Hopefully that doesn’t sound to sappy. I think I’m going to use sappy a lot today. I’m not certain my marriage is perfect, but what is? For example…

My wife and I were watching TV together a few weeks ago. She was watching some sappy made for TV chick flick (the worst kind) probably on lifetime. And during commercials she would switch it to a basketball game I was interested in probably on ESPN. When we were watching the show on lifetime I would make good natured cracks about how sappy the show was. And when we were watching the game she would make cracks about how meaningless and stupid sports are. This went back and forth for some time. Then my wife looked at me, and I looked at her. Our eyes met and we just stared at each other. Was she fed up? Is she mad? Is she about to say ‘I love you’, should I kiss her? What? She finally broke the silence by saying rather flatly.

‘We aren’t exactly soul mates are we’.

She could hardly keep a straight face, and I fell to the ground laughing. Maybe this is something that you have to be there to understand, but with our playful banter preceding this it seemed very funny at the time. Every time I do or say something that I feel might embarrass my wife I picture her saying the same thing again.

Do you have to be ‘soul mates’ to have a good marriage? Is there even such a thing as soul mates?

Spencer W. Kimball gave a classic talk on marriage which you can read here. It contains this quote on soul mates.

While marriage is difficult, and discordant and frustrated marriages are common, yet real, lasting happiness is possible, and marriage can be, more an exultant ecstasy than the human mind can conceive. This is within the reach of every couple, every person. Soul mates are fiction and an illusion; and while every young man and young woman will seek with all diligence and prayerfulness to find a mate with whom life can be most compatible and beautiful, yet it is certain that almost any good man and any good woman can have happiness and a successful marriage if both are willing to pay the price.

6 Responses to “Soul Mates”

  1. 1 Naiah February 27, 2006 at 6:48 pm

    “if both are willing to pay the price”

    That’s what it comes down to, really, isn’t it? Robert is, in fact mysecond husband. I married my first (a truly dear friend) on this idea. In time, though, as differences crept to the surface, my capacity to pay that price dwindled for reasons I won’t go into now, it became too much.

    Robert (my husband) and I have had a long and tumultuous history, going all the way back to when I was 14 and he was 17.

    We are each one half as maddeningly different from the other as night and day, and one half a perfect symphony of sympathy.

    I suppose we are soul mates in as much as we are willing to live around and accomodate the differences, support each other as we grow and change, communicate enough to keep that growing and chaging flowing in some sense of harmony. You guys just might be, too–the fact that she *did* switch it to the game during the commercials is a pretty good indicator.

    It’s all in how we tolerate and celebrate the differences.

    (Sorry it took so long to get to this. As you can imagine, I’m a little swamped right now under FMH stuff. I was so happy to get your comment. Between you and Guy and Stephen, it felt awesome–like my posse was there and had my back! hahahaha!)

  2. 2 Eric Nielson February 27, 2006 at 7:41 pm


    I’m glad to get your positive response. I hope you know that I was not mocking your post in any way. I wish you well in your marriage and with the whole FMH thing.

  3. 3 Naiah February 28, 2006 at 10:04 pm

    I didn’t think you were making fun at all! It didn’t even occur to me, not a bit.


  4. 4 Eric Nielson March 2, 2006 at 9:39 pm


    The bishop just called and asked my wife to speak in sacrament meeting in two weeks on the topic of:

    Secrets of a Happy Marriage!

    He said, and I quote, ‘You and Eric seem to have a very good marriage’.

    HA! Not exactly soul mates indeed.

  5. 5 Naiah Earhart March 3, 2006 at 12:59 pm

    Excellent! Like I said, she *did* flip the channel to the game during the commercials–that’s like a majorly good sign! šŸ˜€

  6. 6 Eric Nielson March 3, 2006 at 1:32 pm

    Perhaps that is the secret to a happy marriage. A remote.

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