“Another helpful adjustment is to drop the idea of finding a soul mate. “We have this mythological idea that we will find a soul mate and have these euphoric feelings forever,” says Chapman. "In fact, soul mates tend to be crafted, not found."
- Gary Chapman, author of The Five Love Languages
Soul Mates, and All That
My husband’s affair partner once told him they were soul mates. When I asked him if he concurred, he replied “That’s what she thinks.” It made me think about the concept of soul mates and I ended up in a place very much like Chapman’s.
In my opinion, the idea that someone is ‘perfect’ for us just by being themselves, is a myth. In the case of this affair partner, perhaps a myth placed on top of a fantasy, to justify trying to steal someone else’s husband. It assumes a ‘happily ever after’ just by being together. That’s just not how healthy, joyous relationships work. Marriage research shows clearly that euphoric feelings lessen for 97% of couples after the dopamine of infatuation wears off (at between 24 – 28 months into the relationship.) And then it becomes about overtly nurturing your connections.
In relationships impacted by ADHD, this nurturing typically has to be even more thought through – schedule time to be together, don’t just assume it will happen (too much distraction for that!) Make sure to keep doing new and challenging things together to connect. Work hard to optimize ADHD treatment so that inconsistency doesn’t hurt your relationship. Avoid falling into parent/child dynamics at all costs (this takes work by both parties!)
But with all that – you may be able to end up saying, as my husband and I do, we are with just the right person. Is that a soul mate? Nah, but I don’t feel I need a label beyond ‘really, really happy.’ And both of us plan on doing the work to keep it that way.
You can find great resources for couples impacted by ADHD at adhdmarriage.com, including free:
- Online treatment overview;
- Downloadable chapters of my books;
- A community forum with other couples facing similar issues;
- A large number of blog posts on various topics;
Is your relationship in trouble? Consider my highly acclaimed couples' course: ADHD Effect In-Depth Couples' Seminar - This 8-session phone seminar has helped many couples thrive in healthier, happier relationships. Starts September 2018.