We are soulmates, but can we make it?

Five years ago I met my soulmate. We are soulmates, but can we make it? I love him so much, he is the greatest guy I have ever known and at times I feel like I cannot live without him. But when he gets stressed I get put on the back burner and he tells me he just needs time to himself. He later explains it by saying that he can’t take the stress of a relationship at the same time with the other stresses he is dealing with.

I understand that he is stressed and I know I make the situation worse because I put pressure on him to decide whether he wants to be together or not.

We end up breaking up, not talking for awhile. Eventually when things calm down a month or so later we talk and try to work things out. This has happened three times and this time we really don’t know what to do.

To add to it we really are different people. He likes to go out and party all the time and I do not. He truly is a people person and likes to go out for the crowd, so he does not understand my thinking at all.

Even through all this each time we fight we still say we feel like we really do want to be together and I know we do. But this has taken a major toll on our relationship (or what is left of it). We know we love each other so much but we realize love is not enough and don’t know how to fix things.

We try to talk but talking doesn’t fix our differences. When we get back together we do try really hard to communicate and work things out and we do a great job for a while, things are wonderful for about a month or so but before you know it we are back to our old ways fighting all the time.

He says I get mad at him about any little thing. I don’t mean to, I feel like he just has a real hard time understanding me and I am not good at communicating what I really want because I put myself aside so much.

If we have made it through almost six years, 2200 miles apart, two trips apart while he was stationed over seas, and through some major changes in our lives, we feel like we should be able to hang in there until things get better.

We love each other too much to waste a lifetime without each other. We want it to work forever, but we have not gotten married yet, although we’ve talked about it a lot, because we are terrified of divorce. We would much rather figure things out now than later in life like so many people we know.

We don’t know how or if we can make it. What are your insights on us? Can you help us please?

Did you really meet your soulmate, or just a good candidate?

When a relationship begins with a bang, it’s tempting to think you’ve met your soulmate. But a breath-taking start must be followed by genuine staying power, or soulmates soon turn into cell mates, then ex-mates.

Meeting someone with major “wow” is only step one. Call such a person a soulmate candidate. But will they get elected? Will they become your lasting soulmate? This takes more than magic or fireworks.

No matter how great a honeymoon, all relationships encounter challenges. The road to happily ever after includes an occasional rock to trip over. Or boulder.

The difference between couples who enjoy lasting love, and those who fall by the wayside, is not the absence of problems. All couples meet obstacles on the path. The difference is in how they work with such challenges. Some couples face issues, embrace fears or discomfort, and operate from the best in themselves. They learn, grow personally, and are open to change. These couples prosper and become real-world soulmates with solid staying power.

What signs say you might be with a soulmate? A breath-taking start is a giant motivator to get involved, and a kind of emotional glue that may help you stick together through hard times. But ultimately, love alone is not enough.

A longterm relationship requires learning and growth, or it will stagnate and die. Specifically, both people need to do the learning, and both people need to grow as individuals.

Hence, the other thing to look at in a potential partner—and in yourself—is how someone responds to difficulties. Are they open to learn, grow and change? Or do they react by blaming others, getting defensive, or closing down? In the final analysis, this is what will determine the longevity of joy, passion and true love.

Once in a great while, life introduces you to a potential soulmate. The best of all worlds is where the two of you, seeing the rarity of such a meeting, commit not only to sharing ecstatic joy. You also commit to staying open when times get tough, learning and growing in the face of challenges. Then you can create a partnership between two souls who truly expand and blossom in each others’ presence.

Being open to learn and grow is how to succeed in a longterm relationship. Whether they initially call themselves soulmates or not—many couples fall in love, but split up later because they end up blowing it—and do not have the right tools to deal with problems—and they never open themselves up to learn what they need to know in order to overcome a problem.

We know all this from personal experience. Even though we are counselors, we are also human, and we are a product of our society, which does not educate people to succeed in love. In a real sense, we are all taught to think and feel about love in a way that leads us to fail in longterm relationships.

We are taught the soulmate myth, for instance, which has us believe our soulmate will provide us eternal happiness and the absence of problems, difficulties or upsets. How does this prepare us to learn and grow in the face of such challenges? We are blinded by a hopeful fantasy, and given no tools to work with a real-world relationship. This myth affects us, even if we know better intellectually.

We knew better intellectually. Hey, we were counselors!

When we first got together as a couple, we fell in love and had a great time. Then, like all other couples, we ran into difficulties. Like most couples, we did not know the right tools to overcome our problems. So they got worse. And we almost didn’t make it. But since we had already failed painfully in previous relationships, we decided to do something different this time around.

We accepted the fact that our unsolvable problems were telling us one very important thing—that we each needed to learn new and better tools for communicating and for working through the uncomfortable feelings that seemed to be blocking us.

We decided to view problems as “opportunities for personal growth” and stop blaming each other or trying to get the other person to change so we would feel better again.

We had to learn to turn things around from the inside out. By looking at what a problem was telling us that we needed to learn. And after a solid year of doing this, things changed dramatically for the better.

After a decade of living this intentional relationship, we started calling each other “soulmates”—and it is not based on wishful thinking. We know deep in our bones this is so. We have the track record. We have faced big hurdles and discovered how to use them to move us forward.

If we can give you one thing here, it is to say that we did learn ways to turn things around. Positive ways that succeed.

And if we could do it—then so can you. The only question is how.

We think we can give you some major help in that department. We invite you to learn from what we found in our search for solutions. We would like to share with you tools and skills that we have found to be practical, effective, and that get positive results.

Based on over 20 years of working with couples to heal their relationships, I have written an e-Book you can download off our website. It offers step-by-step tools and strategies:

• Learn how to change patterns that damage love.
• Heal and overcome old baggage that holds you back today.
• Improve communication skills to get effective results.
• Work through and soothe difficult or upset feelings.
• Create a powerful shared vision as a foundation for overcoming problems and building solid trust.

You can get the same material in my printed book: Relationship Tools for Positive Change