General chatter - Interesting relationship question...




Lambiechop
12-19-2011, 04:29 PM
If you could have your soulmate and children but no one else in your life (no family, friends, etc. just casual acquaintances) would you take it? Or if you could have friends and family and a spouse that you knew wasn't right for you but never "the one" would you take that? Just curious. My husband and I were discussing it today.


lissvarna
12-19-2011, 05:14 PM
I think we focus so heavily on romantic relationships (in western culture) and really forget how rich and wonderful non-romantic relationships can be.

I love my boyfriend and all of the romantic relationships I've had have been rich, wonderful experiences, however... My friends and family mean so much to me. I'd pick all of them over "the one", if I had to make that choice.

4myloves
12-19-2011, 05:28 PM
As long as I have my kids, I don't care.


Amy8888
12-19-2011, 06:43 PM
Right now I feel like that is my life. I moved away from my family and closest friends and the friends I made in grad school have graduated and moved away. I have 3 kids and I just don't get out much. I seem to be okay with if but it would be nice to have more close friends near me.

BeachKitty
12-19-2011, 06:50 PM
I gave up almost everyone in my old life for "the one". Best decison I ever made for myself. I later found out my so called amazing friends were not even close to being that.

kaplods
12-19-2011, 07:04 PM
If you could have your soulmate and children but no one else in your life (no family, friends, etc. just casual acquaintances) would you take it? Or if you could have friends and family and a spouse that you knew wasn't right for you but never "the one" would you take that? Just curious. My husband and I were discussing it today.


It's a trick question, because anyone who you would have to sacrifice all current and future close relationships for, is an abuser not a soulmate.

CrystalZ10
12-19-2011, 08:49 PM
It's a trick question, because anyone who you would have to sacrifice all current and future close relationships for, is an abuser not a soulmate.

I don't think the question was meant that way?

Lambiechop
12-19-2011, 09:08 PM
I don't think the question was meant that way?

It really wasn't. In my case my husband and I only have each other and our children. We have parents but they have moved on with new spouses and children, we don't have any close friends (neither of us), our siblings are so self involved that we have virtually no relationship with them (my kids don't even know they have some aunts and uncles) and we live across the country and across the world from most of our family.

It's not like we're hermits and don't have work and neighborly acquiantances but for the most part we're all we have. By choosing not to have all sorts of outside interference we lead a pretty drama free life, no one questions our relationship or our parenting skills, we don't have to constantly put out fires in other people's lives, etc.

I'll have to let my husband know that we're in an abusive relationship though. Too funny. I'm not keeping him from anything or anyone and the same goes for me.

astrophe
12-19-2011, 09:33 PM
I went through a period of lonely where I had just spouse and child. I love them both dearly, but that early infancy SAHM place was rough and tiring. I like it much better now that child is older, I can get out to volunteer, we're active in church etc.

Though the second choice struck me as off. If not "the one" why marry them or stay married? Can still be with friends and family as a single.
A.

Lambiechop
12-19-2011, 09:47 PM
I worded that way because a lot of people I know just settled because they were afraid they'd never get married and even more people who got married because they were pregnant and it was the "right" thing to do.

astrophe
12-19-2011, 10:22 PM
I worded that way because a lot of people I know just settled because they were afraid they'd never get married and even more people who got married because they were pregnant and it was the "right" thing to do.

I figured. But I don't think that would be a choice for me. Wrong partner is wrong partner. Much easier to be single. Life is long. I wouldn't want to spend decades married to the wrong person. Not fair to the other person either.

"Ok, honey. I settled for you even though you are not right for me so I don't have to be an old maid."

It cheats me and partner out of a chance at real happiness.

A

shr1nk1ngme
12-19-2011, 10:23 PM
I would choose friendship however I could get it. If my soulmate was truly my best friend, I'd probably be OK with that. If my mate was less than perfect match, but I had true, lasting friendship in my life, I'd find the marriage more tolerable.

Not sure which I'd prefer. I suspect ultimately I'd rather have friends.

kaplods
12-19-2011, 10:39 PM
I know the question wasn't meant that way - but it's still an impossible choice - both choices are extremely bad ones. No matter which you chose, you'd be in a very bad spot.

I think the "soulmate" as in "I need no one else" is a huge myth. Just as people will literally go crazy in extended solitary confinement, they also go crazy when they have close relationships with very few people.

Ironically, I tend to run on the hermit end. I don't need as many close relationships as my husband does (and yet I still have at least a dozen I wouldn't part with, even for my husband).

It's romantic to believe that you'd only need one other person in your life, if it was the right person - but it doesn't really work that way. The fewer close relationships people have, the less intimate they tend to be with their partners as well.

The question is a bit like asking "which would you prefer: to be killed by firing squad or electric chair?"

It may be entertaining to consider the question, but my answer to both questions is "My preference would be neither."

indiblue
12-19-2011, 11:20 PM
I think we focus so heavily on romantic relationships (in western culture) and really forget how rich and wonderful non-romantic relationships can be..

This is a really good point. I live in India where marriages are mostly arranged, even among wealthy, urban young adults. Your spouse is just another member of your family, not the starry-eyed "we found each other and decided to stay together" mentality in the West. Some people are not even really friends with their spouse. He/she is someone with whom you procreate and combine family wealth. It's not even someone with whom you manage a household and make decisions, since a newlywed couple rarely lives anywhere else besides in the home (and under the thumb) of the husband's parents. Arranged marriage love is described as one that develops over years or decades. It happens because you get to know someone and spend a lot of time with them, and thus begin to care about their well-being. It's quite different from the concept of romantic love we have in the West.

The institution is not for me, but my point is that in many countries there is no concept of a soulmate/life partner. A spouse is never "the one" but someone whose caste matches your caste, who (if you are male) can afford to marry you, and whom astrologers deem appropriate for marriage based on star signs. In these cultures, they get along just fine without a "soulmate" or life partner they picked.

Unna
12-20-2011, 02:28 AM
I'm not sure if this "soulmate" concept is helping anyone. I've known many "soulmates" who couldn't make a relationship work longer than a few months! Also, after one has had many different relationships, it is easy to see how different people are good for you in different ways. There are a lot of good people in the world. Some fits are better than others, but no one is ever a perfect fit - there will always be trials and tribulations.

I am in a similar situation as you (minus the kids). My boyfriend and I are also best friends, but it is clear to me that he's not enough. I'm still trying to make good friends here, but that is really really difficult, esp. as you start getting older (I'm almost 30). People in this range already have their friend circle, families, and careers. Yeah- it is lonely and I'm trying not to go insane (thanks kaplods!). I do miss my parents and family back home, but they are in a strict religion that I don't fit into, so its not really a possibility that I return. In addition, my best friends in America are scattered all over the country now.

I'm not going to have a big friend circle, wherever I am. I think a lot of people are in this situation. I think sometimes we have to love what we have, be thankful for the simple things, stay positive and realize that we will eventually meet those good friends. It comes with time.

I was quite depressed upon moving here because of my 'sad' state of friends (namely, I had none). I eventually sort of got over it. I think this website also helps me stay in communication.... I mean I would rather be able to have these discussions in the physical world, but right now its not an option.

In the end, I take what I can get.

sacha
12-20-2011, 07:13 AM
When I was childless, the idea of just a soulmate and children would have appealed to me.

When I became a mother, I realized how important extended family was. My sister stayed with me for one week and I cannot overemphasize the value of having other women around to help with a baby. It was the best week of my life. We are meant to use a village to raise a family. The idea of supermom doing it all on her own, no thanks, that led to postnatal depression to me.

While some may laugh at the arranged marriages and other institutions of more 'traditional' cultures (ie. Indian as indiblue talks about), I am simply in awe of the female family support that the mother get (and later give back when they are elderly). I lived in a city with a 50% Indian population and those women never used daycare, there simply was no need, there were too many grandmothers/sisters/aunts/cousins available to help. IMO, that's doing something right.

Chubbykins
12-20-2011, 07:21 AM
I never had a choice on the matter. As soon as I found my first and still lasting partner my whole family abandoned me one by one.
They were all so used to me patting their egos with my miserably plenty free time that they could not tolerate me finding some personal happiness.

You can choose your partner, but you can't choose family. I consider myself a person of logic so I prefer the first by far.

My miserable, divorced, spinster sisters tried to ruin my relationship with no basis at all and my parents believed them instead of me because they were two and I was one. Well I still want them to be happy and successful, but as far as possible from my life as can be.

I never before had so much confidense and success in my life than now a really nice person (my partner) supports me and not my selfish family, who called me fat when I was 120 pounds and an athlete, who called me naive when I was the only one who never got drunk or smoked,... who called me sheepish when I brought the best grades in the house.

ArtyKay
12-20-2011, 10:25 AM
You know...I was in a situation a few years ago where I chose. I didn't have to, nobody forced me, but I was engaged to a man that my parents didn't approve of for various silly reasons...mainly I'm their only daughter and nobody would have been good enough for me.

It took me moving away, marrying him, and basically distance for them to realize that he was really perfect for me and they couldn't ask for a more loving, amazing man to be with their daughter...and that he makes me HAPPY.

My family will always be my family but my partner is the most important person in my life. I need my family, but I need him more.

CrystalZ10
12-20-2011, 11:44 AM
You know...I was in a situation a few years ago where I chose. I didn't have to, nobody forced me, but I was engaged to a man that my parents didn't approve of for various silly reasons...mainly I'm their only daughter and nobody would have been good enough for me.

It took me moving away, marrying him, and basically distance for them to realize that he was really perfect for me and they couldn't ask for a more loving, amazing man to be with their daughter...and that he makes me HAPPY.

My family will always be my family but my partner is the most important person in my life. I need my family, but I need him more.

Well put!! We can't choose the family we are born into, and sometimes the location we live in, or job situation we are in, might keep us from having any close friends, but WE pick who we want to date/live with/ marry.

I don't beleive in Soul mates. I have a sister who abuses that term. Every man she meets is her soul mate, and bam, two weeks or a few days later, the relationship is over.
My husband and I are both strangers to this area we live in. Our families live far away from us, and he is social in nature. If they lived closer, we would be around them a lot more, and I would welcome having them around too. But the sad fact is, that with our work schedules and everything else going on, we barely get out much. We spend most of our time with each other, and my stepdaughter, and cats, and we are still very happy.

I can take either situation, but as of now, its being with my husband and child and not much more. lol Still if someone tried to take that away from me and in return give me lots of friends, and fun, I wouldn't be happy without him being around.

krampus
12-20-2011, 12:01 PM
This is an interesting question. I have many friends who I love and care about, but they all seem to be pairing off and forming their own little nuclear units that I am not a part of. My family is #1 to me, I love my parents, but they are older and won't be around forever. As I get older I can see why people pair off and start families - it's the security of knowing you won't have to be alone or struggle for friendships.

Sinoia
12-20-2011, 01:36 PM
My answer is yes simply because my partner and I are pretty much an island. My family are estranged and her family is not close. Whenever family did get involved it was stressful and, quite honestly, I am happy they are not involved in our lives at all.

I have tried over the years to establish a relationship with my sisters (my parents and brother passed away) but I had to face the fact that the whole blood is thicker than water thing just does not wash. I had to ask myself if I would want to be friends with my sisters if they were not family ... and the answer was `No way!' They are just not the sort of people I want to know. It was a relief to let go.

cfan
12-20-2011, 07:59 PM
I never had a choice on the matter. As soon as I found my first and still lasting partner my whole family abandoned me one by one.
They were all so used to me patting their egos with my miserably plenty free time that they could not tolerate me finding some personal happiness.

You can choose your partner, but you can't choose family. I consider myself a person of logic so I prefer the first by far.

My miserable, divorced, spinster sisters tried to ruin my relationship with no basis at all and my parents believed them instead of me because they were two and I was one. Well I still want them to be happy and successful, but as far as possible from my life as can be.

I never before had so much confidense and success in my life than now a really nice person (my partner) supports me and not my selfish family, who called me fat when I was 120 pounds and an athlete, who called me naive when I was the only one who never got drunk or smoked,... who called me sheepish when I brought the best grades in the house.

I have a feeling that is a mirror of my family. I would choose the soulmate option in a heartbeat. I know that my "family" never supports me, abuses me, and dislikes me, so why choose them over someone who would love me? I want a place where my soul can rest peacefully, and not be beaten and torn apart by hate and anger (just today my 27 year old sister, older than me, threaten to cut my throat--her favorite threat recently). I have been essentially an adult for most of my young life, and would give up family in a second to find happiness, loyalty, and love.

I don't put much stock in communication with others/family--don't have much in that way now anyways. I can talk to my soulmate, children--even the tv or plants if I have to. I don;t really talk to people anyways that much--I have gone days without really talking to others, and haven't missed it. I could always hire someone(like a maid) or join a group (PTA, book club, gym class) if I want to be social outside my soulmate/kids.

So, overall, for me, the Soulmate/children Option is obvious and the easiest choice in the world for me...even easier than choosing what color socks I am going to wear.

Arctic Mama
12-21-2011, 01:19 PM
My husband and kids come first, and my mom hates that we live so far from her and she cannot easily visit. But as an adult who chose to belong to and with my husband (it's mutual ownership ;) ) I made a conscious decision, upon marriage, to leave my mother and father and join with him. So if we decide, as a family, that we need to be in a situation where we are isolated from other people and family, or where we move further away, that's just what we have to do.

That said, that is NOT why we live where we do and I love my family - I just refuse to try and own a business or raise my kids in the state they all live in. But my legally-chosen and birthed family come first. That said, even with distance I would never cut my family out of my life without a darn good reason - extended family and friends are very important, just not as crucial as the people in my immediate care.

DesertTabby
12-23-2011, 05:08 AM
Very fascinating question, especially since I do come from a place that emphasizes family over 'soul mates' and the concept of western love is not expected. While we don't have arranged marriages like in India, we have expectations that you will marry someone with a social status similar to yours that your family approves of* (if they aren't the ones who set it up in the first place! Sort of like having your mother pick your blind dates if you will. You can still say no of course.) Heck, the first time you give birth you're expected to move back to your mom's place for the first forty days so she can teach you how to raise your newborn infant and to help with the feedings (this also teaches your sisters/siblings how to deal with babies too.) Hubby doesn't get to come with either!

I have never been in a relationship that made me consider abandoning my family; most of my experiences were either flings (since I knew I wasn't going to marry them) or long distance (which means there is always that niggling doubt in my head that made me never take it seriously.) So perhaps my reluctance in abandoning my family is because I never had that earth-shattering love affair - but then again I can be incredibly pragmatic, perhaps too pragmatic to believe in soul mates or the one and only.

I have come across a few that I have loved in the past, but none so much that I would risk my life for. My family on the other hand, well, I've been blessed with those who would do anything for me and so I expect I owe them the same respect and love that they have given me. I am also very close to cousins, aunts, grandparents, my sibling's in-laws, etc. Its a large network that can feel like a web - traps you in one place to the point of suffocation at times (especially when its TOM!) but still gives you everything you need to survive in comfort and contentedness.

*Interestingly enough the younger generation seem to be affected by the notion of 'soul mates' and finding 'love' in the occidental sense thanks to globalization. Some embrace it and some backlash against it however.

MissGuided
12-31-2011, 05:27 PM
Like BeachKitty, I made the decision to leave my family and friends to be with the one I love. It was the best decision I have made. I grew more as person & have accomplished so much that I would have never dreamed of had I stayed listening to what they felt was best for me.

GobabyGoGO
01-25-2012, 11:11 AM
I have no interest in having children and I don't believe in soulmates. I'm not monogamous so I can't imagine giving up my chosen lifestyle for a life I don't want.

philana
01-26-2012, 03:08 AM
Sometimes I worry I am one of the weirdest people on the planet. Haha. I am very much a loner. Which doesn't mean I don't have friends, I have a bunch of really good friends that I see a lot. But I am single for years now, and don't care much for it.

Looking at my future, I think even if I did get into a serious relationship - I would want to maintain my own household. I depend on myself for comfort and fun in life and so far it is working well for me. I don't really understand this need that people have to find a soulmate and start a family. People tell me since I am 12 (that's how long I've had this idea to atleast stay childless) that time will change that. But I am almost 27 and nothing has changed.

I guess what makes me different is that I am ambitious and I travel a lot. I love meeting new people and I hate being in the same life-situation for too long. If you settle down with some one, you can't do all those things, and those are the things I enjoy so much in life.

So, I'd choose neither. I'd choose myself and whatever people I meet along the way.

knoxie
01-26-2012, 03:56 AM
I don't have kids or a soulmate and whilst I hope I'd never have to make that decision I think if kids were involved it would be a no brainer for me. Don't get me wrong, despite an unpleasant childhood I love my mom and dad (I don't care much for my sister but you can't choose family right?) but if I had my own kids I'd choose them every time. The soulmate comes with that package in the original scenario right? In which case I guess he's chosen by association :D