When You Find Your Soulmate at the Wrong Time
What Should You Do When You Find Your Soulmate at the Wrong Time?
When you find your soulmate at the wrong time, it can be incredibly exciting and yet very challenging. You feel deeply connected and blissful when you are together, but you can’t really be with your new love for any sustained period of time. Oh yeah, but you’re married. And/or he is. Because of this complication, the heartache, the longing, the suffering is immense and at times, unbearable. Virginia Woolf puts it this way in To The Lighthouse:
“To want and not to have, sent all up her body a hardness, a hollowness, a strain. And then to want and not to have — to want and want — how that wrung the heart, and wrung it again and again!”
That quote captures what happened to Clarissa, a 40 something hospice nurse. Clarissa was in turmoil because she had no clue as to what to do when you find your soulmate at the wrong time. She was in a sexless marriage to a workaholic architect. As a super caretaker with her patients, her kids and her husband, she pushed her own needs to the back burner.
Clarissa Meets her Soulmate
That is, until she met Carlos, an earthy lovable guy who joined her hospice team as a social worker. Clarissa and Carlos hit it off instantly, sharing their daily work, inspiring each other to find the laughter in life, and sharing their sorrow when beloved hospice patients died. Carlos was naturally physical and affectionate and, as they grew closer, one day, a single touch from his sensitive fingers set her soul on fire. She knew in this instant that they had a soulmate connection. And from the look in his eyes, so did he! Carlos made her a playlist of songs he loved and they all turned out to be love songs. Clarissa fell madly in love with this man. One hug, one kiss on the cheek from him was enough to make her day. She dreamed of him at night and he entered her fantasy life big time.
Clarissa felt she could not break up her family since her kids were under 10. She wondered, how can you cope when you find your soulmate at the wrong time? She was dying to have an affair with Carlos, but felt like it was against her morals and religion.
Clarissa Seeks Help
Clarissa decided to go into love mentoring. Her coach helped her understand that she was not getting her wants and needs met in her marriage. And this was in part due to her not asking for her own needs to be met. At a certain point, Clarissa’s husband, Ed, joined the coaching sessions. In one of these sessions, Clarissa explained how unhappy she was in the marriage and that she was thinking of having an affair. This disclosure stunned her husband.
Ed began furiously working on himself. He started to court Clarissa, and took her on dates that rekindled the old romance that had bonded them years ago. One night they had wild sex in Clarissa’s office. Clarissa began to fall back in love with Ed. She told Carlos that she had to work on her marriage and could no longer pursue a relationship. So in the end, Clarissa did not have to break up her family for a new lover. And she developed a passionate lasting love with her very own husband.
Perhaps, like Clarissa, you have met someone where the sparks flew but either you are married, you and your soulmate are both married, or he is. So of course, you’re wondering, what the heck do you do when you find your soulmate at the wrong time? We’ll consider all three scenarios.
When You Meet Your Soulmate at the Wrong Time: Case 1- If You’re Married
It is common to want to have an affair when you are married and you meet your soulmate–even if your marriage is not that bad! The sparks with this person can be extremely intense and seductive. Obviously, this is not a great idea, as it could cost you your marriage and your family if you have kids. Affairs are devastating to all the members of your family, especially on your children once the affair surfaces (most affairs do surface!). As the kids find out they can get very resentful, angry and pull away from you. For years. There may be financial losses as well. Plus, the guilt and shame you may contend with are only the beginning of many other complications and losses that come from having an affair.
Instead of acting on your impulses, it is usually best to try to take that exquisite energy that you are feeling with the new guy and see if it can be cultivated in your present relationship. I know it seems impossible but in my clinical experience it’s not. Your journey begins with owning and expressing your own needs to your spouse. And learning how to be real and authentic in your relationship. Then even a “dead” marriage can transform into a vibrant one. Especially if it becomes clear to both spouses that it could be lost. Almost all couples need help making it through this critical storm. So it is best to find a coach or marital therapist who knows how to help couples move to the next level of passion and love during and after a crisis.
The Costs of Losing Your Partner: An Exercise
Here is an exercise that can also be very helpful when you wonder, what do you do when you find your soulmate at the wrong time? I call it the Roller Coaster to Love: Fast-Forward to the Cost of Losing Your Partner.
Imagine that your relationship falls apart and your current partner or spouse is now married to someone else. The other person is enjoying all the perks of being with him. You have the cloak of invisibility and can watch as your partner wakes up with his or her new spouse, shares intimate moments, great meals, hot sex, and goes shopping for their new home. What would you be most envious or jealous of? What would tear your heart out? Journal about these things.
Remember, your partner is alive and it is you who is currently the beneficiary of all his or her goodies. If you can add the spark of passion and being in love all over again, you might be able to have it all! If not, at least you can say you gave it your best shot. And then make decisions about whether to leave the relationship or not. Plus, whether or not you have a real opportunity to be with your new soulmate.
When You Meet Your Soulmate at the Wrong Time: Case 2- If Both of You are Married
This situation is much more complicated. Your new soulmate may have kids. You may have kids. Odds are very slim that you both can work out all the marital and parenting issues. And extricate yourselves from your current families. And come together in a peaceful or fulfilling way. If you have an affair, one or both of you may be racked with guilt and shame. His children and/or your children may become upset, resentful, angry and act out if the affair becomes known. Or explosive fights may break out. Or one or both spouses evict you and your married soulmate from your homes. Your friends may reject you. And if you change your mind and want to go back to your marriage after the affair you may never be able to accomplish family reunification. Remember, married guys, no matter what they say, rarely leave their wives for other women.
It is wise to protect yourself from what could be a demoralizing future. Instead, use this emotional event as a trigger to get you to work on your marriage. Get help from a coach or marital therapist and distance yourself from this new guy. Cut off any contact that will stimulate your longing for him. Turn your attention to your husband and marriage. Begin to work with the Cost of Losing Your Partner exercise.
Work On Your Relationship
You may be able to have it all in your marriage–soulmate passion and marital and family security. If you work on things in your marriage and it doesn’t move forward, you can feel good about doing the right thing. Then, if you decide to separate from your spouse, do not fall headlong into an affair with this new soulmate. If he wants to leave his marriage and says he want to be with you, wait until there is an actual separation! If and when he separates, that is when you can date this new soulmate. Each of you can feel like you had the integrity to give your marriages a fair shot and are now free to move forward.
Case 3- If He’s Married
Sometimes women question what to do when they meet a hottie who is married. The love sparks may be flying. But he’s already married. In this scenario, even if your new love interest says he will leave his wife for you, chances are slim that he actually will. And, once again, though you are dying to have an affair with him—it is best not to get started down that road! Or if you are already having an affair with him, put the brakes on it. We’ve seen countless coaching clients who have wasted years of their lives waiting for a man to leave. It is rare that he leaves the wife especially with younger kids, even when there is a passionate soulmate connection.
I’ve seen women who’ve accepted being the other woman for years and it’s not pretty. But go ahead; it’s only your life.
But if you want to minimize the suffering when you find your soulmate at the wrong time, it is best to pull away from your married soulmate. As you do so the pain of withdrawal from your addiction to him may hit you. If you are in an active state of heartbreak, you need to take action. Get support from a coach or therapist. Begin to protect yourself. Do not text, e-mail, phone, or contact him. If he contacts you, do not respond. If you have the slightest contact with anything to do with him, it will fire up the love-addiction process. Which, in turn, makes you want him more and cause you more suffering and pain.
Healing After the Break Up
The most powerful way to hasten this healing process is to get out there and date. This will take your attention off your married soulmate much more quickly. Take other actions that will offset the messed-up brain chemistry of love withdrawal. Distract yourself from thoughts of him by taking on new challenges at work or going on a trip. Take that Improv or Tai Chi class you have been dying to enroll in. Exercise while listening to your favorite music (not love songs!). You will get over the loss of this soulmate connection. And you will find a new soulmate who is actually available for you! We’ve found there is more than one soulmate for each person. So there is another soulmate out there for you too.
You can use this whole drama of love and loss as a vehicle to make things better—much better for yourself. For much more on what you can do when you find your soulmate at the wrong time, pick up a copy of Love in 90 Days. And you will come out way ahead in your love life!
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Dr. Diana Kirschner
Diana Kirschner, Ph.D. is a relationship advice expert, frequent guest psychologist on The Today Show and the creator of a globally available dating coach and Love Mentor® program. Dr. Diana is also the best-selling author of the acclaimed best-selling relationship and dating book, “Love in 90 Days”. Love in 90 Days was the basis of her PBS Special on love. Connect with Dr. Diana through her Dating Tips & Relationship Advice Newsletter.
“Diana Kirschner’s work is life-changing, love-affirming and wonderfully effective.”
~Dr. Christiane Northrup, Internationally bestselling author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom.