It’s 10:30pm and I am in bed typing this out on my laptop. I am alone, but not lonely. Such a contrast from 6 years ago when I had someone beside me in the bed, but still ached for companionship.

I have an awesome partner and soulmate now, but he works out of town a lot, which explains my solitude tonight. But these days I am embracing both scenarios. I love the time I spend with him when he is here, and I love the time I spend with me when he is away. And it blows my mind to be able to say that. I have come soooo far.

There are so many things in my life right now that I am grateful for, and I often say a little prayer of thanksgiving. Because I remember when it was different, when things weren’t so great, and I was not so happy. When Glenn & I met 4 years ago my life changed and I have not looked back. But I don’t believe that he & I were the magic combination, rather I believe that we were both ready for something different and better and lasting. We were at the same place at the same time.

It is safe to say that Glenn & I have a pretty deep soul connection. Even though we didn’t know each other for most of our lives, when we talk about the past we see similarities in our journeys. Things that make it easier for each of us to understand the other’s past and also to deal with our situation now. For example, we have both dealt with addictions. My first husband was a drug addict and my second was an alcoholic. Ironically, Glenn is both a drug addict and an alcoholic, and has been clean and sober for over 15 years. He is very familiar with the AADAC and NA worlds, and he also knew, when he met me and learned of my past, that there would be challenges involved with being in a relationship with me. Because he knew of them and expected them, things were a bit easier and we found a depth of understanding and commitment that both of us had not known before.

When we met, to say that I had some baggage would be an understatement. To say that I was a bit flawed would also be an understatement. My journey had taken me through two marriages and a few other relationships, and for various reasons obviously none of them had worked out. But I think that the last 10 years had been the hardest. I was in my second marriage and doing everything that I could possibly do to make it work and it still didn’t. Slowly I felt my self-esteem slip away from me. I shied away from friends and family because I was ashamed of our situation and didn’t want them to see. And I tried so hard to understand why he wouldn’t want to get help for his addiction for his family’s sake and his own. Dealing with those unbearable moments when he was drunk and would curse at me and call me names in front of our kids, or when I had to call the police because things got out of hand, or lock myself in the washroom to be safe. The day my son, who was about 15 at the time, grabbed a knife to protect his mother was the day something inside me clicked and I knew changes had to be made very soon.

I went to an Al-Anon meeting and listened as a lady told her story of living with her alcoholic husband. She was my age, but looked at least 10 years older. And that night she was upset because her son was following in her husband’s drinking shoes and had just rolled his truck after a night of indulging. That testimony solidified my decision to leave, but I came out of that relationship with some pretty deep emotional scars and insecurities, some trust issues, and no sense of self-worth.

I did a lot of soul searching and praying after the demise of my marriage and another short-lived relationship that followed. I knew what I wanted, and I started to understand that the reason I was not finding it was because there was a part of me that didn’t believe that I deserved it. I was punishing myself for mistakes that I had made in my past. There was a pattern and the common denominator was me.

I have discovered that I do deserve to be happy and will settle for nothing less. I have also discovered that it starts with me. I have stopped just accepting what happens to come my way and instead I choose what to accept and what not to accept. I no longer allow myself to play the role of the victim.

Every self-help piece of literature will tell you that you have to become what you want to attract before it will come your way. My situation was different in that Glenn & I met while I was just starting my long journey back to emotional sanity. I choose him to be the most soulful person in my life right now as he was able to see through the person that I was to the person that I could be. And my journey back has been easier because of his support and encouragement. But there is more about him that would make him deserving of that title.

Glenn’s life has not been smooth and easy either. He lost his Dad to cancer at an early age, and his Mom also died of cancer later in his life. Glenn was involved in a serious car accident about 11 years ago that should have claimed his life as well, but he survived and spent months in rehabilitation re-learning to do things like walking. What really impressed me about him was his sense of loyalty to his friends and family. He is a very generous soul, always willing to lend a hand when needed. He also actively sponsors addicts that are working through the 12 step program, something that he is very passionate about.

I am so pleased with our relationship now. This is new territory for me. And I am making a conscious effort to do things different than I have in the past. You know that saying, you can’t expect a different outcome if you are doing things the same as before. So I am more open about what I am feeling, which is easier because Glenn has told me that I can talk to him about anything. So far that has been true. Fulfilling each other’s needs is important, as well as finding out what these needs are. And Glenn has never belittled me when I express my needs to him. That did happen to me in the past, so it is another thing I appreciate so much about him. When your spouse or partner opens up to you about what they need, you should never ever tell them that they are wrong or stupid or crazy. Everybody is different and we learn and grow by accommodating the needs of others.

My soul and I are becoming more and more attached to each other. I know that sounds funny, but when I was going through my tough times I detached from my soul. It was easier to deal with my circumstances that way. When you’re hurting too much it just becomes easier not to feel. Now, I want to feel, and I want to feel all of it. The happy, the sad, the excitement, the disappointment, the peace, the fear, the love and the dislike. It’s all good. I am also finding that my soul is open to the feelings of others. I am more empathetic and sympathetic than I used to be, and my sense of intuition has been heightened. I am finding that my soul likes it when I experience life at a slower pace, and when I take the time to thoroughly enjoy the things that I find pleasure in.

If you know a couple with a special love story to share, we’d love to feature it—just contact us Mali & Joe, authors of The Soulmate Experience: A Practical Guide to Creating Extraordinary Relationships