But just because attorneys may be pragmatic in their approach to marriage doesn’t mean they’ve lost all faith in true love.
“I’ve handled hundreds of divorces in my lifetime and I’m divorced myself. If anyone is a candidate to tell you that a ‘soulmate’ is a hokey, out-of-date concept, it would be me,” Morghan Richardson, matrimonial partner at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron in New York City, told HuffPost. “But as soon as I pledged to never get married again, I met my current husband. And as soon as I saw him, I knew that this was something special and something worth taking a risk on.”
We asked divorce attorneys if they believe in the concept of soulmates, how they define the term, and how their personal and professional lives have influenced those beliefs. Here’s what they told us:
People can have multiple soulmates throughout their lives.
“I do not think soulmates are preordained or that there’s only one soulmate per person. But I do think there are people that are absolutely perfect for each other. I just don’t think everyone finds that person or any of the few that may be their perfect soulmate.
Being a divorce lawyer could make me very cynical. It has done the opposite. It gives me faith in humanity and faith that people can go through terrible situations and still rebound and find love and happiness. I am an eternal optimist. Given what I do, it is a job requirement.” — Randy Kessler, founding partner at Kessler and Solomiany in Atlanta
Soulmate relationships aren’t effortless. They still require lots of TLC.
“It may seem strange that a divorce attorney would believe in the idea of soulmates, but I absolutely do. And I’m lucky enough to have found mine! But my profession has taught me that even if you’ve found your soulmate, you still need to consistently put time, effort and love into your relationship, or it won’t last.
Everyone wants to find their soulmate — the one person who they love and connect with more than anyone else on the planet. But what’s even more important than finding that person is being that person for the one that you love. When you can do that with your whole heart and soul, that’s when you experience the relationship of your dreams.” — Karen Covy, attorney, divorce coach and author of When Happily Ever After Ends, based in Chicago
A soulmate will challenge you and push you to mature.
“Infatuation, the way you feel in the honeymoon phase of relationships and the overall euphoria associated with new love, often make people mistakenly feel like they’ve found their soulmate. It’s such a subjective term, it’s hard to even know what people think is the true basis of this revelation. You feel like you’ve known him or her all of your life? You finish each other’s sentences? You want the same things out of life? You feel fate brought you together? Your life was empty until he or she came along? Yeah, OK.
I believe we need to redefine the term. A soulmate should be a person who challenges you to be the best version of yourself, encourages you to live your dreams, tells you when you’re wrong, holds you accountable and reminds you who you are when you’ve forgotten. A true soulmate loves you unconditionally and is the person with whom you feel a sense of emotional security. A soulmate should not have to be a romantic partner.” — Lauren Lake, attorney and judge on “Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court”
“A soulmate should be a person who challenges you to be the best version of yourself, encourages you to live your dreams, tells you when you’re wrong, holds you accountable and reminds you who you are when you’ve forgotten.”
Soulmates exist, but they don’t necessarily stay in your life forever.
“It is possible to find and marry a soulmate. But it may be that a having a ‘soulmate’ is a temporal thing. Shared values and common interests are what bring a couple together. But people evolve. Needs, wants and desires all change over time. Without nurturing the relationship and communicating, instead of evolving together, couples grow apart and yesteryear’s soulmate becomes a resented stranger.” — Daniel E. Clement, a divorce and family law attorney in New York City
Bad relationships help prepare you for when you eventually connect with a soulmate.
“When dealing with matters of love and the heart, I think it is important to recognize that bad experiences can be used for their silver linings: The good that comes from a failed relationship is in the lessons you learn about yourself — what did you expect from that relationship and what was your role in not sustaining that team effort? Figuring out who you are and what you want from your life and your relationships is never a waste of time.
That said, I would expect it is much harder to find a soulmate on the first try. I would be much less of a developed person had I not experienced divorce myself. Divorce can make you strong and can inspire such growth.
To me, then, a soulmate is really discovering someone who is worth investing in the time and effort that it takes to support a relationship through all the good and the bad. My husband makes love feel easy. I hope everyone can experience that sort of love.” — Morghan Richardson
If you expect your soulmate to “complete you,” then you still have a lot of work to do.
“A soulmate is someone who is ideally suited to be your life partner. What a lovely — and flawed — idea. Certainly, the “Jerry Maguire” idea that someone else completes you is not only false but destructive both to personal development and to relationships. The choosing of a life partner is serious business, and to be successful requires compatibility on many levels. Keeping the connection alive and vibrant doesn’t just happen because of some ethereal connection. Relationships take work and commitment and require flexibility and compassion from both people. Marriages break down when people lose the ability and desire to freely communicate their innermost thoughts and feelings.” ― Katherine Eisold Miller, founder of the Miller Law Group located in New York City and Westchester County
True soulmates are able to grow and change together over time.
“I do believe in soulmates. To me, a soulmate is someone who shares your ideals, values and vision for life. True soulmates grow together and learn to effectively communicate with each other and can manage any conflict between them so it doesn’t ruin the relationship. Soulmates empathize and truly want the best for their partner. It’s kismet!” — Jason B. Levoy, attorney and divorce coach in New Jersey
Some people misuse the term “soulmate” to justify their deceitful behavior in a relationship.
“In my professional life, I’ve only ever seen the term used by people who are having an affair, and it feels to me they are really just trying to rationalize their actions (both to themselves and others) by suggesting that a particular individual is their soulmate. I think they do this because ‘soulmate’ presupposes that they had no choice in the decision to cheat, no agency, and so they are without blame. The reality is that they made a conscious decision to act destructively. Further, most people who cheat rapidly lose the fire for a particular ‘soulmate’ and move on to others.
I do not believe there is only one right person, one soulmate, for everyone out there, and so I do not generally believe in the term. I have seen countless people, in my professional and personal life, who believe that after their divorce there will be no one else (thinking that the universe only provided them one true love) and they are all proven wrong. They all find happiness, even if that means redefining the word. They all find that there are many exciting and worthy people to connect with, that in fact the universe provides countless wonderful choices.” ― Carolyn “CiCi” Van Tine, partner at Burns Levinson in Boston