How to Find the One.

Via on Feb 14, 2011

Kiss me by Scented_mirror, on Flickr

Photo: Mariana Amorim

The One Lives Inside of You.

Just over 20 years ago I thought I had found The One. He was tall, strikingly handsome and extremely charming. He was intelligent and sensitive. He liked cats for goodness sake! He was a lover of children, took long bubble baths and was willing to give up watching football–for me!

“Oh my God,” I thought, “I have found The One!” I just couldn’t believe that I was his One too. Me? I never thought I would ever be anyone’s The One, let alone this smokin’ hot, super-sensitive, funny and charming superman! It was a drug more powerful than any I have ever known.

Anything I wanted to do he would do. Anywhere I wanted to go he would follow. We moved to Maine, we traveled to Spain. We got married (okay, that one took some convincing), bought a house and had a baby. I started a business and he became a house husband. I had a Mr. Mom and every woman was jealous of me. We lived in Italy, bought a cabin on a lake and had another baby. From the outside we were the envy of everyone who knew us, and even those who didn’t. We looked like we had it all: love, money, health and happiness. Over the years he told me over and over again, “you are the love of my life,” and yet, something was just not adding up.

In the early stages of our life together I recognized one powerful and important dynamic: I did not like the way I felt when this man spoke to me. I felt misunderstood, I felt stupid and most of all–I felt disrespected. I was young and hopeful, but the sinking feeling that I had in my body, mind and spirit when he spoke to me was so palpable that after one year of being with him, I had to say something.

“I don’t like the way I feel when you talk to me,” I told him, “and the only way to address this is to leave the relationship.” He was crushed. He cried and said he would change. He begged and pleaded for me to give him a chance. In the end, I couldn’t leave him. After all, he was The One. Finding The One means that there is no other. That’s it. The. One.

We began couples therapy and continued for ten solid years. Each therapist would say the same thing: “Well, it’s clear that the love is there,” but was it love, or was it just not wanting to let go of The One and end up with The None?

The years went on and he did not change, but I did. I became smaller, less strong. I felt so lucky to have someone to love me as much as he said he did. On top of that, he was able to see all of my flaws and was not afraid to point them out to me. He would make me a better person. He told me so often “you’re selfish” and “you don’t know what compromise is” and “you don’t know what it means to be in a marriage” and (the kiss of death), “you don’t know the meaning of the word compassion.”

How can it be that I simply did not see these things about myself? Over time, I couldn’t imagine that anyone would want to be anywhere near a wretch like me. Thank the stars above that I had him to make me likable, tolerable and approachable. Just being near him made me better and, like finding a needle in a haystack, I felt like I had won the relationship lottery. I had found The One and boy, where would I be without him? Still, I found myself questioning and becoming angry. I judged myself for this anger because he loved me so much. Why couldn’t I just be thankful?

Like a dog that is hit repeatedly, he eventually believes he deserves the treatment and so had I become. The questions still remained but I gave up on doing anything about it. Perhaps my greatest moment of learning acceptance was in my marriage. I accepted my life, my husband, my marriage and what I saw to be my future. Many years had passed. We had two children, a life, a house in Maine–and I saw that there was no way out. I was in it, together, with The One for the rest of my days. Trapped.

Like that aforementioned dog that eventually snaps, I had a moment of rebellion and turned on my husband. In one last expression of my voice I sat him down and angrily declared, “I feel like I am married to an asshole, and I do not want to be married to an asshole.” I mentioned a few instances that I felt were especially “asshole-ish,” and his response to my pronouncement was, “I’m sorry that you think I’m an asshole.” We got nowhere. After that I kept silent.

Six years passed and we moved to Boston. I had discovered yoga, had a personal transformation and began to find my voice again. I began to see that though he was my husband, he was not The One, I was. I saw that I was the one needing to find the light inside of me. Only I could cultivate that feeling of love and acceptance, and it came from deep within. I founded an organization that helps women in crisis see their value, their worth and their light.

Eventually the things he said to me had less punch and I chose not to let them hurt me. When someone hands you a fork, you decide if you want to put it to use, toss it aside, or poke yourself in the eye with it. And so it was with the criticism, belittling and sarcasm that my husband sent my way. I simply did not make use of them as I once had.

He did not approve. I did not care.

Seventeen years after I had met this man I made a shocking discovery. For all of these years, this man had been telling me that I was the love of his life, that I was The One and that he didn’t know what he would do without me. I had felt 100% responsible for his happiness. I felt that if I left I would be the most cold-hearted person alive. I would be destroying another person’s life. Yet for the entirety of our  marriage, all of the years that I believed that this man was so much better than me, he had been living a double life. For real. To speak of the details of this would be giving it energy that I just don’t feel it deserves. It is enough to say that when I retell the story to people, they usually respond with comments such as, “Your life sounds like a Jerry Springer Show!” And yes, it does. It has also taught me some incredibly powerful and beautiful lessons:

1. Trust your intuition:

My intuition was speaking loud and clear in that first year when I felt something that just wasn’t right. My head, my ego and my insecurities allowed me to doubt that intuitive voice, all because I didn’t want to lose The One.

2. Your choices in life will reinforce what you believe about yourself:

Though I was not aware of it, somewhere in my deep subconscious I believed that I was desperately flawed. Being with my husband helped me reinforce this belief. I chose to stay. It doesn’t mean the way he behaved throughout our marriage was okay, but if I did not on some level have a false belief about myself, I would not have stayed.

3. The One lives inside of you:

There is no Prince Charming, no winning the lottery or magic bullet. Life is a process and experience of joyful times and challenging times. When you have found The One deep inside of you, your ability to navigate through all of these times with grace, acceptance and continuous learning happens naturally. You experience a freedom and a love that you may have never thought possible.

So on this Valentine’s Day I will be telling The One that lives deep inside of me how much I love and appreciate her. Without her, my life would be empty.

About Suzanne Jones

Sue Jones, Founder and Executive Director of yogaHope has practiced yoga for over 15 years and is a leading voice in the subject of mind body practices for self regulation and personal empowerment. For the last six years Sue has trained, inspired and lead hundreds of volunteer yoga teachers who have donated their time in substance abuse rehabilitation centers, domestic abuse safe houses and homeless shelters for women. She dedicates much of her time to researching the effects of yoga and mindfulness practices on survivors of trauma and those suffering from traumatic stress response. Sue’s life and work have been profiled in Yoga Journal, The New York Times, Shape Magazine, Body + Soul Magazine, Martha Stewart Whole Living Magazine and on CNN Headline News.

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93 Responses to “How to Find the One.”

  1. cupid valentino says:

    very smart. very strong. very brave.

  2. Helene Rose helene_rose says:

    Beautiful! I join with you in the ritual of self-love this day and everyday.

    Helene

  3. iloveginger says:

    thank you for sharing this! outstanding piece- i am in tears. what a life this is! love!

  4. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sue Jones, Les Elephants. Les Elephants said: How to Find The One this Valentine's Day http://tinyurl.com/4l6m8de #elej [...]

  5. Suzanne Jones Sue says:

    I am feeling so touched and moved to have resonated with so many. Thank you, thank you. From my humble heart to yours on this Valentine's Day <3

  6. luminous_mortal says:

    Your words came at the very time I most needed to hear them, and I'm so thankful. Like yours, my story reads like a country western song with a really bizarre twist. Seems my husband and I fell in love with our own press a long time ago. We managed to coast on that until a dear friend of mine recently entered the picture and forced us to see what our relationship was really made of. After 30 years of marriage I knew it was time to take action. I'm now in the midst of divorcing, packing, moving, looking for work and dealing with breast cancer all at the same time — an emotional nightmare at times, and often paralyzing. Still, I'm so much happier knowing that a future on my own means I don't have to beat myself up one more minute trying to figure out how to make "the love of my life" happy. The best decision for me has been to strike out on my own, to create my own happiness, and to allow the husband and once dear friend to plan their life together without me as a witness. I feel great sadness at times, but there is also the knowledge that something good is coming. It's going to be phenominal…I can feel it.

  7. You write and feel beautifully, Sue.

    Bob W. Yoga Editor
    (Join Elephant Yoga on Facebook)
    Follow on Twitter

  8. Suzanne Jones Sue says:

    Thank you Bob. I think I'm making up for lost time :)

  9. Jenny says:

    I too thought I had found The One. Now I look back almost 15 years, and wonder if those tears that streamed down my face that night as I walked down the aisle to meet him were really the tears of joy that I have so desperately tried to convince myself they were. Here I am now in the midst of an acrimonious divorce and don't recognize the man he has become. I am sure in some ways, I am unrecognizable to him too. That's ok. Stepping out and making the decision to leave the marriage has been the one of the hardest and scariest things I have ever done. It wasn't a decision that I made lightly as we do have the most amazing daughter, and I kept convincing myself that it was "best for her" if we stayed together. But it really wasn't. How much more damaged she would be to see her parents constantly engaged in conflict. Now, I begin the process of slowly rediscovering myself and learning to love myself again and nurture my daughter through this painful process.
    Thank you so much for sharing your heartfelt story.

  10. Nancy A says:

    Sue, this post seriously took my breath away. It was so raw and strong. Thanks for sharing your story and the power you had to move forward. Wowsa!

  11. Maureen Miller Maureen Miller says:

    Sue, your last two lines are beautiful. Thanks for sharing so others may learn. xo

  12. jeni eileen says:

    Amen, sister!!!

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  17. [...] month later my world came crashing down. Actually it was more like a rapid dismantling which began with what I like to call the moment of [...]

  18. Katherine says:

    wow, intense. Red flags for me in my relationship from the beginning too, now I am facing up to the fact that I should have left years ago. Had to wait for things to get so miserable that I am forced to leave. I wish I would have listened to my intuition from the beginning and saved everyone a lot of pain.

  19. [...] accept the unwanted advances of men. And here’s the clincher: Eventually I had decided that I was better to stay in an emotionally abusive and dysfunctional marriage where I felt preyed upon by just one man, than to be out in the world and vulnerable to any number [...]

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  21. Suzanne Jones sue says:

    I appreciate your comments Ryan and in general I agree that there are effective communication tools that can be utilized in any relationship (friendship, love relationships, mother-child relationships etc) and I feel that I am skilled at using those tools now that I am out of my abusive marriage.

  22. nina says:

    It's sometimes difficult to listen to intuition when that conflicting "evidence" of The One is "positive" like romantic words and taking care of the kids; society hasn't taught us to look out for those signs. Thank you for listening to your intuition and sharing. So many of your thoughts and phrases I have experienced directly, almost word for word.

  23. This is beautiful and very timely for me…thanks so much for writing it. xoxo.

  24. [...] sky. Reach inside and see what’s there. Dare to do the thing you’ve been afraid to do. Be your own happily ever after. Live [...]

  25. Wow. One word: Powerful. It is too evocative, raw, brave and beautiful for me to really say more than that. Powerful. I am also a fellow EJ contributor and I am sharing this with my fan page, because I know it will resonate with thousands of people. I've shared it here: https://www.facebook.com/JeanniePageWriter

    Thanks so much for your brave, beautiful heart.

  26. Thank you for sharing. This spoke straight to my heart. I was just telling my self moments before I read this “You are enough. Exactly and perfectly enough.” Then I read this. Thank you.

  27. Hector V. Barrientos-Bullock Harleigh Quinn says:

    Also, there is not ONE mention of any attempt by you to make amends, apologize for anything you may have done, or make restitution, which would absolve you from any wrongdoing on your part, and thus place the onus entirely upon him.
    Thus even the "double life" mentioned could actually be a narcissistic projection.
    My wife told me she walked out on her ex. After speaking with him and KNOWING HE WAS NOT LYING, I learned she had been lying the entire time.

    Yes, I know this type all too well, so please forgive me if I only see this as a well designed narcissistic projection yet again.

  28. Lani says:

    Beautifully written and inspiring. In my work with survivors of domestic violence, I have often counseled women who are so beaten down that they forget who they are. So glad that you found your way forward and inward and now support others in empowering themselves, too. <3

  29. Hector V. Barrientos-Bullock Harleigh Quinn says:

    Okay, we aren't seeing a "theme" here?:
    http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/06/note-to-se

    Serioiusly?!?!?!?!?!?

  30. craig tindale says:

    its interesting there is almost no introspection of what was happening to him, you have dehumanised him, he has no name he is "the man" was there anything of any worth about him ? I find with a lot of these "stories" the narrative is pitched in a worthy and unworthy context, the assumption from the narrative is that the teller is the worthy one and the other "the man" (in this case) is assumptivly the unworthy one. Each relationship that ends has one of these stories, it doesn't matter whether its told from the male of female perspectives, each partner has a convincing narrative that they attach to the relationship, that casts they ex partner in shadow and themselves in light. We dont know what "the man" did, its likely it was somekind of long term deception as it cant be "told", he could have been gay, a child molestor, we dont know but to take the lessons you have from it , to me suggests there is more growth to unfold for you. Self awareness, love, self value are extremely important, although it seems this story is as much about you and what is within you, as it is about him. Youve concluded that very broadly that life is not about knights etc and you have defined a strategy that doesnt expose you to hurt again by casting doubt on the existence of a higher plane. The American cultures definition of successful relationships is very transactional, Ryan in another comment says its about getting your needs met, its a very self centric way of thinking. There are lots of beautiful loving thoughtful , beautiful and honest men out there as there are woman, dont have your world defined only by what you have experienced, to do so is very limiting. We can try and learn everything about the world through our personal experiences or we can broaden our practice to include the spiritual and philosophical teachings of yoga or buddhism, we can try and learn all through ourselves , or we can lean on 1000s of years o teachings to show us the path

    • Hector V. Barrientos-Bullock Harleigh Quinn says:

      Thank you.
      Though I have been less than tolerant or compassionate in my responses, this is exactly what I have been trying to evoke.
      Thank you for being an additional voice of reason.

  31. Hector V. Barrientos-Bullock Harleigh Quinn says:

    I apologize for the typos.

  32. omairsaeed says:

    Good article Ryan,

    Seems like an article describing each typical man, men have always been dominant and are likely to remain that way. Call it evolution, God's creation or the evil way men have manipulated the planet. Whats new about this ? How do both men and women live happily in such a world ?

    If I may, I think that our whole life we just search for a partner and feel that if we found the right partner and a good living, we can find happiness and the purpose of our life. Do not take me wrong but human beings are seldom satisfied with what they have, they always want more. It is quite possible that even though you got everything in life but you still did not see a purpose in your life, which is very common among women specially in the west during this time time and age. You wanted something more in life and you were frustrated with not moving forward and on top of that having a negative husband made things worse.

    You lived with a man for seventeen years and had two children with him, there must be something more then what you mentioned in the blog above that kept you with him. I feel we need to appreciate what we have in life, we need to learn to be content with what we have and need to manage with the available resources that we have around us. I feel very sad while travelling when I usually see lonely western women travelling, when you talk to them and get to know them they are all very nice individuals however they are all looking for a purpose, they are single mostly have the same stories as you or even worse.

    For example like you have taken yoga as a time out or something to keep you busy or keep your mind away from "what your purpose of life is" they take travelling time out every six months just to divert their minds from a lonely life. Even with all the freedom women have in this day and age, they have lot less happiness then the women who came before them.

    Both men and women need to learn to be happy with what they have and try to work around it. Yoga, discovery of your inner self, travelling to find a purpose in life are healthy but they are not purposes in life.

    I would have liked the article if you would have been able to change your negative husband or found someone else who had a balanced personality and were living a happy life. And I would have never commented or even thought of replying to this blog if I did not feel sad at the amount of sad single western women that I met in Zanzibar who would hire beach boys services just to feel better.

    I hope that you will lead women and yourself towards a positive track where happiness is guaranteed and not where you can just have a high self esteem but not happiness inside you. Balance is the solution to life and your right there is no mr one or mr perfect, because perfectionism does not exist in this world unless you want an angel as your husband. Men and Women both need to learn how to make things simple and not complicate them, how about an article about that next time?

    (I apologize if I might have hurt or offended anyone with this reply)

  33. Lindsey says:

    Had a reeeeeeally hard time with this one, so confused.

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  35. cis says:

    What a beautiful piece of writing with sound advice at the end. I believe you because you have been there and the organization you started sounds FABULOUS. I'm sorry for the pain you have gone through but not for the places it has brought you and what you allowed it to teach you. Thank you!

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  37. Poppy says:

    oh, perfect timing. thank you.

  38. DanielleDD says:

    I agree with the posters above who have commented on the one-sidedness of this piece. This is someone you spent many, many years with and with whom you had children. The put downs and sarcasm as described are somewhat vague – hardly the material for Jerry Springer. You travelled the world to where you wanted to go, and gosh, he even gave up football for you! It sounds to me that in some respects you were getting off on the relationship: the handsome man who was willing to go wherever you wanted to, and stay at home to raise the kids. I have no doubt that this piece is honest for you, albeit the learning is likely in the why you stayed. I am speaking from experience, having had a similar relationship that lasted a few months rather than so many years. I took a good hard look at myself after this one ended, and realized that I was enjoying the power I felt over this man I was with. It wasn't pretty but I think I grew from the experience.

  39. bluebeadpublications says:

    I had a nightmare ex-boyfriend. He always told me I wasn't listening when I challenged his logic. The end came the day I saw him playing basketball near my condo with three 5th graders. He came home and I just knew they had taken his basketball. I asked him and he confirmed. In the next breathe he asked me to buy him a new one. It became clear in that moment I was dealing with a child and sent him packing.

  40. Thank you for this, Sue. I’m somewhere, somehow, in a similar scenario. Thank you for articulating your heart, for narrating your journey thru it.

  41. Ashley says:

    Thank you. I am still healing. Thankfully mine was only a couple of years, but the damage caused has taken longer than that to fully heal. I am slowly becoming my own perfect princess and I am learning to spoil myself and bring honor to my soul. :-)

  42. Bonanza says:

    Oh my. Like other posters, if I changed a few details I could have been reading about myself. I was only just saying to a friend this morning "I should have trusted my intuition in the beginning", the voice that said "Something is not right. He is not the right one for you." But, like many women out of touch with their "Inner One", I told myself it was just fear of getting close to someone again, fear of getting hurt, fear of remaining alone. Sigh. Another lesson learned. Let the healing begin.

    And thank you for sharing your light.

  43. I am not crazy. I am in a point in my life… where i have to make the leap but all of those false beliefs held me back… and now I am so relieved to have proof from some one I don't even know, of what I see and have realized. I can move on and go on my journey to greatness with ought feeling guilty or that I have been missing anything really. A huge relief… further proof that there is not as ingle thought, emotion, drop of effort and happy moment to waste. (n_n)

  44. Have you ever noticed when people call you selfish, it is because you are not doing what THEY want you to do?
    Telling you you lack compassion is not a very compassionate statement . So in both cases, we could safely presume they were projections.
    Sue as a psychotherapist, I have come to learn there is a special type of Narcassim that often escapes even the most professionally trained eye. It is the "Service Oriented Narcissist." Their brand of manipulation is giving you the moon in exchange for your loyalty. They are quick to remind you why you should be blessed to have them, but rarely point out the qualities in us that they feel blessed to have in their lives.
    Actually a primary mental health diagnosis in these cases could be Dependent Personality Disorder, stemming from a very high level of anxiety. .
    If a person "gives you the moon" and you still don't feel good inside, chances are the moon is just another golden handcuff – another tool in their manipulative tool box to get what they need from you.

    • Suzanne Jones sue says:

      Tamyra,
      Thank you so much for validating me. I appreciate it very much.

      Sue

      • Harbinger says:

        Hi Sue,
        I admire your courage in writing this article. Thank you very much for writing it. I just recently got out of a similar situation, I was involved for four years. I do admire your ability to not give what happened to you more energy, and I hope to get there soon. I found trying to understand his motivation has helped me. I am not sure if your ex-husband was a psychopath (or just a garden variety philanderer), but this web-site http://www.lovefraud.com/ and 'Without a Conscience' by Robery Hare has helped me understand what happened and how to prevent it from happening to me again.
        Once again, thank you

  45. brent says:

    If you have never known an addict or never been cheated on you may be a little confused by the article. It kind of jumps out at those of us that have. The addict/cheater becomes very accomplished at throwing the person off the trail by accusing them of being the problem. Metaphorically, she was stumbling around in a dark room all those years being constantly told the light was on and the problem must be that she wasn't trying hard enough to open her eyes. You can't imagine how crazy it can drive you (if you haven't been there your REALLY don't get it). The breakthrough here wasn't "loving yourself is all that matters"; it was "believe in yourself and your divinity" and only when she did that was the truth discovered. One ignorance was vanquished, she was able to find her way out of suffering and make it possible for her ex-husband to stop living his 'double life'. This was love, respect, and compassion in it's truest sense for all parties involved.

    • Suzanne Jones sue says:

      Brent,
      This is so perfectly expressed. It absolutely was a matter of believing in myself and my divinity, and opening my eyes. I still have to see my ex (we have children) and interact with him, but the things he says to me don't have a completely different effect. Instead of seeing them as the truth about me, I see them as an indication of the pain that he is still in. It took 5 and a half years and a lot of work.

      Sue

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