Soulmate 101

I was 15 when I met Michael. We dated for six years before Michael proposed on a beach in Montauk—four were long-distance. I was 21 when we got engaged, 22 when we moved in together, and 23 when we got married. Occasionally, we argue, but the disagreements never last long. We love spending time together on dates at Barnes & Noble, and we cook dinner together almost every night.

Soulmates? Feels like it to me.

Michael proposing to Kristen Carolan on the beach in Montauk.

Yesterday, I woke up feeling less than refreshed. I trudged through my morning. Breakfast was rushed and the traffic was heavy. I love my job, but that does not exempt me from having days I would rather spend lying in bed. The kids had a lot of energy, and I had none. It was a long day.

A new experience living in a big building is that when I walk down the hallway after a long day and smell a delicious meal, it is hard to tell whose kitchen it is coming from. Yesterday, it was coming from mine. I opened my door, and Michael was at the stove wearing his cooking apron (we have matching ones). I could tell he was cooking Indian by the way the aroma of spices immeditely flooded my senses. “Dinner is almost ready,” he called, “set the table”.

I smiled while I put out the plates, forks, and cups. I ran to our room to put on my slippers while Michael moved the meal to the table. He turned to hug me. Warmth spread over my face when he kissed my cheek. “How was your day?” he asked. “Great,” I responded.

Michael and Kristen Carolan hugging at a backyard party in 2022.

While preparing for marriage, Michael and I took Pre-Cana classes through our church. One thing that they shared has stuck with me and impacts the wife I am every day.

Relationships are not 50/50 they are 100/100.

I tried to live this way in the weeks following. I gave 100% of myself to Michael whenever I could. I put away his laundry when he told me I could leave it on the bed. I stopped to make him breakfast when I felt rushed in the morning. I searched for his glasses each time he lost themand this was frequentdespite wishing he found them himself.

This practice has helped me to build a lot of trust in my husband. At first, I worried my needs would be unfulfilled. How could I get my lunch packed on a busy morning when I prioritized making Michael’s breakfast? Then, at night, I come home from a long day. I am dreading cooking a meal. But, when I walk in the door, I see my husband standing at the stove, asking me to set the table.

With love,

Kristen Mary Carolan

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