That moment… when you’ve just fallen head over heels in love only to hear your new ‘soulmate’ say something that’s in direct conflict with your worldview. Or have your beliefs diverged from those of your long-term partner or spouse so far apart over the years that it’s created tension in your relationship? ‘Well it just won’t work’ we hear you cry… or will it? While fitting our lives together with someone who doesn’t share our spiritual interests can be tricky, it’s definitely doable and even – inspirational.
Consider the following four approaches to heal the thrifts and deepen your love…
1. Accept each other
We’ve all heard it: if love is to thrive, we need to love our partner as they are and not try to change them… We’re all moulded by the life experiences we’ve had, and our partner may be as passionate about the beliefs they hold as we are about ours.
In the best scenario, both partners are able to talk about their worldview and be listened to with respect and an open mind. But if your discussions turn into debates more often than not and you’re not comfortable with it, establish some boundaries and try the ‘agree to disagree’ approach…
Achieving that balance not only maintains harmony in a relationship but is also a beautiful way to demonstrate to any children involved that there are many ways to see the world and that people can love each other and co-exist peacefully despite holding different viewpoints.
2. Don’t ask them to be everything for you
Our partner may have promised to love and cherish us, but after all, they didn’t sign up to be everything for us. If you yearn to discuss your spiritual practice with other people and your partner isn’t interested, seek out like-minded folk who share your interests. You still have much to share with your partner: all those interests that brought you together in the first place and the passions that you’ve discovered together since – not to mention the love and support you give each other.
3. See your partner as your teacher
We may think it would be best to share our life with a person who shares our beliefs. But in the end, we may experience far more growth sharing our life with a ‘non-spiritual’ partner than someone who never challenges us. Every time you clash, take it as an opportunity to get deeper into your practice. After all we can’t become masters of mindfulness or build our spiritual muscle without being tested or the boat rocking once in a while…
We may also find that our views are enriched thanks to the input of our partner’s opinions, even when they’re a far cry from our own.
4. Focus on your own journey
Even if your partner has zero interest in spiritual matters right now, it doesn’t mean it’ll always be so. Over time their path may converge with yours – if it’s right for them.
So let go of any agenda of getting your partner interested, but keep exploring and doing the things that work for you. Don’t preach it… just live it. Seeing the effects that a spiritual life can have – greater peace, more joy – can make your partner curious in a way that talking to them constantly about the benefits of meditation or yoga never could.2