Couples need not share the same religion or spiritual vision if mutual respect exists in the relationship. In other words, both partners need to acknowledge and support the other in their pursuit of meaning and truth. At the same time, we must recognize that this is a loaded issue…
Some of the traps couples fall into when they don’t share the same religious or spiritual belief systems include:
- One partner using their spirituality to one-up their significant other. Sometimes this takes the form of spiritual arrogance when one partner concludes that they are “more evolved.” Such an approach can become a weapon to divide.
- One partner trivializes the other’s spiritual beliefs as “cute,” “silly,” or “nonsense.”
- One partner treats the other’s beliefs as old fashioned or out-of-touch.
As you can see, each of these traps occurs because a lack of mutual respect.
Even though you may not share the same spiritual beliefs, there are still many things that couples can do together that have a “spiritual” quality to them. Here is a list:
- Sharing with your partner what gives life meaning. Talk about those big questions sometimes called “ultimate concerns”: why are we here? What happens when we die? How do we create meaning in our lives?
- Connect to each other by spending time in nature together. Whatever your beliefs, sunsets are gorgeous and the mist on the lake in the evening is mysterious and beautiful.
- Connection to each other through art, dance and music. Many people, regardless of their spiritual beliefs can share in the unique feelings that come from these human expressions.
- Practice caring for each other with compassion and nonjudgement. In many traditions – both sacred and secular – these acts are listed as some of the most virtuous.
At the same time, it is valuable knowledge to know when things are simply not working and you and your partner are simply not connecting on any meaningful level. Sometimes, the most spiritual thing to do is say goodbye. If this is done with compassion and respect, these separations can be accomplished with love, honesty and integrity.
Here are 4 ways to build a sense of spiritual intimacy (broadly defined) with your partner:
- Hold hands (even for a moment). Energetically speaking, there are secondary vortices of energy (chakras) in the palm of your hands that transmit energy from your energy field to another’s. Holding hands then becomes something more than the physical touch; it connects you and your partner’s body, mind and spirit. Holding hands becomes a kind of spiritual ritual. You can do it at a wedding, a funeral, while giving thanks for a meal, even while sitting in a theater or shopping.
- Cherish your partner’s human-spiritual presence. Every human being is so unique! Talk about the day you met, about when the two of you knew you were in love or when you shared especially moving moments.
- When you look at your partner, shift your “lens” from seeing them in their mundane garb, to seeing them as a unique living, breathing, human-spiritual being.
- Visit places that give both of you a special spiritual feeling.
What activities make you feel closest to your partner? I would love to hear your ideas. Tag me @boldandsacred on social media and let me know!