Relationships aren’t easy. In fact, most of them are down right hard. Our romantic relationships are often the central narratives of our lives, more important and long lasting than our careers, our hobbies and even parenthood (the kids are going to leave the house sometime, right?) Maintaining these life long bonds can often be tough work, and as is often the case, it can be too difficult to keep going. More than 50% of all marriages now end in divorce and the statistics aren’t great for second time marriages either, showing that sometimes we’re not good at learning from our mistakes. Difficult or not, our long term relationships are normally worth the work, and any tool that can help make the job a little easier is valuable and welcome. Meditation is one of the most powerful tools that a couple can use in keeping their relationship strong, well into the future and hopefully long after the kids have left home!
Meditation is an introspective practice, but that doesn’t mean that you have to do it alone. In fact, meditating with your partner can actually make it a lot easier. Not only will you enjoy all the benefits that meditation can bring to your life and your relationship, it can also provide a simple activity that you can do with your loved one. So here are a few ways that meditation can benefit your relationship.
1. Take stress out of the equation. The number one killer of relationships is stress. Coming home after a day of work, problems, traffic and everything else that works you up during the day should be a relief. However, it can often be a place where you let out some of the stress that you can’t exhibit to the outside would (at least not in a professional or even legal way.) This leads to the person you most trust in the world, a spouse or significant other, getting most of your “venting” loosed on them. Meditation is widely understood and proven to lower your levels of stress. In practicing meditation, you’re much less likely to feed the stress cycle.
2. When you practice meditation, you are forcing your mind to pay attention, and to be mindful. Teaching your brain to be more aware of the “moment” is extremely powerful in many aspects. When you are more focused on the now, it is much easier to pay attention to that person sitting across from you. It makes smaller interactions more important and timely – and when you are more “in the moment,” you will make people feel more important and loved. Relationships are built on how someone else makes you feel, and if you make your loved ones feel better, you’ll build stronger and stronger feelings and trust.
3. Many of the problems we face in our relationships start because we’re focused on expectations, judgments and other outside projections that we often apply. Our loved ones do exactly the same thing to us. Meditation is an inward art. When you’re in the practice of looking inwards, you will be more able to see how your own feelings and emotions that are projected really stem from inside of you. These projections are actually less about the person you’re feeling them toward. When you are able to feel that your emotions are a choice that comes from with inside of you, it’ll be much easier to distinguish which you choose to feel and project.
4. At the end of the day, most fights and arguments are because of differences and egos. We want that person to change, or to do something the way we want it, not the way they’re doing it! And no matter how many times we’ve been told that people don’t change, we never really believe it. Meditation is the single greatest tool in lowering those ego bounds. When we learn to start letting go of feeling so strongly what we want and who we are, it is infinitely easier to see others as “just the way they are.”
Meditation is about looking inward, but it is something you can to together. The four key points above are things that will come more naturally as you practice meditations. However, as simple as it sounds, one of the most powerful outcomes from meditating with your partner is the simple act of spending time together in a meaningful activity.
Note: Specifically, with regards to medical issues, always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on the Web site.