How to Have a Compassionate Marriage
Divine Feminines, the gender war that I have been witnessing lately has caused my heart a lot of concern.
Across social media, blogs, and the editorial press, I am seeing criticisms being hurled toward both men and women (especially toward men, ouch). The aspect I want to address today is about the feelings expressed by wives toward their husbands — mostly feelings of frustration, aggravation, blame, exhaustion, and the like.
Specifically, I read comments and anecdotes about husbands who don’t instinctively or proactively pick up the slack at home, who focus on themselves rather than child–caring duties, who are emotionally unavailable, and who act more like another child to take care of rather than an equal partner to the mother/wife.
It breaks my heart to hear of these stories because in my childlike, romantic way, I believe in magical relationships and experience this bliss daily. I know that finances, kids, schedules, stress and such can impede the flow of this magical connection after the so–called ‘honeymoon phase’ is over (I’ll explain in another article what ‘honeymoon phase’ actually is). But I feel this is also because there is a lack of clarity within the foundation of the relationship. Specifically, that is what each spouse wants as an individual, not as a couple.
A lot of people approach romantic or committed relationships as a vehicle to get to where they want to go. They come into the relationship with only half of themselves (meaning, without a sense of wholeness) and hope they will obtain their ‘other half’ through another person. The formula that society has taught them is that two halves equal one whole, and therefore, a person isn’t whole until he/she is with someone.
This formula is erroneous because as souls, we are already whole. The correct ‘formula’ is actually two whole persons who, when joined together, create a third whole—their joint life. Rather than two halves equalling one whole, we now have three healthy wholes that are able to function individually or as a unit.
When spouses expect their ‘other halves’ to behave and to meet their expectations, but they don’t, it creates feelings of resentment, anger, frustration, and the like. Because after all, if ‘your other half’ doesn’t behave as you want him/her to, then how will you ever get what you want? It’s like they ‘broke’ their end of the ‘deal’ and now you’re doomed!
I feel it is acceptable and healthy for us to be very clear on the kind of relationship we want. Maybe this clarity comes even before a romantic interest shows up or maybe this clarity comes during the ‘getting to know each other’ phase. Sometimes, this clarity doesn’t arrive until after the couple is in a committed relationship, even marriage, or even after breakup. There is no schedule for clarity to arrive — it comes when it comes! It’s also important to not beat ourselves up when this clarity didn’t arrive at a certain time, or relationship, or way.
Of course, having this clarity before we meet another romantic interest or whilst getting to know him/her is helpful. This is the time when we have a responsibility to ourselves to choose the right person and situation for our personalities and the lifestyles we see for ourselves.
For example, if we are seeking a partner who is already emotionally mature, then it’s important to be very (extremely) honest with ourselves from the start of the relationship.
In other words, is this other person already emotionally mature and can be an equal partner to your needs? Or do you see this person as merely having potential? Are you, in effect, responsible for this person growing up?
If you choose a romantic partner not for who they truly are, but what their potential can be, you end up giving yourself the responsibility for making them change or grow up, without first considering whether they want to change or grow up or not. And guess what—if they don’t want to change or grow up, you can’t make them.
Women are often accused of trying to fix men, and I wonder about this myself. As women, it is natural for us to see the potential in everything: the potential creativity, potential growth and so forth — because we are nurturers and we know how to turn nothing into something. Just watch how some moms take random ingredients leftover in the fridge and turn it into a full, tasty meal!
Because this nurturing quality is so natural within us, we must be mindful about not doing this to our spouses by seeing them as potentials that can be enhanced. When this ‘fixing’ approach is taken, the husband will feel that he/she isn’t good enough the way he/she is, and that can cause a feeling of inadequacy or that he/she can’t be trusted.
Similarly, do you desire to have a luxurious life and have plans in place to make this happen? Does your potential, future or existing spouse have the same desire for success? If your partner isn’t into money, will you be comfortable allowing him/her to be who he/she is, or do you feel an urge to ‘mold’ this person into what you want him/her to be?
Unconditional love is about radical, open acceptance about who another person is, as well as the state of their beliefs, without trying to change him or her. While your role will be to keep yourself and him/her honest, speak your inner truth, and have an influential role in this person’s life, whether that affects change on the outer realm is not up to you.
Marriage is not ownership of another person.
Does that mean you don’t try to change your spouse and simply walk away? Your heart and soul will tell you what is right for you. When two souls come together, (or in the case of twin flames, there is only one soul), it will tell you what your particular path and lessons are.
Do you have more to learn from this person? Does he/she have more to learn from you? We often don’t release relationships until we have learned those lessons. When those lessons have been completed, your soul will bring awareness to you that the spiritual purpose of this relationship has been fulfilled and moving on would be the natural next step in your life.
Having compassion in your marriage means accepting the way that your spouse is without trying to change him/her. If you cannot change this person, what can you change about yourself or this situation then? This is where your power is.
Moreover, is there a backstory in your spouse’s past or childhood that influenced him/her to become this way? Were they never taught certain responsibilities that you are now expecting from them, and therefore they can’t really be blamed? What about your own story? Are you able to be compassionate with yourself, by being patient with your sense of anger or frustration?
The next time your husband refuses to pick up after himself/herself, is ‘lazy’, or is oblivious to your needs, breathe into your heart and center yourself. What is it that you need right now? Is it help? Is it honesty? Is it recognition and thanks? Some of the hard questions are, is this what you really want in your life? Is this situation still the right situation for you? Are you happy? Do you feel safe? Then ask your heart to guide you on what to do next. Your heart will tell you the truth—always!
Having more compassion in your marriage starts with having more compassion with yourself. As you melt away your own expectations of yourself, you’ll begin to relax all the energy around you, which absolutely affects how others respond to you. When you are in the space of relaxation, openness, detachment and receiving, just watch — maybe your husband will haul out that vacuum unexpectedly or pick up dinner without your needing to ask.
And if he/she doesn’t — that’s okay, too. Unconditional love is unconditional acceptance. After knowing this, what will you choose next? What will make you happy?
BE THE ENERGY YOU WISH TO EXPERIENCE. First. As feminines, we are the leaders. We lead the way with our energy, with our desires, with the passion, sensuality and affection we emanate to the world. Therefore, be the energetic leader in your relationship (not necessarily the physical leader). If you want outer change, start with inner change, and observe how that affects everything around you.