We’re all similar in many ways and completely unique in others. It’s safe to say that every person wants to feel loved and accepted. Beyond that, we’re a pretty diverse bunch. This is definitely true when it comes to spiritual beliefs.
Some of us continue on the religious or spiritual path of our family of origin. We go to the same church or maintain similar spiritual practices that we were taught as a child. Others break away from tradition and gravitate to what is a better fit for them. They discover something new that speaks to them and takes them places they’ve never been before.
Even those who claim to “not be spiritual” are on a path and that is a valid choice which may or may not include some of the very same beliefs as particular religions or spiritualities.
When you are deeply spiritual and your partner doesn’t agree with you or hold to those beliefs to the same extent, it can be disappointing, frustrating and upsetting.You wonder if you can create a fulfilling relationship with him or her because of it.
“He’s a great guy; I just wish he was more spiritual.”
“I need to be with someone who shares my beliefs!”
“We’re just so different. Will this work out?”
It’s smart to be honest with yourself.
If you absolutely will not be in an intimate relationship with someone who shares different spiritual views than you, admit it to yourself and consider whether or not you’ll stay in the relationship.
We do suggest that you really question your resolve to only be with a partner who is spiritual the way you are. Get curious about why you feel as strongly as you do and think about the possible consequences of limiting love in this way. Ultimately, the decision is yours to make.
There are countless differences that can come up in a love relationship or marriage. Religious or spiritual beliefs are just one area. The temptation for many is to try to convince, argue or convert their partner. It’s not a deliberate attempt to manipulate or coerce, but it can feel that way to the other person and it can quickly drive a wedge between the two.
It makes sense that you’d want to share with your beloved just how wonderful and freeing you’ve found a particular spiritual view to be, but it’s not healthy for your relationship if you do so with an agenda.
It IS doable to create a close, connected and fulfilling love relationship or marriage even if your partner is on a different spiritual path or isn’t as spiritual as you are. Just remember these things…
Don’t push what you believe on your partner.
No matter how “casual” or subtle you think you’re being, if you’re secretly trying to sway your partner to the spiritual path you’re on, he or she will sense it…and possibly resent it too. It’s absolutely wonderful to talk about an experience you had, but don’t do so coercively.
Don’t make your partner’s path “less than” your own.
Catch yourself when you’re putting down or discounting the way your partner is choosing to live. Just because your partner is spiritual in different ways, it doesn’t mean this is an inferior or lacking path.
Do honor your partner’s choices.
Keep an open mind about your partner’s beliefs. Watch how it supports and sustains your partner to be on the path he or she is on. Appreciate that you are each free to discover what enriches you.
Do continue to do what feeds your soul.
Keep reminding yourself that this does not have to be an either/or dilemma. Your partner doesn’t have to give up what he or she values and believes and you don’t have to either. You can still make time to meditate, pray and celebrate your spiritual connection in ways that nourish you.
Do continue to do what feeds your relationship.
You can also make regular time to connect in with the one you love. in fact, if you want your relationship to survive, you’re going to need to. Be on the lookout for areas of overlap in what you and your partner feel passionate about. This could relate to each of your spiritual paths or it could be something else. Keep sharing and listening and opening up to understanding one another. This is what will allow your love to expand and grow.