Every 13 seconds, there’s one divorce in America. And if you think that people divorce because of a lack of passion, you’re wrong.
According to a national survey, the most common relationship problems among divorcing couples have to do with ‘lack of commitment’ and ‘too many arguments.’
On the more positive side, global divorce statistics reflect that we have objectively become more self-aware than ever before.
We realize that we long for long-term meaningful and rewarding relationships in which we can become the best version of ourselves.
On top of that, the secret to a healthy relationship is to become the best version of yourself to prepare yourself for a partnership, rather than aiming to solve your relationship problems.
All this means you want to redefine your idea of what an intimate partnership is by seeing it as a progressive continuation of your spiritual growth.
In this article, you will learn about:
- Spiritual Partnership
- What is Spiritual Growth?
- The 25 Most Common Relationship Problems
- What Do Healthy Relationships Look Like?
- Am I the Problem in My Relationship?
- 2 Steps to Creating a Spiritual Partnership
- The Secret to a Healthy Relationship
The idea of a partnership as a progressive continuation of your spiritual growth was introduced by Gary Zukav, spiritual teacher and best-selling author.
As opposed to a well-known concept of marriage, this new paradigm transcends romantic relationships.
He calls it a spiritual partnership.
According to Gary, “Spiritual partnerships are the most fulfilling, substantive, and deep relationships possible. They are relationships between equals for the purpose of spiritual growth.”
What Is Spiritual Growth?
Gary explains growing spiritually means creating a life of more joy and less pain, more meaning and less emptiness, more love, and less fear.
He says, “It is a vehicle that supports the partners in it to become more aware of their emotions, to become more aware of their intentions, and in making the most healthy choices that they can, choices that will create consequences for which they are willing to assume responsibility.”
Spiritual growth can happen within any relationship that supports you in becoming more vibrant, more creative, and more loving. You can create spiritual partnerships with your family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, or with another individual as a couple.
No matter who the spiritual partner or spiritual partners are, the spiritual partnership operates the same way. But you can only heal your relationship if you are willing to challenge yourself.
The 25 Most Common Relationship Problems
Apart from a lack of commitment and too many arguments, modern couples are faced with the following most common relationship problems:
- Poor communication
- Growing apart
- Lack of appreciation or taking each other for granted
- Lack of sex
- Sexual incompatibility
- Money issues
- No division of household responsibilities
- Lack of trust
- Different parenting styles
- Different core values
- Unrealistic expectations
- Lack of mutual support
- Lack of mutual respect
- Lack of responsibility
- Excessive control from one partner
- Character incompatibility
- Life overwhelm
- Mental health problems on a part of one partner
What Do Healthy Relationships Look Like?
Neuroscience shows that our social relationships regulate our physiology, and the state of our relationships will determine our moods, regulate hormones, and immunity. It can even change the structure of the brain. So it’s vital that our closest relationships remain healthy, so we can be healthy too.
This phenomenon is known as physiological linkage, synchrony, or coregulation.
This goes to show that loving someone isn’t enough to create a healthy intimate relationship.
Healthy intimate relationships are:
- Connections where everyone is encouraged to express themselves clearly.
- Where you tell the truth about how you feel, and what you think, and you are willing to hear it from others.
- Where both parties are accepted and appreciated for who they are.
- Where you can say “No” without fear of being left or punished, and you’re able to hear “No” back, and respect your partner’s boundaries without withdrawing your love.
- Based on flexible but explicit boundaries.
- Ones in which both parties support each other emotionally and physically. In short, you’ve got each other’s back.
- Connections that have a foundation of trust. They provide a solid base, giving you ample space to both relax and explore the connection further.
- Where both partners reach out to solve an issue if there’s been a breakdown.
- Ones where you know you’re safe, valued, and loved.
Am I the Problem in My Relationship?
You want to see yourself as the problem in your disappointing relationships if you define a partnership as a progressive continuation of your spiritual growth.
In some ways, your relationships are reminiscent of your past traumas, so you choose partners hoping that they will fix your wounds.
But what happens is that we end up with a person who antagonizes our wounds. Because external behavior doesn’t start with someone else, it begins with the way you treat yourself. Your partnerships mirror your relationships with yourself.
For example, if your partner is criticizing you, it’s a reflection of how self-critical you are with yourself.
Katherine Woodward Thomas, M.A., MFT, the New York Times best-selling author of Calling in “The One,” and Mindvalley’s trainer, says, “If you don’t fix it for yourself, this will repeat in your future relationships. So you have to become your own heroine or hero.”
So instead of fixing your relationship problems, you want to see yourself as a primary source of your relationship challenges and address your own disappointing patterns in self-love.
When you alter your relationships with yourself, the external circumstances of your life will organically alter accordingly.
2 Steps to Creating a Spiritual Partnership
Here are two essential steps you can take, according to Gary Zukov, to create a spiritual partnership.
1. Recognize that a spiritual partnership can only be created between equals
Gary says, “To understand this idea, we must recognize that personalities are not equal, but souls are. No one is more important than you, and also, no one is less important than you. When we have superiority or inferiority issues in our lives, those ideas are based on fear.”
Thus, the only way to have a spiritual relationship is to be truly equal. This equality arises from one’s sense of soul.
2. Focus on spiritual growth
In a traditional marriage, the primary focus of the two individuals is the perpetuation of material gains for the sake of security. In other words, couples stick together because it’s easier to survive in the physical world.
As we grow spiritually, we shift our focus from the physical demands of the world to spiritual growth. It doesn’t mean that once you become aware of the flaws of life, you forsake the trivial roles of marriage, fully indulging in spiritual practices.
Gary affirms that a true spiritual partnership will recognize this commitment between the two individuals. While they may still work together to own a home and raise a family, there is also an undercurrent of spirituality between the two individuals. Each is committed to the other’s growth.
The Secret to a Healthy Relationship
One of the most powerful areas of spiritual growth comes from our deepest and most intimate relationships. And today’s reality is giving us a unique context for creating soulful unions to become who we are meant to be.
And when it comes to manifesting a spiritual partnership, the first place to look is your relationship with yourself.
And the secret sauce to keeping it alive? That’s YOU too.