Couples can choose to help each other grow spiritually. It is a core function for couples and brings them closer. Surviving through tough situations, externally or internally, helping each other to becoming a better human being, is true commitment for each other, and for the relationship.
One of the roles of both partners in a relationship is to help each other’s spiritual growth. To help the other grow to know themselves, understand themselves and grow into a more fulfilled being. The road to this growth is usually not straightforward. Spiritual growth usually comes with addressing adversity.
When we are working or living with someone, we are able to understand the other’s weaknesses much faster, better than our own. And when we bring forth the other’s weakness to them, making them feel that they’re not good enough, then we usually face a backlash. The ego game of denial and blame begins. And the other doesn’t allow himself or herself to deepen their knowledge of themselves.
For example, if one partner is sick a lot of the time, and the other is largely taking care of him or her, then we get a classic example of the ‘sickly’ trait of one person attracting the ‘caring’ trait of the other. The ‘sick’ person needs to be sick to get attention, feel cared for, and loved. The ‘caring’ one needs to take care of someone to feel they are significant, important, and loved. In this way, without even necessarily realizing it, the couple is fulfilling each other’s needs.
However, after some time, if the ‘carer’ gets sick, the ‘sickly’ person may not be able to give appropriate attention to the other. This is when the negative traits will surface. Both persons may make the other feel, ‘you’re not good enough.’
‘I’ve always taken care of you, but when I fell sick, you weren’t there for me.’
‘Why am I not able to take care of my partner? Why do I have to be the one always being taken care of?’
In these moments of stark realization, if both partners can take a good look at themselves and try to figure out what makes them like that, then the couple is helping each other towards their spiritual growth.
A person’s weakness usually comes from an insecurity they’ve developed due to conditions in their early life. And that keeps on repeating in their life in a default mode. It’s not their fault, it’s something their mind has programmed to help them cope with a situation; to keep them out of pain, to keep life at an even keel. And if that situation repeats in our childhood, that response becomes a pattern.
‘Falling sick kept my parents giving me attention, I felt loved. I felt I was important whenever I fell sick.’
The mind’s neural networks kept firing that pattern to get attention as a child, to feel loved. It is something that works, the mind learnt, and takes the pain away from being insignificant to being important and loved. But now as an adult, if I don’t feel loved or significant, then the same pattern will fire in my mind. I’ll fall sick to get attention, to feel loved.
When a partner is able to point this out, the other person can become conscious about it, understand it, and make the effort to change it if they choose to.
This is where true spiritual growth happens between couples: when each understands that the weakness or limitation of their partner may happen because of some pattern they’re following. They may not even be aware of it, but just behave that way automatically.
Pointing it out with empathy is not criticism; it’s mindful and with the intention of helping the other solve a deep rooted issue.
‘You don’t need to fall sick to get my attention or my love. I love you just the way you are. I accept you. You can let go of feeling the need to fall sick to be loved.’
‘Every time the feeling of wanting to be sick to get love comes up, allow it to come up, face it, thank it and ask it to go away. You don’t need it anymore. Feel my love in its place.’
And every time you help the other in this way, the need to fall sick will go away and be replaced by a sense of being loved.
Couples can choose to help each other grow spiritually. It is a core function for couples and brings them closer. Surviving through tough situations, externally or internally, helping each other to become a better human being is true commitment to each other, and for the relationship.
Photo courtesy My Faith Radio