Building community in a changing world

October 26, 2021

Nurture Your Romantic Partnership

If you have a “significant other” in your life, you know that you should not just be practicing self-compassion for yourself – you should also be practicing compassion for the relationship. I thought my wife and I – together thirty years (today is our anniversary!) – had been doing a pretty good job at it, having developed a nice rhythm of conflict resolution long ago.

But then we took advantage of a check-in and clearing exercise that my teacher Jonathan Foust mentioned that he did with his wife – Tara Brach – every week or two. My wife and I started doing that exercise a few years back and it really helped. It has brought a deeper connection into our marriage because it’s so easy to let the days, weeks and months go by and not really check in.

It’s interesting that because we rarely have a conflict these days, we don’t have many of those intense conversations that we used to have early in the marriage when we did have conflicts more regularly. And of course, a clearing exercise would be of great benefit for those that do have conflicts. You’re creating an opportunity to have an open and direct conversation at a time when you’re not seeing red. Under those circumstances, these clearing talks wind up being more productive.