Day 24: When Your Partner Doesn't Share Your Passion....on the 30-Day Yoga Journey

Miss a day, or just joining: TABLE OF CONTENTS
I made a vow never to be a yoga-evangelist, but to always be accessible when someone is drawn to yoga. ~Me
Day 24 Activities:
1) Mantra meditation
2) Minimum 30 minutes of calorie burning
3) Write down everything you eat and sketch your Balance Chart
4) Continue to remain aware of your speech patterns
5) Cut Cords
6) NEW: What to do when your partner isn't a yogi

Have you ever been sooooo excited about discovering something new, inspirational, joyful or helpful to your well-being, only to find your enthusiasm dampened because your partner (or mother, best friend....) just doesn't "get" it?

Or maybe you have a longtime passion (like yoga), and your new partner sees it as a just hobby (or god-forbid, as stretching!), when for you it is a lifetime journey.

Many of us want to experience our passions with our loved ones. This is natural. This is not always reality.

Here are some tips for enjoying your yoga (and other passions) even when those around you don't:
  • Commit to never uttering the words, "You should do yoga (or horseback riding or reiki....)." Nothing puts people on the defensive and creates resistance more than being told what they "should" do. (On a side note, try striking the word "should" from your vocabulary all together.
  • Recognize that everyone is on their own path. Others' paths may not be as overt or fully explored as yours...but we are all on some path. Respect each person's unique path, even if they seem unaware of what it is.
  • Practice compassion and openness toward the way your non-yogi "meditates" and relaxes, it may not be in the traditional form that you prefer. They may find enormous contentment sitting in front of the TV with an ice cold beer or running 10 miles or rambling on about their day. Bliss, release and contentment come in all different forms. It is not our place to define another person's meditation.
  • Practice your passion without righteousness. Allow your partner to watch your evolution.
  • Passion can be contagious, but it can never be imposed upon another.
  • We all express our passion in different ways.
  • Talk about your passion when asked and without dominating the conversation. Let it be part of your world, but not your whole world.
  • Invite your partner to come to class with you regularly, and always accept no as an answer (without sarcasm, indignation or storming off). Let them know they are always welcome to come if they change their mind.
  • Recognize the line between passion and crutch.
  • Respect your relationship and remain very aware of how much time you are spending on your passion. All actions have consequences and all relationships require nurturing. Your partner may feel neglected or intimidated because of your passion. Try to be understanding of this without assuming it is the case.
  • Accept that your partner may never love yoga, but you can always love them and they can always love you.
  • Yoga is a tool to support and enhance your life. Yoga per se can't ruin a relationship. However, all actions and behaviors have consequences - some beneficial, some detrimental to our relationships. Keep your mind open to how your behavior and how you spend your time impacts your loved ones.
  • Your yoga practice can be complete, without your partner's involvement. Your relationship can be complete, without your partner practicing yoga.
  • Try partaking in your partner's passion. Suspend all judgment (and there you are, still practicing your yoga, and your partner won't even know it....they'll just think you're sharing in their passion!)
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Anonymous said...

Really realy Good post!
If only my wife read this and tried to practice some of it before walking out saying we are on "different spiritual journeys".
I agree with all your points raised to try to keep the relationship working. Unfortunately I was a little to doutting and treated my wife as a princess. She wanted to quit work, no problem, i earn plenty. She wanted to study yogi, no problem and I supported her through it all, taking photos of her asanas teaching her head stands, and making her develop strength (like a personal trainer there). She wanted to go to India for more training, no problem I paid for her to go over twice. She wanted to buy a yoga practice that had come on the market, no problem, it's hers. And 18 months after we were wed she walks and says we are on different spiritual journeys.
No attempt for counselling or anything. She still says I'm the perfect husband though, but that doesn't do me any good with out a wife!