Excerpt from Amy Edelstein’s book Love, Marriage & Evolution: Chapter 2
Occasionally, when I start speaking about big perspectives, people express concern that this may trigger alienation in their relationship. “Can you leave your partner so much space that you lose connection with them?” When the space we give our partners is inspired by an evolutionary perspective, it is motivated by the desire to support each others’ pace of development and to maintain an environment of respect in the home.
What is supportive is the cultivation of respect and gratitude for one another. Gratitude and love really do go together.
We lose connection with our partners if our fundamental values start to differ so vastly that we can no longer come together in a shared purpose. We lose connection when we stop respecting each other’s depths and start relating to our partners more superficially. We lose connection when we become overly familiar with each other and lose the recognition and love of the sacred in the other. We lose connection when we forget the value we hold for each other’s more noble aspirations. In these ways we can fall into a sense of distance that is unwholesome and not supportive of our partner’s transformation, or our own.
What is supportive is the cultivation of respect and gratitude for one another. Gratitude and love really do go together. We love our spouses in part because we appreciate the companionship, the fun, the affection, the humor, the company, the support, and the food for thought that we receive from them.
These days both my husband and I are involved in so many creative projects that we often find ourselves light-heartedly competing for each other’s attention, wanting to share our excitement over what we are discovering. We’ll bounce back and forth from his arena to mine and share our thrill about what we’re doing. We appreciate our connection and the opportunity to explore our interests and insights with each other. That’s a powerful type of common purpose and it brings with it a wellspring of affection.
Of course all relationships ebb and flow in regards to bursts of creativity and verve. There will be times when the connection is more intense and others when it is quieter, more in the background. Setting your relationship in a big enough context allows for those changes, then love and commitment are not dependent on a uniquely exciting or dynamic time, but instead on recognition of a shared life mission that transcends the particulars.
This is an excerpt from Amy Edelstein’s new book Love, Marriage & Evolution. If you like what you read here please download the entire book, and share this content with friends and family.