My experiences with those couples and individuals I see in my practice and in my daily life suggests most individuals in relationships are not operating in a manner conducive to promoting their own or another’s spiritual growth.
Within the definition of love I have been using, most relationships are not loving.
More accurately, what most people are identifying as love seems to be directed primarily at providing comfort and security. Even if both individuals are reasonably content with this, it is the crucial step beyond that which I have been trying to define and which seems to be so consistently lacking. Why, if I am correct in my observations, do our relationships not offer us more?
My simple explanation for this is because the representation of love as an action directed towards spiritual growth was not, and is not provided or encouraged in most families. Because it wasn’t modeled for us as we were growing up, and it certainly wasn’t offered within the educational system, we don’t do it now because we don’t know how to do it.
Yet surprisingly, this does not hold true for everybody. It seems to be that case as some people get older they start looking for something more out of their life; something that gives it a greater meaning and sense of value. Some individuals seem to intuitively grasp that what they are attempting to achieve is the means to nurturing their “self”; to assist in their own emotional and psychological growth and development.
If they are in a relationship in which this type of loving can be established between the partners then the possibilities are endless. But what if one partner is seeking this and the other is unable to reciprocate? What if one partner is asking for more from the relationship and the other either does not understand, or fundamentally cannot offer what the other is seeking?
Because of our general lack of understanding of what this form of loving even looks like, the type of relationships struggles which flows from this difficulty are very difficult to identify and to resolve.
The next article, “When Love Fails” looks more closely at this issue.