Part 4 – When your partner rejects your spiritual journey

The sacred Garden of the Gods - "Sleeping Giant"

The sacred Garden of the Gods – “Sleeping Giant”

This is Part 4 in the series ‘Is your partner with you on your spiritual journey?’.   Do you have a partner who rejects your spiritual interests?

I have talked to many people who steer away from talking to their partner about spiritual topics, because their partner firmly rejects or mocks it all. Typically, here is how the rejection looks:

  • the partner talks about spirituality as ‘woo-woo’, ‘Oprah-ish’, believing in angels, ghosts, auras, witchcraft, etc.
  • makes jokes about it
  • makes the person feel silly, and that it’s all a waste of time

The partner’s rejection becomes obvious pretty quickly, which creates a negative, unsupportive environment.

I’m talking about outward rejection, not just indifference.

Whether the person seeking spiritual growth admits it or not, I have found that they feel somewhat rejected and diminished, as they take their partner’s verbal lashings to heart. It typically causes an unfortunate, underlying distance between them.

I have seen cases where the spiritual seeker essentially abandons their interests because they don’t want to pursue it without their partner,  simply don’t want to be ridiculed, or don’t want their differences to ruin their relationship.  Sometimes it causes the seeker to go ‘underground’ – reading books, surfing the internet or engaging in conversations unbeknownst to the partner. I’ve seen the odd case where it contributes to the breakup of the relationship.

However, I would say most often what I see is the seeker longs to connect with like-minded people, trying to find a community of people to growth with, and hopes that maybe one day, their partner will open his/her mind and curiosity as well.

To anyone who might be the ‘partner’ in this case, meaning the one who is not interested in spirituality but their partner is, I ask you to be open to allowing your partner to explore in a supportive way.

Have you experienced rejection behaviour or witnessed it in other couples?  If so, I invite you to share things that you have done to get your partner interested in spirituality, or how you feel if your partner rejects your beliefs. You can leave a comment without using your real name if you so desire.

Please click the ‘Comment’ link below to join in on this conversation.

6 thoughts on “Part 4 – When your partner rejects your spiritual journey

  1. Wendy, again, thanks for your willingness to share with us. For me, this has been an interesting time in my life. When two people share a history of similar beliefs and one of those partners begins to question them, it can be a challenging road. But a good friend once told me that where words fail, actions shout. Love has been the strongest way for me to communicate my spiritual beliefs. Love always protects….both his heart and mine. So even now when there are so many questions, a strong bond of love protects the relationship. I don’t have to prove anything and I don’t have to have all the answers. It’s been pretty amazing!

  2. Thank you Wendy for introducing these 4 very important posts on your blog. For me personally, as I begin exploring spirituality and wanting to lead a spiritual life, it most definitely is critical to have my partner join me on this journey. Otherwise, it would be like living a completely separate life from my partner and not being able to share my innermost feelings and thoughts with him. We have talked about things like the meaning of life, and whenever we have these kinds of spiritual talks, I always feel a deeper connection with him. Not only do we want to grow old together, but we also want to grow spiritually together. And if fate will not have us grow old together, then at least we will always have that spiritual connection, which transcends this physical world.

  3. If your partner rejects your spiritual beliefs and practices, chances are that your partner will use logical arguments to attack the rationality of those beliefs. “Where is the proof?” they might say, or “How can I believe in something that to me seems completely imaginary?” …which are valid arguments.
    What you need to do in cases like this is counter logic with logic – and a good way to do this is a cost-benefit analysis. Tell them that these beliefs and practices make sense to you, and bring you comfort, joy and peace, which increases your quality of life– and that these beliefs are harmless in the sense that your partner won’t be harmed by them and neither will you. So they offer a benefit to you, and have no cost or harm to them – so why should they care? Don’t they want you to be happy?
    If it comes down to ridicule, then that is a completely different issue. This is just a complete lack of respect for your partner. I don’t think people should stand being ridiculed in a relationship. If you are being ridiculed or humiliated by your partner, then that borders on abuse and I’d get out of that relationship and find someone who will respect your beliefs.

  4. Susanna, reading a wonderful book on spirituality, The Spirit of Imperfection, by Ernest Kurtz, it is a gentle way to look, it tells stories, baseball, how there is a section for errors, how you are a star if you hit 3 out of 10 times, missing 7 times, very gentle and easy, thanks al

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