A Deeper Spiritual Life vs. a Relationship

Question

How do I reconcile spiritual differences with my spouse? I want a deeper spiritual life and my spouse in not interested yet and I’ve been waiting and praying for twenty years.

—milton, usa

Answer

This is a difficult situation to be in. I don’t think I can answer this for you. But if your spouse isn’t interested in a deeper spiritual life after living with you for 20 years, it seems that it probably isn’t going to happen in this lifetime.

Yogananda said that environment is stronger than will power, and if you have been in a 20 year relationship that’s a fairly strong environment. Something will have to give one way or the other. I have to assume that you’ve tried many things over 20 years to make this work within the relationship before writing such a question.

The dharma in this situation could be that you need to leave the relationship to pursue your deeper spiritual life. But would that really work for you? Twenty years is a long time to be with someone, and it wouldn’t be easy to move out of that situation. It seems as though there will be pain no matter what. But pain is often how we grow.

Sorry I can’t be more specific, but there are no easy answers to your question.