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Loving Kindness for Our Partner

Linda: Happy couples hold each other with what Carl Rogers calls “unconditional positive regard”. Successful couples know how to be fully present with each other with an open heart. Over time, they have been deliberately cultivating an appreciation of each other. To become accomplished at this heightened state of love, a regular practice is required. Appreciating the basic goodness of our partner stems from the enhanced ability to know and accept that which is in ourselves, both the darkness and the glorious light. It is that very self-knowledge and self-acceptance that opens the heart of compassion.

Metta is a time-honored tradition in Buddhism which has been practiced in a formal way for thousands of years. It always begins with us. Silently in our heart, we repeat the words designed to send loving kindness straight to our own heart. May I be happy; may I be peaceful; may I be free from suffering. I am taking breaths through my heart to wish myself well. May I be happy just as I am; may I be peaceful with whatever is happening; may I be liberated; may I be free from danger; may I be free from mental suffering, may I be free form physical suffering, may I have ease of well-being. I am sending myself as much tenderness and care and warmth as I can. May I be happy; may I be free of danger; may I be free from suffering; may I be peaceful; may I be free. Many repetitions deepen the effect.

Now I am bringing to mind my beloved partner who is a true support, and I am enjoying that natural, spontaneous feeling of loving kindness that I have for them. When I bring them to mind, I notice the warmth in my heart. I now consciously choose to expand that warmth by sending you my blessing. May you be free from danger; may you be free from mental suffering; may you be free from physical suffering; may you have ease of well-being. Breathing in and out of my heart, I am wishing you well. May you be happy; may you free of danger; may you be free from suffering; may you be happy; may you be peaceful; may you be liberated; may you be peaceful; may you be free.

In the traditional form of Metta, there are additional rounds when you next call forth the image of an acquaintance, someone who you are not particularly close to, but are willing to extend kindness to them enlarging your circle of care. Then the meditator is challenged to imagine someone in their life that is difficult. The Buddhists refer to this person as a “near enemy”. Stretching to bless them with kindness makes one a bigger person. And finally the intentional blessing is extended to all of humanity by envisioning people all over the globe.

Researchers are documenting the beneficial effects of practicing Metta. They are finding we:

  1. Less critical of self
  2. Less critical and judgmental of others.
  3. Less focused on self and more connected to others.
  4. Have an increase in positive emotions such as contentment, gratitude, hope, joy, and love.
  5. Have greater clarity of our life purpose
  6. Experience deeper life satisfaction
  7. Have higher levels of empathy and compassion for self and others.
  8. Noticing that the practice alleviates physical pain
  9. Even slow the aging process.

To take on loving-kindness meditation is a great contribution to the well-being of our partnership. We thereby cultivate the mind habit of holding our partner with respect and gratitude. When the inevitable difficulties appear in life, we are fortified by our strong loving connection. And that’s one terrific insurance policy to take out that will protect us when difficult times come. And in the meanwhile, we can reap the benefits of living with sweet, kind, and loving thoughts in our mind. Don’t take my word for it; try out Metta and see what unfolds for you.


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That Which Doesn’t Kill Us: How One Couple Got Stronger at the Broken Places is newly published and has been met with rave reviews. The book is a very personal joint memoir written in alternating chapters describing their experiences during a ten-year period of their marriage in which they endured a series of challenges and ordeals that brought them to the brink of divorce. The book details the process of their descent into relationship hell as well as the process that enabled them to re-establish a connection that was stronger and more mutually fulfilling than what they had ever previously experienced.

The book is currently available for purchase through their office ([email protected]) and will also be available for purchase from Amazon after April 9, 2018. The cost is $16.95.

Loving Kindness for Our Partner

Bloomwork

Linda Bloom LCSW and Charlie Bloom MSW are considered experts in the field of relationships. They have been married since 1972. They have both been trained as seminar leaders, therapists and relationship counselors and have been working with individuals, couples, and groups since 1975. They have been featured presenters at numerous conferences, universities, and institutions of learning throughout the country and overseas as well. They have appeared on over two hundred radio and TV programs. Linda and Charlie are co-authors of the widely acclaimed books: 101 Things I Wish I Knew When I Got Married: Simple Lessons to Make Love Last (over 100,000 copies sold) Secrets of Great Marriages: Real Truth from Real Couples about Lasting Love, and Happily Ever After...and 39 Other Myths about Love: Breaking Through to the Relationship of Your Dreams. The Blooms are excited to announce the release of their fourth book, That Which Doesn't Kill Us: How One Couple Became Stronger at the Broken Places. They live in Santa Cruz, California, near their two children and three grandchildren. To view our upcoming events and to sign up for our free newsletter, visit our website at: www.Bloomwork.com


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APA Reference
Bloom, L. (2018). Loving Kindness for Our Partner. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 18, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/relationship-skills/2018/03/loving-kindness-for-our-partner/

 

Last updated: 21 Mar 2018
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Mar 2018
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.