Can meditation help my troubled marriage?
Art Matthews Says...
Meditation has a variety of uses and effects, from helping people with chronic pain and illness to increase their distress tolerance to helping the average person with stress management. We know from research that meditation and mindfulness can even improve our immune system. Utilizing meditation and mindfulness in our lives can certainly improve our ability to be compassionate and feel empathy for others. Meditation focused on finding inner peace and self-compassion can help us to let go of defense mechanisms that provoke and sustain conflict between partners. When you feel at peace with yourself and the universe, then small issues stay small and can be seen in their true context instead of being overblown and taking on a threatening stance.
However, whether or not it can help your specific marriage depends on the root of the conflict that the two of you are experiencing. In many troubled marriages, communication and/or finances are the root of most evil. In several others, there is more than two people in the relationship, whether that be an extramarital participant or an intruding family member or friend. Simply having each of you include meditation in your lives might not address a bigger problem. Sometimes distress is good because it forces us to look for a solution rather than a bandage.
My suggestion is that you consider talking to a marriage counselor with a background in Mindfulness-Based Stress Management, meditation or body-mind interventions. That way, the therapist can evaluate the marriage from the perspective of communication, values, expectations and goals AND provide instruction in mindfulness meditation and body-mind interventions for stress management.
Your marriage is worth the investment of at least a professional consultation with a marriage counselor. If they think working on meditation and stress management alone will be sufficient, you will have the added confirmation that there isn't a bigger problem lurking beneath the surface that will sabotage other efforts you take.
Best to you and yours.
Page last updated Apr 01, 2013