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"Help! I’m Evolving Faster Than My Partner!" (What To Do When You’re More ‘Spiritual’ Than Your Love)

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“I am growing and evolving rapidly, and my partner isn’t. What can I do?”

I hear people say this kind of thing about their beloved all the time. One partner does the spiritual work, starts meditating, gets a 30-day yoga pass, attends the hippy woo-woo events, buys all the books, goes to the seminars, listens to the podcasts, downloads the courses, immerses in audiobooks, gets coaching… and loves it! She loves this newfound perspective on life — one that chooses love instead of suffering. It’s rad! She wants to scream it from the treetops, tell all her soul sisters, and get her entire family on the bandwagon. But the one person that she so desperately wants to come along for the ride is her partner, and he ain’t interested one bit. So, what can you do?

Eckhart Tolle says that in these (and most) situations, you have one of two choices:

A) You accept what is, or

B) You change it.

Let’s start with option A.

I have had partners in the past who were definitely NOT riding the woo-woo train, so I totally get what it’s like. And here’s my advice to you… Trying to get your partner on board, trying to change them, fix them, improve them, take them to yoga, get them to meditate, eat cultured vegetables, oil pull, dry body brush, do affirmations and drink bone broth will likely achieve… nothing. Except, of course, exhausting the heck out of you, and causing you suffering, pain, stress and serious overwhelm… I know because I have been-there-done-that in the past, and it’s hard work!

But what you CAN do is lead by example.

You can share your findings and discoveries with your partner. You can share how you feel. Share what you are learning about yourself. Share how a certain book or philosophy is helping you and why you love it and feel so good. But you must share it without expectations. Share because you simply love to and not with the hopes, wishes and expectations that they too will get on board. Why? Because they will feel the pressure behind it and it will repel them — it’s human nature! When we are told to do something, we automatically don’t want to do it. Kids are a perfect example of this: when you tell them to do or not do something, they will most likely do the exact opposite!

The next thing you can do to alleviate any suffering is to fully accept your love exactly the way they are. If you don’t, you are basically buying the penthouse in struggle city — and no one likes struggle city. Like I mentioned before, we can not fix, change or improve anyone else, all we can do is work on ourselves and if they come along for the ride, great. If not, that’s also great. It’s your job to accept them fully, wholeheartedly and completely just as they are. That’s unconditional love, my friends!

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.

I know at times it may not feel like a piece of (raw) cake to take this approach, but it will cause you far less stress, pain and suffering, and I am all about limiting those bad boys as much as possible.

Next up is option B… you change it! If you have tried option A and given it your absolute best, and you still can not accept them just as they are, then the best thing to do is change it up. Maybe it’s time for you to consciously uncouple? I don’t believe that separating (and note that I don’t use the term ‘breaking up’, because I don’t believe anything is broken) needs to be tumultuous, and I believe all relationships are “perfect” in their own way and serve a divine purpose for both your evolutions. Yep — even the dude that cheated on me and broke my heart! You see, people are going to come and go in your life — that’s how the game works! And each of these relationships serve a purpose, even if it takes a while to reveal itself to us. So ultimately, we can’t get attached. I don’t regret any of the men I have dated, they were all perfect in their own way, they all taught me so much about myself, and they all ultimately led me to where I am today… with the love of my life.

Remember that, my sweet friend.

My role as your spiritual teacher is to give you no BS advice, and I am not here to sugarcoat anything. You either accept it or move on with as much grace as you possibly can. So which is it for you, my darling? Know that either way, you are supported. You are loved. You are love. And everything is always unfolding exactly the way it’s supposed to.

Now I would love to hear from you: Have you ever been in this situation before? If so, I am curious to know what you did and how you shimmied your way through it, and if you have any other advice or wisdom you could share with the tribe. We would love to hear from you…always! And remember, thousands of beautiful souls (like you) come here daily to get inspiration. Your words could be exactly what they need to read to inspire them. So open that big beautiful heart of yours and share from there.

As always, I am beyond grateful you are here. Your dedication to your growth — and being the best version of yourself — seriously lights me up.

But what you CAN do is lead by example.

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  1. Kelly Hensley says:

    love this!! something i struggle with all the time

  2. Sarah Hopkins says:

    Hi Melissa

    I did chuckle as I read this as my exuberance at times can have my partner not only thinking I’m on the woo woo train, but I’m stoking the fire and getting it to run faster!!!

    Joking aside, I’ve found as I’ve grown and evolved spiritually, I have been able to recognise these subtle qualities in my partner. Lets just say he is a quiet man of few words and it’s probably the last thing we would’ve ever have talked about. As I’ve started to change he has noticed the difference and it has led to some conversations … small talk… but talking nonetheless!

    I feel like I’ve fallen in love with him again, as I now see these qualities in him that I never saw or appreciated before …

    Thanks for a great read Melissa!

  3. Madeline says:

    This is so fitting for myself after going through a an uncoupling with someone who on a soul level was the love of my life so far, but in our physical world was not able to come along for the ride of my own self discovery. What I learned from this was (and without self blame) that I pushed and pulled him to read certain books, go have kinesiology and talk about his feelings 24/7, all of which led to us drifting apart.

    I see now he is in fact very spiritual, but in his own way of surfing, being in nature and reading fiction for hours for an imaginative journey, these are his ways to connect to himself. It also takes us to recognize that it may not look the same as our own practice but to see that they may incorporates this in different forms.

    x

  4. Amy Thomson says:

    I so needed to read this article if only to realise im not the only one and we aren’t the only couple going through this! Love your work huni xx and yes totally making a concious effort to accept the path he chooses and focus on my truth! He supports me in my choices so that is the most important even if he doesn’t practice mindfulness and spirtual woo woo with me, well thts how I feel anyway xxo

  5. Caitlin says:

    This is a very relevant post for everyone in couples, particularly those men or women who are investing in themselves through wellness. I host wellness retreats, and am a holistic practitioner, but I try to make sure I don’t make my friends or partner feel like they have to be part of that world, but it can be challenging when you know it’s so good for everyone! Thanks for the insight as always Melissa xoxo

  6. Courtney says:

    I have recently separated from my husband for this very reason. It most definitely was an extremely difficult decision, especially as we have children…but ultimately I had grown so much that my needs completely changed and he could no longer meet those. We were both unhappy and had been for a long time. One positive thing is that the separation gave him the kick in the behind he needed to start working on himself and he is now on his own self-love journey. Unfortunately it was too late for us.
    It’s still really hard most days. There are so many emotions to ‘feel’ through and I know it takes time. Sometimes I feel guilty for growing and leaving him behind.
    Especially in the moments when the kids are feeling sad because their lives have changed so much.
    I know all I can do is keep working on loving myself a little more each day.
    Thanks for writing this Mel, it was perfect timing. X

  7. Carissa says:

    Melissa you are totally right. In my last relationship my partner just did not get it and I really forced it and could not accept him as he was. Needless to say it didn’t go well…or maybe it did because it led me here to the tribe 🙂

  8. Stephanie says:

    Oh Melissa, how I love you! This was a fabulous read. I too have struggled with wanting to “change” my husband. Once I started yoga, meditation, became vegan…I was all woohooo hop on the train! And he was all like, slow down, what’s happening? i read somewhere that the only time you can change someone is when they’re in diapers!!! So true! After frustrating the heck out of myself and even becoming angry and then resentful, I’ve let this go. While our choices may be different, he SUPPORTS my choices and loves me unconditionally. And that’s enough. Lisa Oz’s book US, which I’m reading now, has some excellent examples of this.

  9. Eva says:

    Great article. I am going through this exact thing right now. I have tried Option A and gotten criticism and a blunt exclamation that he refuses to change. He also believes that me evolving into who I am on my soul’s path means that I am no longer the girl he married and am therefore untrustworthy. I was shocked when he said that. Basically, not only is he refusing to experience any growth at all, he doesn’t accept the person I am becoming. So, I move on to Option B. Unfortunate, because he has so much potential and there is so much about him I’m going to miss. But, I have to stay on my path even if I walk it alone… and you can’t be married to someone’s potential.

  10. Katrin says:

    Thanks for this article Melissa.
    I decided long ago that I would accept my partner the way he is and simply lead by example – or otherwise just continue to be myself and learn and grow as I need to. He has his own journey to navigate. I need to leave him to it.
    This has worked for us – as we are two independent beings, coming together as partners and parents when required.
    I certainly don’t love him any less – however I do wish at times that I could share my passion for self development with him. Not doing so does limit our closeness and the depth of our bond.
    As you have taught me, I deserve a deep, true, soul connection with another.
    So what if I don’t have it and crave it?
    I guess that is another question for another day.
    Love and light,
    Katrin

    • Melissa says:

      Hey Katrin,

      I am so proud of you.

      Have you tried to share your passion for self-development with him from a place of love honey?

    • El says:

      Hi Katrin, your story resonates with me fully. I love my partner, he is amazing and he is not only fully and trully acceptive of some of the changes and growth I go through, but he also takes genuine interest in it at times.
      I, however, cant help but feel being on a different ‘stage’ of my growth than him, it seems unfair at times to always be a ‘teacher’ or ‘wise story-teller’ or just an ‘example’. Don’t you just want to be able to connect with your partner on same grounds, see the world with the same eyes and hold each other hands striving for the same purpose.

      • Melissa says:

        And you absolutely can El. One of the best things about being in a partnership is getting to connect in this lifetime whilst you hold hands and share the journey in the process.

  11. Amy says:

    Hey mel and ladies!

    My husband is totally main stream and not into my personal development work.

    I was really annoyed by this until I ignored it and just focussed on myself.

    Then I started explaining the wisdom and lessons I learnt from a place of love and used examples of living happier and healthier in my own life authentically.

    Now! He totally respect and supports everything I do! Not only that, he takes my tools and implements them in his own life.

    Crazy!

    Being the example is best!

    It does slight annoy me that I feel like I’m working 10 times harder for a nugget of wisdom which he understands in one sentence.

    Men vs women hey?

    • Melissa says:

      WOW! So proud of you for simply being the example honey. You are amazing! Well done sista. Keep up the awesome work.

      xx

    • marion says:

      hi Amy, this is exactly me and my husband, lol. He actually has been spiritual all along and I haven’t, to me it is new found love and he is like, i knew this already. So funny.

  12. Thanks Mel, these thoughts change lives & gives us the strength & self belief to truly go for it! I’m now living the life I love, freeing myself from my partner who was on a completely different path to me, just took me a long time to realise it! Huge insights after attending your health & wellness course & ‘mastering your mean girl’. Thank you for showing the light & joy that is waiting inside all of us! Hope you can come back to Hobart, Tasmania again one day soon! all the best, Rhonda xoxo

  13. Alyvia says:

    This was perfect timing for me. I broke with my boyfriend of 3 years recently because i have changed so much and he hadnt and so our needs were not getting met. I was absolutely heartbroken and started feeling like i wanted to go back to the place where i was when we met but reading this has really helped me see that i need to follow my dreams and my journey hopefully will allow me to cross paths with someone more suited to me in the future. Thank you.

  14. Cynthia Ericson says:

    i have been both over exuberant in trying to teach a reluctant partner, and on the receiving end of same partner who wished i would change as she had. in both situations, i found option B (acceptance and just being) was the healthiest for me. love is like water and when it flows gently and allows everything to grow at it’s own pace, peace happens. when love is like a tsunami, it puts out the very creative fire of life learning. it is arrogant of me to think i know what is best for another person and miss what they may have to offer me. thank you melissa, for the inspirational words

  15. Catherine says:

    I love this article Melissa. I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately and feeling like I am in a relationship where things are fine but where most of the time I don’t feel inspired and truly connected to my love. I am curious what you think about how we can figure out if we are truly with the one? I really want kids and feel like taking the next step but something in me keeps saying “What If he’s not the right one? What if there’s more to love than what you are experiencing?” Thanks love, hope I can hear your thoughts on this. Xx

    • Great questions Catherine which is why I am writing my whole next book on it 😉 I guess only you know deep in your heart if being with him is your truth. Tune in and see how you feel. What comes up for you? The answers are always there, angel. You just have to stop and listen.

  16. Katee Trinkle says:

    I’m going through this with my fiancé. I’ve been on a path of spiritual development over the last year. I’m meditating and eating all the healthy foods and crystals and Moon rituals and truly finding my self. My partner is supportive of my journey but not on the same journey. I’m striving for calmness and he loves sarcasm and jokes. His job revolves around entertainment based in jokes and sarcasm. While I certainly have a sense of humor I don’t live in a place where sarcasm always feels good, often, I feel sensitive and sometimes hurt. On my path I’m trying to learning to voice my feelings while also understanding his true intent is never to hurt me. While it feels at times our paths are very different I know our heart centers are fully aligned and so I work each day to be grateful for who he is and have gratitude for his sarcasm. I love him for who he is as he loves me for who I am. Not always easy but worth it!!!

  17. Chantel says:

    I am also going through this with my fiancé! I have been working on myself for about a year, maybe a little longer and I am learning so much! Unfortunately through trial and error i find my partner very close minded, although he has so many other wonderful qualities I absolutely love!!!! And I am 100% supportive of him and his choices, but as I keep trying to grow somehow it feels like his views and beliefs keep pulling me backwards and I find myself asking the what if questions… Do you believe there is a point you get to where you know your journey defiantly is or isn’t supposed to include them? Or are there ways I can stay in the relationship and continue growing without feeling like I’m constantly being pulled backwards.

  18. Sarah says:

    Oh my gooooddddnessssssss this is so great! I’m in this EXACT position right now and not only find it with my partner who I live with but also my partners family who we are very close with and am mainly struggling with food and the amount of sugary processed food he and their fam eat eeeekkkkk thank you so much for this blog it’s great and such an awesome idea. Thanks xx

  19. Santhiya says:

    When I first started getting more spiritual and wanting to practice it in daily life, I wanted my husband’s support. Of course he did but it wasn’t “good enough” but through more work, I realized I was the one who wasn’t giving it all and supporting it for myself. I realized whether info it or not should not depend on support from from others but my willingness and actually making a choice to actively continue on my journey. Sometimes I think, because I’m going through changes and working on this in a certain way that I may be better than my husband. But each of us have our own path and I can’t force mine on others. Like you said Melissa, I follow my path, love unconditionally and the rest will follow.

  20. Excellent site. A lot of helpful info here. I am sending it to a few buddies ans also ssharing in delicious.

    And obviously, thank yyou in your effort!

  21. Kat says:

    Melissa- thank you so much for this post! I think about this all the time. I’ve always been into health trends and wellness (and so is my partner to a certain degree) but in the last year have discovered a deeper journey into spirituality and self love and am happier than ever. My partner on the other hand isn’t on the same page as me. He is a very rational, fact-based type of person and has a hard time believing things if they are not scientifically based. At times he struggles with stress, depression and keeping up healthy habits just like we all do. I’ve tried to push him into the beliefs and practices I’ve found before because of course you want your loved ones to be as happy and healthy as possible. But like you’ve found- it doesn’t work. Once I backed off and let him do his thing while I continued with my practices I was surprised to see that he had started adopting a lot of the self love and positive attitudes that I had! It just goes to show that patience and faith in your journey and its influence on those around you as well as having faith and respect to everyone else’s journey is truly life changing.

  22. PinkClover says:

    I have been with my husband for 8 years and feel like I am evolving past him while he remains stagnant and stuck on repeat. My example does nothing for him. While he recognizes what he needs, he lacks willpower to actually change what he wants to be different. The biggest issue at this point is that I want to raise our 4 kids with love and forgiveness. He instead punishes, yells, and takes their attitudes personally. We are at a crossroads over this. So now I’m at the point that I have evolved my parenting skills and he has not. I’m not sure what to do anymore. Does anyone have these issues? I always find articles on evolving spouses but never the subject combined with parenting.

    • You are going to LOVE my next book Open Wide, make sure you get your hands on a copy as I talk all about this. In the meantime have you practiced CCC (Crystal Clear Communication) with me?

    • Nicole says:

      Yes! I hear what you’re saying. I am in the same position as you with my husband of 10years. We have two children & one is special needs – my growth journey started the day that child was born & had to evolve rapidly to keep up with the demands & attention my child needed to thrive & to also bring me to realisation that I am my child’s advocate & anchor & source of love. His Dad has remained stagnant with parenting choices, repeating behaviours that never help improve our situation, choosing not to make a different choice, even with child psychology help, he still does not put their suggestions into practice. He’s unwilling to accept whom our son is and what our son needs us of is in order for him to thrive. It’s intensely frustrating knowing how and what he could do for our son, but watching him do the polar opposite. He can be a kind & gentle man, and his friends all think the world of him – however his actions speak louder than his words. We are not his priority & he has maturing to do for himself before he can be the best dad he can be. I see his potential too, and I encourage him with words and actions. He just doesn’t believe in himself. His negative re-runs hold our entire family back from opportunities.
      So I feel you woman! I understand how you’re torn – do I leave, do I stay, how long do I wait for him to “catch up?”, will he ever “catch up?” – even if it’s just in the sense of the kids… anyway, i too dive into these self growth books hoping their is some sort of guidance to navigate the parenting with a male whom doesn’t want to contribute (unless it’s the fun stuff! Who doesn’t want to be the fun Dad!?). I’ve realised that through his actions, he’s not choosing to be my partner/team member on a daily basis. He randomly chooses the days he “wants” a cuddle, never offering every day just because he loves me. We are good at being friends & living under the same roof with two children. It’s been such a pattern for such a long time, that he’s finding it extremely difficult to change this pattern. The opportunity to stop this friend-cycle has been available for over 18months now & not much has evolved. Infact his words were – “we’re basically just two people living together, this is no longer a marriage.” He’s realised it, I think we’re both just holding onto all the fear of how this will affect our children if/when we decide to live in separate homes.
      Love & strength & calm vibes i send your way xox

    • Nicole says:

      I have Melissa’s books, and I’ve almost finished reading Open wide. I would love to post them to you so you can start devouring this incredible information.
      Melissa – is there a way Pink Clover & I can exchange details so I can post her some love & hugs in the form of books?

    • Jane says:

      Pinkclover I am in this exact place and am wondering what to do. My husband works away for his family business and isn’t home very often and we have lost our closeness. When he is home he doesn’t seem to want to be with us and he can’t handle our 3 children who are all high functioning autism. He isn’t interested in going to any couples therapy or even interested in reading a book with me to improve things. He won’t even go to any appointments for our ASD children and then complains that it’s a waste of time. I have no idea what to do, however I don’t want to live the rest of my life like this. Feeling rather sad and stressed ☹️

  23. Denise K says:

    I love my husband, but I am growing and I feel he is not. At least I feel this. In reality, he tries. He is constantly trying. I don’t always see this, though, because he isn’t where I am. That’s tricky, isn’t it. To recognize when someone who is so different than you is going out of their comfort zone for you. Because those ARE your comfort zones. So what’s the big deal? To my husband, it is a big deal. One I often times miss because I get so self absorbed on my accomplishments and growth.

    • That’s so amazing that he is so willing and is always trying, that’s amazing honey. So many people don’t have a partner who is even willing to try so that’s beautiful. Make sure you tell him how amazing you think he is and how grateful you are that he is making the effort. xx

  24. Lindsay says:

    I find as I change and grow on my spiritual path, that things just have a natural effect on my husband and children. Although there changes are smaller it still effects them. Do as I do not as I say is very powerful. I respect them on their paths. Although my husband does not have the same spiritual beliefs he does listen to me.

  25. Alicia says:

    Oh wow! So helpful! I’ve been dating my beautiful partner for 2 years as of yesterday. I was definitely not the best version of myself when we first met & he’s definitely brought out so much light & love in me that I had long forgotten was a part of the beautiful inner me. I find myself so grateful of the daily reminder that I AM WORTHY of all things good & love. He’s worked so hard to help me accept that! Yet now that he’s sprung me from the prison of hopelessness & despair I once felt & helped set me on to the path of self love & exploration I occassionally get super fearful that he was only set in my life to start me in the right direction & will be something I will outgrow when I become the healthiest, happiest version of myself living up to my personal truths & setting the boundaries I truly should for the life I ultimately want for myself. It’s a constant struggle for me to let go & allow the universe to work for me & trust that if it’s meant to be it’ll be. I try so hard to keep it all together for my 3 children and his 2 wonderful daughters who coincidentally are super in need of a good mother figure. It’s such an internal struggle knowing what’s true for me yet being torn on what’s best for everyone else. Articles like this speak to my soul in a big way. Even if I don’t know what to do now, some how they calm and soothe my soul that I have choices. Thank you for this. <3

  26. Isela Torres says:

    Hello. My situation is my partner is the fast evolving one and I am not, my partner began to do Kundalini Yoga I didn’t agree with it at first, but the more I saw him commit to it, I began to be curious I began to do research still am is how I landed on your site, so I finally one day told him ok let’s do this as a Family we have 2 daughter’s so that we are all on the same page, I was told ok but never approved or invited, I as well would invite him to the gym and I would get a No answer. I began to feel a certain way, I stopped asking for us to do it as a family I stopped asking him to go to the gym I just let him be, he would come home and share. Then we began to bump heads, at the time I was working 4 jobs and he he meetings so we hardly saw each other, by the time he got home I was asleep, I would try to stay awake, and listen to his day hut I would be so tired, then arguments happened, slowly communicating began to dissolve. Now our 15 year life partnership (marriage) has separated, need advice on what happen? How did it crumble so fast? Where did we go wrong? I am still researching to still understand as he is my girls father.

    • Hey angel, thank you so much for sharing. Have you read my second book Open Wide yet? If not, I would highly recommend you start there, take notes in your journal whilst you read and then let me know how you go once you’re done. That book will help answer a lot of your questions as it’s very hard for me to give advice in one comment on this post if you know what I mean. The second thing I would do is look at where you need to take responsibility for how you show up or didn’t show up, and where you haven’t practiced CCC (Crystal Clear Communication). Start with those two things angel and then let me know how you go. xx

  27. Javairia Khalid says:

    I am just on the starting point of this spiritual journey. I am trying to start and end my day with meditation, and apply little *nuggets of wisdom* here and there in my daily life. But what I wake up.to is my husband playing video games! Even during the day or night whatever chance he gets, he will jump on the couch for the games. It is driving me crazy. I have talked to him first angrily, then from a place of love. I get so anxious the moment I know he is playing, and it takes a lot of hard work to settle myself instead of getting my frustration out on him.
    I want to wake up to US in bed, have some us time. But it seems like thats not his priority. He is a really good partner and a father otherwise. But this habit is driving me crazy to a point of just running away leaving him and my daughter behind.
    Any advice please?

    • Hello my darling, thank you so much for being so open and honest. The first thing I would do is sit down with him and practice what I call CCC (Crystal Clear Communication), I talk all about this in my book Open Wide which is where you can read more about it. Then the second thing I would do is get support. Book in to see someone together so that you can talk everything out and work out how you are going to both move forward. Let me know how you go darling. I am sending you so much love. xx

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