Always Well Within

Calm Your Mind, Ease Your Heart, Embrace Your Inner Wisdom

3 Secrets for a Happier and Healthier Relationship

Pink Roses

Most relationships are driven by hidden fears and expectations; unconscious habits and deep patterns.  I’m no exception as most of my life I’ve been compelled by these same mysterious processes to act out in my relationships too.

But, now I know this doesn’t have to be.  By intentionally working to understand and transform your deeper, darker habits far more clarity will arise in your relationship as well.

Warning:  this is not pat relationship advice, or a few tips to band-aid your ailing partnership.  I’m asking you to consider what really matters when it comes to keeping your deepest alliance honest and true.  Here are three special insights that keep my heart open through the inevitable ups and downs of any relationship.

1.  Be honest with yourself and each other, but in a very kind way.

Now, this is tricky as we’re all subject to self-deception.  Even the person dedicated to living consciously is not 100% aware; not yet. Thus you have to know and accept this, and have a bit of humor about the fact there’s simultaneously a layer of delusion occurring in your life and your relationship.

This is precisely why, when the stars line up in a particular formation, the person you think you know like a well-worn book, may surprise and pain you by having an affair, taking off on an around-the-world tour to find him or herself, or engaging in some other previously uncharacteristic behavior.

Guess what?  Those seeds were already present. You just didn’t see this coming due to these layers of delusion that are a part of everyone’s unfolding life and relationship.

On the other hand, your relationship might just keep going and going and going, but is it an honest and vigorous one, or more like a stagnant pool of muddy water?

One of the best ways to have an emotionally sound relationship is to keep working on yourself. That means constantly excavating the self-deceptions, and bringing them up to the light.  Being honest with yourself and your partner, while accepting one another, self-delusion and all, will enrich your relationship with deep knowing and integrity.

  • Do you love the person as they are not as you think they should be?

2.  Want the other person’s happiness at least as much as your want your own.

True love is not a passionate wave that washes over you, making you slightly insane for want of the other.  That forceful energy is probably just the karmic link that brings you together at the start.

Then, sooner or later, it’s down to the kitchen sink level, and all the ways we project and reflect our stuck places to each other. Of course, all these triggered moments are interspersed with the semblance of happiness, otherwise we would soon give up on this so called ‘love.’

What then is real love?  It’s wishing your partner to have genuine happiness and wanting them to actualize their full potential in this life – whatever that might bring.

  • Do wish for this person’s happiness, even if it were to mean leaving you?

3.  Be willing to let go.

This is not an easy aspiration to have nor to actualize.  But, if you’re unwilling to let go of the relationship, then it’s attachment not love.  Or the two mixed together in a way that will cause just as much suffering as love.

Whatever comes together will one day fall apart.  It’s a fundamental law of the universe  While it may be death that finally separates the two of you, the odds in these divorce-prone times tell us the disunion will likely occur much sooner than that.

If you are dedicated to the truth, you will offer all the goodness you can to the relationship never knowing or clinging to how long it will last.

  • Are you willing to release this person when the time comes to do so?

I sometimes wonder if the worst times in a relationship aren’t actually some of the best times because they shake the illusory ground we’ve created, reveal our delusions, and wake things up – at least for a little while.  Whereas the good times tend to keep our unconscious agreements – the ones that cause us hell – distressingly in place.

It all comes down to this:  Are you able to hang onto and live the truth, as you currently know it, in your relationship?  Or is it all just an enormous effort to try to keep everything unchanging and smooth?

Of course, there are many practical ways to enrich you relationship from actively expressing appreciation every single day to weekly dates to learning new communication tools.  But, without these three principles as the foundation of your relationship, these efforts could be like band-aids that eventually fall off.

Is it easy to apply these three principles?  Unless you’re enlightened, not in the least!  It’s an aspiration, and a continual practice.  Every time you are triggered, pray, “May I let go.  May I react in a new way with clarity, spaciousness, and goodwill.”

While it’s not necessarily easy, the more self-awareness you bring to your relationship, the more you’ll find healing, mutual support, and breathing room.

How do these three principles resonate for you?  What keeps your deepest alliance honest and true?

I’m so glad you’re here! If you liked this article, please subscribe for free updates by email and connect with me on Facebook.  If you can take a moment to share this post on social media, I would be very grateful.  With love, Sandra


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  1. Love the reminder to let go and how important it is in ones relationship. Thus post resonates for me as today I celebrate 25 years of love partnership and friendship and over that time those 3 aspects have become something I recognise and respect. Des might say I sometimes still am too brutally honest:) namaste

    • Hi Suzie,

      Happy anniversary! I wrote this prompted by my 22 anniversary, which took place last week. Here’s to be happily and honestly married! It’s still all a work in progress, isn’t it? My husband used to call me “fierce,” but I’m softer now so I’m sure you’re moving in that direction too.

      • Congrats Sandra, just had to reply , I just can’t imagine you being fierce. Yes i am a much softer person than when i met Des and the past 2 years have also been a time of softening too ♡

        • Wonderful! It was a bit of a joke like the John Cleese movie “Fierce Creatures.” Seemingly fierce on the outside, but soft on the inside. I’m so happy we’ve both softening!

  2. I agree with your take which is:
    self honesty and ongoing self development are key to making a healthy contribution to an emotionally sound relationship;
    vulnerability, open communication and a genuine desire to see the other realize their plans and schemes, hopes and dreams are the most healthy contributions we can make to any relationship;
    impermanence is a factor in all relationships and we ought to be prepared to let go.

    I believe a relationship has deep value only if the affection is genuine and supersedes sexuality. Then it can stand the test of the many changes we witness in the shifting sands of time. In a recent conversation about relationships prompted by a friend who had a partner who “cheated”, my partner and I shared with her her exactly where we are at with each other – straight from both our heads and our hearts. Doing so strengthened our commitment to remain both partners in life and in business.

    We trust and respect each other and our long standing relationship spanning over 3 decades is not based on need. We can each make our own way in this world. More to the point, we are each free to be who we are and to become who we want to be within this partnership and that has always been the case. We have always cheered each other on and championed each other’s causes, despite the fact that we have different circles of friends and different interests. Today, as in years passed, we are each giving and getting exactly what we want and need.

    The more of your vulnerable self you share with others, the more encouragement you provide for them to do the same. Unlike those who met, fell in love (lust) and married right away our relationship developed very slowly. For us shared vulnerability dates back to being teens who were best friends but who weren’t boyfriend and girlfriend. Yes, it may be more romantic to talk about romantic love, but it’s important to remember that love is an emotion that waxes and wanes. We were there for each other through thick and thin before we decided to become “an item”. Even if our sexual interest in each other no longer existed and/or we decided to live apart we would still be there for each other – of that we are convinced.

    Here’s an excerpt from a post I published several years ago that I think is on point:

    Freedom and Complementarity
    It can be tempting to lean on your partner and rely on them for reassurance, but the stronger you are as an individual, the stronger and more equal your relationship will be. However, when you feel confident and secure within yourself, you can enjoy being with your partner for the joy they bring to your life, not because you feel you need them to survive. Granting another person the freedom to be themselves, to stretch and grow or to wither and stagnate, is the ultimate result of love–unconditional love. Relationships – Good Ingredients

    • I so resonate with everything you’ve said here timethief. Thank you for adding this perspective of not “needing” the other person, but being able to stand on our own two feet. That is so crucial too.

      I’m really quite amazed by all the respect and freedom you allow each other in your relationship. It has certainly survived the test of time. “Romantic” love is just so fleeting, we really need to search for something deeper and far more true.

      Thanks for sharing this piece from your blog. I completely agree that the stronger we are as individuals, the stronger our relationship will most likely be. Of course, there are no guarantees. Change can come even to the best relationship.

      Thanks for your wise insights.

  3. I love what you have written here, Sandra. Thanks for sharing your joy, your journey and your wisdom.

  4. Hi Sandra… this post is very intense, it takes us into the deepest caverns of our heart, mind and life to think and feel and after careful consideration, I think I would pass the first and the second test easily, both your questions get an affirmative response from my heart. But my culture instills that the companionship with your spouse lasts for seven rebirths! So ‘letting go’ is quite dreadful for those who believe in meeting their most loved person of the life after rebirth too!

    A happier and healthier relationship is built slowly, day after day, year after year with our sincere efforts of love, care and sacrifice. Romantic love fades within a few years, what remains is the emotional binding, mutual respect, the care and concern, which is profounder than love. No doubt the three secrets you have revealed have a significant role to play.

    Wishing you many more years of happiness and togetherness at this blissful occasion of completing 22 years!

    • Dear Balroop,

      You’re right, this is an intense post. It was an important one for me as these lessons were hard won in a certain sense, but as I said in another comment very worthwhile and I felt like I really wanted to share them. I’m happy you are able to answer affirmatively to these questions and am not fully surprised. This shows a high degree of spiritual maturity. Not that I have that fully myself, but I see the importance of these perspectives.

      That’s fascinating to hear that your culture says the relationship with your spouse lasts for seven rebirths. This illustrates so clearly how we all learn to see the world differently. If that’s your belief, I will surely respect that and hope that your wish come to fruition. After all, how do I know what happens after we die?

      I think you are well attuned to all the ingredients of true love!

  5. Carol Walberg

    Very thoughtful of you Sandra.

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