Believe it or not, a ‘happy ever after’ is possible! Despite the high rate of separations and divorces these days, you really do have a fighting chance at having the fairy tale ending. The good news is your relationship does not have to be perfect for it to work. The bad news is that when the caring and the talking has died, so has the relationship. So how do you ensure this does not happen to you?

We’ve all heard it before ‘communication is the key’ to a good relationship, but this is only partly true. Despite popular belief, a successful relationship cannot be built on healthy conversation alone. There is a very essential ingredient required to ensure your relationship is built in an environment where passion, creative ideas, problem solving, affection, and love can flourish, and it’s not a healthy sex life, it’s Compassion!

I first learnt about the power of compassion from a hip Western Monk who told me that compassion comes from remembering that everyone is human. He continued to say that we develop compassion by understanding other people’s reasons for doing what they do, and this helps frustrations diminish as we then stop judging and start seeing into one’s soul. So simple, yet so profound. This reminds me of the quote by Dalai Lama XIV who stated ““If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” We are certainly not all cut out to become Buddha’s, but the truth is that we can all apply this philosophy to our relationships.

Yes, life is busy and at times you may drop the ball and often forget to see things from your partner’s point of view, especially when it is one you strongly disagree with. But learning to take a breath and taking the time to listen instead of lashing out is crucial because most anger in relationships is caused by failure to show compassion.

We each have a life story with hidden fears, pain, hopes and dreams that drive our behaviour. If we can understand ourselves, then we can better relate and connect with others around us. You can start by choosing to see and experience relationships as a sacred and precious gift.

Communication and compassion makes relationships stick! When we treat our relationships as a sacred place for compassion, connection and friendship, true lasting love and happiness continues to flourish.

Have you ever wondered how those happy couples remain in love? There is something magical that goes on between them - “a deep connection’. Imagine compassion as being the emotional bridge between you and your partner that allows you to connect on a deeper level, by expressing care, respect and understanding.

I spend a lot of my time as a coach talking to people about the art of blending communication and compassion as a means of building or re-building this emotional bridge. Teaching them to have gratitude and appreciation allows a couple to understand how expectations, demands, and judgements only erode love in relationships.

Recently, I had a husband and wife tell me they are “good at communicating but have just grown apart. We speak our minds, and talk about day to day things all the time”. My job is to break the news that a strong connection cannot be sustained only by sharing, speaking honestly and listening attentively. Growing apart usually happens if either or both individuals are refraining from nurturing one another, communicating feelings, and have stopped seeking to be in a deeply emotional connected state.

Did you know that it’s the way you feel, more than the way you think that motivates you to communicate? You can start to communicate compassionately simply by shifting your focus from ‘thinking’ about what your partner is saying to ‘feeling’ what your partner is expressing.

E‐motions are ‘energy in motion’ and communication is the active exchange of this energy. Healthy communication requires a safe two‐way exchange of this energy, otherwise it becomes more of a speech or lecture ‐ not exactly a nurturing environment for establishing or furthering an intimate relationship is it?

While the 101 of communication involves actively listening, processing information and responding appropriately, ‘Compassionate Communication’ requires you to have your hearts present in conversation, not just your minds. This will ensure your relationship not only survives, but thrives!

Start by practicing self-awareness and taming the ego. Take the time and have the courage to ‘get in touch’ with YOU. Start paying attention to your body, become attuned to its signals, find out what your needs and desires are, notice your emotions and reactions, your moods and triggers, identify your values and beliefs, get to know how your ego rears its head!

Begin to make a conscious effort to respond to your partner with emotional awareness rather than with anger, denial or avoidance, etc. which are the main ego demons that may often distance you from your partner. Your main mission is to try to understand the emotion behind the information and words you and your partner are exchanging.

Your ability to express feelings depends on being connected to them in the first place. Many people have a habit of ignoring or sedating and supressing strong emotions like anger, sadness, and fear. If you operate only from the mind and communicate only on a rational level, it will impair your ability to fully understand others, resolve conflicts or build an affectionate connection with your partner. The aim is to find a balance between your intellect (thoughts) and your emotions (feelings).

For example, if your partner is upset or angry because they feel you’ve been ignoring them, becoming defensive feeds the cycle of anger and your state of mind keeps you unaware that he or she may be feeling abandoned. It is here you must take the time to manage your own emotional state so that you can see the hurt or fear driving the anger. Dropping your automatic guard and putting your ego aside gives you a much better chance of being able to discuss what is really going on and you can attend to what matters to each person.

In arguments, try to bring some playfulness into the conversation and be emotionally present but don’t dig up the past. By being emotionally present you are better able to get in touch with your own thoughts and feelings and read your partner ‐ including the emotions they’re feeling and the unspoken messages they’re sending so you can respond in ways that show others that you understand, notice, and care.

Don’t bottle things up! Apart from damaging your health, not expressing how you feel often leads to frustration, misunderstandings and conflict. What’s really bothering you? Take the time to crystallise your thoughts, otherwise you run the risk of becoming caught up arguing with your partner about the towels on the floor! Clearly you are venting your frustration for unspoken truths.

We all know that when we have things on our mind and go without discussing it, it can manifest as hurt, loneliness and resentment. It is important to always be open to exploring what needs to be shared. This is impossible to do if a person is emotionally shut off or if our ego dominates the exchange. In this case the relationship will be all about words.

One thing that often gets in the way of compassion being nurtured in a relationship is our early conditioning. Many have been taught that relationships are an exchange of commodities ‘if you give me this, I will give you that’. We wrongly expect that our partner should make me happy, take care of me, always support me but the truth is these are all things we must do for ourselves rather than expecting from another.

A real AHA! Moment comes when you realise that what you desire from your relationships is often a reflection of the empowerment you seek for your own healing, which includes making peace with your past or calling upon your spirituality for wisdom and guidance.

Consider what would be different in your relationship if you were to:

 Treat your partner as your best friend
 Tame your ego
 Choose to stop feeling defensive
 See your relationships as sacred, as a coming together of souls
 Extend love, care and compassion to your partner
 What you demand of them, you deliver to them instead.

I often get asked “How can I have compassion for my cheating husband?” I always shock them by replying that it is possible to have compassion if someone has hurt you or others, while still holding them accountable for their actions. If your partner had an affair, for example, you might try to understand how that situation developed but you don’t have to accept the behaviour as being ok.

One thing I want to strongly highlight here is that being compassionate does NOT mean tolerating abuse, needing to fix problems on your own or simply agree with others. It means you are making the effort to acknowledge your partner’s needs, emotions and values and considering that your partner is different from you without seeking to change them.

Don’t wait to perform an autopsy on a relationship once it has ended- examine what is going wrong before it is too late. If your relationship has lost the ‘connection’ or you are feeling isolated, start to apply these lessons now. I have helped relationships rise from the ashes as they learn to embrace compassion as a tool to overcome changes and challenges, while others have been swallowed up by the shame and blame that often accompanies the fear and insecurities triggered by the relationship. Don’t let that be you!

Choosing to show compassion in your relationship helps you consciously make the choice to honour your relationship as a powerful vehicle of love, inspiration and evolution. Our relationships are after all a sacred container for transformation where we discover what needs healing within ourselves, if we learn to honour them as such.

Learn, practice and apply the art of conscious and compassionate communication and watch how much love, passion and power you will begin to yield in your relationships.

Author's Bio: 

Eryka Sklivas - International Intuitive Mind Body Soul
Coach & Energy Healer
Hi my name is Eryka and I guess you could call me a modern Coach, Psychic, Energy Healer and Writer. I’m based in Melbourne, Australia but work with hundreds of people throughout the world.
As an Intuitive Mind Body Soul Coach and Energy Healer, I help people undertake an inner journey of healing to clear away beliefs that are limiting so they can align with their soul's purpose and be empowered in all aspects of their life from the inside out.
Through Empowered Living, I offer:

• Intuitive in person, skype and phone Mind Body Soul Coaching sessions and Psychic Soul & Chakra Readings
• Run classes and workshops on Sacred Contracts, meditation and learning to access your intuition
• Write a selection of articles on topics of interest that serve to empower others with knowledge and tools for life
• Keep the Empowered Living Facebook online community of 25,000+ people alive with daily posts, offers and articles to keep them inspired to live empowered lives!

After undertaking my own journey of self-empowerment and discovering my clairvoyant ability, I started Empowered Living and have been successfully assisting hundreds of people all around the world in creating lasting change in their lives. With a proven track record of success, my reach is spreading fast and wide with the love and support of my many happy clients who promote my services.

I believe that lasting transformation has to integrate Mind Body and Spirit to be effective so I blend a range of tools and work intuitively to design a personalised program to get you results which often incorporate Life Coaching, Chakra training & healing, NLP, Time Line Therapy, Hypnotherapy, Meditation, Archetype Consultation and Seichim Reiki Energy work.

Above all else, I am passionate about helping people become the full expression of who they truly are. I love my work and enjoy being able to offer people a unique approach to change and healing that allows your body, mind, spirit and soul to work in harmony together to create lasting positive transformation!

At Empowered Living, we aim to make this an exciting and fun ride...your sessions will be interactive, creative and insightful! Our aim is to guide, motivate, inspire and support you in achieving your goals throughout life by helping you align your Mind Body Soul.

Professionally trained Life Coach, NLP Practitioner, Time Line Therapist, Hypnotherapist, Archetype Consultant, Seichim Reiki Practitioner and founder of Empowered Living.