Module Three: Self-Compassion for Couples

In our culture at the moment, we find ourselves in a “comparison epidemic.” We often feel inadequate when we fail to meet unrealistic, media-hyped standards, instead of feeling perfectly normal! This striving for perfection causes an incredible amount of suffering, and can prevent us from fully enjoying pleasurable living as a couple, and having deeper intimacy and better sex.

Self-compassion--which is simply about relating kindly to yourself--is the remedy for this epidemic. Self-compassion is not only good for you, it’s also a powerful predictor of health in the relationship. People who are more self-compassionate are ranked by their partners as being more intimate, more caring, granting more autonomy, being less controlling, being less verbally aggressive, and more satisfied with their relationship when their partners were self-compassionate.

This is because when you can meet a lot of your own needs, you aren’t so dependent on your partner to meet your needs. You can fulfill yourself, including sensually and sexually, meaning you have more emotional and sexual resources to give in the relationship. Whereas competition and social comparison makes society more isolated, focusing on self-compassion is bonding and unifying, and will support your deeper intimacy and better sex.

1. Breathwork practice: Pelvic breathing

Let your jaw relax. Breathe into your belly with connected breathing. Then imagine that you are breathing into your pelvis and genitals.

2. Embodiment Practice: Art of Soothing – the touch of compassion.

Like all mammals, your body is a creature that responds to warm, soothing touch. Physical gestures of kindness to your body can help you let go of distress, sometimes even when your mind can’t yet.

Part 1: Self-soothing

Cradle your face. Stroke your hair. Affirm and forgive yourself. Say soothing things to yourself.

Part 2: Soothe your partner

Come to your partner and imagine that they are in distress. Soothe them with words and touch.

3. Intention setting

For example:

The kinder and more caring I am with myself, the kinder and more caring I can be with you. The more I soothe myself, the more I can soothe you.

I’m here for you. Everything’s going to be ok. Be kind to yourself. Be generous to yourself.

I know it’s hard for you right now, and this moment will pass.

4. Integration: How was this for you?

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