Start with the premise that you want to stay in your marriage or long-term relationship, and that you have accepted that your spouse/partner is not going to change. That’s the foundation for Charlotte Kasl’s beautiful book on relationships, If the Buddha Married: Creating Enduring Relationships on a Spiritual Path. Whlie Kasl alludes to Buddhism both in the title and in much of the book’s content, she also draws from Christianity, and in particular Quaker, philosophy. Dr. Kasl is a practicing psychotherapist and also pulls from scientific best practices with regard to marriage and family therapy.
The framework of the book is that it is our job to (1) work on our own growth and development and (2) accept others as they are, in the spirit of loving kindness. Through this process of self-growth and other acceptance, we can improve our dynamic with our partner, and thus improve our relationships. This is a beautiful book that will support self-reflection in people of all faiths, and which encourages all of us to both love ourselves and our partners with greater kindness.