Making sacrifices for our partners

Balancing family life and the Dhamma, in pursuit of a happy lay life.
Post Reply
User avatar
anthbrown84
Posts: 307
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2015 6:59 am

Making sacrifices for our partners

Post by anthbrown84 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 7:15 am

Hello DW, I have been thinking quite a lot lately, how much is to much when it comes to making sacrifices on the path.

My wife isn't buddhist, because of our relationship i end up watching more TV than I would, I hear less dhamma related talk, I have to socialise more so I don't alienate our marriage from the outside world and her life.

Does anyone else face similar scenarios?

I was thinking this thread could be a sharing page where we share tips on how to deal with this to help each other?

I read on access to insight The Buddha advised a husband to socialise for his wife, to adorn her etc. But what is a healthy amount of sacrifice and what is simply making to much?

Do we try incorporate mindfulness of the body while watching TV? or while socialising so we can at least practice during sacrifice?

Does anyone else go through this? How can we make lay life less of a hindrance when we are trying to keep others happy that we are committed to?

Do you think the observance days are enough, coupled with a regular daily practise? Or is it all just hooking us further and deeper into samsara?

Metta

Anthony
"Your job in practise is to know the difference between the heart and the activity of the heart, that is it, it is that simple" Ajahn Tate

User avatar
Mkoll
Posts: 6440
Joined: Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:55 pm
Location: California

Re: Making sacrifices for our partners

Post by Mkoll » Sun Jan 15, 2017 8:44 am

I am not familiar with your scenario. However, I'd like to comment on your last two questions.
Do you think the observance days are enough, coupled with a regular daily practise? Or is it all just hooking us further and deeper into samsara?
I think it is great and commendable if you are following observance days and regularly practicing. Do what you can. I don't think you have anything to worry about if you are virtuous and have faith in your refuge. If you continue in this way, there will come a time when you worry less about your future---that has been my experience.
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

User avatar
anthbrown84
Posts: 307
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2015 6:59 am

Re: Making sacrifices for our partners

Post by anthbrown84 » Sun Jan 15, 2017 9:09 am

Mkoll wrote:I am not familiar with your scenario. However, I'd like to comment on your last two questions.
Do you think the observance days are enough, coupled with a regular daily practise? Or is it all just hooking us further and deeper into samsara?
I think it is great and commendable if you are following observance days and regularly practicing. Do what you can. I don't think you have anything to worry about if you are virtuous and have faith in your refuge. If you continue in this way, there will come a time when you worry less about your future---that has been my experience.
That's a very interesting statement actually thank you for that. Worrying about future lives or wasting opportunities in this life plagues my life and is a hindrance instead of a motivator more often than not.
"Your job in practise is to know the difference between the heart and the activity of the heart, that is it, it is that simple" Ajahn Tate

Swatantra
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:56 am

Re: Making sacrifices for our partners

Post by Swatantra » Sun Jun 25, 2017 2:16 pm

A relationship is all about compromises and that is what keeps it healthy. I do not think that sacrifices do though. Can you not turn the sacrifices into a compromise? For example you can sit with your wife and whilst she watches TV you can watch Dhamma videos or read a book on your phone or tablet or whatever.
It sounds to me, and forgive me if I am wrong, but you are laying the blame on your wife a lot. Perhaps sitting down and asking her what you can both do would be a better idea.
My wife does not like it if I go out running a lot, but I told her that she can come out and cycle next to me and support me if I am training and doing long runs, or she can stay at home and do what she likes to do. If I am not training then I will not run as much and spend more time with her at home. She has the choice to join me or not but I also made a compromise where I could. This is not a sacrifice. Maybe if you have a day of doing something she likes to do and then you get a day to do what you want to do?
People change but she married you, I presume, before you got into Buddhism? If this is the case, it would be unfair to ask her to adapt to your new way of life completely when it is you that has changed and not her. Do you know what I mean?
Sorry if it comes across messy.
Good luck :heart:
"One is not noble who has injures living beings.
One is called 'noble' because they are harmless to all living beings."

:heart: :yingyang:

"Silent in body, silent in speech,
Silent in the mind, without defilement,
Blessed is silence is the sage.
One is truely washed of evil."

User avatar
BasementBuddhist
Posts: 292
Joined: Sat Apr 08, 2017 1:03 pm

Re: Making sacrifices for our partners

Post by BasementBuddhist » Sun Jun 25, 2017 3:30 pm

I think a healthy balance is required. If you haven't done so already, I would recommend that you talk with your wife about what your practice means to you and why it is important. This clears up a lot of confusion. After that, I would say that you should be making those sacrifices for your wife. You are a Lay follower, a householder, not a monk. Therefore, you have responsibilities that a monk does not. You cannot spend all of your time in seclusion. You have to choose if you want to focus solely on the dhamma or if you'd like to keep your wife around. If you choose to keep your wife, then you have to uphold your obligations to her, or you are lying to her. Marriage comes with implied promises that you've both agreed to. Doing things that distract you from Dhamma practice is part of that.

Now, onto solutions; My fiance often feels like a burden when I am trying to be mindful, or observe right speech, or sit, and he won't stop going on and on about things. He often expects me to respond to everything he says, and if I do not, he gets sad. So, I have to incorporate this into my practice. I often have to stop reading the nikayas or other texts and just practice mindful listening. I think of it as Listening meditation. I treat each word as the breath would be treated in sitting meditation, and also note my responses to every phrase. Then when it comes to my turn to respond, I consider carefully and say something back. This can be tiring, but it is a great way to make idle chatter into a meditation.

As for watching t.v., I try to watch mindfully. I really focus on the characters, the settings, the speech, the plot. Making the whole show a meditation object. I actually really like watching this way, because you notice so many more things about the setting, costumes, and such.

Finally, when you find a way to make these activities with your wife a part of your practice, she begins to feel like a partner in it. A teacher, instead of a distraction.

Loving meditation would help a lot too. Sit and meditate on her. She loves you, you know, and you are very lucky to have her. As Buddhists we are called to love without attachment, to see people as equal and same, even our wives. But the way worldlings love is amazing to me! She has built you into a supreme treasure. Something vast and meaningful. A work of art in her own mind. She looks at you and sees all that is beautiful and ugly in this life. practically a world. This is something to be respected and honored. It's a treasure. Even if it also feels like a heavy weight.

R1111 = rightviewftw
Posts: 1019
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:17 am

Re: Making sacrifices for our partners

Post by R1111 = rightviewftw » Sun Jun 25, 2017 10:42 pm

I would not compromise such things, unless you enjoy it but then don't blame your wife for it. Think about it like this if because of these "sacrifices" you were to take another birth, probably in a different plane of existence than her, what would you tell yourself... Reality is that it is utter most likely that you are going to be parting ways within 70 years at most, if she is not Buddhist it is very unlikely that you will meet in the next life.

If you want to keep precepts do it, it is much more important than your relationship.
Don't sacrifice your own welfare
for that of another,
no matter how great.
Realizing your own true welfare,
be intent on just that.
Dha 166

User avatar
puppha
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:56 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Making sacrifices for our partners

Post by puppha » Wed Jun 28, 2017 9:48 am

Hi Anthony,

I would suggest you take the red pill and read "No more Mr Nice Guy".
From what you are saying, I think you feel obliged to do whatever your wife asks, just because you think (probably unconsciously) that it's your job as a husband to make your wife happy. It's not your fault, society progams men to think and behave that way. I know I was, but I took the red pill about 9 months ago. I feel so much better and happier now!

Good luck!

User avatar
Aloka
Posts: 5795
Joined: Wed Jan 21, 2009 2:51 pm

Re: Making sacrifices for our partners

Post by Aloka » Wed Jun 28, 2017 10:52 am

BasementBuddhist wrote:I think a healthy balance is required. If you haven't done so already, I would recommend that you talk with your wife about what your practice means to you and why it is important. This clears up a lot of confusion. After that, I would say that you should be making those sacrifices for your wife. You are a Lay follower, a householder, not a monk. Therefore, you have responsibilities that a monk does not. You cannot spend all of your time in seclusion. You have to choose if you want to focus solely on the dhamma or if you'd like to keep your wife around. If you choose to keep your wife, then you have to uphold your obligations to her, or you are lying to her. Marriage comes with implied promises that you've both agreed to. Doing things that distract you from Dhamma practice is part of that.

Now, onto solutions; My fiance often feels like a burden when I am trying to be mindful, or observe right speech, or sit, and he won't stop going on and on about things. He often expects me to respond to everything he says, and if I do not, he gets sad. So, I have to incorporate this into my practice. I often have to stop reading the nikayas or other texts and just practice mindful listening. I think of it as Listening meditation. I treat each word as the breath would be treated in sitting meditation, and also note my responses to every phrase. Then when it comes to my turn to respond, I consider carefully and say something back. This can be tiring, but it is a great way to make idle chatter into a meditation.

As for watching t.v., I try to watch mindfully. I really focus on the characters, the settings, the speech, the plot. Making the whole show a meditation object. I actually really like watching this way, because you notice so many more things about the setting, costumes, and such.

Finally, when you find a way to make these activities with your wife a part of your practice, she begins to feel like a partner in it. A teacher, instead of a distraction.

Loving meditation would help a lot too. Sit and meditate on her. She loves you, you know, and you are very lucky to have her. As Buddhists we are called to love without attachment, to see people as equal and same, even our wives. But the way worldlings love is amazing to me! She has built you into a supreme treasure. Something vast and meaningful. A work of art in her own mind. She looks at you and sees all that is beautiful and ugly in this life. practically a world. This is something to be respected and honored. It's a treasure. Even if it also feels like a heavy weight.

:goodpost:

Swatantra
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Jun 25, 2017 7:56 am

Re: Making sacrifices for our partners

Post by Swatantra » Wed Jun 28, 2017 1:28 pm

puppha wrote:Hi Anthony,

I would suggest you take the red pill and read "No more Mr Nice Guy".
From what you are saying, I think you feel obliged to do whatever your wife asks, just because you think (probably unconsciously) that it's your job as a husband to make your wife happy. It's not your fault, society progams men to think and behave that way. I know I was, but I took the red pill about 9 months ago. I feel so much better and happier now!

Good luck!
Isn't it the role of a partner to make the other happy and vice versa? I do not agree with you on society programming men to behave in a way that makes their partner happy, shouldn't they be doing it anyway, out of love for their partner? Don't try and victimise men, we are all responsible for our own actions.
"One is not noble who has injures living beings.
One is called 'noble' because they are harmless to all living beings."

:heart: :yingyang:

"Silent in body, silent in speech,
Silent in the mind, without defilement,
Blessed is silence is the sage.
One is truely washed of evil."

User avatar
Lazy_eye
Posts: 996
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:23 pm
Location: Laurel, MD
Contact:

Re: Making sacrifices for our partners

Post by Lazy_eye » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:21 pm

BasementBuddhist wrote:I think a healthy balance is required. If you haven't done so already, I would recommend that you talk with your wife about what your practice means to you and why it is important. This clears up a lot of confusion. After that, I would say that you should be making those sacrifices for your wife. You are a Lay follower, a householder, not a monk. Therefore, you have responsibilities that a monk does not. You cannot spend all of your time in seclusion. You have to choose if you want to focus solely on the dhamma or if you'd like to keep your wife around. If you choose to keep your wife, then you have to uphold your obligations to her, or you are lying to her. Marriage comes with implied promises that you've both agreed to. Doing things that distract you from Dhamma practice is part of that.

Now, onto solutions; My fiance often feels like a burden when I am trying to be mindful, or observe right speech, or sit, and he won't stop going on and on about things. He often expects me to respond to everything he says, and if I do not, he gets sad. So, I have to incorporate this into my practice. I often have to stop reading the nikayas or other texts and just practice mindful listening. I think of it as Listening meditation. I treat each word as the breath would be treated in sitting meditation, and also note my responses to every phrase. Then when it comes to my turn to respond, I consider carefully and say something back. This can be tiring, but it is a great way to make idle chatter into a meditation.

As for watching t.v., I try to watch mindfully. I really focus on the characters, the settings, the speech, the plot. Making the whole show a meditation object. I actually really like watching this way, because you notice so many more things about the setting, costumes, and such.

Finally, when you find a way to make these activities with your wife a part of your practice, she begins to feel like a partner in it. A teacher, instead of a distraction.

Loving meditation would help a lot too. Sit and meditate on her. She loves you, you know, and you are very lucky to have her. As Buddhists we are called to love without attachment, to see people as equal and same, even our wives. But the way worldlings love is amazing to me! She has built you into a supreme treasure. Something vast and meaningful. A work of art in her own mind. She looks at you and sees all that is beautiful and ugly in this life. practically a world. This is something to be respected and honored. It's a treasure. Even if it also feels like a heavy weight.
As someone who has been married for close to 20 years, and a Buddhist for about half that time, I would say this is wise advice.

It's also well-aligned with the Buddha's teachings to laypeople.

User avatar
ganegaar
Posts: 175
Joined: Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:01 am
Location: Stockholm

Re: Making sacrifices for our partners

Post by ganegaar » Wed Jun 28, 2017 3:50 pm

BasementBuddhist wrote:I think a healthy balance is required. ....
:goodpost:
Sīlepatiṭṭhāya naro sapañño, cittaṃ paññañca bhāvayaṃ;
Ātāpī nipako bhikkhu, so imaṃ vijaṭaye jaṭanti.

User avatar
SDC
Posts: 4406
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 11:08 pm

Re: Making sacrifices for our partners

Post by SDC » Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:38 pm

Swatantra wrote: Isn't it the role of a partner to make the other happy and vice versa? I do not agree with you on society programming men to behave in a way that makes their partner happy, shouldn't they be doing it anyway, out of love for their partner? Don't try and victimise men, we are all responsible for our own actions.
I couldn't agree more.

User avatar
puppha
Posts: 160
Joined: Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:56 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Making sacrifices for our partners

Post by puppha » Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:36 pm

Swatantra wrote: Isn't it the role of a partner to make the other happy and vice versa? I do not agree with you on society programming men to behave in a way that makes their partner happy, shouldn't they be doing it anyway, out of love for their partner? Don't try and victimise men, we are all responsible for our own actions.
Hi Swatantra,

I disagree with you when you say that the role of a partner is to make the other happy (cf. Simile of the juggler).
Do you know what the red pill is? Have you read "No more Mr Nice Guy?" I understand you are happy in your relationship, but please do not generalize your situation to other couples. In my experience, you are the rare exception.

Metta

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests