Having children with a strongly deluded spouse?

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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kirk5a
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Re: Having children with a strongly deluded spouse?

Post by kirk5a » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:30 pm

puppha wrote:Also, she mentioned a few times in the past that she is opposed to me teaching anything about Buddhism to our daughter, or bringing her to monasteries, etc. On the other hand, she says that because I am the father of the child, I have the right to do it. But she is against it...
So then do it. So she's against it. Duly noted. Does your being against all the things she does mean she has to not do what she does? No.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

barcsimalsi
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Re: Having children with a strongly deluded spouse?

Post by barcsimalsi » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:05 pm

puppha wrote:Hi barcsimalsi,
barcsimalsi wrote:This is sick, for almost every youtube videos about Religion X vs Religion Y i had watched, the comments below were usually loaded with the sickest arguments that never seems to find its way into a good conclusion. Here's a few examples:
I don't understand the point you're trying to make here...
From what you wrote on the original post, I doubt that you can ever talk her out into giving up her faith. Those comments in those youtube videos can be taken as example on how she will(she already did) refute your point which simultaneously leaving both of you in a sick mood.

puppha wrote: I agree 100%, but that does not excuse us for not taking responsibility for our actions. In addition, "keeping the peace" might be different from "constantly pleasing other people".
Have you ever discussed with your wife on letting your daughter to choose herself what religion fit her by studying both Bible and Dhamma? To make it fair for both of you so that no more "one-sided constant pleasing".

Edit: Oops sorry i miss this:
Also, she mentioned a few times in the past that she is opposed to me teaching anything about Buddhism to our daughter, or bringing her to monasteries, etc. On the other hand, she says that because I am the father of the child, I have the right to do it. But she is against it...
It seems that she had taken control... If arguing is not a good choice, just concentrate on practicing the right path and make an example of a good wise happy Buddhist, your family will soon notice who is right.
Last edited by barcsimalsi on Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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puppha
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Re: Having children with a strongly deluded spouse?

Post by puppha » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:26 pm

Hi Clarence,

These are good questions!
Clarence wrote:Do you still love each other?
Yes, but definitely not in the way it was before. We matured, and also our religious differences are weighting heavily in the balance.
Even if I still wish good to her, I have to admit I don't feel emotionally tied to her anymore.
Clarence wrote:When you married, were you Buddhist and she Christian?
Yes and yes, but we were both not very engaged in our respective religions. She still tried to convert me very early on. I refused and we still managed to get over it and stay together. I was too young, inexperiences and in love to hear the alarm bells!
Clarence wrote:Do you think this is only a phase where she will eventually grow out of?
I hoped it was a phase, but it's 2 years now, and I can't see her growing out of that. She has some pre-dispositions, in the sense that she always tended to trust her instincts without checking the facts or had strong opinions on anything included fields she knew nothing about.
I don't see her investigating or questionning her beliefs any time soon. These people subconsciously try everything they can to ignore facts that go against their beliefs; psychologically, it's a question of life and death (death of the ego in that case). Questioning themselves or doubting would deny their "born-again" experience and thus would be a sure gateway to Hell!
Clarence wrote:Do you think she might have a brain injury or other sort of problem that could cause this?
No, unless she didn't tell me. I will ask her.
Clarence wrote:Have you tried counseling or any form of therapy, either alone or together?
No. I am quite sure she would accept only Christian counselling/therapy, and only from a born-again Christian on top of that. For example, she is currently trying to find a solicitor to help her on a business issue, and she only wants a Christian solicitor... Once I suggested to switch our broadband to 'Zen internet', she said she didn't like the name!! (because it was buddhist, obviously)
Clarence wrote:Why would you not just divorce instead of staying with her?
Good point! I am worried about the well-being of our daughter. But to be frank, I considered divorce quite a few times already.
Clarence wrote:What level of fundamentalism would you be able to live with?
None, pretty much. I am not sure that there are "levels" in fundamentalism... Be it Christian, Muslim or whatever, fundamentalism means shutting down your brain and litteral interpretation of the sacred, infaillible scriptures.
Clarence wrote:Sorry to ask you so many questions but I think they might give some clarity and that way we will be better able to advice (however much that is worth) you.
Thank you very much for asking these questions! That also helps me see things a bit more clearly.
And I definitely welcome any advice, opinions and external points of view!

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puppha
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Re: Having children with a strongly deluded spouse?

Post by puppha » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:32 pm

barcsimalsi wrote:From what you wrote on the original post, I doubt that you can ever talk her out into giving up her faith. Those comments in those youtube videos can be taken as example on how she will(she already did) refute your point which simultaneously leaving both of you in a sick mood.
All right, I get it now! I think you're quite right, unfortunately...
barcsimalsi wrote:Have you ever discussed with your wife on letting your daughter to choose herself what religion fit her by studying both Bible and Dhamma? To make it fair for both of you so that no more "one-sided constant pleasing".

Edit: Oops sorry i miss this:
Also, she mentioned a few times in the past that she is opposed to me teaching anything about Buddhism to our daughter, or bringing her to monasteries, etc. On the other hand, she says that because I am the father of the child, I have the right to do it. But she is against it...
It seems that she had taken control... If arguing is not a good choice, just concentrate on practicing the right path and make an example of a good wise happy Buddhist, your family will soon notice who is right.
Yes, that's what I am trying to do. I understood early on that arguing is a waste of time and energy and just make both of us weary and sad. We don't understand each others. What I say is necessarily anti-Christian, so to her mind she can dismiss whatever I say very easily. And when she talks to me about her relationship with Jesus and all the miracles she witnesses, I can only see the delusion disorder she fell into...

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puppha
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Re: Having children with a strongly deluded spouse?

Post by puppha » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:39 pm

Hi kirk5a,
kirk5a wrote:So then do it. So she's against it. Duly noted. Does your being against all the things she does mean she has to not do what she does? No.
Don't worry, I will not be easily bullied like that! I do bring my daughter to monasteries and teach her about Buddhism. But I don't force anything. More often that not, she is asking to go with me when I say I am going. She does have some interests in Buddhism and likes very much a comic book I bought for her telling stories about the Buddha and his disciples.
Whatever my daughter chooses, I will respect it. I just want her to make informed choices. And that's exactly what my wife wants to avoid. She wants our daughter not to know about anything that could drive her away from the "True Faith" (TM)!
Sad, isn't? :cry:

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manas
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Re: Having children with a strongly deluded spouse?

Post by manas » Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:33 pm

Hi puppha,

you said you were 'trying for yet another child'. My advice would be to take measures to ensure that you DON'T conceive another child with her, or you will have even more dear ones to worry about (getting heavily indoctrinated, you not getting a say about that, etc).

Don't multiply your stress any further. The current level is enough to deal with.

With karuna
:anjali:
Last edited by manas on Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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securing this mind like a fort,
attack Mara with the spear of discernment,
then guard what's won without settling there,
without laying claim.

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Reductor
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Re: Having children with a strongly deluded spouse?

Post by Reductor » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:03 pm

Lordy, lordy, puppha! I feel for you.

First, I echo the opinion that you should not have more kids. To heck with what others want you to do, if you think it would be wrong. I knew a woman who was constantly pressured to have another kids, because her husband and whole family wanted a boy. She was digging in her heals last I heard (fingers crossed she still is). Another woman that I met not long ago - a mother who brings her daughter to the same dance class as my kids - told me that she wasn't sure about having another kid, but that it was really important to her husband. I couldn't help but point out that she wasn't obliged to have kid just for that reason, and that I would not be willing to do it.

One family had seven girls - more than they could afford to support - all because one of the parents wanted a boy (probably the father, since this was a chinese family). What good did it do the mother and kids?

In my own family, my wife has often expressed regret that we will not have more children, to which I tell her that I am not sorry and that I would never consent to have another one.

As it is, in my family we have two kids, a Buddhist and a fundamentalist Christian. Things get pretty tense at time, but I have long ago stopped caring if I say something that runs counter to her beliefs. This isn't to say I show disrespect, but rather point out the other interpretations whenever that chance arises.

So, say my kid is sick, the wife prays, and a day and a half later the kid is well. Hallelujah! She talks about the miracle to the kid, I sit near and point out that I have also gotten better from illness without a single prayer.

It irks her sometimes, but I think the dynamic between us is such that we don't break into fist fights over it.

Of course, you wife has long sounded like she holds you in very low regard, while my wife thinks well of me in most respects. And honestly, I think it is lack of respect that is causing your woes more than anything else.

So, stand your ground, speak openly without being disrespectful (use your standard, not hers - for her just being non-born-again is disrespectful), and dont' have any more kids with her. Accept that the parent to whom you daughter is closest is the one that will most determine her beliefs and If that parent isn't you, then, well...

:heart:

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Re: Having children with a strongly deluded spouse?

Post by Sokehi » Wed Jan 23, 2013 8:17 pm

Khalil Bodhi wrote:Puppha,

I would caution you against bringing more children into the situation unless you intend to go along with her desires.
This...

and I feel for you OP. May all you be well. :anjali:
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What does womanhood matter at all, when the mind is concentrated well, when knowledge flows on steadily as one sees correctly into Dhamma. One to whom it might occur, ‘I am a woman’ or ‘I am a man’ or ‘I’m anything at all’ is fit for Mara to address. – SN 5.2

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Re: Having children with a strongly deluded spouse?

Post by Anagarika » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:49 pm

For living with such a person in the same house, I can honestly say that it really looks like insanity to me. If it was not because of the 'Christian' label and the political correctness expected towards religions, I am quite sure that psychiatrists would classify such behaviours as heavily deluded.
My two cents would be that it may be that comorbid with your wife's behaviors may be some psychological issues. Does she have a history of trauma in her family of origin, or any dysfunction within her family of origin or adolescent history?

I have seen in my work some people that have traits of personality disorders that manifest as religious extremism. There are "splitting' behaviors where the disordered person's absolutist religion is 'right' and everyone else' is wrong, or evil, or a threat.

One avenue that may be helpful is to pursue marriage and family counseling with a qualified (LCSW or Ph.D. level) therapist. The clinician can help with communication and boundary setting in the home. At the same time, the therapist may identify patterns or traits in your wife that may be consistent with a DSM diagnosis. If your wife refuses therapy with an independent clinician, and will only agree to a church based counselor, I would not go down that path.

I would certainly do the work in therapy necessary to get a handle as to what is going on in your marriage and family from a clinical perspective before considering having more children. I'm not trying to pathologize your family situation unnecessarily but to offer my two cents based on your comments thus far.

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Ben
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Re: Having children with a strongly deluded spouse?

Post by Ben » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:53 pm

puppha wrote:Does anyone see an ethical problem in having children in such a situation?
If it is as you say - yes.
If you are in league with the devil, then you have to ask yourself why she hasn't ended the relationship.
Perhaps you should tell her that you have no desire to father any more children and perhaps you should start sleeping in a separate room and practice celibacy.
Kind regards,
Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
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in mountain clefts and chasms,
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but great rivers flow silently.
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Mr Man
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Re: Having children with a strongly deluded spouse?

Post by Mr Man » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:01 pm

puppha, I don't think it is appropriate to bring this kind of personal issue to a public forum. It is disrespectful in my opinion.
:anjali:

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Ben
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Re: Having children with a strongly deluded spouse?

Post by Ben » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:05 pm

Mr Man wrote:puppha, I don't think it is appropriate to bring this kind of personal issue to a public forum. It is disrespectful in my opinion.
:anjali:
Which is - just you opinion.
The op is not identifiable and neither is his wife.
He is asking for advice regarding a significant issue in his life.
If you have a problem with it Mr Man, then I suggest that the problem lies in you and not the subject matter.
And there is something you can do about that.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Having children with a strongly deluded spouse?

Post by Bhikkhu Pesala » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:26 pm

Ben wrote:The op is not identifiable and neither is his wife.
I would dispute that. He may not be easily identifable to us, but we already know he lives in London, UK, has an 8 year daughter, and is a Buddhist married to a fundamentalist Christian who speaks in tongues. No doubt his wife's relatives also know a lot more, and they might well know who he is.

It might be wiser to discuss such personal matters in private with a trained councillor than on a public forum, where comments that would no doubt be very hurtful to Puppha's wife might get back to her.
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puppha
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Re: Having children with a strongly deluded spouse?

Post by puppha » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:07 am

Hi BuddhaSoup,
BuddhaSoup wrote:I have seen in my work some people that have traits of personality disorders that manifest as religious extremism. There are "splitting' behaviors where the disordered person's absolutist religion is 'right' and everyone else' is wrong, or evil, or a threat.
That splitting is the whole purpose of the "born-again" experience, isn't it? To the bin, the old 'me', full of sins, fears, uncertainties and guilt! Here comes the new 'me', shiny, radiant, perfect. Of course, the old 'me' has not gone, it is just put aside. Then the poor born-again individual has to maintain that split at all costs, even if that means shutting down their heart and brain.
BuddhaSoup wrote:One avenue that may be helpful is to pursue marriage and family counseling with a qualified (LCSW or Ph.D. level) therapist. The clinician can help with communication and boundary setting in the home. At the same time, the therapist may identify patterns or traits in your wife that may be consistent with a DSM diagnosis. If your wife refuses therapy with an independent clinician, and will only agree to a church based counselor, I would not go down that path.
Thanks for the advice, I'll definitely propose that to her. I would appreciate it, even if just to shed some lights from different angles. I didn't realise there were family therapists!
Indeed, if she just wants a born-again one, that will be a flat 'no' from my side.

Thanks for your input, BuddhaSoup!

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puppha
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Re: Having children with a strongly deluded spouse?

Post by puppha » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:11 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:I would dispute that. He may not be easily identifable to us, but we already know he lives in London, UK, has an 8 year daughter, and is a Buddhist married to a fundamentalist Christian who speaks in tongues. No doubt his wife's relatives also know a lot more, and they might well know who he is.

It might be wiser to discuss such personal matters in private with a trained councillor than on a public forum, where comments that would no doubt be very hurtful to Puppha's wife might get back to her.
That's a fair point. I thought this was all fairly anonymous, but it's true there are a enough details to at least provide some suspicion...
I'll try to be less personal from now on.
:anjali:

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