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marriage

edited February 2006 in General Banter
hmm.. hopin this will relate to many

recently i have been reading various materials in relation to marriage.
as odd as this sounds i donot believe in marriage ... although i have
been married for 19 years.
the more i envolve myself with the dharma the harder it is to live
with my husband. ( he is not a buddhist by no means.. which is ok )

im not the same gal i was 20 years ago, 10 years ago, 5 years ago
heck... since yesterday for that matter.
its like i read recently.. in a marriage you play this game
( you play you
i will play me
go )

do i love my huband.. i think love is the box we live in
im a wanderer on this planet trying to make a day work with a job,
kids, partner etc.
and may i get personal......the desire for sex is just a desire. hard
to put that into words.

i definetly remind my two teenagers that marriage is not something
we have to fall into. and there is no age that you really no when or
if you are ready.

dont get me wrong.. life is what we make it
and for the most part mine is comfortable.. just sometimes complicated.
geeesh .. some marriages in my family have failed and i almost honour
them for following their hearts.. lol

yet it helps to know... that life is just like that!
and ya.. leaves fall.. i like that one to.

any thoughts ??
:-/

Comments

  • edited February 2006
    I always had a pragmatic view of marriage. Romantic love is nice, but not necessary. Sex is nice, but not necessary. Ideally, the terms would be flexible for all the individuals involved...and be able to incorporate changing people.

    Realistically, this rarely happens.
  • buddhafootbuddhafoot Veteran Veteran
    edited February 2006
    Marriage is a tough one.

    I know that in my first (and only marriage) that a person does change. I know I did. I know that she did too.

    I guess that I also don't believe in marriage too much anymore. I think, for me, committment is what binds two people together. Obviously we know, from statistics in the US, that neither paper nor ring is what will bind two people together because the divorce rate is 50% in the States.

    But, I also don't believe that just by becoming tired of something means we should abandon it.

    While I'm an incredible romanticist at heart - love is something that dwells on many levels. Love is definitely much different from when you first get together with someone (more akin to lust) when compared to what it is 10 or 15 years down the road. But, 15 years down the road, instead of having constant lust, you find that love has become something more related to knowing this person you are with, the things you know about them, the things they know about you, the struggles you have gone through together, etc.

    But, just like religion and faith, I believe love is one of those things that we question, think about, theorize, etc as we continue to go through this "life".

    This would be a good thread for Elohim to post on. I believe that love is a "state" or a "condition" that we are in. But, love and compassion are also things that, I believe it is taught, that are good and Right things to show our fellow man.

    And, even though we're in a relationship with another person, aren't they still our fellow man? I think that's what gets lost sometimes. That the relationship we're in isn't with our "fellow man" but someone that we now take for granted. They've become a "husband" or "wife" instead of our fellow man.

    Anyway, I don't even know what point I'm really trying to make here except that, yes, people do change. Love changes - and I think that's okay.

    I'm going to have to think about this some more to try to come up with a better posting.

    -bf
  • edited February 2006
    i guess my question / or issues here are
    does studing the dharma and marriage to a non buddhist MIX?

    it seems to me that the dharma fat surfaces to the top and the
    partnership expectations settle and brew at the bottom..

    as relations to the world outside of marriage.. perhaps emotions
    dont play such an important role and it makes things easier.
    perhaps one can share without judgement in mixing with friends
    not to say my husband is judgmental but rather a spouse that
    cannot relate may take things personal and be intimidated.

    its a whole wrap of differences living under one roof..

    think im rambling here.. but i will give this some more thought
    and try to be alil more specific.

    this cocktail doesnt necessarily have to be deadly does it? hehe
    maybe deadly isnt the word.. rather a smooth potion would be
    satisfing.
  • buddhafootbuddhafoot Veteran Veteran
    edited February 2006
    I think I would look at marriage in the same light that I would think of parenthood - or even taking care of yourself.

    Does the pursuit of awakening preclude responsibility?

    Buddha went to some pretty extreme measures in his pursuit of "whatever it was" before it was given the name "Awakening".

    He realized that there is the Middle Path and that the Middle Path was good. Going to one extreme or the other did not enhance one's mind or body to attain Enlightenment.

    Even monks who forgoe a personal relationship as in "wife" or "husband" are in relationships. Even the followers of Buddha were in a relationship with Buddha. His passing had a profound effect upon them. I think there was an attachment to - an attachment to the Buddha, his teachings, his peace, his love and kindness.

    I think it does come down to following a Middle Path.

    There is you.

    Then there are those that you interact with.

    Following one, shouldn't necessarily preclude interaction with the other.

    -bf
  • edited February 2006
    Well...Buddha nature is in your spouse...it always was. Knowing that should actually bring new dimensions to the relationship.
  • edited February 2006
    buddhafoot wrote:

    There is you.

    Then there are those that you interact with.

    Following one, shouldn't necessarily preclude interaction with the other.

    -bf

    I agree. My husband does not study Buddhism, nor has he ever said he is a Buddhist, but I always tell him "See, you are a Buddhist!", because his actions always "show" that he is a Buddhist. So, I do not think that you will not have a successful marriage if both of you are not Buddhists.

    I also do not believe that you need to be married to be committed to each other. Unfortunately, though, in the US, unless you are married, you miss out on a lot of the "benefits", such as health insurance through your spouses work, etc.
  • edited February 2006
    colleen wrote:
    as odd as this sounds i donot believe in marriage ... although i have
    been married for 19 years.

    That's perfect, or it would be if you stopped right there.
    the more i envolve myself with the dharma the harder it is to live
    with my husband. ( he is not a buddhist by no means.. which is ok )

    Yes, if you practice consistently you will find that real intimacy, in the sense of not having these ideas of seperation, increases. Or it doesn't, whichever is appropriate. In any relationship, your relation is not to the person - if it were, no relationship would ever survive. As to, "the more I involve myself with the Dharma" - that's just an idea, a useful one at times but also one that can stand in your way. There is no Dharma apart from being present and actually seeing things as they are.
  • XraymanXrayman Veteran Veteran
    edited February 2006
    colleen wrote:
    hmm.. hopin this will relate to many

    recently i have been reading various materials in relation to marriage.
    as odd as this sounds i donot believe in marriage ... although i have
    been married for 19 years.
    the more i envolve myself with the dharma the harder it is to live
    with my husband. ( he is not a buddhist by no means.. which is ok )

    im not the same gal i was 20 years ago, 10 years ago, 5 years ago
    heck... since yesterday for that matter.
    its like i read recently.. in a marriage you play this game
    ( you play you
    i will play me
    go )

    do i love my huband.. i think love is the box we live in
    im a wanderer on this planet trying to make a day work with a job,
    kids, partner etc.
    and may i get personal......the desire for sex is just a desire. hard
    to put that into words.

    i definetly remind my two teenagers that marriage is not something
    we have to fall into. and there is no age that you really no when or
    if you are ready.

    dont get me wrong.. life is what we make it
    and for the most part mine is comfortable.. just sometimes complicated.
    geeesh .. some marriages in my family have failed and i almost honour
    them for following their hearts.. lol

    yet it helps to know... that life is just like that!
    and ya.. leaves fall.. i like that one to.

    any thoughts ??
    :-/

    Colleen,

    Interesting post.

    The more I live with my wife (of fifteen years-a rarity nowadays) the more I discover she is Buddhist and the more I discover I'm only a beginner. Even though my ego says I know more about it than she does! She is actually Catholic, but that does not seem to impinge on her understanding of Buddhist concepts.

    The essential truth is that she PRACTICES it all the time without knowing it, while I can only attempt to practise it...Sad I know!

    While your Husband may seem Buddhist and he may well follow the logic of buddhist philiosophy, perhaps he may not want to hear it (just between us all here, don't tell him!).

    regards,
    Xrayman:type:
  • SimonthepilgrimSimonthepilgrim Veteran Veteran
    edited February 2006
    How can I resist commenting on this? Married twice, once divorced, once widowed, plus other live-in and live-apart relationships, surely I must know something about marriage?

    I have come to the conclusion that there exists an underlying confusion in the contemporary understanding of marriage. There appear to be a number of elements of confusion:

    * Marriage became, in the Anglo-Saxon world, a method of legitimising sex. The Pauline text about 'burning' is used to try to reduce all sexual activity to that within heterosexual amarriage. The advantages to society are many: inheritance problems are minimised, taxes can be levied, social engineering becomes possible. In 'Roman' Christian Europe (and among Anglo-Saxons of senior rank), this attitude is somewhat new. Marriage and sexual gratification were not seen as identical - it could even be argued that they were self-cancelling.

    * When the 18th century sentimentalised romance and introduced the notion of the life-long, faithful, exclusive relationship based entirely on sentiment, it was in fiction. People have, however, adopted the idea that romantic love (or overwhelming lust) is the only valid foundation for marriage. They then take a further step and imagine that these emotions will last! It is only in English versions of fairy stories that the hero and heroine "live happily ever after". Perrault, in the French originals, says that they "married and had many children"; not a word about happiness.

    It would be an extraordinarily liberating move were society to define marriage without a sexual component but as a contract, for life if need be, between two people whose reciprocal rights, duties and responsibilities were clearly spelled out.

    We are among the few generations in recorded history who expect marriage to be more than the joining of familes/possessions and the bearing of children. We expect them to make us happy!!!!
  • buddhafootbuddhafoot Veteran Veteran
    edited February 2006
    Hmmm... when you put it like that, it don't sound very fun.

    Leave it to Simon to tell it like it is.

    -bf
  • edited February 2006


    It would be an extraordinarily liberating move were society to define marriage without a sexual component but as a contract, for life if need be, between two people whose reciprocal rights, duties and responsibilities were clearly spelled out.


    I agree. I think people sure would try a lot harder to make their marriage work if this were the case.

    BF - being married IS fun. I absolutely love being married. I wouldn't have it any other way. :)
  • buddhafootbuddhafoot Veteran Veteran
    edited February 2006
    Yoda dear...

    It's only fun for you because YOU are not married to YOU.

    -bf
  • edited February 2006
    HEY!!! I happen to be loads of fun. And pretty darn entertaining, I might add.

    (Have you been speaking to my husband??)
  • edited February 2006
    I'm kind of dithering on this thread because I'm in the same position as Colleen but with a partner who is very supportive of my spiritual path (even when he disagreed with it wholeheartedly but knew it was important to me)

    So it sounds like - works for me nya nya. But that's not what I mean. It takes two - if one of you is spiritual and the other isn't, then you both have to work at understanding and tolerance.
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