For those in relationships...

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For those in relationships...

Postby Lazy_eye » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:17 am

Is your spouse or significant other also practicing Buddhism? If not, how does he/she regard your practice? Do any concerns come up, and if so, how do you address them?

How easy do you find it to integrate your practice and your relationship?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this..

:namaste:

LE
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Re: For those in relationships...

Postby Ben » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:59 am

Lazy_eye wrote:Is your spouse or significant other also practicing Buddhism?

No
Lazy_eye wrote:If not, how does he/she regard your practice?

It depends... sometimes she thinks its a waste of time, other times its just what I do. The acid test is that she is supportive of taking my kids to childrens meditation courses.
Lazy_eye wrote:Do any concerns come up, and if so, how do you address them?

We talk about them. She doesn't put any pressure on me to break my sila or restrictions regarding livelihood.

Lazy_eye wrote:How easy do you find it to integrate your practice and your relationship?

I don't feel its an issue. In retrospect I don't think its a matter of integrating practice with relationship rather than two people integrating themselves into a viable partnership. The issues that may come up as a result of friction between a practitioner and his/her partner are going to be there regardless if one, both or none are practicing. If your taking time out to go and meditate is causing some headaches, then I suggest you do as I did and time your meditation when your partner/family are in bed - very early morning and late at night. And I also suggest you let your actions speak for themselves.

Lazy_eye wrote:Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this..

np!

Ben
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Re: For those in relationships...

Postby Fede » Wed Apr 01, 2009 4:15 pm

I am in a relationship, and though my partner lists his 'religion' as Buddhist, on Facebook, it's really more as a nod and out of respect for me, than for any personal vocational reasons.
He respects my calling, and is curious.
He tells me (and I know you only have my word for it, but I'm being honest) that he thinks I'm one of the kindest and least harmful people he knows.
he has mellowed much in the time I have known him.
He's still volatile, but friends have marked upon the changes in him.
This is more, I am sure, out of a desire to effect change in himself as a result of 'seeing', than of any direct influence I have purposely tried to implement upon him, myself....

Any 'problems' within the relationship cannot be laid at the feet of Buddhism. It has not caused any dissent, division or rift, or clash of ideas.
Rather, whatever may have brought any of these about, I would say is down to my own sense of attachment, grasping and clinging, and seeking satisfaction in transitory things, fleeting and impermanent as they are.

I make every Effort to practise in my relationship. If I fail, it's my fault.....

Hope this helps.

:namaste:
Last edited by Fede on Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: For those in relationships...

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:24 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:Is your spouse or significant other also practicing Buddhism? If not, how does he/she regard your practice? Do any concerns come up, and if so, how do you address them?
yes, in fact thats how we met...

How easy do you find it to integrate your practice and your relationship?
pretty easy as we spend a lot of time at the thai temple here in town..
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
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Re: For those in relationships...

Postby Rui Sousa » Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:52 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:Is your spouse or significant other also practicing Buddhism?

No.
If not, how does he/she regard your practice?


With distance. Sometimes I feel she is afraid I might leave home to become a monk :)

Do any concerns come up, and if so, how do you address them?


How to raise children, should they be Catholics or Buddhists? I said its their choice, they should be allowed to pursue any religious option they make, it is our task to provide them the means to do so.

How easy do you find it to integrate your practice and your relationship?


Very easy and beneficial for both parts.
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Re: For those in relationships...

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:22 pm

My wife is Buddhist, in fact we met on e-sangha. The interesting thing is that I'm Theravada and she's Tibetan gelugpa. We're a bi-partisan household. Early on we made a pact: the first one of us to reach Realization the other one will switch over. :P

That said, this has been no cure for normal domestic stress. Marriage is a process where you basically swap single-person suffering for married person suffering, and it's a test of your practice how you deal with this stress while maintaining compassion and equilibrium.

Some time ago I decided against taking the robe, although I yearned to do so, because I realized if I did, I would be unable to help my son, who has psychological problems and has no other family than me to help him when he's in trouble, financially and emotionally. I decided for me to join the sangha at that time would have been a act of utter selfishness. Some time later, I also decided I would partake of the joys of lay life as described by the Buddha in several suttas. I saw no reason to live as a monk without actually being part of the community of monks. So I engaged in the comforts of marriage, a home and having cats. But every time you make a choice you give something up. Every decision has consequences. How you deal with those consequences can be graceful or not. :buddha1:

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Re: For those in relationships...

Postby nathan » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:48 pm

I have maintained no relationship for a decade (so I realize that I shouldn't even post here but I have had intimate relationships in the past and) because I could see this exchange of forms of suffering in it along with it's obvious merits I have since refrained from it. That and it has seemed as entirely likely that I would flee the world for the relative sanctuary of the ordained sangha regardless of my other choices even when I was in a relationship. Had I had children I would have felt entirely obligated to meet those responsibilities to the best of my capabilities and this has always been the primary concern I have had in regards to any intimate relationship. The potential fate of any potential children has been a consideration regardless of whether or not I would go on to provide for them in any way. That is, the capacity for any woman so involved with me and others socially to see to their care or well being apart from me, should she so wish as this is an ongoing potential reality for men in my country. Regardless of their intentions, women simply have greater rights and men have the greater burden of proof in terms of legal domestic custody concerns. This was all important to me as well along with that shared intention of concern prior to any intimacy at all. At this more advanced age I look back at all of those involvements with both thankful appreciation and relief at the overall outcomes even though some of those relationships may have taken other positive directions and continued to now with much different outcomes.
Last edited by nathan on Thu Apr 02, 2009 2:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: For those in relationships...

Postby zavk » Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:56 pm

Hi LE,

My partner is not Buddhist but she has no problems with my practice whatsoever. In fact, she agrees with and appreciates Buddhist ideals. She just doesn't feel the inclination to take refuge in the path. Maybe she will one day, I don't know.

My practice has definitely benefited our relationship in that it has taught me responsibility, kindness, patience, etc, etc. This of course requires constant effort. And to the extent that she has seen how much I have benefited from the dhamma she has been very supportive.

She does tease me occasionally about being 'Buddhist' when I try to be moderate with various indulgences such as partying and gossiping. But it's all good.

:juggling:

Best wishes,
zavk
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Re: For those in relationships...

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:08 am

Greetings Lazy_eye,

Lazy_eye wrote:Is your spouse or significant other also practicing Buddhism?


No.

Lazy_eye wrote:If not, how does he/she regard your practice?


Initially with abhorrent disgust, which has since transferred into acceptance and a bit of homour about me being a hippy.

Lazy_eye wrote:Do any concerns come up, and if so, how do you address them?


The only tangible issue that comes up is that I'd like to go on meditation retreats but she doesn't cope well when I'm uncontactable for any significant length of time. I squeeze in formal meditation but I recognise and accept that opportunities for more extensive meditation sittings (even in a home environment) may be up to a couple of decades away.... until then there's a focus on daily mindfulness, Dhamma study and wise reflection.

Lazy_eye wrote:How easy do you find it to integrate your practice and your relationship?


Not too difficult, putting aside the meditation issues mentioned previously.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: For those in relationships...

Postby AdvaitaJ » Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:58 am

Lazy_eye wrote:Is your spouse or significant other also practicing Buddhism?
Nope, she's a Christian.

Lazy_eye wrote: If not, how does he/she regard your practice? Do any concerns come up, and if so, how do you address them?
She sees the difference it has made in me and she likes the "kinder gentler me". (Whenever I write that, it always sounds like I was a murdering baby-eater before, which was definitely not the case!)

Lazy_eye wrote:How easy do you find it to integrate your practice and your relationship?
I've had to work at finding quiet time for quality cushion time. I generally get up over an hour before she does on the weekends just so I can take advantage of the quiet in the house. Lately, and this is another of those weird things, she's had choir and/or choir practice two nights a week. More quiet practice time!

We also have some fun with it. There was a dhamma talk that I listened to that said regular practice develops "powers". I played that for her and my daughter and we get a good chuckle teasing each other about my "powers".

The one very curious aspect is right before bed. (We've been married almost 30 years, so chillax.) I suspect that, like many others, I read before bed. The Buddha, of course, and also Bhikku Bodhi, Ajahn Brahm, Sayadaw U Pandita, etc. What's curious is that she will make an effort to be available for me to read to her! We sometimes discuss what I've read, but I don't discuss her interest in hearing the reading for fear of having it become "a thing". She says she just likes hearing my voice, but I'm not so sure.

Regards: AdvaitaJ
The birds have vanished down the sky. Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.
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Re: For those in relationships...

Postby Lazy_eye » Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:32 am

Thank you all for the interesting and insightful replies. This is a topic I periodically find myself thinking about, and it's beneficial to hear about your experiences and approaches (as varied as these are!).

Metta,
LE
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Re: For those in relationships...

Postby Jechbi » Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:38 am

Lazy_eye wrote:Is your spouse or significant other also practicing Buddhism?
Yes, in her own way, according to what she learned growing up.
Do any concerns come up, and if so, how do you address them?
No concerns come up about this.
How easy do you find it to integrate your practice and your relationship?
Broadly speaking, our relationship is good practice. Narrowly speaking, when it comes to a choice between sitting or spending time with her, I tend to choose the latter. But that's easy.
:smile:
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: For those in relationships...

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:08 am

Greetings,

Well I'll be observing my first regular Uposatha Day on Thursday (the only other times I've done it have been whilst on retreat or with the family away) so I'll let you know if that raises any issues!

After having my son's birthday party yesterday and a big dinner, the thought of not eating the wrong side of noon sounds like a happy proposition!

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: For those in relationships...

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:44 am

Lazy_eye wrote:Is your spouse or significant other also practicing Buddhism?


Buddhist, but not practicing meditation currently- has been on retreats before,
Lazy_eye wrote:If not, how does he/she regard your practice?

we vary in our motivation to practice, I want to practice more often and get a bit dissapointed when she doesnt want to do as much- but i am getting used to it with time. she reins me in when I practice so much that it affects the relationship- in terms of detachment and reducing sensual pleasure -but we do have a common goal once our biological duties are done to pursue the practice 'full time'
Lazy_eye wrote:Do any concerns come up, and if so, how do you address them?

we talk about- I practice less at times- it is a lot to do with timing in life I think- trying to find areas in which i can progress without having to impinge on the commitment i made to this relationship

Lazy_eye wrote:How easy do you find it to integrate your practice and your relationship?

not easy- but the relationship has helped me grow in ways i would not have otherwise- patience, setting aside my own cravings and ego at times, also made me more assertive and talking about problems in way that doesnt hurt




[/quote]
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Re: For those in relationships...

Postby Zack » Sat Apr 11, 2009 4:39 pm

Lazy_eye wrote:Is your spouse or significant other also practicing Buddhism? If not, how does he/she regard your practice? Do any concerns come up, and if so, how do you address them?

How easy do you find it to integrate your practice and your relationship?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this..

:namaste:

LE


No, My wife claims Christianity but does not attend a church or practice in anyway that I am aware of.

My wife respects my Buddhist involvement and is generally encouraging and supportive, She often tells me she wants to learn more about Buddhism but has never but any effort in it.

Concerns are mostly over my daughter {12} and school. She is currently attending a christian school where being supportive of Buddhism could lead to an unnecessary distraction from the other children or possibly even teachers. These concerns or mostly mine and has never actually been a problem as of yet.

The biggest problem that I encounter is my wife's aversion to Roaches. She demands that I kill them on sight and claims to feel ill if she sees or even thinks of me catching them. I sometimes forget myself and kill one from time to time for her.

I also tend to be Self-conscious about my practice not wanting to seem strange to my family.
I am of nature to decay, I have not gone beyond decay.
I am of the nature to be diseased, I have not gone beyond disease.
I am of the nature to die, I have not done beyond death.
All that is mine, dear and delightful, will change and vanish.
I am the owner of my kamma, heir to my kamma, born of my kamma, related to
my kamma, abide supported by my kamma. Whatever kamma I shall do,
whether good or evil, of that I shall be the heir.
Thus we should frequently recollect.
- Upajjhatthana Sutta, Anguttara Nikaya v.57
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Re: For those in relationships...

Postby Pablo » Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:11 pm

Hi Lazy_eye, thanks for starting this thread. Everyone's answers have been great, and I surely will show your posts to my girlfriend, to comment it with her.

Before I answer your questions, when I started practising Buddhism I was under the idea that this Ariyan search would make EVERYTHING softer, cooler, simpler. That inclues work, family and, of course, partners. So, for me, it was obvious that my practice would make me a truly desirable partner :tongue: as I would have little needs, wouldn't need to satisfy my desires and, in a nutshell, would be the perfect son-in-law every mom wants for her daughter :jumping:

Lazy_eye wrote:Is your spouse or significant other also practicing Buddhism?

Nope, she's a Christian.

If not, how does he/she regard your practice? Do any concerns come up, and if so, how do you address them?

She also meditates from time to time (some kind of Yogi meditation that helps her get some insight into her problems when she feels stressed and anxious), so she thinks meditation will make me a better person (which supposedly does), and a calmer and more understanding partner (so far, she's pretty satisfied about that :smile: ).
There have been concerns, of course, mainly because our age difference (she's 5 years older than me) and because of my former doubts to ordain; moreover, there were some problems when I shared with her the probable future when I will have less sexual desire. But we've talked through them all: I'm lucky she's so charming and willing to listen and understand my circumstances (as I am to understand hers), and accept my path, as she knows it is what motivates my life (or should motivate: she has also remembered this to me some times that I've been lost).
However, we've been together for a short time, so this could be unsignificant. I'll come back in 5 years and tell you how it is going :tongue: (although I'm pretty optimistic).

How easy do you find it to integrate your practice and your relationship?

Really easy. She understands (and somewhat admires, I guess) my dedication to meditation, and respects that. She doesn't want to be an obstacle to my practice, so she makes great efforts to control her fears and insecurities to let me meditate whenever I want to...either I'm really in love with her, or she's truly lovely. I guess all this is so easy because we are willing to make the effort, and for that, I consider myself lucky (that, or I have a hell of a good kamma :tongue: )

Thanks in advance for your thoughts on this..

Thanks to you for asking :anjali:

May all beings be happy
:anjali:
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