Sleeping with people who are in a relationship

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

Sleeping with people who are in a relationship

Postby Alobha » Fri Jul 13, 2012 11:08 pm

Hey everyone.
Just some thoughts i'd like to share:

Today I had a discussion with a friend whether it's "okay" to sleep with people who are in a relationship. She argued that if the guy sleeps with another girl, it can take sexual pressure from the relationship and well – there is a point in that. Things can develop in different directions, so who knows whether sleeping with someone who is in a monogamic relationship will lead to suffering or to happiness?

Just now, i figure out that arguing that this bodily khamma, this action will have certain consequences is true – but i can't tell for sure which - there are too many factors to really know for sure and it always depends on the people involved. Does that mean that there there might be no unbeneficial consequences at all? No. Every action has an impact on the mind and in this case, the consequences can be seen. Actions like sex with others feed the sexual desires and cravings. Keeping sexual affairs a secret from a partner is a breeding ground for disharmony and mistrust. When there are no secrets and when there is no need to lie to a partner or willfully hide something – when there is just the truth and no skeletons in the closet, then this the most appreciable condition for a flourishing, loving and supporting relationship for the people involved.

Yet – instead of discussing problems with a partner, people want to believe that getting sexual relief with others is the solution to have a harmonious relationship.

"Maybe the secrets will not come out and maybe the partner will never find out about the things hidden in the closet" – so maybe there is no need for this ethical conduct one might still say.
But mutual trust, love and harmony in a relationship are qualities one should not easily endanger. Just like parents protect and care for their new born child, people in a relationship should protect and care for the good qualities and the value a good relationship can offer. People should protect and care for their relationship(s). They should care for developing the good qualities like trust, compassion and emotional support and avoid giving rise to bad qualities like distrust, doubt and hatred.

And i think that is the point. If one strongly cares about a relationship and the partner, there is no place for lightheartedly risking to hurt the partner or damaging the relationship.

What about the third party involved, the person who sleeps with someone in a relationship? „It's not my partnership, it's not my problem.“ - I can only imagine that upon experiencing how people in a relationship are so easily ready to abandon the qualities of partnership – that such a person will loose faith and respect for relationships and the potential they hold – and possibly lose trust in people in general, too. If you have no problem endangering other relationships, will you easily trust in your own? will you hold on to a relationship and work problems out or will you dump your partner rather sooner than later? How much can you care about your environment, the feelings of your loved ones, if you allow yourself to bring this amount of callousness to others? „It's not my partnership, it's not my problem.“
Well. It is your compassion and kindness towards all living beings, it is your peace with yourself and the world, it is your mind free of remorse that is endangered by your actions. Family, friends and strangers alike should be treated in a way that does not give rise to remorse, carelessness, hatred and greed. People complain about how there is no goodness in this world, how bad people behave and yet – they trample down every seedling of goodness they see without thinking about it. Goodness and virtuosity must be cultivated, these qualities don't grow in the fires of carelessness.

Would i sleep with someone who is in a relationship if the opportunity comes up? No, because i don't want me or others to burn in these fires. I don't want to risk letting people suffer and bleed because of my actions and my carelessness.Instead of taking such a risk for "quick fun", i'll take the chance to stand out as a pillar of virtuosity, of trustworthiness and blamelessness. I'll take the chance for goodness and actions, that unite people and strengthen harmony. Let's give rise to goodness. That's how i see it.
:anjali:

Metta,
Alobha
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Re: Sleeping with people who are in a relationship

Postby Ben » Sat Jul 14, 2012 12:29 am

Alobha wrote:Would i sleep with someone who is in a relationship if the opportunity comes up? No, because i don't want me or others to burn in these fires. I don't want to risk letting people suffer and bleed because of my actions and my carelessness.Instead of taking such a risk for "quick fun", i'll take the chance to stand out as a pillar of virtuosity, of trustworthiness and blamelessness. I'll take the chance for goodness and actions, that unite people and strengthen harmony. Let's give rise to goodness. That's how i see it.


I am glad to hear it!
The problem is that we live in societies where the chasing of pleasure is seen as the highest good. Practicing sila, sense restraint and developing self mastery and wisdom are sadly out of fashion. Yet, its understandable given that western cultures have come out of the yoke of christian indoctrination and suppression of desires through guilt.

Its never a good idea to screw around. Whether it be with other single people, those who are in a relationship with others or if we are intending to do it behind the back of our spouse. A mind obsessing and indulging in lust is one which it is virtually impossible to develop samadhi. And without samadhi panna has no chance to develop. For many, indulgence becomes obsession and addiction. A mind constantly craving finds no satiation, just misery unbound.
Furthermore, trysts of the type you mention bring a great deal of disharmony and can lead to the breakdown of marriages, families and sow the seeds of hatred and violence. A refuge in lust is no refuge at all.
with metta,

Ben
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Re: Sleeping with people who are in a relationship

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Jul 14, 2012 1:02 am

Alobha wrote:Hey everyone.
Just some thoughts i'd like to share:

Today I had a discussion with a friend ... I'll take the chance for goodness and actions, that unite people and strengthen harmony. Let's give rise to goodness. That's how i see it.
:anjali:

Metta,
Alobha

:goodpost:
Just one tiny point: "virtuosity" doesn't mean what it looks like it should mean - English is really weird sometimes :tongue:
"virtuosity" = exceptional skill, especially in musical performance.
The word we would use here is simply "virtue", which can mean "behaviour showing high moral standards" as well as "a quality considered morally good or desirable in a person or thing" (quoting from my nearest dictionary).
Native English speakers have the advantage of knowing the dominant language but the disadvantage that we are not pushed into learning a second language. I just wish I was as good in any other language as you, and many others here, are in your second language.

:namaste:
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Re: Sleeping with people who are in a relationship

Postby waimengwan » Mon Jul 16, 2012 3:58 pm

If we create the causes of sleeping with others who is not our partner behind our partner's back, this creates a propensity that one day our partner will do the same to us. Could manifest in this life or future lives.
I suppose the act is based on selfishness and if we are selfish it creates the karma to be lonely later.
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Re: Sleeping with people who are in a relationship

Postby Buckwheat » Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:11 pm

Alobha wrote:...so who knows whether sleeping with someone who is in a monogamic relationship will lead to suffering or to happiness?


Empirical evidence in my experience would suggest that the vast majority of cheating leads to suffering, and that there is no reliable way for the involved parties to make a sound judgement. Their judgement is rather impaired by the stress of failing relationships, lying and secrecy, and lust. That is why a simple rule that one will not get involved is simple and effective. Most importantly, I can't fathom a situation where restraint would lead to suffering unless it is accompanied by lying or abusive speech.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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Re: Sleeping with people who are in a relationship

Postby plwk » Tue Jul 17, 2012 5:18 am



But it feels so right...right? :tongue:
Bhikkhus, if you develop and make much this one thing,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.
What is it? It is recollecting the Enlightened One.
If this single thing is recollected and made much,
it invariably leads to weariness, cessation, appeasement, realization and extinction.

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