Divorced Again....Naturally!

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BubbaBuddhist
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Divorced Again....Naturally!

Postby BubbaBuddhist » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:02 pm

Hot on the heels of my recent third divorce, I get asked this a lot: "Why do you keep getting married?" :D My response is that just because you don't get something right the first time, it doesn't mean you should give up. It's like if you buy a dog, and the dog eventually dies, you think, "Well, I'll never buy another dog. They die." Not that spouses are like dogs. Unless, of course, they are, but that's the topic of next week's Dr Phil: "Is your man a dog?"

Some of my hipper Buddhist friends say in response to my admittedly disastrous romantic past, "Everything's impermanent," meaning, I assume, that these marriages were bound to end someday. Impermanence is often interpreted to mean that things end. I've had a lot of experience with things apparently ending, and I think that this is not true. Marriages may end, but the relationship doesn't. It changes. Sometimes even within a relationship, the changes can be radical. Sometimes these changes are survivable; sometimes not.

I've never been one to give up, on anything. Failure isn't an option. At age fifty I went back to college to finish a degree I left hanging thirty years ago, and begun seriously studying piano, the first music lessons of my life. I finished that degree, so now I have three college degrees, none of which are currently marketable but my head is full of all kinds of arcane knowledge.

Last semester my Italian teacher asked me if I was ever going to marry again. I answered, "Amo le donne," ('I love women,") and she laughed. "You will, then." And I might. I'm neither bitter nor disappointed. Furthermore, I'm in love. Like I said, amo le donne, I so amo le donne very much. :jumping:

BuB
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daverupa
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Re: Divorced Again....Naturally!

Postby daverupa » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:07 pm

MN 87 wrote:"That's the way it is, householder. That's the way it is — for sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are born from one who is dear, come springing from one who is dear."
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]

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Ben
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Re: Divorced Again....Naturally!

Postby Ben » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:30 pm

Hi J,
From what I understand what's been going on in your life, I think the divorce was a good move.
Kind regards,
Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

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Re: Divorced Again....Naturally!

Postby Dan74 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:45 pm

I guess some people are great for falling in love with but not so great for living together.

Not sure if this was or is the case, but maybe something to be aware of (for the young ones, or the young at heart ones!)
_/|\_

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Re: Divorced Again....Naturally!

Postby Viscid » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:53 pm

Why do your marriages keep failing? Any common theme?
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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Re: Divorced Again....Naturally!

Postby Ben » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:02 pm

This may come as a complete surprise, viscid, it's normal for marriages to end in divorce.
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia
e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com

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Re: Divorced Again....Naturally!

Postby Viscid » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:04 pm

Ben wrote:This may come as a complete surprise, viscid, it's normal for marriages to end in divorce.

It may be a somewhat insensitive question. (I also don't really understand what you mean by 'normal' in this context, Ben. I assume you mean that it's common, or that the people who've divorced aren't 'abnormal.') Still, I'm curious as to what can be learned from three divorces in one lifetime. BB isn't suggesting they weren't worth it, so I assume they were. Why should one get married at all if it's likely to end in divorce? What's the gain? Why not just stay common-law? It seems silly to me to make a vow to love someone despite everything-- and then divorce them anyway.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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Re: Divorced Again....Naturally!

Postby equilibrium » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:20 pm

BubbaBuddist wrote:.....
Remember.....life is nothing but an illusion.....what you see is not what it is.

Try and look at this in a slightly different way.....for anything to take effect, there must be the right conditions but an effect cannot happen without a cause.
.....and how do you see things now relating to the story?

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Re: Divorced Again....Naturally!

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:38 pm

Greetings,

Viscid wrote:Why should one get married at all if it's likely to end in divorce? What's the gain? Why not just stay common-law? It seems silly to me to make a vow to love someone despite everything-- and then divorce them anyway.

You can only act in the present with the best intentions with regards to the future - you cannot know the future. If that means marriage, or if that means common-law, or if it means something else altogether... then that's what it is. If there is the proper intention, then it is not wrong.

When you're talking about two humans, who change, grow and evolve over time... the way things transpire is not as linear and predictable as your questions might suggest. It is far more important to do good things, be a good person, be at peace, and to treat people properly... than it is to be married "til death do us part" at all costs, if being married means compromising those things.

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: Divorced Again....Naturally!

Postby Viscid » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:48 pm

retrofuturist wrote:When you're talking about two humans, who change, grow and evolve over time... the way things transpire are not as linear and predictable as your questions might suggest.


I agree completely, but I don't see the institution of marriage as something which takes this into account. When one marries, one gives the vow:

"I, ____, take you, ____, to be my (husband/wife). I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life." (Wikipedia)


... or some variation on that. This, to me, is what is meant by marriage-- that despite all change, you vow stay together. How then, can one make this vow if one wisely sees that things are indeed not linear and predictable, and that one may, because of these variations, have to divorce? It's completely dishonest. Now, if one is young and naive, sure, it's excusable.. but if someone is making the same vows after they've had three previous divorces, they're just lying to themselves and everyone else present at the ceremony.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James

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Re: Divorced Again....Naturally!

Postby poto » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:33 am

Viscid wrote: but if someone is making the same vows after they've had three previous divorces, they're just lying to themselves and everyone else present at the ceremony.


I don't think it qualifies as a lie if he intended the vows to be true at the time. Many people are unable to keep the precepts, but that doesn't mean they were lieing and intending to break them when they took them.

On a somewhat related note to the topic, I was reading a book called Sex at Dawn recently. It's about primitive human sexuality. It's not a very well written book and I've noticed a number of errors, but it is a somewhat interesting/entertaining read. Basically it states that traditional marriage and the nuclear family is unnatural and is the result of agriculture, religious pressures, etc. It argues that primitive human hunter-gatherers shared partners and shared child rearing as well. I'm not completely sold on it, but would be interested to see if genetic studies of human breeding patterns support the claims or not.
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C. S. Lewis

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Re: Divorced Again....Naturally!

Postby Anagarika » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:59 am

retrofuturist wrote: When you're talking about two humans, who change, grow and evolve over time... the way things transpire is not as linear and predictable as your questions might suggest. It is far more important to do good things, be a good person, be at peace, and to treat people properly... than it is to be married "til death do us part" at all costs, if being married means compromising those things.

Metta,
Retro. :)

:goodpost:

I'm a divorce attorney. People divorce for myriad reasons, some of them good and healthy reasons, and some for not so healthy or rational reasons. Retro really said it best, especially if children are involved. In order to cultivate peace, goodness, and kindness, some people need to separate themselves from a chaotic spouse, and allow the children to have a refuge from daily chaos. I support and encourage marriage, and send many who come to see me for marriage counseling, but sometimes separation or divorce can be a healthy step forward for individuals and families in distress or chaos or emotional/physical danger.

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Re: Divorced Again....Naturally!

Postby manas » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:00 am

Edit: whether true or not, my post here was written with a mind of aversion rather than wisdom, and in hindsight, was better left unsaid.

metta :anjali:
Last edited by manas on Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Divorced Again....Naturally!

Postby Dan74 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 3:22 am

manas wrote:It amazes me that, even though most people know that sexual relationships ultimately bring more misery than bliss, still most folks, including yours truly (for now), still feel unable to go fully celibate and get totally free of sex life altogether. Why do we love our shackles and chains so much? :thinking:
:anjali:


Marriage and family have been a great boost and impetus to my practice and I am pretty sure that had I not gotten married 10 years ago, I would've been a complete mess by now.
I guess it is not so much the relationship and the sex in themselves, but how they function and how we deal with them.

Early on into it, I remember whingeing about it to my teacher: "wouldn't it be easier to practice in a monastery!..." She, a nun of some 30 years then, replied to me, "in the monastery, it's about the mind and in the family it's about the mind." It was a good lesson - don't attach to the external - the practice is with the mind. Though of course some circumstances happen to be more conducive depending on our karma. But in the end we've got to deal with what is and the sooner we get past the externals and focus on the practice, the better.
_/|\_

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Re: Divorced Again....Naturally!

Postby manas » Fri Jan 25, 2013 1:57 am

Dan74 wrote:
manas wrote:It amazes me that, even though most people know that sexual relationships ultimately bring more misery than bliss, still most folks, including yours truly (for now), still feel unable to go fully celibate and get totally free of sex life altogether. Why do we love our shackles and chains so much? :thinking:
:anjali:


Marriage and family have been a great boost and impetus to my practice and I am pretty sure that had I not gotten married 10 years ago, I would've been a complete mess by now.
I guess it is not so much the relationship and the sex in themselves, but how they function and how we deal with them.

Early on into it, I remember whingeing about it to my teacher: "wouldn't it be easier to practice in a monastery!..." She, a nun of some 30 years then, replied to me, "in the monastery, it's about the mind and in the family it's about the mind." It was a good lesson - don't attach to the external - the practice is with the mind. Though of course some circumstances happen to be more conducive depending on our karma. But in the end we've got to deal with what is and the sooner we get past the externals and focus on the practice, the better.


Well Dan, I think what you wrote above, was a :goodpost:


and this:
"in the monastery it's about the mind, and in the family it's about the mind"
- was very well said indeed.


:anjali:


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