Living with a toxic possibly narcisistic wife

Balancing family life and the Dhamma, in pursuit of a happy lay life.
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salayatananirodha
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Re: Living with a toxic possibly narcisistic wife

Post by salayatananirodha »

16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


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http://buddhadust.net/backmatter/indexe ... ta_toc.htm
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AshleyLake
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Re: Living with a toxic possibly narcisistic wife

Post by AshleyLake »

I can understand why some of you would suggest divorce. I have however chosen to stay and practice loving kindness. Won't be easy... but I don't think it is supposed to be easy :)
AshleyLake
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Re: Living with a toxic possibly narcisistic wife

Post by AshleyLake »

DooDoot wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 9:34 pm
SteRo wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 12:11 pm
dharmacorps wrote: Sun Jul 11, 2021 6:48 pm ... you may be doing a better thing by divorcing her.
I'd opt for that, too.
Does sound so Buddhist to act so hastily. :|
The Pharisees asked him, “Why, then, did Moses give the law for a man to hand his wife a divorce notice and send her away?”

Matthew 19:7
Yep
AshleyLake
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Re: Living with a toxic possibly narcisistic wife

Post by AshleyLake »

cappuccino wrote: Thu Jul 15, 2021 7:49 pm
AshleyLake wrote: Fri Jul 09, 2021 6:57 am our relationship was rock bottom and I was in so much emotional pain.
I'm curious, does the pain body exist in dhamma teaching?
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DooDoot
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Re: Living with a toxic possibly narcisistic wife

Post by DooDoot »

AshleyLake wrote: Sun Jul 25, 2021 8:19 am
DooDoot wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 9:34 pm
SteRo wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 12:11 pm
I'd opt for that, too.
Does sound so Buddhist to act so hastily. :|
The Pharisees asked him, “Why, then, did Moses give the law for a man to hand his wife a divorce notice and send her away?”

Matthew 19:7
Yep
I meant to say does not sound so Buddhist to act so hastily. :|
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Dan74
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Re: Living with a toxic possibly narcisistic wife

Post by Dan74 »

AshleyLake wrote: Sun Jul 25, 2021 8:16 am I can understand why some of you would suggest divorce. I have however chosen to stay and practice loving kindness. Won't be easy... but I don't think it is supposed to be easy :)
I think it's a noble choice if one goes into it with the eyes open and clear motivation.

I recall Ven Huifeng, when he was still posting relate a similar story from his time in South Africa, I think. It was of a Chinese couple, where the wife was a devoted practitioner and the husband was a nightmare. One day the wife approached the Sifu, the old head monk there for advice. She was at the end of her tether, could not deal with the husband anymore and many of the monks knowing both, were hoping she's finally leave him. But the Sifu told her that her practice was to chant for the husband, cultivate as much loving-kindness for his as she could and bear the situation with patience and if possible, equanimity. (this is my recollection, probably a little faulty). The junior monks were dismayed by the Head Monk's advice but didn't say anything of course. Some years passed and the woman's husband was transformed. He repented the years of mistreating her and vowed to make his best efforts to make amends. In the meantime, her practice deepened and steadied more than anyone thought possible.

But... nice as this story is, it may not go this way. That's why our motivation has to be very clear when we commit to something, I think.
_/|\_
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cappuccino
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Re: Living with a toxic possibly narcisistic wife

Post by cappuccino »

AshleyLake wrote: Sun Jul 25, 2021 8:21 am I'm curious, does the pain body exist in dhamma teaching?
No…
Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.
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2600htz
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Re: Living with a toxic possibly narcisistic wife

Post by 2600htz »

Hi:

I think its a valid option to stay married for the sake of young childrens. And your oldest daughter should understand you are doing it for the newborns if you explain it.

That being said if thats your plan maybe your wife should know you are staying only because of that?. Also in the modern world woman can ask for divorces, so maybe even if you want that she wont allow it. About the question of how being kind and forgiven against a hostil person, its hard. Having enough space helps, and having the best living conditions also. But besides that, its kinda impossible not to grow some unwholesome states, unless you really clear the air between you two and daughter.

Regards
Chameekara
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Re: Living with a toxic possibly narcisistic wife

Post by Chameekara »

Dear Friend.
Don't try to find happiness from outside world. Try to find it from within.
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Gwi
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Re: Living with a toxic possibly narcisistic wife

Post by Gwi »

AshleyLake wrote: Fri Jul 09, 2021 6:57 am Hi all,
First post here
I will try cut a long story short. I have two children (12 and 15) girls from a previous relationship that I have shared care with.
My wife and I have two girls 6 and 9 year old.
When I Met my wife, she was loving and kind to my two older girls.
After the birth of our first daughter however the cracks started to appear, jealousy and blame of my two girls, this got worse and worse as our second daughter was born.
My wife has no interest in Buddhist practice, claims to be a Christian, but does not act out of forgiveness and kindness.

He passive aggressive anger is mostly targeted at my oldest daughter and me. Silence treatment, gas lighting etc....
She was so nasty to my eldest daughter that she ended up moving out and going to live with her mother .

For the last few months now I managed to convince her to do counselling with her priest from her church as our relationship was rock bottom and I was in so much emotional pain.

Things improved, however when it came to discussing forgiveness, my wife said "no second chances" and has left counselling. left her church (yelled at the priest). Without going into details I feel no compassion, caring or empathy from her most of the time.

This happened about 3 weeks ago, I had had some hope that we might actually have a happy family, as things had improved in our relationship with help from the priest, however the elephant in the room (my daughter) was not really discussed until the no forgiveness episode. (I don't really know what my daughter has to be forgiven for).

I now realize that my wish for my wife to be kind and loving towards me and my daughter is a pipe dream. I became quite depressed and anxious.
I have decided to not leave her, because of our two younger daughters I want to stay for them, to be with them. So I will stay.

My question for the group is....How can I be loving and kind to my wife who will never be loving and kind to my daughter, who has ensured that she will never live with me again and who can be so mean and uncaring to me (again no details but quite emotionally abusive). I know it is craving, (a happy family) it is anger and non forgiveness for her that is not at all wise, wholesome or helpful. The only was I can stay in this situation I think is with compassion and love, but I am struggling with this. I feel like I am betraying my daughter if I forgive my wife. I also fear that if I get close to her again she will hurt me again.
I have chosen to stay, I think I have to let go of how I think things should be and just be with how things are from moment to moment, but it is so hard when I feel so betrayed, lonely and angry. Some nights I cannot sleep very well. I know she will never apologize for the hurt, or accept responsibility for any pain she may have caused (this is just not and never has been on her agenda), so how do I let that go? That desire for her to apologize, to recognize my pain, to understand how I feel (she cannot do this). I know I have to give this up, but how? How do I stay with compassion and love, while not hurting my eldest daughter?

Metta
Women are hard to advise.

U must choose ur daughter.

I don't recommend this, but u can
Find new wife.
if you want to survive, of course good.

Happiness doesn't have to be (always) together.




DN 31
5 obligations of husband:
1. (Sammānānāyå) By treating her with honor
---> not demeaning,
2. (Anavamānanāyå) By not despising her
(not insulting) ---> be kind to the wife
---> subhāsitā ca yā vācā (the words are spoken gently),
3. By being faithful to her ---> the best one (like middle way)
4. By relinquishing (certain) authority to her, and
5. By presenting her with adornments (main rights).


* many husbands when talking to their wives,
using (slightly) harsh words. When we talking
to wife, must use soft words (gently).
"Wise men don't get mad at women (Jātakå ... i forgot)."

* no money, number 5 can be ignored (temporarily).
Gurls very like jewerly.
* Sattubhasta Jātakaṭṭhakathā (number 402):
"... a woman is not satisfied with three things:
(1) intercourse, (2) adornment, and (3) childbearing ...."



5 obligations of wife:
1. She’s well-organized in her work ---> be a house wife
Or have job, but take care of the house too,
2. She is hospitable to husband's relatives
(especially in-laws),
3. She’s faithful,
4. She takes care of husband's belongings
(especially husband's property),
5. Skilled also diligent in many things (main rights).

* number 5 can cook, make a cake, etc.
:meditate:
Bahagia Tidak Harus Selalu Bersama

Dhammapadå 370
"Tinggalkanlah 5 (belantara) dan patahkan 5 (belenggu rendah),
Serta kembangkan 5 potensi (4 iddhipādā + 1 ussoḷhi).
Bhikkhu yang telah menaklukkan 5 kungkungan (belenggu tinggi),
Lebih layak disebut 'orang yang telah mengarungi air baih (saṃsārå)'."
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Gwi
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Re: Living with a toxic possibly narcisistic wife

Post by Gwi »

(Update)
1. (Sammānānāyå) By being courteous to her
---> be kind to the wife
---> subhāsitā ca yā vācā (the words are spoken gently)


2. (Anavamānanāyå) By not despising her
(Respect wife) ---> don't insult, don't demean, don't ignore
---> respect the wife's opinion, and so on


Number 1: words and deeds
Number 2: mind (heart)
Bahagia Tidak Harus Selalu Bersama

Dhammapadå 370
"Tinggalkanlah 5 (belantara) dan patahkan 5 (belenggu rendah),
Serta kembangkan 5 potensi (4 iddhipādā + 1 ussoḷhi).
Bhikkhu yang telah menaklukkan 5 kungkungan (belenggu tinggi),
Lebih layak disebut 'orang yang telah mengarungi air baih (saṃsārå)'."
DiamondNgXZ
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Re: Living with a toxic possibly narcisistic wife

Post by DiamondNgXZ »

AshleyLake wrote: Fri Jul 09, 2021 6:57 am Hi all,
First post here
I will try cut a long story short. I have two children (12 and 15) girls from a previous relationship that I have shared care with.
My wife and I have two girls 6 and 9 year old.
When I Met my wife, she was loving and kind to my two older girls.
After the birth of our first daughter however the cracks started to appear, jealousy and blame of my two girls, this got worse and worse as our second daughter was born.
My wife has no interest in Buddhist practice, claims to be a Christian, but does not act out of forgiveness and kindness.

He passive aggressive anger is mostly targeted at my oldest daughter and me. Silence treatment, gas lighting etc....
She was so nasty to my eldest daughter that she ended up moving out and going to live with her mother .

For the last few months now I managed to convince her to do counselling with her priest from her church as our relationship was rock bottom and I was in so much emotional pain.

Things improved, however when it came to discussing forgiveness, my wife said "no second chances" and has left counselling. left her church (yelled at the priest). Without going into details I feel no compassion, caring or empathy from her most of the time.

This happened about 3 weeks ago, I had had some hope that we might actually have a happy family, as things had improved in our relationship with help from the priest, however the elephant in the room (my daughter) was not really discussed until the no forgiveness episode. (I don't really know what my daughter has to be forgiven for).

I now realize that my wish for my wife to be kind and loving towards me and my daughter is a pipe dream. I became quite depressed and anxious.
I have decided to not leave her, because of our two younger daughters I want to stay for them, to be with them. So I will stay.

My question for the group is....How can I be loving and kind to my wife who will never be loving and kind to my daughter, who has ensured that she will never live with me again and who can be so mean and uncaring to me (again no details but quite emotionally abusive). I know it is craving, (a happy family) it is anger and non forgiveness for her that is not at all wise, wholesome or helpful. The only was I can stay in this situation I think is with compassion and love, but I am struggling with this. I feel like I am betraying my daughter if I forgive my wife. I also fear that if I get close to her again she will hurt me again.
I have chosen to stay, I think I have to let go of how I think things should be and just be with how things are from moment to moment, but it is so hard when I feel so betrayed, lonely and angry. Some nights I cannot sleep very well. I know she will never apologize for the hurt, or accept responsibility for any pain she may have caused (this is just not and never has been on her agenda), so how do I let that go? That desire for her to apologize, to recognize my pain, to understand how I feel (she cannot do this). I know I have to give this up, but how? How do I stay with compassion and love, while not hurting my eldest daughter?

Metta
How to be loving? Practise metta, it's unconditional love, so you don't have to put a condition that your wife must love your daughters. Of course, this doesn't negate protecting your daughters, as you also have unconditional love towards your daughters.

This metta meditation requires a lot from you as you still have a lot of attachments to kids. So 1 hour of metta meditation a day is a good regular practise to keep your sanity, the harmony in the family from you acting from love.

I assumed you talked with her already and cannot get a rational answer to the cause of her emotions and actions. Then just take it as causes and conditions. This you'll have to practise vipassana and see no self, conditioning nature of humans, especially directed towards your wife. You might not know why, but at least faith in the Buddha's teaching would tell you that there's some reason, possibly past conditioning, wrong perception etc, which causes her to cause so much suffering. Since she is foolish and unable to get out of it herself, it's up to the wiser person in the couple relationship to let go of unrealistic expectations, and accept things as they are.

I take it that you're ok with living separated from your current wife, having to raise 4 kids and working on your own, and still be ok with being legally married, while practically divorced twice. Just accept things as they are. This is part of the risk of marriage, divorce and remarriage. Permanent Happiness doesn't arises from marriage, it's just another type of bondage, leading to suffering. Just accept the suffering of life inherent in imperfect marriage, having kids, being a lay person. Know not to make the same mistake again. See suffering like this as motivation to practise the noble 8fold path. Use loving kindness to counter any aversion to your current situation.

Also know that this too shall pass. So your main suffering of having to raise up young kids would be ended at the latest 15 years from now, when your 6 year old is 21 years old, plus or minus a few years, at least until they can be independent. Don't get any more kids.

As for celibacy, which you're likely going to be celibate from now on, use the meditation on the repulsiveness of the body, 32 parts of the body, corpse meditation to deal with your lust.

Bodily pain, it's part of the definition of suffering. It's common for emotional pain to manifest themselves as bodily pain. You can meditate to relax the tension there, and the mental pain can be eased as well. Or brought up to your attention, then use vipassana to discover the reason and deal with it.

A lot of the meditations I described here assumes you're a meditator and had been to meditation retreats, if not, try to get someone to take care of your 4 kids and go for 1 week meditation retreats, once a year minimum. Learn meditation from Ajahn Brahm, Sayadaw U Tejaniya, read their books, youtube their teachings, meditation retreats.
denise
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Re: Living with a toxic possibly narcisistic wife

Post by denise »

hello all...hoping your wife is not being the "perfect appliance" for 5 other people...is she just very worn out? women do get weary :heart:
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