Thread: Looking For Guidance

  1. #1
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    Hello new friends. I have enjoyed reading the posts in various forums - happy to be part of this online community.
    This is the first time I've really posted. I'm looking for some guidance or insight, or just helpful comments about navigating a relationship.

    My partner and I have been together for about 5 years, and it has been a very fiery relationship in both good ways and bad. I have always thought of myself as a very easy-going person and aim to be compassionate and kind to others. I'll admit though, that this often leaves me being a little less so to myself. My partner is a very high-conflict type person, and I'm finding more and more often that his words and actions leave me feeling a little shaken. ("not at peace" is the best way I can describe it.)

    What I'm mostly wondering is, how do I find my voice in a way that still respects him, but that I can convey that his words hurt me. The things he says are not usually directed at me, but more just offhand angry comments about the world and people in his world. My current method of dealing with this is just trying to be in the moment with myself, realizing that his words are coming from a place of him hurting, and not reacting or snapping back at him when he says unkind things. But I feel that lately when I do this it's almost as if I'm swallowing up his anger and taking it into my own heart as sadness... his anger doesn't diminish, and more sadness builds up in me, which causes me to feel resentful of him because I can't explain how he's hurting me or those around him. I worry that I'm just outgrowing the love we had and that he will never understand me, or want to.

    From a Buddhist perspective, how do I show compassion toward a person who has no interest in doing so to himself or others? It's a daily struggle to continue to show love to a person who doesn't seem to have any for themselves or others and I fear that it's making me lose myself. "Leading by example" definitely doesn't seem to be working in this case, and it's becoming exhausting. Are there any specific words you choose to help convey that you don't appreciate anger, shouting, rudeness, etc... but without sounding "wishy-washy" as he usually just brushes that off as me being emotional/weak, and therefore doesn't actually listen to what I'm really saying.

  2. #2
    Global Moderator Esho's Avatar
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    Hello annekedabra,

    The first step is that he becomes aware that he is actually suffering. That is the first noble truth of Buddhism. To realize suffering. If he does not realize his suffering there is nothing to do; he will not change his anger. You cant force him to change and realize his suffering; until he realizes it you have the option to change and accept him as he is actually, or leave him. Also you can be patient and try to make him to become aware, maybe reading a book about Buddhism, listening to videos or inviting him to come and see this or other forums.

    this is my humble opinion...
    Last edited by Esho; 25 Oct 19 at 20:08.

  3. #3
    Forums Member KathyLauren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by annekedabra View Post
    how do I find my voice in a way that still respects him, but that I can convey that his words hurt me.
    Timing is a big part of this. You need to find your voice and talk to him about how his actions affect you, but pick your time carefully. Don't do it immediately after he has said something that hurts you, or any other time that he is angry. When things are calm, tell him how his words and actions affect you. Keep it about you, not about him: what the effect is on you. "When you do X, I feel Y, because I need Z" is a good formula to use.

    Pay attention to your own safety. You have said nothing about physical violence, but if that ever looks like a possibility, have an escape plan.

    I wish you peace.

    Om mani padme hum
    Kathy

  4. #4
    Forums Member Olderon's Avatar
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    From a Buddhist perspective, how do I show compassion toward a person who has no interest in doing so to himself or others? It's a daily struggle to continue to show love to a person who doesn't seem to have any for themselves or others and I fear that it's making me lose myself.
    Hi, anne.

    My understanding of Buddhist practice is that unless we are subscribing to The Bodhisattva Code, in that we wish to stick around through endless numbers of rebirths until all sentient beings have been enlightened, our only goal should be to enlighten ourselves. In addition, if there is something preventing us from unbinding and release of ourselves, we must be willing to let go of that which is causing our suffering. I know of no better way to ensure continuous suffering, and to make our lives much worse than to cling to an abusive relationship..

    My suggestion is to let go of that which is causing your suffering.

    Buddha advised associating with the wise, and abandoning relations with those, who lead us astray. You may want to personally test this advisory by taking a few weeks off at a seminar teaching mindfulness and meditation for example. If you find that it appeals to your current needs, perhaps you want to consider increasing your association with a monastic sangha and increasing your dhamma studies.

    Just a thought for your consideration.
    _/\_Ron

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