Adultery and Being a Buddhist

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ChrisK
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Adultery and Being a Buddhist

Post by ChrisK » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:09 pm

Many years ago I started practicing Buddhism, in it's most basic form. I dropped away from it after multiple deployments to Iraq because I felt conflicted with being a Buddhist and fighting in a war. At any rate, I am retired from the military now and I feel Buddhism calling me back, but I have another issue. As I start back on my journey of Buddhism I have another conflict which goes against my Buddhist beliefs. I am cheating on my wife, whom I love, and I'm in love with another woman. Now I know a lot of people will say you cannot love two people but I disagree. I disagree and I know for a fact that you can, because I do. I can love each woman because each woman give me different things I need and I love them because they are two different people. Now, as a Buddhist I am suppose to avoid suffering and causing harm to others and in saying that I would like opinions or maybe some guidance. So, if I'm suppose to avoid harming others how do I tell one I'm in love with another woman or how do I end the other relationship, which I refuse to call an affair because it's much more than that? The "other" woman knows I'm married and is willing to share me and is also willing to make sure no one finds out about us. I must also add this info because it makes me more aware of not hurting the "other" woman. The "other" woman is fighting Lymphoma and ending anything at this time would be too harsh and hurtful because she depends on me for comfort and companionship. I would truly like some input on this issue. Thank you.

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Re: Adultery and Being a Buddhist

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:47 pm

Maybe a good first step is to stop rationalizing your behavior, and examine your own motivations a bit.

Sorry to be harsh, but at first glance my impression is that you are keen on telling yourself you aren't doing anything wrong, and that seems like a bad path.

If I were in your shoes I would find a professional of some sort (religious advice, counselor, etc.) and try to figure it out, you've already put yourself in a predicament by allowing an adulterous relationship to develop though, so I imagine there is going to be fallout no matter what you do.
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SonamTashi
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Re: Adultery and Being a Buddhist

Post by SonamTashi » Wed Jan 04, 2017 11:11 pm

ChrisK wrote: Now I know a lot of people will say you cannot love two people but I disagree.


I certainly think it is possible to love more than one person. Plenty of people are in happy open or polygamous relationships. But the difference between those cases and yours is that people in open or polygamous relationships all know about the other partners and consent to it. I think Buddhism would also be ok with this as long as everyone involved consents.
ChrisK wrote: I can love each woman because each woman give me different things I need and I love them because they are two different people.
Ok this is kind of where you lost me. If you think you love someone because they give you things you need then that isn't love. In fact it sounds like a fairly manipulative relationship. Love doesn't care about what the partner can provide, it simply loves. It sounds like you're more just attached, especially in a Buddhist sense, to the things these women provide you than love.
ChrisK wrote: So, if I'm suppose to avoid harming others how do I tell one I'm in love with another woman or how do I end the other relationship, which I refuse to call an affair because it's much more than that? The "other" woman knows I'm married and is willing to share me and is also willing to make sure no one finds out about us. I must also add this info because it makes me more aware of not hurting the "other" woman. The "other" woman is fighting Lymphoma and ending anything at this time would be too harsh and hurtful because she depends on me for comfort and companionship.
You can't just refuse to call it an affair. That is objectively what it is. I agree with the other poster that you seem to just be rationalizing your behavior. Also, the other woman knowing you're married, being willing to share you despite your wife not even knowing about her, and presumably your wife not being okay with it herself if she were to know as well as the fact that she is willing to hide your relationship are all bad signs imo. That doesn't sound like a healthy relationship. And honestly, if you have to hide your relationship from your friends and family then you probably shouldn't be in that relationship. Your reason for not wanting to end the relationship at this time also just sounds like an excuse, but it is certainly possible that ending the relationship too soon or in an unproductive way could have a negative affect on all involved.

I think you need to tell your wife honestly what is going on. You will most likely end up with losing one or the other relationship. But if you're worried about the pain this could cause, I think continuing to hide it will only cause more and more pain. The truth has to come out eventually. Delaying it is not going to help you or anyone else.

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Re: Adultery and Being a Buddhist

Post by Mkoll » Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:14 am

Adultery is definitely something to avoid for Buddhists. Many Buddhists take ethical precepts they try their best to honor and one of those precepts is refraining from illicit sexual acts like adultery. One of the reasons for this is how much suffering and stress the ignorant spouses will go through when they learn of this. Another is how you and the other woman have to be crafty and deceitful in order to hide your relationship while knowing you could be discovered at any time: another cause of stress.

A mental exercise you could do to really hammer this home would be to sit down in a quiet place to reflect on the ways this affair is detrimental to yourself and others. Also look at what you're getting out of it. Is whatever pleasure and delight you're deriving from this worth all the stress for yourself and others, past, present, and future? I don't think so. No matter how magical and wonderful you feel about the other woman, those feelings will change with time. Those feelings are the main reason why you're doing this, but they're already on their way out the door whether you see them doing so or not.
Johnny Dangerous wrote:If I were in your shoes I would find a professional of some sort (religious advice, counselor, etc.) and try to figure it out, you've already put yourself in a predicament by allowing an adulterous relationship to develop though, so I imagine there is going to be fallout no matter what you do.
I agree. This can't go on forever and the longer it goes, the worse it will be when it inevitably ends. I think that ultimately you have to come out of the closet, so to speak, and be open and honest about what's going on to all relevant parties. You need to start making concrete steps now. A professional will probably know how to handle this so the least amount of suffering results from it.
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Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

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Re: Adultery and Being a Buddhist

Post by shaunc » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:23 am

I don't really want to add anymore than has already been said but if you have to hide anything from your family and friends then it's a 90% chance that what you're doing isn't exactly kosher.

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Re: Adultery and Being a Buddhist

Post by Kunga Lhadzom » Thu Jan 05, 2017 1:52 am

these good people that spoke kindly and reserved are not like me.....i have been to hell and back because of men like you....cheaters...go F yourself.
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Re: Adultery and Being a Buddhist

Post by SonamTashi » Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:42 am

Kunga Lhadzom wrote:these good people that spoke kindly and reserved are not like me.....i have been to hell and back because of men like you....cheaters...go F yourself.
I tried to be as diplomatic in my post as possible, but I'm inclined to agree with you. In my opinion there is no excuse for cheating--or if there is, then an acceptable reason is extremely, extremely rare. I'm not sure I could ever forgive someone if they ever did it to me. That kind of thing is a good way to immediately and permanently destroy any respect I originally had in the person.

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Re: Adultery and Being a Buddhist

Post by Miroku » Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:51 pm

You may love them all, but you have to realize that you are hurting them. Maybe you are not hurting your lover, but you are for sure creating conditions to seriously hurt your wife. It might be possible to love more people at once, but do you really love your wife when instead of doing the best for her you are just causing her more pain?
You should either find people ready for polyamoric relationship or stop screwing around.

Maybe thinking about karma would help you. Also examining your motivation.

P.S. I kinda get you for I did it too, but it didnt get so far in my case. Trust me it is way better staying in relationship without this kind of things going on.
Child, if you are not hypocritical and out of control, that is conduct.
~ Padampa Sangye

You say such clever things to people, but you do not apply them to yourself.
The faults within you are the ones to be exposed.
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Re: Adultery and Being a Buddhist

Post by seeker242 » Thu Jan 05, 2017 2:02 pm

So, if I'm suppose to avoid harming others how do I
By not putting yourself into this situation to begin with and keeping the precepts. But of course, it's too late for that now. So how to avoid causing harm, after the precepts are already broken? Well, you can't.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!

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Re: Adultery and Being a Buddhist

Post by Ayu » Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:23 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:....
If I were in your shoes I would find a professional of some sort (religious advice, counselor, etc.) and try to figure it out, you've already put yourself in a predicament by allowing an adulterous relationship to develop though, so I imagine there is going to be fallout no matter what you do.
I think, this advice above is better than this one below:
emceecombs wrote:...
I think you need to tell your wife honestly what is going on. You will most likely end up with losing one or the other relationship. But if you're worried about the pain this could cause, I think continuing to hide it will only cause more and more pain. The truth has to come out eventually. Delaying it is not going to help you or anyone else.
The good reason for telling is: you can't hide it for years and the later you'll tell it, the worse it becomes.
But everybody has to be aware, HOW PAINFUL this procedure is for the wife. She will not answer: "Oh, I see... Thanks for telling me finally so honestly."
Actually such a confession is the same as an earthquake. A husband and a wife live in the confidence they can confide in eachother. Everything is built on this confidence as a natural condition. It will be destroyed with one simple sentence. Telling about your affair might give the wife the feeling to be stabbed and to lose the ground at the same time. I felt like that.
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
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ChrisK
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Re: Adultery and Being a Buddhist

Post by ChrisK » Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:54 pm

Kunga Lhadzom wrote:these good people that spoke kindly and reserved are not like me.....i have been to hell and back because of men like you....cheaters...go F yourself.
Right on. Thank you for the very Buddhist and enlightening reply.

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Re: Adultery and Being a Buddhist

Post by Queequeg » Thu Jan 05, 2017 6:57 pm

ChrisK wrote:
Kunga Lhadzom wrote:these good people that spoke kindly and reserved are not like me.....i have been to hell and back because of men like you....cheaters...go F yourself.
Right on. Thank you for the very Buddhist and enlightening reply.
Your first post on this board is asking advice on some personal BS. And then second is some passive aggressive BS when someone calls you on your BS?

Right on.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

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Re: Adultery and Being a Buddhist

Post by SonamTashi » Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:04 pm

Ayu wrote:
Johnny Dangerous wrote:....
If I were in your shoes I would find a professional of some sort (religious advice, counselor, etc.) and try to figure it out, you've already put yourself in a predicament by allowing an adulterous relationship to develop though, so I imagine there is going to be fallout no matter what you do.
I think, this advice above is better than this one below:
emceecombs wrote:...
I think you need to tell your wife honestly what is going on. You will most likely end up with losing one or the other relationship. But if you're worried about the pain this could cause, I think continuing to hide it will only cause more and more pain. The truth has to come out eventually. Delaying it is not going to help you or anyone else.
The good reason for telling is: you can't hide it for years and the later you'll tell it, the worse it becomes.
But everybody has to be aware, HOW PAINFUL this procedure is for the wife. She will not answer: "Oh, I see... Thanks for telling me finally so honestly."
Actually such a confession is the same as an earthquake. A husband and a wife live in the confidence they can confide in eachother. Everything is built on this confidence as a natural condition. It will be destroyed with one simple sentence. Telling about your affair might give the wife the feeling to be stabbed and to lose the ground at the same time. I felt like that.
But those two things aren't mutually exclusive, in fact both should be done. I never said it was going to be easy. I said essentially the same thing as Johnny Dangerous in that there WILL be fallout from this. That is inevitable. But there are definitely better ways of going about trying to fix this and there are worse ways. OP needs to figure out a way to fix this and be completely honest without causing unnecessary pain (and of course there will be a lot of pain either way).

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Re: Adultery and Being a Buddhist

Post by shaunc » Thu Jan 05, 2017 8:24 pm

The OP is long odds on short legs of getting out of this without causing anyone any pain. As a matter of fact I wouldn't bet that happening with stolen money.
I can't even understand what you were thinking. I can understand why a guy might want a bit on the side, I don't encourage it but I can understand it, but why on earth you'd let this develop into a full blown affair has got me beat.

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Re: Adultery and Being a Buddhist

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Jan 05, 2017 10:24 pm

ChrisK wrote:
Kunga Lhadzom wrote:these good people that spoke kindly and reserved are not like me.....i have been to hell and back because of men like you....cheaters...go F yourself.
Right on. Thank you for the very Buddhist and enlightening reply.

Buddhists are human, when your first post here appears to be a veiled attempt at rationalizing an affair, it's gonna bring some stuff to the surface. I'd suggest taking a look at the actual advice given here and not paying too much attention to the explosion of emotion. You really do seem to be rationalizing, and looking for some sort of "exception" to your behavior. I'm glad that you did not find that here. However, some the basic advice given is pretty good, and IMO you'd do well to take it to heart, possibly find outside help, and try to come through this in one piece. It's not about beating yourself up, or carrying around guilt or shame - it's about ending behavior that is harmful to yourself and others.

Stop having an affair. If you've taken refuge, by most understandings of them, you are in flagrant violation of the Third Precept. The precepts exist literally as a "bare minimum" of limits placed on behavior that leads to lower states...and you are not only engaging in one, but you are trying to find reasons why it's ok. Stop doing it.
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Re: Adultery and Being a Buddhist

Post by Coëmgenu » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:19 pm

ChrisK wrote:Now I know a lot of people will say you cannot love two people but I disagree. I disagree and I know for a fact that you can, because I do. I can love each woman because each woman give me different things I need and I love them because they are two different people.
If you love them solely because they give you "things", be those things material, intellectual, emotional, are you sure you love either?

Maybe you should consider moving to somewhere where polygamy is legal if you find this happening frequently.
世尊在靈山會上拈華示眾眾皆默然唯迦葉破顏微笑世尊云
The Lord dwelt at the Vulture Peak with the assembly and plucked a flower as a teaching. The myriad totality were silent, save for Kāśyapa, whose face cracked in a faint smile. The Lord spoke.
吾有正法眼藏涅槃妙心實相無相微妙法門不立文字教外別傳付囑摩訶迦葉。
I have the treasure of the true dharma eye, I have nirvāṇa as wondrous citta, I know signless dharmatā, the subtle dharma-gate, which is not standing on written word, which is external to scriptures, which is a special dispensation, which is entrusted to Mahākāśyapa.

नस्वातोनापिपरतोनद्वाभ्यांनाप्यहेतुतः
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Re: Adultery and Being a Buddhist

Post by boda » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:12 am

ChrisK wrote:Now I know a lot of people will say you cannot love two people but I disagree. I disagree and I know for a fact that you can, because I do. I can love each woman because each woman give me different things I need and I love them because they are two different people.
Clearly we can love more than one person. I don't see how that's an issue.

Love is not about what we can get from people. It's also about what we can give. If we can't give our loyalty, for instance, perhaps it's not really love. Maybe you've fallen out of love with your wife and don't realize it.

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Re: Adultery and Being a Buddhist

Post by Ayu » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:23 am

Mod note:
Please, everybody, try to keep the spirit of compassion for anybody, whatever their fault was.
Try to keep some peace by using right speech.


Ayu's opinion: this topic is a very common existential problem, that happens to many people.
I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. -

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Re: Adultery and Being a Buddhist

Post by joy&peace » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:52 am

Helloo -

ChrisK!

Normally I rather stay away form controversial issues, but on the other hand, it's wonderful to dive right in once in a while! Yeah, so this is not new, and indeed these type of things have been going on in human life for -- well, longer than memory or writing, to put it in a neutral way. So , although I've written -- I dunno, a lot, millions, of words ; I like to keep things short, perhaps primarily for simplicity - but also because a few words can say a lot --

indeed, the path of simple silence is one of the speediest ways of waking up, etc. -- esp. in conjunction to help reach the four divine abodes, etc. (Loving-kindness, Compassion, Sympathetic Joy, Equanimity, etc),

ah yes but in keeping it short, & simple, so -- since you ask for some input / advice,... my best advice is to return to your wife.

-- Well -- first let me say these things are not easily answered, in words, and such -- but, in hoping to address the issue, words are there.


So - to come from your speech & expression -- you love your wife, and you are in love with another -- so my advice is to set this to the side --

Set both to the side, and come to the issue from a fresh view -- we have been in love innumerable times, we have lived innumerable times -- things like this. . . we are new every day -- we are new people every day -- Your wife and you will grow every day -- be new every day -- so many wonderful things.

Understanding what you say about support for the woman you are in love with -- Yet this, too, is not an absolute, but it is a relative -- imagine, Buddha-nature, within all -- all things are possible -- this person can even heal within a short time -- if these things happen, they happen, and they can - all things can.

So -- understanding what you say about this, but still, I believe all things are possible -- in other words, her Buddha-nature is also there -- and so forth...

Just some of my thoughts; I type super-fast, heh. ;) , I do meditate a lot,.... Anyway -- from my experience.

One point is that you can fall back in love with your wife -- another is that you are new every day - she is new every day -- and if you see her as Buddha-realized. . . . If you see her as she truly is -- she is full of all divine qualities as well -- and new and beautiful -- ...

And if not -- attain Buddha-nature and then awaken Buddha-nature in her -- and then yes. Either way - to seek to attain Buddha-nature is very much the most important thing -- for the sake of all living beings. . .

Dogen, and lots of others wrote on this and so forth -- of course it is within;

So that is one point, another is that what you have -- and what you may attain. . . . As in -- married for so many years -- and then may be married for such and such a number more, etc ---

In other words, have built something very beautiful, and as time goes on, even more beautiful.

"Dharma is beautiful in the beginning, in the middle, and in the end."

-- It's better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all -- They say -- and you have the option of --- For your wife, She can love and be loved and not have lost -- so that's what I recommend.

There are scriptural references to - for instance - the importance of truthfulness, for example; Buddha seemed to value it very highly -- even as the most important value , for instance; so this is something to consider.

All the best wished to you --
Many good wishes to all,
May all be happy,
Healthy, and
at peace.

Namaste
:anjali: :anjali: :anjali:
Om Gate Gate Paragate Parasamgate bodhi svaha

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Re: Adultery and Being a Buddhist

Post by DGA » Fri Jan 06, 2017 9:37 pm

ChrisK wrote:Many years ago I started practicing Buddhism, in it's most basic form. I dropped away from it after multiple deployments to Iraq because I felt conflicted with being a Buddhist and fighting in a war. At any rate, I am retired from the military now and I feel Buddhism calling me back, but I have another issue. As I start back on my journey of Buddhism I have another conflict which goes against my Buddhist beliefs. I am cheating on my wife, whom I love, and I'm in love with another woman. Now I know a lot of people will say you cannot love two people but I disagree. I disagree and I know for a fact that you can, because I do. I can love each woman because each woman give me different things I need and I love them because they are two different people. Now, as a Buddhist I am suppose to avoid suffering and causing harm to others and in saying that I would like opinions or maybe some guidance. So, if I'm suppose to avoid harming others how do I tell one I'm in love with another woman or how do I end the other relationship, which I refuse to call an affair because it's much more than that? The "other" woman knows I'm married and is willing to share me and is also willing to make sure no one finds out about us. I must also add this info because it makes me more aware of not hurting the "other" woman. The "other" woman is fighting Lymphoma and ending anything at this time would be too harsh and hurtful because she depends on me for comfort and companionship. I would truly like some input on this issue. Thank you.
First off: Thank you for your service to our country.

To your question:

You are polyamorous. It is what it is. There's nothing inherently problematic about your sexuality or being involved with two or more persons at once emotionally. It happens. You just have to conduct yourself and your relationships with integrity. It is possible to do this.

The ethical issues are around deceit and dishonesty. You owe your wife a full explanation. I notice that you are asking how to do that, so you already know this. I don't know how to do it because I don't know you or your wife. I can say that one idea would be couples counseling with a competent professional--i.e., not one who thinks that polyamory is pathological.

Finally, I wish your "other" love a full and speedy recovery.

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