Author Topic: Should me and my wife go to Vipassana (very confused)  (Read 287 times)

helloworld1

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Should me and my wife go to Vipassana (very confused)
« on: December 06, 2018, 05:31:45 AM »
Hi Fellow humans
A brief story about my marriage. My wife and I dated for 1.5 years and got married. After 2 years  of our marriage, she got diagnosed with depression due to some conflicts between me and her and starting taking antidepressants. Some of the problems were from her side and some of the problems were from my side. I tried helping her the best I could by listening to her, being there for her, taking her out, resolving issues etc. but nothing seemed to work. After 1 year (3 years into marriage), she could still make a molehill out of a very small instance/issues in our lives. Initially, I thought it was a phase but when it did not stop, I grew frustrated. I could start identifying even small issues with her that would make me unhappy and reason/argue with her. Ofcourse that dint help. I could see the distance growing between us but nothing I said or did for her mattered. She has forgotten everything good that I did for her and with her and how much I loved her but only remembers the few bad things that happened and continues to relive that. Our relationship is now at a precarious position where anything could make or break it. I have also started seeing a psychologist and am working on my side of the issues and solving them. We have also begun marital counselling. Currently, my wife and I are thinking of going on a vipassana course. Do you think it will help? Will it help us resolve our issues? Or will it lead us to decide that we can no longer live with each other? I love my wife more than anything (even though I have also suffered for the past 3 years - rejections, belittling, anger etc. from her side ) but will it lead to the end of our marriage? Or will it help to fix things? I have heard there are things such as Vipassana Romance (VR) and am a little bit scared about that too? Does Vipassana reduce the love feeling which we currently have (even though we have our conflicts) with each other? Or does it make us appreciate each other more?

Dharmic Tui

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Re: Should me and my wife go to Vipassana (very confused)
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2018, 08:12:25 AM »
Hi helloworld

Sorry to hear of your situation.

If you are wanting to get into Vipassana, it may benefit you, but I wouldn't be viewing it as a fix for your marriage.

I met my wife when I was 17, and we've been together for 23 years. We have had our ups and downs and some tenuous times where we have been distant. What I have learned in conjunction with my practice is to get the best from her, I have to get over myself and my expectations of her. If I want her to speak nicely to me, to be intimate with me and work together with me, then I have to give her my all without reservation.

Through a healthy practice you should be cultivating an appreciation for all you have in life, including each other.

All the best with it. It sounds like you are both willing and capable.

stillpointdancer

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Re: Should me and my wife go to Vipassana (very confused)
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2018, 11:54:38 AM »
Any meditation practice brings about change, vipassana even more so. If the marriage can't take unexpected change, then there may be troubles ahead, as the song goes. Sometimes partners can't cope with such changes as you no longer appear to be the 'you' they have a mental image of you being. Personally I think that mindfulness of breathing and metta bhavana meditations would be of more help if you are determined to go down the meditation route.
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet, still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.” Franz Kafka

Matthew

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Re: Should me and my wife go to Vipassana (very confused)
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2018, 07:05:24 AM »
Hi helloworld,

Meditation brings things to the surface that have been hidden. This can be helpful and challenging - often a bit of both. The Vipassana courses in the tradition of S. N. Goenka are quite forceful in their approach. If this is the kind of course you are considering I would recommend finding something a little more gentle and less regimented in approach. Ten days of being in the same place facing your demons but not allowed to communicate would be potentially harmful.

Stillpointdancer's points towards this reality. Mindfulness with breathing is quite a simple technique. We start by calming the mind and centering ourselves in awareness of the sensations of the breathing process. When the mind wanders we come back to the breath. This develops calm and concentration. From this we develop insight, or awareness of other mental matters: our habits of perception, feeling, reaction, etc. With a little practice we start to undo habitual reactions and create a little space; a gap in which we can sense that which is happening within and without more clearly. This gives us the ability to respond with grace rather than react from habit.

The metta bhavana meditation is development of compassion. Another way to do this in your situation would be to spend a few minutes each telling the other three things that you appreciate about each other and your relationship. Just a gentle start.

It's good you are both still invested in your relationship enough that you have entered into couples counselling. You can maybe try adding other things to this, including meditation to help see through the habituated patterns of perceiving and responding that are causing troubles for you both.

As Dharmic Tui writes, meditation won't fix your marriage. Not on its own. Yet it could be a part of developing a more wholesome relationship towards yourselves individually, as a couple and all that is in your world.

Kindly,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

chin

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Re: Should me and my wife go to Vipassana (very confused)
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2018, 10:12:21 AM »
I have been through something very similar and can relate to much of what you're saying. I ended up going for a Goenka retreat, and although the first retreat brought some clarity, it's the continued practice, reading and day-to-day implementation of the teachings in my life that have really helped in my relationship.

Contrary to what others above have suggested, I would highly recommend a Goenka retreat. I mean, it was insanely tough for me the first time - easily the worst 10 days of my life - but I came back feeling incredibly lighter and have been grateful for having discovered this invaluable path to my personal liberation.

Ok, so let's get one thing straight - Vipassana won't fix your marriage. It will fix you. You will no longer blame your wife for your unhappiness (or at least you will start to blame her less, and eventually not at all). Also, you will not blame yourself for her unhappiness, as you seem to be doing when you say she was depressed because of the conflict between you and her. Once you see that it's no ones fault, you will be able to forgive yourself and others much more easily.

Nor will Vipassana lead to the end of your marriage. It will only help you see things clearly, in the right perspective. Your love will transform from being an "attachment-oriented clinging to one person" to a more relaxed kindness-oriented gaze towards all living things (including yourself). You won't need someone else to complete you or validate you. Nor will you need to push anyone away in order to feel safe.

Of course, not all of this will happen in one retreat. It's a path and you will make some progress towards it by taking the first few steps with courage. I wish you and your wife all the best. May you both be happy.