Hey Happy Addict,
When we are about to embark on marriage it can be an exciting time! It can also be scary!!!! We have all heard of the term ”cold feet” describing the feeling when a fiancée starts to have concerns about a marriage before the wedding day. The buddhist teachers have some simple principles to support love and relationships which can keep your feet warm right through to the wedding day and beyond.
Fear can creep in about whether the person we have chosen to embark on this journey with is the right one. After all we have heard the statistics of divorce. We have all seen what we thought were beautiful love affairs, fall apart in a pool of tears and torment.
So what is the answer to creating a long-term and stable relationship according to the Buddhists?
“Give the ones you love wings to fly, roots to come back and reasons to stay” Dalai Lama
The Buddhists say it’s living in a contributive relationship. One where we are not dependant on the other for our happiness. Where we do not have expectations on the person to change in order for us to stay happy.
You should not need your partner to be or act in anyway other than who they are now.
A Buddhist teacher once explained that there are three stages in the character development of human beings: dependent, independent and contributive.
Unfortunately, most people are completely unaware of the third, the contributive (or interdependent), state of life. For them, there are only two options, independence or dependence. Independence, the stand alone self, can be a happy state because we are in control, a necessary condition for happiness. The strong, confident self, however, can easily become arrogant and isolated. Unable to share or nurture relationships successfully.
An arrogant person will be unable to sustain fulfilling long-term relationships. Instead, those relationships will most often end in conflict and strife. The alternative for most is dependent relationships. People give respect and love, but not freely; strings are attached. This is the let’s-make-a-deal approach to relationships, “I’ll love you as long as you give me what I need.” It is reliant on one or both parties acting or being in a certain way.
For instance one or both of the partners has a certain physical appearance, holds a certain career position or has a certain financial standing. However, with time a partner may change physically or change a career. Suddenly the husband or wife no longer fits the others ideal. The partnership will of course breakdown. This is because your happiness is dependent upon another’s behaviour – upon his or her validation of your worthiness of being loved.
Depending upon another to validate that we are worthy of love gives that person control over our emotions and our self-esteem. We have given up our power. In any relationship, we must keep our power, developing a strong self-identity and ability to be happy on the inside.
HAPPINESS IS AN INSIDE JOB – This is of course an inside job of creating a life that is balanced, healthy and authentic to yourself. A balance of physical, mental and spiritual happiness.
Standing alone upon the firm foundation of our own happiness, we can seek out and nurture contributive, sharing relationships, relationships in which we give our love freely without attachments and expectations. As the other person adds to our already strong self and already firm foundation. The icing on the cake as they say but the cake tastes good anyway.
We are not needy of the other. Nor are we addicted to the other. A relationship between two such people brings a deep and authentic love.
A great site for some of the Dalai Lamas key teachings can be found at:
lots of love