A Western Buddhist's Travels

Sightseeing & detours on the path of enlightenment

Love in a marriage

I was married once, and it didn’t work. I will accept my share of the responsibility for the failure. There are things I wish had been different, but I can’t change the past. Since then I have dated a few ladies within the last several years, however none have heard the words: “I love you” from me. I have thought about this and why I have not said those words. I am not afraid to say I love you, rather it is, if I say those words, I want them to be meant fully, without reservations, hesitations or expectations on my part. Buddhists are to love all equally, in a brotherly or sisterly way, including those who are, our foes. I am talking about “I love you within the boyfriend/girlfriend leading to marriage type here. When I say I love you, I want to do it without expectation of what I receive in return. Which means not just saying it after sex, as a way of saying thanks, or using it to initiate an intimate encounter.  I love you can be said at those times, but it is so much more important to say it to her, every morning, every night, when just cuddled up watching our family, or a sunset. I want her to know that I love you will mean I will do so as long as I draw breath. If this means I am a hopeless romantic to you, I will accept the label. I look at it as a belief in true love. My parents when they disagreed, would still say it before bed every night, even if they were still in the middle of the disagreement. It was a way for them to imply that while the argument would not last, their love always would. I want to be able to say it to my lady, when she is furious at me, when she is upset, happy, or any other emotion. More then just saying it, I want to be able to demonstrate it, by when she is sick, being beside her throughout the illness, when she is stressed from work, to do extra household duties, so she has less on her mind, and when she needs a shoulder, to make sure mine is there. I want her to know that if she hears it from me, that I will continue to say those words, only to her or about her till this life is over. If I have high standards for the women I date, I hope to find a lady who wants a similar relationship. One where neither expects anything then respect, honesty, and unconditional love from their partner. Love is enjoying her favourite dish, when it is your least favourite, and she makes your favourite to share with you, because it is your favourite. Love is looking at her in the morning light, with her hair messed up, no make-up, and wearing an old shirt of yours as her nightgown, and seeing the most beautiful lady in the world. Love is holding her in your arms, and letting everyone know, how blessed you are to have her in your life. To hold her hand as you walk a beach or though the mall, because you are proud to have her walk beside you, as your equal. Love is kissing her every morning, night, when you part or reunite. Love is watching her choice of movie, or her asking why hockey is played with a puck not a ball. Love is telling the other person about health issues that may impact the relationship, not because they may leave but when they stay it is in spite of those issues. Love is not her hair colour, or if it turns gray or she colours it. Love is not how stunning she looks when she dresses up for an evening out or a company function. Love is letting her shine, to trust that regardless of who looks her way, her heart is always beside yours. In short if I say I love you, I will stand by those words till the end of this life, which is why I will not unless I feel it in every molecule in my body, with every breathe I take. I want her to know, that regardless of what world renowned beauty may catch my eye, after I blink I will see the lady I say is the most beautiful in the world, the one I am lucky enough to have those feeling for me. To not only accept her as she is, but to embrace the differences between us, and her returning the same. Not holding her past life against her, or if we have a rocky start, to say that’s it, it’s over. But rather that once we become a couple that we will work together to build a love, that when our lives are done, has us both desiring to be together again in the next life, unless one of us has achieved enlightenment. So do I expect to find such a lady, probably not. I am a realist and know that everlasting love is rare. That everything including romantic love is impermanent. I just choose to believe impermanent in regards to romantic love should be considered until death separates you. That we should have as our goal to spend the rest of our life with the person we say it to, and that at times this will require effort and work on our part. Here in Vancouver, most of the ladies are interested in material benefits, out doing their friends for possessions, having an extravagant lifestyle. I want to enjoy life, but to base that enjoyment on a simpler view of life, a slower pace. To know that if I say those words to a lady, my heart and mind agree that she is the one. We can not truly choose who we fall in love with, but we can choose to date people who have the spiratual qualities we seek.  To all those who have found their love I wish you much peace, contentment and happiness. To the rest still looking may you find that person who makes you feel like no one else can.

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