Posted by Meditation USA on September 16, 2020
Byung Hoon Ahn / Employee
In early 2007, my wife and I went to court to file for divorce. We got back together to see if we still had any remaining feelings for each other and seven months later, we went to court again. We still blamed each other and each of us thought the other was wrong. It was an extreme battle of our pride. Finally, I got my divorce papers notarized and I went to the judge. We had reached the point where, if either one of us submitted the divorce documents, it was going to be final. But at that time, neither one of us wanted to go through with it.
I couldn’t understand my wife saying “I have my life, too”
I met my wife through a matchmaker when I was 27. We started off our relationship as any normal couple does, but by the 23rd year of marriage, we decided that it was becoming too difficult for us to live together any longer. At the beginning of my marriage, we both shared a common goal of buying a house and everything was fine because our children were growing up. Then, as the children grew and our financial situation became better, our dissatisfaction with each other started to become apparent.
It was around 7 to 8 years ago when we started arguing more frequently and our fights became more intense. As the quarrels continued, the wounds we created began to deepen. That’s around the time that we would talk about divorce more often. Then, the children went to school in Seoul and my wife decided that she should also go to Seoul, telling me that she was supporting the children. I stayed at home and we were physically separated. After some time had passed, my wife decided to start her own business because the children were all grown up, but I strongly opposed it.
My wife would say, “I have a life too,” but I couldn’t hear her. Eventually, I was forced to go into business together with her, but we did not achieve good results and our conflict intensified and we eventually ended up going to court over our disagreements.
If You Throw Away Your Mind, All Situations Are Objective
Around that time, my life was a mess. I was anxious and confused by the stress caused by our discord and my mind was uncomfortable, so I couldn’t concentrate at work. One night, when I was struggling with insomnia, I remember blaming my wife for everything and I really didn’t know what to do with all of my resentment. I went to the psychiatric hospital to consult with a doctor, but that was the only time.
While practicing meditation, I abandoned all of my wife-related minds. We met, married, had a son and a daughter… I threw away everything up until now. At first, anger and resentment came to mind. However, the more I abandoned it, the more objective I could see the situation and little by little I began to understand my wife’s position.
The first big bump we had after marriage was with my parents in the countryside. I would expect my wife to take care of my parents, which was something that I couldn’t do very well. My wife struggled with the pressure of my various requests and I was constantly disappointed by her. In the end, it was me who constantly asserted my wishes and my problems on my wife.
I Started to Consider Giving My Wife the Life She Wanted, Not What I Wanted
I looked at myself objectively while meditating. I always thought I had done enough for my wife. Therefore, I thought it was all my wife’s fault. I thought of my wife as a possession and forced her to live according to my will. With that kind of mindset, I’d also treated our children in the same way. During my meditation, I remembered when my wife said, “Are you doing this to our children too, now?” I felt so bad and my heart ached for what I did.
I was grateful to my wife for having lived with such a self-righteous and self-conscious husband as me for over 20 years. I said sincerely, “I did everything wrong, thank you so much for not divorcing me. Let’s live together again.” However, even if my wife submitted the documents, I thought I deserved to be punished. Fortunately, my wife accepted my heart.
As I practiced, I realized that true repentance is changing my behavior. When the house was dirty, I immediately cleaned and washed the dishes. And on the weekend, I would warmly hug her no matter who is around. I now text her ‘I love you so much. The most precious in the world, sending you a kiss.’ And when she couldn’t go to the events with in-laws because she was busy, I would just let her do whatever she wanted. I have let go of my obsession with my wife, and holding onto her as ‘my possession.’
Meditation is Essential for Couples Considering Divorce
I started to do what my wife needed me to do without any conflict. Now, she can live the life she wants, not just live for me. Since I first understood my wife’s position, she’s become more comfortable with my parents and we now visit them more often.
I feel like divorce most likely occurs in marriages because one person cannot satisfy his or her greed. Even if we try to solve it through conversation, as long as we only talk about our own wishes and our own side of the arguments, it will typically result in getting nowhere… or worse. There is no way we can understand each other without throwing away our mind. If you are a couple who are contemplating divorce, I would like to recommend that you try meditation.
It seems that getting rid of the expectation of the other person is the foundation of a couple’s relationship. Being able to match what your spouse wants from spouse’s perspective, without any expectations, is what true love really is.