Marriage Great Expectations
QUESTION: I feel frustrated with my marriage because I feel my expectations are simply not being met. I am not satisfied at all by my relationship with my wife. Why is this so?
JAGAD GURU: You aren't the Supreme Person, neither is your wife, your friends or your psychiatrists and psychologists. Therefore, you should not expect that these people will be able to truly and fully satisfy you. Nor should you expect that you will be able to satisfy anybody because you are not the Supreme and every single person needs the Supreme Lord in order to be satisfied. In other words, we are all looking for the perfect person to love, to take protection from and to cure us of our loneliness. That perfect person is the Lord. That's Who we're all seeking. You're seeking Him whether you know it or not. Whether you believe in Him or not, He's nonetheless the perfect person you're looking for.
Similarly, who other people are looking for the Supreme Person might even think you're it. And so, they latch on to you, try to love you and get attached to you. They start expecting you to be the Supreme Beloved to them. They expect that you're going to satisfy them in all ways — that you're going to be the perfect person. Of course, you fall short even though you may have made believe in the beginning that you were it — in order to get that person to like you. You ultimately fall short and experience frustration because you cannot really satisfy a person.
Not only can you not satisfy a person in life, but you will not be able to help or save a person at the time of death. For example, let's take someone you love — your child, friend or spouse. Now you really love that person. But that person's about to die. What are you going to do for the person?
QUESTION: If I were a doctor, I might try to save that person from dying. Or I might try to comfort that person by saying, “Don't be afraid. I'm here with you. It's okay. You'll be all right."
JAGAD GURU: You don't really know what you're talking about. The fact is, we're spirit souls; we're not our bodies. We're sparks of the Supreme Soul; we're eternal and we're only temporarily in a body. Death means the person who you know and love is really going to be leaving her body. She's going somewhere else. How can you help that person?
QUESTION: I don't know.
JAGAD GURU: Yes, you don't know. She's out of your hands. For example, you may have had a so-called perfect relationship with the perfect spouse for the last forty years. But when the time of death comes, you can't help that person anymore. You can't be the "perfect person" for that person any more because she needs someone beyond you — greater than you, stronger than you. We really have to stop making believe to each other that we're the Supreme Person. And we have to start being honest about our situation.
QUESTION: So you're saying that since I'm not the Supreme Person, I can't give my wife everything she needs to satisfy her.
JAGAD GURU: Right.
QUESTION: You're saying that only the Supreme Person can do that.
JAGAD GURU: Right.
QUESTION: But up to now, that's the role I've been trying to play with her.
JAGAD GURU: Unfortunately.
QUESTION: So I'd like to know how I can change our relationship. I still care about her and I'd like to have a relationship that is mutually beneficial.
JAGAD GURU: The first thing you have to do is be honest.
QUESTION: So, I have to admit my limitations.
JAGAD GURU: That's right. You have to admit your limitations. You have to admit your imperfections. And that, of course, is scary. Do you know why?
QUESTION: Well, my wife might not be attracted to me anymore.
JAGAD GURU: She might think, "Well, if you're not perfect, then I'll go find someone who is!" No, you don't need to be afraid of that because she is already suspecting that you're not. She's already suspicious, "You know, I was thinking that myself. Remember that time you were mowing the lawn? You tripped, fell on your face and I went, 'Hey, you're not God!' God wouldn't have tripped and fallen on His face!" If you admit that you're not perfect, do you think your wife will go looking for another person as the Supreme Person?
QUESTION: No, I don't think so.
JAGAD GURU: In any case, sooner or later, you both have to come to this point of realizing that you can't satisfy each other. It's a matter of having to realize this truth. You have to hear it and she has to hear it. Even if she doesn't fully accept it, she has to hear it at least once. And you have to be the person who is willing and able to say, "Listen, I cannot give you the spiritual and emotional satisfaction that you need to be really secure in life. I cannot give you that fulfillment that you need. I just can't do it. You need someone bigger and greater than me in order to be happy. The fact is, each of us is a part and parcel of the Supreme Person. You are an individual person and the Supreme is an individual person. And for you to experience fulfillment or completeness, you need to be linked up with Him; you have to be connected. And as long as you're not connected, then you're going to be experiencing this dissatisfaction.
You can be going from one person to the next trying to experience that well-being or happiness in life. You can go from one person to the next looking for it and you're not going to find it. The reason is no one out there is the Supreme Lord.
QUESTION: I still want to be friends with my wife. Is there any purpose to our staying together since I can't satisfy her? Do we just go our separate ways or can we help each other?
JAGAD GURU: No, you should not separate. Just because the person you're relating to is not the Supreme Person does not mean that you cannot have a loving relationship with her. The point is to make it so that that loving relationship is centered upon your common relationship with the Supreme. In other words, you're a part and parcel of the Lord and so is your spouse, as are your children, friends, etc. You should try to develop your relationship with the Lord as an individual while she's also trying to develop her relationship with Him. In this way, both of you will be getting the spiritual fulfillment and happiness that you need as individuals. How do you then interact together? You interact by encouraging each other to engage in your respective spiritual practices. After all, you are going to be falling down and having problems in spiritual life. It's not a piece of cake. Spiritual endeavor is not an easy thing. If it were easier, you'd have a lot more people trying to become spiritually advanced or perfect. In other words, there will be difficulties and the nature of your relationship with others has to be one of mutual support and actual caring. You should be caring for your wife as best as you can — for her physical and spiritual well-being. But since you know your limitations, you can only do so much.
For instance, you have to know your limitations to help her physically. She may have a broken leg and the most you can do is bring her her crutch. You cannot turn her broken leg into a non-broken leg. That's not possible. So you do what you can. You bring her her crutch and say, "Here, let me help you up."
Spiritually, it's the same way. You do what you can. You cannot change her heart for her. You cannot meditate for her. You cannot make her engage in the spiritual activities that she needs to do in order to spiritually advance. But you can encourage her to do it. You can try to be an example. You can have friendship and associate with each other in this way. In addition, you can try to raise your children to make it so that the Supreme Person is the center of your lives.
The point is that real love is a totally different relationship than a relationship based on lust. In a relationship of lust, you're trying to suck and get as much from the other person as you can. And that person is trying to do the same. In this way, you are both feeling drained and unable to fulfill the other person's needs, which are endless. And you are never able to get as much as you need from that other person. That's basically the summary of the lustful relationships of this world.
A relationship of love between two spirit souls — two parts and parcels of the Supreme Soul — is one of actual concern and compassion. You're actually loving that person as a child of the Lord. And you're trying to assist that person in getting back to the Supreme and developing her relationship with Him. We're not separated. We're not only related to the Supreme but we're also related to others. Our relationship with Him is there and our relationship with others is also there. In this sense, we still maintain these relationships. But the nature of these relationships has to change. You have to make an effort. The first part of that effort is being honest. This is what I was discussing earlier. You have to tell the truth, "Hey I'm not the guy you thought I was before we got married. You thought I was perfect and now is being honest about your situation. It's never good to be dishonest. It's never good to act on illusion or untruth. It's always best to act on the truth of who you really are. You're a spark of the Supreme Lord — part and parcel of the Supreme Being. You are not the Supreme Perfect Person. You have your limits. Don't try to be something you're not. Don't try to make believe to somebody else that you're something that you aren't because you'll never be happy that way. And you'll never make anybody else happy. You might trick someone for a while but you'll never actually be satisfied.
QUESTION: I understand now that I have to encourage my wife to love the Supreme Person. But I'm also afraid that she's not going to love me if she does this.
JAGAD GURU: This is a common problem that arises when we talk about spiritual relationships. There was a person who wrote a letter saying that he didn't like to have a picture of Jesus Christ on the dresser. His wife had put the picture of Jesus Christ where his picture used to be. He became really jealous of Jesus Christ. This is what the situation and problem is: you want to be worshipped by your wife as the Supreme Person, but you can't deliver the goods. In other words, you're not the Supreme, but you still want to be worshipped as the Supreme. You still want to be loved as if you were the Supreme. This is why you have to keep making believe you're perfect, "I'll protect you, Honey." The movies are full of all these fake Gods. Someone's in distress and the hero comes proclaiming, "You'll be all right. I'll protect you. "But who are you? How do you know that I'm going to be all right? How in the world are you going to protect me? I'm facing death and what can you do about that?
You've got a problem. Your problem is envy; your problem is you want to be God. But the fact is, you're not. Therefore, you're in anxiety because your wife is starting to realize you're not the Lord. She's starting to think, "Gee, maybe I'll love the Real Thing." But practically speaking, you don't really need to worry about anything because we don't only need the Supreme. (Of course, it's a fact that we only need the Supreme Lord because if we have Him we have everything. If you develop your love for Him, then you've got everything. However, this does not mean that in order to achieve that love for Him, our other relationships will be finished.) It doesn't mean that if your wife loves the Supreme , she won't love you. The point is that if she loves Him, she will really be able to love you. That’s the reality. She won’t be loving you as if you are the Supreme Person but rather the nature of her love will change. In other words, she will be loving you as someone who is limited in his abilities and limited in his perfection. It'll be a much more comfortable relationship. You'll be relieved of a huge burden when you realize that your wife loves you even though you're not the Supreme Perfect Person.
If your wife doesn't see you as the Supreme Lord, then you don't need to have that insecurity anymore that you have to keep up the charade. Real love is unconditional. It's loving you as you are, and you are not the Supreme Person, You are a spark of the Supreme Soul — a dominated part and parcel of the Lord. That means you're not all-powerful; you're not all smart. You're not all-wise. Sometimes, she'll ask you something and you'll have to answer, "I don't know. We'll have to look up scripture and see what the Supreme says about it." And when she's ready to leave her body, you won't need to sit there in total anguish and agonize, "I can't help you. I'm sorry. Goodbye, good luck." You'll be able to actually say the names of the Supreme Lord in her ear. You'll be able to help her remember Him. You'll be able to appreciate that now she's going to the Lord and that this is wonderful. She'll be happy going to Him.
This is spiritual life and such spiritual relationships are very wonderful.
Thank you very much.