I am a 46-year-old man who is very fortunate to have a wonderful daughter. She is such joy that I would like to have another child. My wife is dead set against the idea. I know that I am a bit selfish, self-centered and stubborn, but I’m pissed off. I’m starting to look for other partners on the Internet. I think using the ‘or else’ argument is crass, but I’m bound and determined. What do you think?
She already has two little people to contend with: one child and an immature husband. So, it can’t be too much of a shocker that she doesn’t want another. Seriously, though, consensus on basic questions such as “Do you want to have children?” and “How many?” should have happened before the engagement. Any clergy worth his or her collar would have reminded you during premarital counseling that a real marriage is a ministry. Even if you wed in Vegas, you vowed togetherness “in sickness and in health.” Right now, you and your marriage are infected with a deadly virus: power.
Let’s focus. If you really loved your daughter, you wouldn’t be on the Internet trolling for a new partner while you were still married. You’re teaching her that men she loves cannot be trusted. If you really loved your daughter, you would model for her how adults can mend even very contentious marital disagreements, so she’ll have hope for her own life and a vision for the future. Because you know that you are “selfish, self-centered and stubborn,” you will show her that those are ego traits that must die in an individual, or they will cause any healthy relationship to die.
You’ll do the healing work necessary to change from selfish to selfless, self-centered to compassionate, stubborn to persistent. You will become persistent, not in what you want, but in what is best for your relationship with God, your marriage and your daughter. In the end, that may simply be to become bound and determined to be happy with what you have.
One of the growing pains of my spiritual journey is not being on the same emotional page as my friends. As I live my life increasingly detached from my ego, I sometimes wound other people’s egos because of their perception of my actions. Is it necessary to apologize for others’ perceptions when my intentions have not been mean-spirited? Specifically, when I speak the truth intending clarity, but the other person perceives it as an attack and has an emotional tantrum, is an apology in order? I am afraid that apologizing for their perception will encourage them in the idea that perception is more important than intention. What do you think?
The growing pain of your life’s journey is arrogance. It prohibits your “truth” from having much clarity. Only a hugely inflated ego would think that it has to teach another person a lesson. Especially when the lesson is designed to force the other person to think more like you think they should. Hello! The mind of a real spiritual teacher is in preschool, not grad school. If you were truly detached from your ego, you would not be so boggled in the drama of determining whether the problem was someone’s perception or your intention. Diagnosis: You’re spending way too much time reading self-improvement books. Go back to the basics and apologize. Humble yourself in the sight of everyone around you because you clearly don’t know what they do.