But we often hear all the stories of how a good wife got stuck with a good-for-nothing husband. He may gamble, abuse alcohol, and then takes it all out on his wife, who only wants what's best for him.
|Original Photo by Christiano Betto available on Flickr.com|
It's obvious to scold him for this wrongdoing and rightly so... especially if he's causing her to suffer. But according to Buddhism, is this bad spouse to blame for everything in this scenario?
Let's re-examine what the Law of Cause and Effect says.
Sow watermelon seeds, and surprise! You get a watermelon!
You're the one who receives the effects and gets drunk.
|Original Photo by CarbonNYC available on Flickr.com|
Others' cause, own effect is not possible. Someone elses' deeds never determine your results.
|Original Photo by Suhamshu available on Flickr.com|
Well, the cause of her suffering still stemmed from her own past actions. He may really be a terrible person to be with. But had she never married him, she wouldn't have suffered as much. There are plenty of men in the world. Of all of those prospective bachelors, she chose HIM to fall in love with. If she married someone else, things would have been much different.
But now you may think -- "But what about the husband?!? Don't tell me he's completely off the hook for being a jerk!"
Cause = Wife's past karma (actions)
Condition = Husband's negative behavior
Effect = Wife's agony
If the the wife's suffering continues despite her own positive efforts, she might have to consider a separation or divorce. This drastic step may be necessary, especially if her husband becomes violent or abusive. If we try to do as much good as possible but we don't receive good results, we may need to work on acquiring better conditions for ourselves.
Then as good Buddhists, we try to be good conditions for others in hopes they follow our own example.
|Original Photo by Natesh Ramasamy available of Flickr.com|
Then as we've just learned, we must also be mindful of external conditions present in our life. By choosing the right conditions to surround ourselves in, we encourage more good causes to have a greater opportunity to flourish.