How My Wife and I Learned to Cherish Our Marriage
(Minghui.org) My wife and I met when we began practicing Falun Dafa. More than twenty years have gone by in a flash, and we are now in our forties.
In the beginning, we did a lot together. We studied the Fa and did the exercises together. When the persecution began we went to Beijing to validate Dafa. We were both detained. We worked together to let people know about the persecution. Together, we clarified the truth and distributed informational materials about Falun Dafa. We stood by each other through thick and thin, and we came a long way as a couple. However, when the pressure eased up, we failed to cherish our special predestined relationship. This gave the old forces opportunities to meddle and caused us to slack off in our cultivation. Our marriage was nearly ruined.
In 2012, we moved back to our home town to start a small business. All day, our shop was extremely busy. We no longer had time to do the exercises and we always felt overworked and tired. It was also a mentally draining environment to work in--there were many people to deal with and too many things to take care of.
Encountering Challenges to Our Marriage
It did not help that my wife and I usually disagree on many things. In particular when it came to disciplining our child, she usually defended the child right in front of her. I found this especially hard to take. All my negative human emotions and attachments such as self-interest, jealousy, resentment and combativeness, were fully exposed. I thought, “A man should be in charge of matters outside the home while a woman takes care of matters inside the home.”
I also judged my wife according to everyday society's standards, and forgot that she is a practitioner. As a result, I always found fault with her and easily lost my temper. I complained that she did not make our meals in time, did not keep the house clean, did not pay attention to details, was not orderly and did not know how to bring up our child.
“If you do not change the human logic that you, as an ordinary human, have formed deep in your bones over thousands of years, you will be unable to break away from this superficial human shell and reach Consummation.” (“Cautionary Advice”, Essentials for Further Advancement)
Although we continued to attend group Fa study regularly in the evenings, everyone left as soon as we finished reading and we really did not discuss cultivation issues, such as talking about looking within to cultivate our own xinxing. I could feel my cultivation state gradually slipping down and I failed many xinxing tests. I was in trouble for a long time before I was aware of it.
As much as I regretted failing xinxing tests and kept vowing to do better next time, I would fail again because I could not control myself. I even lost my temper with everyday people. In shock, I thought, “I was not like this before! What's happening to me?”
Discovering My Ego
“I’ll tell you a truth: The entire cultivation process for a cultivator is one of constantly giving up human attachments.”
“The above are the two reasons for not being able to increase gong. Without knowing the Fa at high levels, one cannot cultivate. Without cultivating one’s inner self and one’s xinxing, one cannot increase gong. These are the two reasons.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun)
I was reminded that as a Falun Dafa practitioner I mustn’t forget to cultivate myself and work on my xinxing! I started examining myself to see why I could not let go of my attachments and control my behavior. I discovered the main culprit was my selfishness and my ego. Everything had to revolve around me – I only cared whether it suited me or how it would affect me.
“I also want to tell you that your nature in the past was actually based on egotism and selfishness. From now on, whatever you do, you should consider others first, so as to attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism. So from now on, whatever you do or whatever you say, you must consider others—or even future generations—along with Dafa’s eternal stability.” (“Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature”, Essentials for Further Advancement)
As soon as I changed and became considerate of my wife, my negative thoughts about her all melted away. I think Master cleared away all the nasty substances when I enlightened to the issue. I immediately felt relieved as if a heavy load had been lifted off me. I began to see my wife in a positive light and felt terrible about letting her down. After all, on our wedding day, hadn't I pledged to take care of her for the rest of her life? But, I failed to look after her on our journey as cultivators.
Our bond as husband and wife exists for the sole purpose of our cultivation, rather than for us to lead ordinary lives. The reason we are wedded to each other in this lifetime could well be to fulfill the promises we made to each other in a previous lifetime.
I felt a lump forming in my throat as these thoughts ran through my head. I turned to my wife and apologized to her. After I told her how I had examined myself, she also started looking within. The wall between us came tumbling down and ended the old forces’ plan to disrupt our cultivation. We are now very considerate of each other, forging ahead in our cultivation and enjoying the peace and happiness that comes with practicing Dafa.
A few days ago, I asked another practitioner couple, ”Do you discuss your cultivation experiences with each other?” The husband said, “We can’t discuss it. A fight will break out as soon as we try.”
I was like that too. I only wanted to change my wife so I always looked outward. Since I was so full of myself, of course it was difficult for her to listen to anything I said. Fortunately, Master helped me see my problem. I have realized that any unresolved conflicts between practitioners who are husband and wife are the old forces’ way of interfering with our cultivation. They cause us to slack off.
“If you, as a student [of Dafa], do not follow Master’s requirements, it is definitely no simple thing. The old forces have arranged for all Dafa disciples a set of their things, so if a Dafa disciple doesn’t follow Master’s requirements, he must be following the old forces’ arrangements.” (“Be Clearheaded”, The Essentials of Diligent Progress Vol. III)
I always felt that two distinct paths lay before me. One is to aid Master in Fa rectification and reach consummation, which is what Master wants. The other is the path of self-destruction arranged by the old forces. We need to evaluate our actions in accordance with the Fa, not with our human notions. Let’s stick firmly to the path laid out by Master and negate all the old forces' arrangements.
This is what I've enlightened to at my current level. Please kindly point out any errors in my understanding.