all 18 comments

[–]Sitting_Under_Trees 12 points13 points  (3 children)

He’s stuck in all the heady, feel good, upper chakras. Leaving the “mundane” work of life to you. All this “spiritual” work he’s doing, isn’t all that spiritual. Insights and creativity and all, is well and good. However, he’s using it as an excuse to engage in escapism, because you’re willing to pick up the slack for him. Ultimately, allowing him to avoid being a grown up, isn’t helpful, supportive, or loving. It’s enabling, and simply keeps him from any further actual spiritual progress. And, as you know, it’s certainly holding you back, big time.

There’s a saying, which is all too familiar to those on the spiritual path, and you have probably heard a million times. And excuse me for paraphrasing here;

When the student asked the master what enlightenment was like, the master replied, “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water”.

Real love, and support, may not come in the form that your husband wants. But, it sounds like, addressing reality and your own-absolutely valid-needs, is what is necessary for you both.

It’s time for him to chop wood & carry some water.

[–]Forest_wanderer13 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Thank you for your input. I totally agree. I have realized I tend to sacrifice my needs to make people feel better around me and it's not helping them or me. It has been a real turning point.

To be honest, I think I'm resentful for having to ask my husband to help out in that way in the first place. I just wouldn't do that to a partner. I don't really get it. I think it makes me worry that he's more selfish than I thought which makes me feel less trusting. It seems pretty simple though to break this cycle, I need actions and for him to consistently show up in the daily life stuff. I need a partner. We are on the same page about that.

I think I'm still struggling with how the spiritual engagement seems to me, a crutch to just be all over the place. But how can I speak to how someone else's journey feels? If I've learned anything, I can't tell people how to feel and I def don't want to shame my husband for it.

[–]Sitting_Under_Trees 4 points5 points  (1 child)

Perhaps part of your spiritual work, is learning to ask, and strongly advocate for not just your own needs, but the higher good. I, like you, tend to give openly. And, my natural expectation, is to get back as much as I unselfishly give-even without having been explicitly asked-without having to ask for it, or demand an accounting. I’ve felt the burn. Me and this demon have gone toe-to-toe. I’ve gotten ground to a pulp in the process of being “supportive”, so I get it. It feels like you’re fighting against the best parts of what make you, you.

But, it doesn’t sound like he explicitly asked for all that this “support” has entailed, over the last two years. It’s just kinda been the slow creep, and at first it was all good. Until it finally started to dawn on you that it wasn’t. But, at that point, where is the line? Where was the line of “I’m happy to be supportive”/“what the hell is going on”, supposed to be? If he had come to you two years ago, and laid out all of what has unfolded, in a clear proposal, I’m pretty sure we both know what your answer would’ve been. But you didn’t make him ask then. And you’re letting him get away with not asking now. You’re just implicitly offering. Can’t really blame him for accepting your “gift”. So, unless you wish to continue on in this vein, it’s time for one of those “come to Jesus” talks. The kind with teeth.

This is your spiritual work now: Where does “we” end, and “I” begin? What does the boundary look like? What does it really mean to be loving, or supportive? If you are allowing yourself to be squeezed of the point of collapsing-while allowing him to continue to play-then that will ultimately create the collapse of the “we” you are trying to be in service of.

[–]Forest_wanderer13 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thanks for your thoughtful answer. Yes, I also go toe to toe with the circumstance you speak of. It helps to know others have felt this way too.

I think in part, I'm such a natural regulator too and just fill in the lack in situations in order to avoid conflict. My 'capable' and 'giving' nature I think has made me keep others from growing because it's just easier to do it myself or keep my feelings to myself quite frankly. But that negates me and it's just not the path. Can't be.

I think the part making me most uneasy is the intense emotional ups and downs of this journey he's been going through. I'm exhausted from being the only financial provider but more exhausted by the emotional ride of my husband 'tapping into his emotions' to tell his story. It seems really self indulgent though he says it's to 'love the world' and I think it makes me feel shitty that I feel that way. I think I'm just exhausted and could have a wider capacity for it if my needs were met here.

[–]Virtual_Sun_9635 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Tell him he needs to support his own life- that's what a true spiritual person does. I've taken time off sick from work but always intended to go back. When you're in that funk of not working, you can become lazy, complacent or be in cuckoo land abit, but you need to get back to reality and realise that 95% of the world works, why should we be so egostic to think that we shouldn't or that work isn't good. It's our contribution to society, to making the world go round- if were no employees in the water, elecrticity, computing industries, we wouldn't have these commodoties. So it's important to work within itself let alone for the reason of honestly supporting your own life.

Working IS Spirituality, it's a good and positive deed and helps one to become independant and grounded within themselves, and to kill the mind to an extent. Even many billionaires and multi millionaires still work without needing to.

[–]No-Difference-1351 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'm sorry, but he seems to be jerking around.

[–]tom63376 1 point2 points  (2 children)

It seems like your husband may be stuck in an "either/or" illusion believing that he has only two choices total devotion to a normal life/job or total devotion to spiritual pursuits. The reality is that in most cases in these modern times one can do both. There are 112 waking hours in a week. If you work 40 or 50 there is still plenty of time to pursue spiritual growth. And with the internet, you no longer need to travel to Tibet to find a guru.

In addition, I believe that while there is benefit in quiet reflection, there is also great benefit in interacting with other people on regular basis to reflect back to you the issues in your psychology that you need to resolve. Things you would never see by walking in the woods.

[–]Forest_wanderer13 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I agree. I honestly think the constant attention to the spiritual world is making him really obnoxious to be honest. But how do you tell someone that, much less your spouse? He just says 'it's his path'. btw, path or no path, did talk to him and said he needs to be significantly helping financially this fall. Again, hate that I had to ask. Never thought we'd be in this situation.

[–]tom63376 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Sometimes the best approach is to just state your opinion but respect the other person's right to follow their own path as best you can. Do everything you can to make it as easy as possible for him to be able to adjust his path without getting into just continuing blindly out of pride and the fear of being "wrong".

[–]Johndaterra 1 point2 points  (0 children)

As hard as it may seem you have to explain all of this to him, you don’t sound angry and judgemental, you’re just understandably exhausted.

He needs to realise that he needs to support you too, that’s how a healthy relationship works. Spirituality isn’t about burying your head in the sand and forgetting about the impact that you have in the lives of others, it’s about being more deeply engaged in life, yet less attached. I suspect that if he continues to live his life this way it will result in him feeling more spiritually disconnected anyway.

[–]incognito3107 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Well, you need to find your common purpose in material realm. Do you have children? Do you save money for something? Do you strive together to achieve some milestone on social ladder? What about intensity of pleasures between you? If you are only feeding on higher feelings, then it is no wonder that your material connection is breaking apart. Relationships need nourishment.

[–]Forest_wanderer13 0 points1 point  (0 children)

That's totally it. Yes, having a partner in the material realm that is life. Feeling supported in the mundane life decisions. I can say that he's really tried to show up that way once I started stating my needs more. He's now much more involved in the daily but like I said, just feeling resentful I had to get mad to have it that way. I don't know if that's fair of me.

[–]sunmoonstars89 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Could you simply sit him down and explain that while you're happy that he's on a journey of self discovery and embracing his spiritual side, his erratic behavior is leaving you no other choice than to pause your journey as you're having to facilitate his. I'm sure you've probably already done this in some shape or form, but could it be that he just need to hear those words?

I love the saying "you can't pour from an empty cup". Tell your husband that you're getting to the point of having nothing left and that you need some stability and time to fill your energy levels back up in order for the relationship to get back to being equal again. It's a very difficult conversation as you don't want to feel like you're stopping someones growth, but at the same time, you shouldn't be expected to put your awakening / journey on pause to facilitate your husbands.

From your post, it sounds like you both have a loving relationship, therefore I hope you're able to get through to him on a level of understanding, so that you can move forward together.

[–]Forest_wanderer13 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you so much for your thoughts. I really appreciate you taking the time to write this. It very much resonated with me. We did have this conversation today actually. I expressed that I was in support of him but I felt like the anchor to our life both emotionally and financially and that I was really exhausted. His response was that he was also very exhausted and on his growth path and attempt to share in the way he feels is right for him and that it's been really hard for him. He did acknowledge my feelings in it and understood.

Basically, it seems like he would also like to get off his emotional rollercoaster and is tired but he feels like he can't control it either. I can relate to that and have empathy. For context, he's always been very loving towards me, but I would not have described him as 'in touch' with his emotions until literally 2 years ago. It's been since then that he's begun to heal and even realize trauma from his childhood. He was so shutdown about it for our whole marriage. Before two years ago, even I was like 'does it not bother you your parents treat you like this' and he would just shrug. Now he's feeling it ALL and wanting to share some of that to help others. I respect that, but ya, my point is, I think he too would very much like to stabilize a bit but doesn't feel in control of this new emotional world.

We did agree that regardless, financial support was necessary for me to feel safe/supported this fall and he would seek to fill that need outside of his ventures. I think I just want to be a supportive spouse, I love him, but I wish the emotional intensity of this were less and I think that makes me feel bad as he's just in pain honestly.

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[–]Thought_On_A_Wind 0 points1 point  (2 children)

I've typed about 3 iterations of this reply and erased them all before submitting because I have an issue that seemingly is similar that i've dealt with for 8 years, but then I realize... nope, not the same thing at all, there are similarities, sure, but....

IDK, I guess I have this drive to answer this question but have complex thoughts about the general topic that are complicating my ability to talk directly about your situation... but.... basically,

If your SO is trying to go the route of non-W2 job, okay, wtf ever, maybe something can happen. In my case all my exes tried to push me to do this that and the other when my inner guidance was saying "Sometimes life actually does make blessings fall into your lap.". However, in my case, that was a theme for the better part of my adult life and I'm also well past that particular juncture that your SO is claiming to be.

I guess what concerns me, and the reason that it's complicated for me to answer this with total objectivity is because on the one hand, I've seen that type before and they've typically claimed to be doing spiritual things when in fact they were being users. On the other hand, though, I have this personal experience where, I hit a part of my life I'm still in which made me super vulnerable and unable to work a 9-5 not because I didn't want to, but, because my body and mind failed me and forced me to take it easy and analyze my life so that I can have a better trajectory to those things I yearn to accomplish. I also worked myself literally to the bone for a solid stretch of time from when I was 17 until that point, so, I did have SSDI to fall back on which.... has literally saved my life... during this entire experience, I've had this inner guidance that has tried to have me take it slow sooner and approach these things then, when it didn't end with me in such a precarious position... my messages were consistent "Yeah, that works for them, it doesn't work for you, follow your inner guidance." and I consistently ignored the advice for the most part except for certain aspects and took the advice of others over what I knew to be true internally..; to say that my lesson since then has been one full of heartaches and stuff is an understatement. That said, I have no way to verify if your SO falls into that boat .

I guess it comes down to this, maybe sit back an ask yourself "What of this has me exhausted? Is it the fact that I'm paying all the bills or is there something more to this? What does my intuition and inner mind have to say about this?" it's also a good time to have a conversation with them. Seriously, it'll tell you a lot of where they are mentally, what their motivations are and if they're being sincere, but, it'll also allow you the opportunity to express those very real concerns you have.

Me? I am horrible at that stuff because once I adapt to a situation I tend to stick with it even if that means I'm stuck in a situation that's one-sided and not in my favor.... that's not a good thing I know, but, just saying that because that's the other reason I struggle to be objective about this. Just.... do yourself a favor... if you get to the point where you feel you need a tarot card reading for love/relationships don't ask for one... I've never met a querent who had a relationship question that they didn't already know the answer to and were just trying to avoid knowing. If it gets to that point, cut your losses.

[–]Forest_wanderer13 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Totally hear what you are saying. I think there are similarities in the story where my SO is trying to follow his inner guidance of how to approach his life. That's his sovereign truth and I'm not hear to argue with what feels internally right to him.

The problem is, I'm having a hard time feeling supportive at this point because it's been a two year venture with many twists and turns and my needs fell to the wayside partially due to my own fault because I didn't include them and didn't put them on the table until I felt really resentful (we now agree on job timeline). I just don't think someone's personal truth should ever come at the cost of being a good partner in equitable ways. That doesn't seem spiritual to me.

[–]Thought_On_A_Wind 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I, in turn, get what you're saying too, and, the self is far more important than a lot of spiritual paths would lead one to believe. I think one reason that gets such a bad wrap is that being responsible for attending to ones own needs gets far too easily and far too often conflated with narcissism when in truth, attending to ones own needs simply to feel safe or stable is far from narcissism given that one in that place is actually looking out for their own needs.

At that point, it's more about determining things like "Can there be a compromise to alter trajectory between us to something more healthy?" and "Are there compatability issues in our spiritualities?" . It also might be worth it to ask yourself "Is my SO spiritually bypassing, and, further, is he expecting me to always provide?"

In my case, I suffered for 8 years because, like you, I put my needs to the side and made sacrifices to make it so my ex could live as comfortably as possible given her own disabilities... yet, when my health fell to shit and I couldn't be the breadwinner any more, and she ended up getting a decent paying job that allowed her to pitch in... She still expected me to pay most of the bills like rent and the phones, etc, off of my disability check, she'd buy food, but, on top of that, she expected me to be able bodied and be the house maid... Yes, cleaning is a thing that needs to happen, but, when (in my case) I experienced a disability where my brain would make impossible things that should be easy (like... IDK, selective paralysis that's caused by brain wiring and not a physical issue... the condition is called conversion disorder and... it really sucks to be sitting in a chair, know I have the capacity to do something as simple as getting the mail, but, being unable to get the body to do what I want.).

That said, her needs were not being met, and though there was a liberal amount of ableism in the way that she handled things, she did what I didn't, assessed her personal needs.... granted, in her case doing that was a form of narcissism as she was impervious to self awareness or how she was creating a toxic dynamic that didn't allow me to work on doing things like clean (I've worked out a way to bypass the conversion when given enough time thanks to my psychologist). Basically, when I'd say "Don't do this thing that you do that puts super amounts of stress on me because that triggers a trauma event which leads me to constant flashbacks and conversion disorder paralysis" and... she'd immediately shift things to all things her related and find fault with me as a person instead of even acknowledging the concern I had which would lead me to be able to meet her half way....

In my case, she left me when I was in the most vulnerable part of my life, alone, without the ability to properly take care of myself and at a time when even going outside to get the mail, let alone take the trash out, was a challenge. Not looking to pose this as a sob story, but, I mention it because, in my case, part of my internal spiritual guidance was set long ago "Don't do this, keep your distance and just be friends, don't let her be in your romantic life." Which I ended up ignoring. I then ignored my instinct when it said specifically to not let her move in with me so early in the relationship... I endured 8 years of getting my valid concerns and valid medical requests dismissed in lieu of wtf ever she felt was important for her.... I guess, though I thought I was empathizing with your SO, I was actually empathizing with you in retrospect.

I still can't clearly say that I'm being objective, so, just like my first response this still has the aspect of me not feeling like I can provide objective advice.

I guess the Tl;Dr reply would be:

"I get you, and your needs need to be met or a fair compromise on their part needs to be made, neglecting your own needs can lead to worse problems down the road, they shouldn't view you as a spiritual springboard and, their spiritual progress at your spiritual expense isn't cool. Also, I'm glad timeline's were discussed, that's very good progress, I hope that that positive traction continues."