Author Topic: Struggling to make sense of "letting go of expectation". in relationships  (Read 647 times)

Offline Xicad

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Hello

I am new to the forum so I hope this is posted in the correct area of the forum.  I just watched a video by Ajahn Brahm regarding the 4 ways of letting go.  I try to use these principles in life, however I am having a particular difficulty with letting go of expectation, especially in a partnership relationship.

I was with my ex-partner for 20 years and we split up around a year and a half ago.  I have been reliving many things from the past whilst grieving and what hurt me most was how he behaved at the end of our time together.   Letting go makes perfect sense to me in this area .  After churning and churning the pain over and asking why did he do this? I realise that I just do not know why and may never understand it.  I see that by reliving the pain I am recreating the pain over and over when in fact he hurt me once so to speak.  It is only me that keeps re-hurting myself by not letting it go.

However, my question regarding letting go is actually related to letting go of expectation of others during the relationship.  Ajahn says if we can give without expectation of anything in return then we can be happy with just the act of giving.  I get that, I work for an animal association and I give with no expectation of anything in return. The giving gives me joy.  However, in my long term relationship I felt I was giving and not getting enough in return.  I felt that my needs were not considered and that he did not dedicate enough to the relationship in terms of time, love and attention, as such it felt like an imbalance of give and take.  So in this context, If I had just given and not expected anything in return, should I still presume I could have been happy in this relationship?  This I struggle with as I gave and gave for years, until eventually I felt sad and lonely.  I would appreciate your views on this. 

Many thanks :)

Offline Kevin

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Hello,

I did not see the Ajahn Brahm video you have referred to, so I do not know to what extent my response is valid within the contextual framework of your question. However, as far as relationships are concerned, I do not think that we have to necessarily let go of healthy, reasonable expectations of another person, in the same way that we should not let go of expressing those qualities ourselves. What we need to let go of is the wrong view that the other person will completely satisfy our desires and our needs. We must also learn to let go of some of our desires that might not be healthy or reasonable. Such desires could be the basis for unreasonable expectations. Letting go of the expectation that the relationship will be completely fulfilling can free us from some of the pain that results when someone in the relationship fails to meet an expectation.

If we begin to view our interactions with other people in ways that nurture wholesome desires rather than unwholesome ones, we tend to establish an appropriate balance between showing compassion for others and showing compassion for ourselves. This keeps us from being too negative, demanding, or unrealistic in our attitudes towards others while keeping ourselves from being a doormat for another person to walk on. Letting go of unreasonable expectations, then, becomes an act of compassion toward everyone involved in the situation, while also setting appropriate boundaries that safeguard the lives of everyone involved.

I am not sure if I am very clear on this, but I hope you find my response helpful and meaningful.

May you be happy and healthy. May you be free from suffering.


Offline Spiny Norman

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So in this context, If I had just given and not expected anything in return, should I still presume I could have been happy in this relationship?  This I struggle with as I gave and gave for years, until eventually I felt sad and lonely.  I would appreciate your views on this. 

Honestly?  I think you should be kind to yourself and stop going through all the what-ifs.  It just creates further suffering for you.

Offline ECS

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Hello

I am new to the forum so I hope this is posted in the correct area of the forum.  I just watched a video by Ajahn Brahm regarding the 4 ways of letting go.  I try to use these principles in life, however I am having a particular difficulty with letting go of expectation, especially in a partnership relationship.

I was with my ex-partner for 20 years and we split up around a year and a half ago.  I have been reliving many things from the past whilst grieving and what hurt me most was how he behaved at the end of our time together.   Letting go makes perfect sense to me in this area .  After churning and churning the pain over and asking why did he do this? I realise that I just do not know why and may never understand it.  I see that by reliving the pain I am recreating the pain over and over when in fact he hurt me once so to speak.  It is only me that keeps re-hurting myself by not letting it go.

However, my question regarding letting go is actually related to letting go of expectation of others during the relationship.  Ajahn says if we can give without expectation of anything in return then we can be happy with just the act of giving.  I get that, I work for an animal association and I give with no expectation of anything in return. The giving gives me joy.  However, in my long term relationship I felt I was giving and not getting enough in return.  I felt that my needs were not considered and that he did not dedicate enough to the relationship in terms of time, love and attention, as such it felt like an imbalance of give and take.  So in this context, If I had just given and not expected anything in return, should I still presume I could have been happy in this relationship?  This I struggle with as I gave and gave for years, until eventually I felt sad and lonely.  I would appreciate your views on this. 

Many thanks :)

In my current mind , " letting go" or " hold on " is same ...why ????? Because you created emotion in both .......as one awaken to own nature of existence , he realize he is emotion , he is desire , he is love , he is anger , he is hate , he is greed etc ...and he realized that he is constantly in a natural process into the original of nothingness .... this process is Buddhism ......and as one awaken to this , he no longer holds the mind and he realize that if he holds on to the mind , he will suffer as he is just like trying to stop a moving train with his feet ..........

If one awaken to Buddhism , she realize she is just emotion and nothing is belong to her not even the physical body ... so she never owned " her boyfriend".....and she realize that he is same as anything / anyone travelling in own Buddhism so changing is the process itself .......and that is never right or wrong / never true or false and never good or bad .............so as she awaken to this , she will no longer hold the mind ...and the burden of carrying the emotion of love / desire / hate / anger will reduced and she will be more and more at ease ......perhaps this condition could be closely described as happy or bliss

 


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