How to deal with an unfaithful partner?

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If somebody cheats on you, is it wrong to punish that person, or to believe they will be punished one day?


Duration: 10 min


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7 min read

How to deal with an unfaithful partner?

The following is an unedited transcript of Sadhguru's video. For better readability, breaks and highlights have been added by the editors.

Questioner: If somebody cheats on you, is it wrong to punish that person, or to believe they will be punished one day?

Sadhguru: But he must be punished! Either by you, or somebody – he must be punished! What kind of punishment do you normally give to people? Already enough punishment has been given, isn’t it? Already its been given. The ugliness, the nastiness, the silent treatment – everything has happened!

So what more punishment you want to give? Your thing is there is no remorse on the other side! There is no remorse on the other side, because people are doing what they want to do – not what you want them to do, always. And, that may not be in your interest. But, they are doing what they want to do. Is it right, wrong – I am not going into the morality of it. I want you to understand the mechanics of the situation.

Somebody is doing what they want to do. Now, you think they must be punished. Probably they have not broken any law, otherwise they would be anyway punished. They’re breaking an understanding between two people. Probably you misunderstood the understanding! You believed that these understandings are absolute. They are not. Nowhere in the history of humanity, or today, or in any time in future, will human relationships be absolute. Though every…. every person who gets little romantic believes that this is going to be an absolute relationship, there is no such thing about it.

A relationship is a variable, always. You have to conduct it on a daily basis

A relationship is a variable, always. You have to conduct it on a daily basis. One day if you don’t conduct properly, it may go somewhere. Yes or no? No – please look at it, as it is. You have to conduct it right. So – no, I am doing my best. Obviously somebody feels your best is not good enough. I want you to come to terms with this. This is not about… I am not saying what they are doing is right or wrong, that’s not for me to say. All I am saying is – this is how human beings are functioning for ages, and still are.

I am saying, first of all you need to understand, relationships will never ever be absolute. They will be variables that you… it’s juggling that you have to do. If you are juggling with 5 balls, 1 sometimes [falls] – it will spill out. Takes lot of skill and attention. Yes or no? You married, many of you! Doesn’t it take lot of skill and attention! If you don’t pay any attention, you don’t know what the hell is happening. It takes a lot of attention, isn’t it?

Someone just called me, from some country in Europe, and – Sadhguru, I am just doing housework. Come and save me. Take me away to your ashram. I am just doing house work. She is washing dishes, and stuff. Well, very affluent, but has 4 children. So all the time there is something to do, endlessly. And today the maid did not turn up, so you have to wash the dishes. 4 children are there. You gotta wash the dishes. You gotta was everything.

So, I am saying, you need to understand this – a relationship is a variable reality. It is not an absolute reality. If you want to have an absolute relationship, you must hold relationships with the dead. That’s the reason why lot of people choose God. Because it’s an absolute. You can handle it whichever way you want. If you didn’t think of him for 10 days, and on the 11th day you think of him, he is still there. You do that to your husband or wife or somebody, then…. something else will happen. You went away, got busy, forgot about God for 3 years. Again you can think – still there.

So, if you want to have an absolute relationship, you must… you should not choose human beings. Human relationships are variables. Needs lot of attention. So, that’s why some people decide – in their life they don’t have the time and the energy to manage such things, so they take another path, where there is no such obligation. They close their eyes, they are by themselves. They don’t care who is around them, what’s around them. So, you can’t do that.

In trying to punish somebody, you will only end up punishing yourself

I think it’s best, in trying to punish somebody, you will only end up punishing yourself. They’re doing what they want to do. It’s best that you see that, what is it that you really want with your life? You don’t have to react to them and do something stupid like them. You just have to sit down and look at this… When your illusions are broken – you are disillusioned right now – it’s a very good thing. If your illusions are broken, that means life is bringing you closer to reality, isn’t it?

So, this is an opportunity for you to sit down and see, what is the nature of my life? Why is it… see, this piece of life is a complete piece of life, isn’t it so? Is it half a life? Are you a half a life, or a full life? Full life. Why is it that it feels so incomplete that it needs another person to fill this life? Why is it? It’s time to look at it, isn’t it? If this is a full life, this is complete by itself. But, right now you made it in such a way that this [self] can not exist with ‘that’ one, and ‘that’ one, without ‘that’ one, and ‘that’ one, and ‘that’ one. So, somewhere it is an incomplete life, or at least it has not realised the fullness of it’s nature, isn’t it?

This [self] is a complete piece of life. Packed with creator and creation, together. Very great combination. If you… this is a time, when life knocks at your door like this, it’s time you look deeper, rather than reacting and trying to fix somebody else. Punishing somebody else is not going to transform your life. Not going to make your life beautiful in any way. Some sick satisfaction you will have for 2 days. After that you will feel guilty about that also. Yes! Initially when this emotion is hot, it gives you satisfaction. After sometime when you look back, you will feel ashamed of yourself. So, don’t go that way.

This is an opportunity. Somebody is opening up a spiritual dimension for you, really. Somebody is making you realise, how fragile all these things are. They can cheat you. They can run away. They can divorce you. Or they can fall dead, isn’t it? If they fall dead, you wouldn’t think he cheated me. Would you think? No. But, whichever way, you are denied, isn’t it? The important thing is you are denied something. How he did it, is not the problem. He denied you something, either by death or divorce or cheating or whatever you call it. But essentially you got denied.

You can be denied only because you are in a certain illusory state of believing that this [self] is half a life, and it needs another half from somewhere. No – this is a complete life. If you blossom as a complete life, you will see relationships will be of a completely different nature. It will be more of coming together, and sharing, not of extracting. It has to transform. If it has to transform, you have to transform. This is a great opportunity somebody has given you. Stop using this word – somebody cheated me. Just say – somebody is pushing you towards ultimate reality, from an illusory state. We must thank that person. We must be grateful.

Instead of keeping you… instead of keeping you in an illusion, instead of keeping you in a lie for a whole lifetime, so soon they are making you realise this. Otherwise you will know this at the time of your death. Yes! You’ll know at the time of your death. When you are dying – I am scared, why don’t you come with me. They’ll say – No. So that last moment instead of knowing, it’s better to know now!


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