Home » Features » How Do I Handle An Abusive Spouse?

Will your karma change
when you walk away?
You will only know if you try.
[To be continued below…]

Stonepeace | Books

‘If I am a mother with an abusive spouse, how can I resolve or eradicate the negative karmic affinity?’ (The following advice applies to those with abusive wives too.) Before focusing on only spiritual means, there should be sincere asking of your spouse to attend professional marriage counselling with you, assuring that it is neutral and confidential. Such counselling should resume until all problems are solved. However, most regularly violent and unrepentant spouses are unlikely to want counselling, as they should have little sense of reason or morality left. If abuse has become physically dangerous and mentally distressing, immediately move out with your children to a safe refuge with family support, while preparing for divorce. It is often mistaken that the person married has to be stuck to for life as this is predestined and unchangeable. However, you are ‘fated’ to burn your hand only if you leave it on a hot stove. You should walk away swiftly instead. Close family members and friends should be fully informed of what happened too, for moral support.

If abuse is ongoing but not severe yet, learn self-defence while accumulating clear audio, video and/or photographic proof of abuse, including witness accounts if possible. Diligently make police reports each time there is abuse too, for there to be formal records. This can support rights for child custody. An anonymous blog with the proof and text can be set up too. Chance should be given to the offender, but let him know you or others in the know are able to announce him to be the offender on the blog if he offends again. An abusive spouse is unlikely to want a divorce, and even blackmail with threats. This is why the above should be done as soon as possible for self-protection – as this person is like a time-bomb, who might explode time and again, with each explosion possibly more dangerous than the previous. Threats are likely to be in terms of welfare of family (including children) and place of residence. Again, from a distance letting the person know there is evidence against him (even if there is actually insufficient or none) should deter harm.

As a responsible mother, you should not ‘give’ any of your children to your abusive spouse, as they are likely to be abused too, if not fed lies about you. Do not believe those who say it is better to stay with an abusive spouse, as this is literally life-threatening, with negative impact on your children too. A violent spouse does not deserve his wife or any child. Do not put your hand on a stove that is gradually heating up, lest you get so used to the heat that you burn up sooner than expected. If there is still some love for the abusive spouse, all the more should you leave, to prevent him from creating immense negative karma by continually harming you. Out of love to better care for your children, you should leave too. Separation might not be easy, but it is always the right thing to do when there is an unrepentant abusive spouse. Remember, people do change, and he is no longer one who loves you. Your focus should be on you and your children now. Do your best, to fight for alimony and such.

To resolve or eradicate negative karmic affinity spiritually, do your best to carry out the above without greed and especially hatred. Go for fairness and remember yours was once a positive karmic affinity now turned bitter. Do your best to resolve or dissolve the marriage amicably, challenging as it is. As your marital problems accumulated over time, often unknowingly, it is not easy to swiftly use any spiritual practice to fix everything once and for all. Beyond the above, do more good deeds, with daily Nianfo (念佛) practice (of being mindful of the name of a Bodhisattva or Buddha). As taught by Sakyamuni Buddha (释迦牟尼佛) in ‘Guanshiyin Bodhisattva’s Universal Door Chapter [of the Lotus Sutra]’ (观世音菩萨普门品) is the practice of sincere and regular mindfulness of the name of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva – ‘Namo Guanshiyin Pusa’ (南无观世音菩萨, which means ‘Homage to, and refuge for life in Guanshiyin Bodhisattva’).

To rid fear, remember the Buddha’s assurance – ‘You and all others should wholeheartedly [single-mindedly] recite Guanshiyin Bodhisattva’s name. This Bodhisattva is able to give fearlessness to all sentient beings.’ (‘汝等应当一心称观世音菩萨名号,是菩萨能以无畏施于众生。’) To rid hatred, remember – ‘If those with much anger [hatred], are always mindful of and revere Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, they will then attain departure from hatred.’ (‘若多瞋恚,常念恭敬观世音菩萨,便得离瞋。’) To prevent physical harm, remember this – ‘Or, if by evil persons pursued… with mindfulness of that power of Guanyin, [even] one hair cannot be harmed.’ (‘或被恶人逐… 念彼观音力,不能损一毛。’) Chanting can be aloud or silent. To avert occult harm, remember – ‘Curses and all poisons, that are desired to harm oneself, with mindfulness of that power of Guanyin, return to apply on the originating person,’ (‘诅咒诸毒药,所欲害身者,念彼观音力,还著于本人。’) Mindfulness of, say, ‘Amituofo’ (阿弥陀佛; Amitabha Buddha) has all the similar protective effects. After Nianfo, there should be dedication of merits for the welfare of all beings, including your family, also with the wish that your spouse’s hatred dissolves for everyone’s good.

[… As continued from above]
If you cannot walk away,
change your karma
wherever you are.

Stonepeace | Books

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