Question: I find it difficult to observe the third precept of abstaining from sexual misconduct. I tend to have sexual thoughts of others besides my spouse. Please advise as to what I should do. I understand there is no quick fix formula, so is there a way to gradually overcome it?
Answer: Are the ‘others’ real people you know in person?
Question: Yes, there is one who expressed interest, but I had stayed away.
Answer: This reply might be a little generic as am not sure of the details… Do stay away from such persons, especially if you already feel tempted. Draw the line at friendship and keep away from being too physically close. Often, willing third parties are not honourable, for the simple fact that they are also willing family-wreckers, especially if they too are already married. Even if this is not their direct intention, they surely know the possible results. Having an affair is not worth the guilt and hurt it causes to yourself and your family. If there is genuine love, there should be proper discussion and divorce, before doing anything regrettable in the heat of the moment.
If you wish to remain loyal to your wife, do spend more time with her to rediscover why she is already good enough. If there is enough understanding, you might even want to share these woes honestly with her. That would be truly forthright, and this can further strengthen your relationship, as she helps you tide over the obstacle. But be sure she is ready though!
Because you can only have one thought in each moment, the direct way to take your mind off the person is to be more mindful of your wife (and kids if any) – in terms of good times you have together, and why you should treasure them now. Regular practice of mindfulness of Buddha’s name (e.g. Amituofo) helps to keep you tuned to naturally observing the precepts well too, as this tune to your pure Buddha-nature while connecting to the Buddha’s blessings.
Question: Thank you for the advice. I will also pray for strength to overcome this.