Q: How do we determine what desires are reasonable versus those driven by ego in a relationship?
For example: My husband believes that because I'm in his country and he invited me into his home that I have to do what he says. I have a desire to be considered as an equal as I also live here.
A: This is what I understand from your question, please tell me if I’m not correct:
- You want to be in a balanced relationship
- You feel hurt when your husband attempts to tell you what to do in some way
- You understand that your true nature is all-loving and all-embracing
- So why do you feel hurt? You should be able to accept everything exactly as it is!
If I’ve understood correctly, this is what is happening: there is a confusion of levels. Yes, our Self is always all-loving and all-embracing, but that is expressed differently for each of us as human beings. We have personalities, desires, interests, etc.
Due to conditioning, as we grow up we accumulate some fears. However, those fears do not change our personality. Knowing this, the process is to figure out which of our current desires come from fear and feelings of lack, and which ones come from Love.
We do not like following someone else’s will because all of us know deep down that our only true Authority is God. That’s why you feel resistance when your husband tells you to do something that you don’t agree with. That feeling of resistance is Love expressing itself in you.
Agreeing to your husband’s demands comes from a sense of lack in you. It also continues both of your sufferings, since his ego is satisfied to be followed, and yours has suppressed your true desires coming from Love.
Once you really know that your true nature is all-loving and all-embracing, your personality shines through. You enjoy your uniqueness, preferences and interests, and do what’s best for others, too. True empathy is to do our best to stop another’s suffering, not to prolong it by giving into their ego desires.
Q: Boyan, it's less "why do I feel hurt" and more "if we aren't really anything except love, do I have a right for feel negatively about this", but I really enjoyed your thoughts.
It's tough because sometimes I think he's having ego fits and sometimes I think it's genuine care communicated poorly due to our language barrier and his own struggles with communicating certain things. He wants me to have a good life here, I believe that, but the micromanaging gets to be too much to where I feel unnecessarily parented rather than partnered.
A: Yes, I'm sure that he is genuinely caring and probably also busy with many things. Still, in the cases in which you feel he may be coming from ego, it is important to try and neither give in to nor resist his projections.