Three Types of Suffering
We can describe three types of suffering:
- The suffering of suffering: physical or psychological suffering.
- The suffering of change: we suffer because we do not want things to change.
- All pervasive suffering: the never-ending suffering that pervades Cyclic Existence.
The Suffering of Change & The Surprise of Divorce
The suffering of change might sound too obvious to state separately, but how many couples are surprised by divorce?
This is not to say that the previous article #JustLove is incorrect. But rather it is the typical type of romantic love that a two people can experience when they are “in love”. This is love with strings attached and a lot of this type of love is attachment to the other person.
Some weddings can be beautiful ceremonies. But statements made at weddings are unrealistic – to commit to love each other forever, even to commit to “til death do us part” obviously contradicts the divorce rates. For example, in Britain 42% of marriages end in divorce. Divorce should come as no surprise to anybody as the figures are not ambiguous.
This is not to say that relationships between couples cannot be wonderful, joyful experiences. Stated boundaries on relationships can be useful, starting with whether the relationship is open or entirely monogamous.
A friend suggested a commitment contract that could define these boundaries. But it would have an expiry date of 1 to 5 years. On the expiry date they had the option to renew the contract, perhaps renegotiate some of the agreed terms in the contract. On the expiry date they also had the option to end the relationship and go their separate ways.
This seemed like a more realistic view of the nature of relationships and the suffering of change. People are no different. People change and priorities change or personalities change. People “fall out of love” with each other. Having a realistic view of relationships can help us to enjoy and make the most of the time that we have with somebody, making it more meaningful. Like everything else, relationships arise, abide, and dissolve.