F.: Finally, to realize the true cause of “relative existence problems” in a “relationship” will allow you to avoid the waste of energy involved with seeking an answers to such questions as “How can we get back what seems to have been lost recently?” or “What has gone wrong lately that we can now repair?” Your e-mail asked for something that could “help.” Most couples who are making a last ditch effort and are seeking help to try to repair their failing “relationship” focus their attention on trying to resolve their most recent conflicts. They do not see that the cause of their problems was really at the beginning, not at the end. Sometimes, understanding that can provide relief, especially relief from the guilt that comes with the “If only I hadn’t done this or that” mentality. The Advaita pointer is that persons are set up in the very beginning to fail in their “relationships” because of the insanity of their programming, conditioning, and enculturation that only Realization can address.
Review the sequencing of roles mentioned two days ago that show the continuum that most “relationships” follow: from “strangers” to “acquaintances” to “friends” to “confidants and communicators” to “lovers” to “spouses” to “non-communicators” to "strangers again” (e.g., I don’t even know who you are) to “enemies” to “mortal enemies” who each want the other to die. (That’s why 59% of all women killed each year in the U.S.—and 41% of murdered men—are killed during a “relationship” breakup. It’s all rooted in the assumption of identities and the false belief that “If my roles are ending, then I am under personal attack, I am threatened and feel like I’m dying, and I must take strong, combative action to save myself--that is, my self-- and destroy my attacker.”)
What does that “I don’t even know who you are” comment really reveal? One marriage counselor said recently, “What people really mean when I hear them say ‘I don’t even know who you are’ during a counseling session is, ‘I thought you were a perfect clone of me—which is all that is acceptable to my ego—but now I have discovered that you’re not a perfect clone of me so I must be rid of you’.” The comment also reveals their egotistical belief that “I am perfect the way I am, I deserve to have a perfect mate, and a perfect mate is one that is always a mirror image of me.” Thus, the next Advaita pointer is that personas, driven by egotism, can only consider a “relationship” to be “good” if the other party involved is just like them. They are really only in love with self (and their “self” as reflected in another person). The actual but unconscious belief among, for example, arrogant heterosexuals who are trapped in their personas is, "What I really want is an opposite-sex version of me, and that is all that I will ever deem acceptable."
The problem with one party believing that the other should always be a perfect reflection of him or her is that persons are always unstable…always in a constant state of flux, and the way they are today will not be the way they are tomorrow. How could any partner, therefore, always parallel another person who is in such a state of constant fluctuation? So what is the Advaita understanding regarding conflict? All conflict requires that both parties have assumed personas, that both are invested in perpetuating their phony roles, and that both are willing to fight any who do not play the counterpart role as desired. Conflict also requires the presence of the arrogance that accompanies the assumption of ego-states, and it always requires personas that will do whatever is required to try to maintain their phony image.
If you look at your current “relationship” problems, what you might see if that your "relationship" began with two persons embroiled in three images each. In the beginning of your “relationship," she had (1) the image she held of herself (2) the phony image she showed the world and (3) the image you formed of her in your “mind” and then erroneously accepted as real. The same three images applied to you, so two persons with six images between them established a “relationship” based in six lies and are now shocked by the results. Are you seeing how the Advaitan teachings can move you closer to an understanding of the real cause of all of your current “relative existence problems”?
You asked originally if the Advaita teachings might be able to “help” with this situation. Understand first that any application of the teachings can only happen in the relative existence. Post-manifestation, there is no one to be helped. The farther along the "path" you move, the more you'll come to understand that there's no "one" to be helped now either. That point having been offered, you should be seeing now that it is the Advaita understanding that can eliminate the root causes that result in the breaking of “relationships”—whether personal, local, national, or international. (You should also see why "relationship" is in quote marks: if "not two" is understood, then the Oneness is understood and the lie of one thing relating to a second thing is revealed.)
Should you come to realize that You Are temporarily abiding as the I AM but that YOU ARE indeed the Absolute, then the false persona called “husband” that is in fear of dying could fade away, along with the suffering that it will surely generate otherwise. Two “paths” are before you. One will lead to an extension of the misery that personas always generate; the other can lead to awareness and freedom. When the consciousness is no longer manifested, that freedom will happen, but it could take place now even as the manifestation continues if Realization happens and if AS IF living follows. Please enter the silence of contemplation.