A Devotee wife and Non Devotee husband – How to manage?
Actual Questions from two women devotees:
(1) Hi Prabhuji !! Thanks for all the service you do ! I have a problem Prabhuji. In case you r posting this please do not show my name …I’m 33years old and I’m engaged now … I don’t know if I can commit to a marriage Prabhuji because of the responsibilities and expectations. I am a devotee of Lord Krishna and I pray every day …I make morning puja as my first priority before cooking … When it comes to marriage , I don’t know why Krishna wants me to get married Prabhuji, bcoz I don’t think I can manage the institution of marriage ..since as you have mentioned in many previous posts that wife should cooperate with husband with relations and everything …what if he turns out to be a never satisfied in having it (pleasures) … I wish not to overly involve in that (with my future husband) ..he and his family eat non veg ..but I’m a converted vegetarian from two years …I have already told them that I will not cook non veg because it also involves karma. it’s an arranged proposal . I have faith that whatever Krishna blesses me with will be for the good but marriage is scaring me …also during my college days I have been treated for a mild version of OCD (regarding religious things ) …and though it’s a mild version and I’m almost normal I still feel I m cheating by marrying someone …I dont know what to do Prabhuji. Please advise . Thanks .
(2) “i am devotee and practicing kc from past 2 and a half years. 2 years back i got married to a non devotee, but before my marriage i told everything to him and his elder sister that i practice krishna consciousness, do chanting and all etc…that time they dint say anything..now my husband is putting so much of restiction that he has warned me to stop all these (chanting,reading,etc) completely over a period of time…i never chant in front of him,behave normally…but still he is getting to know that i am chanting. my mother in law is not staying with us..so after he goes to office i chant as i will be alone… otherwise materially everything is quite ok (though he is very interested in physical)….he is very stubborn to take Krishna Consciousness…i really regret marrying him so sometimes i feel to take divorce but my family may not encourage me taking divorce from him. please give me frank suggestion what should i do in this matter…dont think if i give her this suggestion wat she will do and all..i want frank suggestion prabhu…please hide my name. Hare Krsna”
This is an unwanted fear for entering into marriage and managing after marriage.
Women should accept and not divorce the husband just because he is a non devotee, but, a person performing his family duties.
Firstly, marrying a non-devotee may be a disturbance for a devotee girl. However, it has happened. One of you have got engaged and another one of you have married. Now, it is unchangeable.
Husband-wife relation is not a casual one to hate and separate whenever we want. Though I support divorce ONLY IN the case of SERIOUS & UNCORRECTABLE situations, it must be the last step after all corrective steps fail.
Here, in both your cases, the boys seem to be a good charactered boys. They don’t seem to have disciplinary issues. They also don’t seem to drink. They don’t believe the serious practices of Krishna Consciousness. That’s all. It is not a disqualification to hate a boy/ husband. They can be gradually made to accept the devotional way of life followed by wife.
Being interested in physical is natural for many men. It is not their fault. The Venus and Mars planets in their horoscopes make them behave excessively in sense gratification. So, husband being interested in physical is also not a reason for divorce. He is asking that from wife only, not from the neighbour girl.
This problem arises in many families of devotees. One person will be interested in physical. Another will be seriously following devotional rules and this devotee will restrict the husband to just only once a month. On that day when wife okays, the husband may have headache or out of interest to have relations. So, in most of the families in which one is a devotee and the other non-devotee, such problem occurs and hence the divorce happens.
This must be addressed by the temples. They should not stop just with preaching the rules. They should openly declare these marriage rules to all devotees publicly and recommend for initiations only after telling all the rules. And, they should encourage the serious devotees to marry ONLY another serious devotee.
If this protection and guidance is not given for devotees, the lives of many devotees will go miserably. The preachers may attractively preach in temples. But, they should also realize what impact their preaching creates in the minds of devotees. There are many devotees who have started to hate the entire system just because of such incomplete or insufficient preachings. This is so dangerous that will spoil the lives of devotees instead of reforming them.
Most importantly, My humble suggestion for the devotees is: Never preach about the restrictions after marriage in a public program like Sunday Programs. While preaching the devotional way of life, the temples should advise like this:
(1) If you like to lead a devotional way of grahastha life, marry a devotee of the same standard and inclinations.
(2) The temples should have the facility to suggest or indicate a right match for devotee boys and girls. This facility should be widely propagated among the devotee circles. They should be able to easily assess the credentials of the available matches and then decide consulting with the temple authorities. Senior women guides/ counsellors should be there for girl devotees looking for a devotee boy and male guide for male devotees.
I have seen many girl or boy devotees who do not know the sources and how to use them and hence are struggling to find a right match for them. Therefore, this facility should be there.
(3) The boys must be encouraged in preachings to go for good jobs, earn well and be ready to manage a family while following devotion. This will help thye educated or job going girl devotees to get a right match as devotee boys.
(4) The temples should preach an important aspect: In case a girl devotee happens to marry a non devotee, as per STRI DHARMA, she will not add any karma in case she had to cooperate with the physical needs of her husband and she should gradually make changes in his mind to follow devotional way of life.
Should a devotee girl live with a torturous non devotee father or husband ? Read here.
If these precautionary advices are given for the devotees, it will help them avoid confusion in their married life or to avoid fearing for entering into the marriage.
Ok, now, what to do for you?
I recommend you to give physical relations to your husband whenever he asks. As per the STRI DHARMA, it is the duty of a wife to satisfy the needs of husband. As per the PATI DHARMA, the husband too should satisfy the needs of his wife.
If the wife does not allow relations to the husband if he is interested in it, he may go for other girls in future. Therefore, unless you have serious illnesses, headache, fever, periods, etc. you should co-operate with your husband if he asks or indicates. Forget about the rules in such exceptional cases. By giving ON DEMAND only to the husband, a wife will not incur any karma. This is 100% sure.
If you give sufficient cooperation to husband and at the same time follow Krishna Consciousness practices, he WILL DEFINITELY ALLOW YOU TO PRACTICE THEM. Only when the wives start to behave differently, many husbands object their following devotional practices, because their quota of lust is affected.
So, satisfy the needs of your husband. He is your husband, not a stranger. No sin in that. In case he does not allow you to practice devotional practices even after giving physical support on demand, follow the devotional practices secretly in the afternoon. Keep the books and chanting beads inside a trunk box or separate locker. Take them and chant or read only when you get sufficient privacy. Do not speak much about devotion to husband unless he shows atleast a little interest. When he asks about it, tell him about the devotional way of life.
What if your husband does not co-operate in your devotional practices? Read here
So, my advice to you is: Just because a husband is not a devotee, but, is doing all the duties for the family, he should not be considered as a bad guy. He is not yet fortunate to accept the devotional way of life. That’s all. Your prayers will make him a devotee in future, atleast when he comes to his forties or fifties.
Pray to Krishna to make him a devotee soon. Speak to him about devotional way of life ONLY WHEN he is in a cordial and hearing mood. Give him lust whenever he asks.
Do not fear to marry a boy if you are in a situation to marry him. You too were materialistic earlier and now follow devotion. Similarly, try your best to gradually make him a devotee taking years and also satisfying all his needs as a responsible wife.
As far as non vegetarian husband is concerned, learn to prepare wonderful delicious vegetarian foods and serve the husband. In due course of time, he will start to like your delicious vegetarian foods. Reduce cooking non veg gradually and one day, he too will become vegetarian.
Keep on praying to Krishna to make your husband a devotee and a vegetarian. Such genuine prayers will be blessed by the Lord one day.
Men are not stone hearted. They too will get melted seeing the sincerety of their wives in leading a life with some good objectives. Believe that.
Never hesitate to marry that good boy or never divorce such a good husband just because he is not a devotee. Your karma in this birth is this! Lord wants you to make your husband a devotee. This is an opportunity for you.
Just pray to Krishna for his reformation. All the best!
This post will also help to know whether a wife can remain detached in a family life?