Should a wife serve a non devotee husband also?
A woman devotee (Name hidden) asked like this:
“Dear Anna. I love all your counseling articles. They give light for those in dark. My non devotee husband is money minded and does not come to Hare Krishna community with me. He is lusty also and tortures me daily. Should I serve such husband also? Should I associate with a non devotee husband also?”
Yes, you need not part him. He does not torture you and he does not prevent you from going to temple. Then, why should you desert him?
Just because he is a non devotee husband and an addict for senses, he should not be deserted. If he is a threat for the wife’s life or purity or tortures with violence, you can consider deserting him. He has more feelings and he approaches you with aggression. He will alright in future after his age 55. Be patient till that.
(My husband does not co-operate in my devotional practices! What to do? READ THE REPLY HERE!)
Let me give some points that were given by Srila Prabhupada about materialistic, non devotee husbands:
All women have just one duty or dharma in this world— to serve her husband. When we say all women, then it means all women. It is called stri-dharma (SB 7.11.25-29). For the wife, vivaha is her second birth (dvi-ja) her initiation into Vedic culture. And moving into husband’s house is not just moving into the house, it means she goes to live in the asrama. Who’s asrama? The ashrama of her husband. If husband is qualified, it is grhastha ashrama. If not, it is a grhamedhi life. But it does not matter if husband is qualified or not according to our standard or expectations. He is still the representative of Krishna. Who sent us this husband? Krishna sent him. The wife can still make spiritual progress even if the husband is not a devotee.
If husband wants her to serve him meat, alcohol, sex, etc, she should serve him. She will not get any reaction for doing that (BG 18.47), because she is doing her dharma (stri dharma); she is following her husband’s instructions, which means she is following her duty. So she will not get any reaction, but her husband will get reaction if he demands something that is not according to dharma.
“As long as one is situated in the material world, there must be pleasure and pain arising from the material body. As Krsna advises in Bhagavad-gita, tams titiksasva bharata. One has to learn how to tolerate the temporary pains and pleasures of this material world. One must also be detached from his family and practice celibacy. Sex with one’s wife according to the scriptural injunctions is also accepted as brahmacarya (celibacy), but illicit sex is opposed to religious principles, and it hampers advancement in spiritual consciousness.
(HOW TO DEAL IF THE “DEVOTEE HUSBAND OR WIFE” IS INTERESTED IN SENSE GRATIFICATION? READ HERE!)
‘the first duty of a chaste woman is to carry out the order of her husband’. (Sri Caitanya-caritamrta, Antya-lila, 7.106)
Marriage is like a fortress created by the husband and wife to protect themselves from the powerful enemies of the uncontrolled senses and peacefully make spiritual advance-ment. ‘The bodily senses are considered plunderers of the fort of the body. The wife is supposed to be the commander of the fort, and therefore whenever there is an attack on the body by the senses, it is the wife who protects the body from being smashed’. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.14.20)
(A Devotee wife and Non Devotee husband- How to manage? READ HERE!)
Pisima Mataji, was Srila Prabhupada’s sisteras well as his God-sister. She was married to a non-devotee, who turned out to be a rogue, meat eater, he drank alcohol, he was a woman-hunter, spending money on gambling, etc. Pisima Mataji came to Srila Prabhupada and asked what should she do in this situation? He advised her to do what she learned from her mother- to serve her husband, and to pray to Sri Krishna for the best interest of her husband. And not to argue with her husband. Actually a woman should never argue with a drunken man, because he can kill her.
And Srila Prabhupada told her: “Remember those Deities that we worshiped when we were children?” He said, “I have them here, I’ll give them to… You worship Them, Radha-Govinda, and you keep praying to Them, and They’ll help you.” He didn’t advise her to divorce her husband, or to complain to various women’s ministries about him, etc. Rather for material problem he gave a spiritual solution.
She did the way Srila Prabhupada advised her; she didn’t criticize her husband, she didn’t argue with him, but she did her prescribed duties, her stri-dharma with the idea to please Krishna through her service to the husband.
(How can a wife remain detached in a family life? READ HERE!)
It is not a material thing to follow stri dharma. A woman who follows stri dharma properly, she makes direct spiritual advancement, as a brahmacari makes by serving his guru. When Krishna gets pleased, only He can change the husband. No wife can change her husband.
Krishna was obviously pleased with Pisima mataji’s service, and her husband came to her after sometime, and begged her for forgiveness, admitting that he was so bad, and realizing what a good wife he has, a wife who always works in his best interest. He ended up worshiping: “This woman is serving me so faithfully, and serving the Deities so faithfully, and she wants nothing but the best for me, and she’s praying to Krishna for me.”
He acknowledged that and changed all his ways. That is the power of a woman who follows her prescribed duty, stri-dharma, in order to please Sri Krishna, and to make spiritual advancement.
(How to make the husband a devotee of Krishna? A Bold and Powerful Trick can be read HERE!)
“The wife must remain embraced by her husband. Thus she becomes beloved and well protected … A wife is therefore called ardhangani, or half of the body. One cannot remain with only one leg, one hand or only one side of the body. He must have two sides.” – (Srila Prabhupada, Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.26.17)
Though some points may not be acceptable to you, since we are in a position to clear all our pending karma, patiently deal with your husband. You chant and involve in devotion to the possible extent. Since Krishna knows about your husband also, He will accept though you do some small services to Him. When you become free after his age of 5 or 60, serve Krishna more.
The point is that a wife will not be considered as degraded just because she is serving Krishna as well as her materialistic and lusty non devotee husband and also gives lust to her husband. she is following her stri dharma. That’s all.. She is not fallen.
Krishna is your best friend and he understands you better than all others. So, be in your husband’s home and serve him and The Lord sincerely.
Again I remind: By serving the materialistic non devotee husband, the wife will not be considered as fallen.
All the best.
(You can get many such tips in this post also HERE: Grahastha Rule of ONLY ONCE A MONTH relations and Childlessness! – A Case Study!)