Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 09/16/2018


Yesterday I told my wife that, as far as I was concerned, our marriage is over although I would stick it out for the next sixteen years until our youngest turns eighteen.

Initially she retorted that she had come to the same place years before but all day long today she has been alternating between belittling me and throwing my practice in my face. How can I be a Buddhist when I’m so unkind she asks. Or she’ll tell me how much work I’ve got to do. Well, on the first count she’s wrong but on the second she’s quite clearly right.

It’s interesting trying to negotiate this new arrangement but I’m done pretending I’m in a loving relationship. It’s abusive and I now have to formulate some healthy boundaries. As bad and contrary to popular wisdom this may sound I think a big part of this is refusing to talk as nauseam about this fiction called “us?” And why is that? Because even after years of counseling nothing has changed. What would need to change is anterior to speaking and that just doesn’t seem to be in the cards.

In real life, what this will look like from the outside won’t be drastically different from what it is now. I won’t be sleeping in the same room (which is something that I’ve been doing for months anyway) and I intend to swear off any attempts at physical intimacy with her or any other woman ever again. I think a big sticking point for her will be when I refuse to go on family vacations but we shall see.

Maybe she’ll decide that divorce is the best course; I can’t stop her but there’s not much else to lose. I can live anywhere and don’t care about travel but she does and the kids’ standard of living certainly stands to suffer. I feel as if I’m being selfish but I need a way to psychologically disconnect from the constant criticism and invective. Maybe I am failing as a father. Maybe I am a hopeless Buddhist but I certainly don’t need someone’s contempt to help me see the light.


  1. I’ve been where you are, and reading this brings the the feelings all back into my gut. I’m sorry you are dealing with this. And ask if what you really want is to model sixteen years of a bad relationship for your youngest child? Or, instead if you might rather model something else and manifest a different energy for that child in a home you get to create. Maybe I’m just writing this because I chose something different, but not a day goes by where I’m not grateful I chose to excise the “marriage” like a cancer.

    • Thank you. I intend to treat my wife as well as a do anyone else. No better and certainly no worse. I intend (and may fail often) to teach my children patience, forgiveness, perseverance and paternal love. There is, after all, another part of this equation and she may very well decide this is not what she wants. That is the only way I could live with breaking up my family prematurely. Be well!

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Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.