I’ve got so much attachment to someone else’s partner!

Oct 25, 2021




Hi Venerable Robina,


I hope this email finds you well.


I try to watch as many of your teachings on youtube as I can, and live when possible. Thank you so much for your many, many teachings. You make the Dharma down-to-earth and very real to me, and I do my best to apply what I can to my daily life.


I have been struggling with something for a few months now, and I try to stay positive but I’m getting quite discouraged. I feel like I’m not making much headway, and I know it’s because I’ve been practising attachment for many eons. So of course the work of a few months won’t make much of a difference. I need some advice please, or maybe a smack if necessary.


A few months ago I got out of a long relationship. As that relationship was ending, my attachment has become fixed onto another person who happens to be married. And I find it quite distracting when the person keeps popping in my mind when I try to practice Dharma.


I’ve tried to not focus on it, to do mantras, or listen to teachings. I’ve tried to think about how I didn’t care for this person before and now all of a sudden it’s attachment that’s made them look so divine to me now. That there must be some karma there from a past life. And just like with my ex, that attachment will fade in time as well. 


I don’t even want to be with anyone right now – and certainly not with someone else’s partner.


I feel a bit silly, as it seems to be such a trivial thing, and I’ve heard your reply to others who had similar questions during your teachings. But I’ve reached a point that I’d like to know what you would say specifically in this situation.


Much love,




Happy to hear from you, dear L!


No need for a smack! You’re doing fine. You understand exactly what’s going on.


So keep your mind steady, that’s the main thing. Know exactly that it’s just the obsessive mind grasping on to some new object of attachment. Watch your mind like a hawk. 


There’s a big difference between having all these thoughts pop up and then following them, growing them – that’s a disaster! – and having the thoughts pop up but you don’t follow them, don’t believe in them.


Don’t feel guilty: that doesn’t help. And don’t be afraid of your thoughts – this is important. They’re just thoughts! The key thing is not to give them power, not to believe in them – and know, like you said, that they’ll eventually go.


This is logical, but it’s hard for us to see it sometimes because we give so much power to our thoughts. 


So, one step at a time, okay, L?


Do you see?


Love to you,




Thank you so much Venerable. Yes, I think I do see. The attachment was so strong in the beginning, I felt like I was getting swept away by it. And I think the guilt made it worse, as I was adding more crazy roommates in my mind and giving them too much power like you said.


I have noticed it’s not as strong as it used to be. It’s slightly easier to let it go, for my mind to not be completely overwhelmed by it, especially after your advice. You’ve told me to stay steady before, as I do have a tendency to get swept around by my delusions, and I must admit patience is not one of my virtues. It’s another thing I definitely need to work on.


Thank you so much for being so patient and kind.


Lots of love,


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