Thursday, March 12, 2009

So maybe I overreacted a little.

"Why did you say I won't take your calls?" asked jockitch.

"Because you were screening," I said. "You never picked up when I called."

"You never left a message!"

"You never picked up!"

"I would have called if you'd left a message!" he said.

Okay. We talked, and I felt a little better. But it's still so painful. He can't change what he is, and I don't think I can or should. So we're at an impasse.

It's ironic. I think one of the main reasons I became religious was that I thought it would be easier for me to get married. Had I known then what I know now, would I have made different decisions? No way to tell.

I used to be in group therapy with an extremely unpleasant woman, Joyce. She was nominally Jewish but not observant. Her husband had committed suicide, which propelled her into the psychiatric ward for a while (understandably). I could not abide Joyce. For someone undergoing CBT, her thinking was extremely rigid. Everything had to be her way, from her point of view, which is just a recipe for frustration and disaster.

At the time I had just met up with an old college friend/boyfriend again. Wonderful guy, brilliant, cute, supportive, yada yada. Not observant. And I was conflicted about getting involved with him. A fling senior year was one thing, but now we were both adults who wanted to get married (not necessarily to each other, but we were ready). Joyce started nagging me that my religious observance was keeping me from happiness, I was being ridiculous, blah blah blah.

"You should go out with him and eat ham!" she concluded.

I wanted to say, "I can see why your husband committed suicide." But I didn't. I transferred groups.

So now I'm sort of in the same boat. A great guy who cares about me and accepts me can't accept the idea of keeping kosher and Shabbos. And doesn't want any more children.

The scary thing is, even if I don't end up with him, there's a good chance I could end up alone and childless. If I compromised, would I ultimately be happier?

I tried doing that with G.I. Josh. We were strictly kosher, but on Shabbat we would watch TV and DVDs. It wasn't horrible. The relationship was bad for other reasons, but I wasn't too uncomfortable watching TV on Shabbat. I still do when I'm severely depressed and can't leave the house.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. I think conducting a relationship via blog and Facebook is probably a bit passive aggressive, no offense. You need to get some distance from all this.
    I have plenty of wonderful single friends who are non-observant, and several who are not Jewish. So hopefully you get more out of being observant than dating or lack thereof!
    Plenty of couples compromise on religion--what if you were kosher and shomer shabbat and he wasn't--and go on to have happy marriages. Plenty of women marry divorced guys and give up on having kids. But if you will resent him for either forever that is not a recipe for happiness. I think you gotta go with your gut on this one. And don't look back.

  2. True. But it's not just that he doesn't want to keep Shabbos and he doesn't want more kids. He doesn't know what he wants from the rest of his life. And I don't think he wants to be married again anytime soon.

    If I went with my gut, I'd want to be with him. But right now, he's a big question mark. What if I gave up my rent-stabilized apartment and married him, just to get divorced a year later?

  3. Yes, exactly my point. Your emotions are telling you one thing, but your gut is telling you: stay away! Listen to your gut.