Monday, November 23, 2009

I am the biggest rat in my apartment

I have the feeling I'm going to compromise most of my principles and try to marry JV.

It's funny. A few months ago, I was frothing with rage when Ziva Kramer set me up with a guy who wasn't shomer Shabbat. I turned down the not-yet-shomer-Shabbat Baltimore Guy, although in part because he had teenage children. And it bothers me that JV is unable to meet me where I am, the way I'm trying to meet him. That bodes ill, right?

But I also feel he's my last chance to find mutual love and have a family. After 20 years of completely fruitless dating, I have very little hope that an orthodox man remotely close to my age will ever want to marry me. I guess I could marry someone 15-20 years my senior, but that thought makes me ill.

So call me a hypocrite. Or a cop-out. Or worse. I'm going to try to make this work.

My frum friends have mainly been supportive. Those I've confided in have told me, "If it makes you happy, do it." They'll dance at my wedding even if I'm wearing a dress with spaghetti straps. And I know my family will be thrilled. Some friends believe that eventually JV might be willing to keep more of the halachot than he currently does. I don't think so, but I suppose anything is possible.

Yesterday I got together with Ruth, my friend from grad school who converted to Judaism. She's 9 months pregnant and looks 6 months, but in spite of this I love her. We talked about the compromises that marriage renders essential; apparently she's had to make several, and continues to work at it.

I always had an unrealistic fairy-tale idea about marriage; I'm well aware of that. But I never thought I'd have to change so much to accommodate someone else. It will be really humiliating if I make all these changes and JV doesn't ask me to marry him.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. You know what I don't get? Why do you have to change?

    Why do you suddenly have to wear spaghetti straps?

    I understanding making compromises for a marriage and relationship, but it doesn't sound like a balanced relationship when one of you has to "change" in order to meet the other's criteria. If he loves you then he needs to love YOU, not what your religious choices are.

    I understand he is asking you questions to think about yiddishkeit, but I hope it is not in an effort to "wear you down" but really more of an intellectual pursuibecause really, if he wasn't Jewish and was trying to convince you to give up Judaism to become, I don't know a Bahai-ist, would you listen as closely to him.

    I stand by what I've said previously, that it IS possible to make a maariage work between a frum person and one who. Is not frum, but there is the matter of respecting one another's choices.

    And just to totally play devil's advocate ;) is there any possibility that JV is trying so hard to control you because he has so little control over other areas of his life? Like his ex-wife and his kids?

    I'm sending you one day at a time hugs!

    The kallah

  2. Always put people over principles. People who stand on principle die alone and miserable.

    "She's 9 months pregnant and looks 6 months, but in spite of this I love her." - WTF does this mean - are you such a jealous b---- that you have to spite yourself to like someone who looks good - see a shrink cause these off handed comments say more about you then anything else you write on about.

    The way you and most orthodox Jews practice religion today has no spiritual meaning anyways. Sure initially it did, when you initially got involved, but now it is just another habit, a lifestyle a culture. You yourself have proven it in your words; if it had true value - what it is supposed to have - you would as much give it up as you would your life.

    As opposed to that, motherhood, couple-hood, is still real for you.

    Bottom line is your have NOTHING to lose but your illusions, and everything to gain. Stop being so damn anxious about your silly little identity and get on with making this man, the happiest man in the world with you along for the ride.

  3. I'm glad to hear you are going to pursue this, as from your writing you seem to care about him a lot. I know in my past few comments I've been saying that his feelings on this sends off red flags, but I've been thinking more about this, and you know- I personally would never be able to be orthodox again, after all the hurt that community has given me, even if theoretically I started dating someone orthodox. So I am very much in sympathy with his side here.

    I still don't think you should do anything that makes you uncomfortable, but maybe this is the start of a new and fulfilling part of your life where you get to wear spaghetti straps to your wedding and still do the religious ceremonies that are spiritually significant to you, but not be boxed in by community expectations that you do things that are not meaningful to you? Maybe if you try it out for a while you will like it...and if not, well maybe then JV is not the right guy for you.

  4. I am on-board with your putting aside certain ortho practices in favor of marrying JV. HOWEVER - it's still early! Marriage is the ultimate goal, for sure, but focusing on that and losing sight of the here-and-now isn't productive. Be together. Grow closer and learn how you make one another happy. Then repeat. Until you're both ready to make the next leap.

  5. No, you're not a hypocrite. Kramer is becuase it wasn't her call.

  6. why would you have to wear spaghetti straps at your wedding?
    why couldn't you wear the dress you felt comfortable with?

    do you really and truly love this guy? or is it a case of "well, he's ok, he'll provide me with the marriage and children that i crave"? I remember in other posts that you spoke about him in a very disparaging way, and even now, you never speak too highly of him.

  7. I agree with Carmen. You and JV don't even know if you love each other yet! Before you bite into that cheeseburger, why not focus on whether you are right for each other and truly love one another?

    Do you love JV, or do you love the idea of being married to him? Those are two very different things.

    I found your comment about changing for the sake of someone else depressing. That is not the sign of a happy, healthy relationship and no, it is not the way it has to be. I'm still hoping that you and JV both find a way to be yourselves in this relationship.
    Otherwise, believe me, it won't work.

    Don't stop thinking about what it might be like being maried to JV--that is a true 'tachlis' response--but give yourself the space to figure out if you actually love him.

  8. I have two suggestions for you in regards to your situation.

    The first is simply to take your time. There's no need to rush anything. Take time to really feel out whether this relationship is the right one without having to make huge decisions about having to change you lifestyle. Don't even worry about being or not being frum at the moment - just spend quality time with JV and see what grows. You may find that you are very content with each other and things work themselves out or you may discover that there are bigger issues than religion there that won't allow a relationship to work anyway and all this stressing about whether you need to change yourself was not worth it to begin with.

    My other suggestion is to take really honest stock of your connection with being frum. Why did you become frum? Are those reasons the same ones as why you are still frum today? What is important to you about being frum and why do you care about those things? How would your life really change if you weren't frum? Down the line, if you don't get married, do you see yourself staying frum? I think looking at these questions and answering them with brutal honesty, not taking JV into consideration while you are answering them, will give you a better idea in your own head about how you feel about staying or leaving the Orthodox world, and will make you more confident about whatever conclusion you come to about changing for JV.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do - this is a major challenge in your life and I can't definitely understand how it can be painful and stressful. Have faith in yourself that you will come to the right decision for yourself.

  9. Agree with Carmen and FTT.

    Second "Anonymous" from the top is a jerk-off and should have his comment deleted.


  10. Both you and your other half have released gobs of hormones into your system. It's completely normal to seek to terminate the unmarried status. But marriage brings a new set of problems straight upon the table. Most specifically children and what educational and spiritual inheritance you wish to give to this innocent people whose lives depend totally upon you!

  11. Maybe the Lord is testing you by sending JV your way, to see how strong your commitment is to the Sabbath? Maybe if you choose the Sabbath over JV, your true beshert will be right around the corner?

  12. speak to a rabbi who also knows phycology who you respect.