Monday, November 23, 2009

I'm not much of a writer

I have not done a good job describing how wonderful JV is, and how happy I am when I'm with him. Except when we're arguing about religion.

JV is a profoundly kind and gentle person. A great listener, who thinks carefully before he speaks. He cares more about more people than anyone else I know. Brilliant, well-read, bilingual. And believe it or not, he respects me and accepts me as a whole person, not some disease-ridden pity case.

We have a wonderful time together when we're not discussing religious practice. We talk, we laugh, we make each other think. I enjoy his company, whether we're talking or just being quiet.

JV is probably the only person who could even make me think about relaxing my halachic standards. Scratch the probably; I wouldn't do this for any other man, because no other man has made me feel as good about myself or believed in me as much as he does.

When I was in college, I went through a mercifully brief period of wanting to go to med school. Everyone thought it was a terrible idea and I couldn't do it. Except JV.

"How am I going to take the MCATs?" I asked him. "I didn't like physics in high school."

"I'll teach you physics, Ayelet," JV said urgently. "If this is what you want to do, I'll help you."

I'm not just in love with the idea of marriage. I'm in love with the idea of JV being the father of my children, and being the (step)mother of his. I don't know exactly how we're going to negotiate our differences, but there has to be a way. Because nobody else, aside from my family, has ever loved me or believed in me like this.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"


  1. Good for you, I am proud of you. Notice how healthy you are with this man!

    Add to your list, sexy, sensual, hot, and he turns you on and you will teach you female a readership a lesson on the healing nature of sex and love!

  2. He sounds pretty wonderful, yes.

    I think "negotiate our differences" is the key phrase to keep in mind.

    I'm happy for you. Keep smiling!


  3. No one, or at least hopefully no one willing loves a man that's a jerk. Consequently that your man has these fine qualities ... this brings us back to the 1st statement. What's at stake, the children which come after the marriage. Things get complicated real fast when children arrive.

  4. Beautiful post, esp. the last paragraph. (And yes you are a good writer!) Just keep looking for that ''way''--if both of you search for it in good faith (no pun intended) you will find it.

    Meantime, enjoy being with each other.

  5. ok so he loves you, and you are in love with the idea of marriage and children with him but are YOU in love with HIM? You don't mention that i notice...

    Also in your envisioning of the idea of JV being the father of your kids, do you love the idea of him being the father of your non-frum kids who probably won't attend a jewish school? Or do you expect you will be able to change him once you have kids? (not likely) Just some things to think about...

    Also you mentioned JV doens't want to be orthodox, but how does he feel about judaism generally? Does he identify with another form? Is he completely secular? Does he celebrate jewish holidays and occasionally do shabbas dinners and stuff? Does he attend some kind of service on high holidays?

    I hate to harp on this, but from past experience, love is not enough to sustain a relationship...having compatible goals in life and compatible ideas about how you will raise your children/how you will live your life is as much if not more important than having the love there.

  6. AE, I love JV so much it hurts.

    It wouldn't be enough for me to be with someone who loved me if I didn't love him. I had that when we went out in college, and I threw it away.

    As for how "Jewish" he is -- JV would say he's living a more authentic Judaism than most orthodox Jews. His primary concern is how he treats other people, something he believes is given short shrift by most of the orthodox people and institutions he's encountered. He also belongs to and attends a conservative synagogue, makes Shabbat meals for his sons and guests, and unlike me, he goes to shul on Yom Kippur. (Of course, I have to stay at home in bed because of the seizure I had, but he still goes to shul, fasts, and prays.)

    He's just not shomer shabbat and shomer kashrut at the level I've been used to. And on certain things he's unbending. At least so far. The two of us are going to have to figure out a way to get along in this regard.

  7. AE, you put it really well, especially the issue of being on the same page in terms of life goals and how to raise kids.

    Ayelet, if he's willing to even explore how to compromise on both of your religious needs, than that's great and it sounds like you have a great chance at happiness. I truly hope that is the case. It hasn't sounded like that from your previous posts. You were describing more red lines and it sounded like he wanted nothing to do with religion.

    I wish you all the best and i hope this turns fulfill all of your dreams.

  8. I would like to take issue with abandoning eden and the assertion that "compatible goals and life ambitions" and whatnot are important. That's condescending shidduch-speak. You're both professional, well-educated adults. It sounds like you're in a good place. Stay there!

    Also, if he's even semi-active in a shul of some kind and semi-connected to yiddishkeit, you're much further ahead of the game than I thought originally. Yay!

    (Love the post, btw.)

  9. Blah, blah, blah. Wonderful, he's wonderful. He doesn't respect you. That's not so wonderful. You feel strongly enough about Shabbos and kashrus to abide by these holy principles. He is trying to get you to stop doing something that you believe in. That is not love and not respect. This is not about Judaism. This is about someone who doesn't respect part of you. Why don't you blog about that? Why do you keep making this about Judaism? Please explain how it is that someone who doesn't allow you to be you is your zivug and the love of your life. Do you not respect yourself either and have therefore found a soul mate you have something in common with? I'm not trying to be mean, but you keep avoiding what I consider to be the main issue at hand.

  10. Hmmm....I think Anonymous might be being a bit harsh. Not that I disagree with your basic premise, that the part of Ayelet that has a strong relationship with Shabbos and kashrus is something that JV does not seem to respect or love, but that she probably is addressing that issue, just not in her public blog. Ayelet, you are very brave, and I have every confidence that your intuition will lead you in the right direction.

  11. I agree with Carmen, and Abandoning Eden!!! A good marriage is absolutely, 1000% based on having similar values. BUT I do not think you are as far apart in your values as you, and JV himself, think.

    From everything you wrote, it sounds like he is hostile to Orthodoxy because of his ex. Maybe in time he will see that you are not as dogmatic as his ex about religion, and find that he can indeed live, or work around, your beliefs.

    Could be that despite the passage of time, JV still has some open wounds from that relationship. So don't pressure him or yourself, for a resolution in that regard. I know you say you love him, but it's early days for the two of you. See where it goes.

  12. All that you wrote today. I had gleemed those qualities that he holds- from your other posts. You do write well ! However as many above have written - he needs not follow your relationship with G*d - u respect that. He needs to respect you- you need to respect yourself enough to see that.
    Again if his issue was not to get married? Would u give that up? To just be with him and love him. I good be wrong but I do not think you would give up marriage if he did not want to get married and just live with you.
    I think you would walk away

    This demand Is just as serious however in this case compromise is available! Again u r not asking telling him to change - to your way - niether should he want that from you! Very simple mutual respect .
    Ps children if u have them will be raised seeing Both great is that !
    This is simple if there is love respect both of u should follow your beliefs.. As u r comfortable NOT force something that need not be forced. On the other.

  13. I used to be in a relationship where the ppl were observant and I wasn't but it worked because deep down I respect yiddeshkeit and it worked because I respected there views. you say he is Conservative which is a different form of Judaism, ppl can be very kind, considerate menschlich, ppl that you may find endearing.Your children could get a strong Jewish education and also a strong English education. And maybe along the way JV will come closer to orthodoxy, by being close to you.