I have already wanted to write this post for quite a while, but never found an ‘auspicious’ time for it. However, some of you have been asking me about this issue and I think it is only fair to post some more on the topic of coming out to my wife.
For many weeks after my first coming out, there was radio silence on my wife’s side on this topic which made me uncomfortable. Why was she not mentioning me unfrumming anymore, what is going on in her head?
A little while ago, I finally was able to discuss with my wife, in a quiet moment before the end of Shabbos when our kids were already sleeping, what went on in my head, what my thoughts were on Orthodox Judaism and what she feels about me kofering out.
She asked me what my ‘doubts’ were about and I explained her a few things: How I believe that the creation story is not plausible, about the documentary hypothesis, about the mabul, the stuff in the Gemorah that is clearly wrong, etc.
What amazed me is that my wife did not seem to be bothered in the least about the fact that the Torah could have been written by a human being. Or that some parts were just plain impossible.
Another astonishing fact was that she somehow believes that people in their religion should follow in the footsteps of their ancestors by following their religion, be it Judaism, Christianity, Islam, etc. My attempts to explain that they are sometimes mutually exclusive and that this had nothing to do with truth or not fell on deaf ears. Or perhaps I just did not understand her correctly.
What is clear to her is that there is a God and that ‘he looks after us’ (I wisely skipped the Holocaust topic). She is also very determined about sticking to kashrus, Shabbos and Taharas Hamishpochah.
Perhaps one day, we will find a way for me to respect what is important to her while at the same time giving me the freedom I need.
Some big wins:
- My wife understands that my critical examination of Judaism lead me to disbelief the Divine nature of the Torah and that the words of Chazal were not infallible. I think this would make it more acceptable for my wife to accept my ‘kfirah’ some day.
- We both agreed that we both feel that Haredi Judaism is not for us and it pretty much means that our kids will either go to a more MO or a non-Jewish school (with extracurricular Jewish classes since we both don’t want our children to be am haaratzos).
Our talk did bring us closer together and an open approach is definitely the way to go. I still had no courage to tell her about me eating non-kosher stuff and breaking Shabbos, though
(Of course there is a lot more to say on this matter, but I will keep that for another post. Until then, I would be happy to hear your opinion in the comments.)