Two friends that I have come out to carefully avoid the subject like a plague and act as if nothing happened.
One is a longtime friend of mine who is modern orthodox but knows in his heart that he only keeps what he feels like (shabbos, kashrus, etc.). He is very self-righteous about kashrus, possibly because he once was a mashgiach and may have to again once he loses his managerial position that he mostly owes to his father-in-law.
He is the one who invites me to davven for the chagim in his institution and has asked me again to davven for the yamim noraim (and noraim they are!). Now am I crazy here or do you only ask deeply religious people that are fitting (‘hagun’) for this job? The only conclusion that I can draw is that he doesn’t really care, as long as I am not too open about my kofer thoughts so that he would be forced to turn his back on me.
Another friend is currently getting out of a depression. He’s got the right meds and he seems to be faring well: he cuts his hear, grooms his beard and wants to lose weight. He seems to be acting as everything is fine and, who knows, may join the shidduchim scene soon again.
One small caveat: he confided in me that he does not feel at home anymore in the frum world.
Now I don’t think you can wish these things away like that. I expect him to have a real breakdown soon and I hope it is just not as bad as last time where I had to bring him to hospital for an overdose on sleeping pills.
Sticking your head in the sand apparently is more comfortable than embracing the inevitable….