I had a very interesting conversation today with an orthodox Jewish man who seemed to be in his mid 60s, a doctor and is someone who is trying to instil a new concept in school children about living in the moment by having educational classes for them about being ‘present’ in their lives, and not worrying so much about the past or the future. He says that he writes blogs and has a website, so he’s very passionate about his teachings and inspiration. So I told him about my blog, and how I wrote a blog about ‘cheating’ yesterday… and he had some very interesting things to say.
As part of my job, I walked through his home… his house was full of Hebrew texts, he touched each Mezuzah as he walked through all the doorways, he quoted scriptures from the Torah, had the traditional Kosher kitchen with the two dishwashers, two sinks, two stovetops, etc, the back porch set up for Sukkot, he rode a bicycle to and from work as part of this religious holiday season, he had his full beard that was not groomed and tipped the midst of his chest and he wore his yarmulke… he was an authentic as they get.
As part of his educational classes, he was also involved with classes for adults. He recalled one where he was involved and there was a lecturer talking to the audience about ‘love’, and how to rekindle your spark when things are down. The audience felt inspired after the lecture, but some realised that their wedded partner was not giving them the spark that they once had. The lecturer and his wife decided to sit down and have a conversation with another married couple and my Jewish friend was part of it as a casual observer. He observed the woman from the audience, and she decided there and then to tell her husband after 32 years of marriage that she was no longer in love with him. This came as a shock to him, because he dearly loved his wife. The lecturer told the couple that it was OK for them to not be in love with each other, as long as they still loved each other as companions and for the memories they have together. Then as the lecturer had seen this courage from the woman, he told his wife that he was actually in love with another woman… all in front of this small group of people. Again, shock! She was devastated as she was totally in love with her husband – so proud of him in his achievements, and loved being his wife. He then took the hand of the woman from the audience and said that he was in love with her! This astounded both the betrayed wife of the lecturer and the husband of the other woman, as they had no idea that either had been cheating on them. He then announced that they had made a decision together… that all four of them should live under the one roof as two married couples with ‘outside interests’ so it didn’t hurt their family units. It took a few days to agree with it all, but the couples decided to move in together. The cheating couple suggested to their spouses that they should try being together, but they just couldn’t see it working for them. After six months of their spouses hearing the grunts of ‘humping’ (as my Jewish friend said!), both the betrayed wife and the betrayed husband decided that the house wasn’t for them. The wife told her husband that she still loved him but it was time for her to find someone to fall in love with her again, and left. The husband told her wife that he wanted to sail around the world, and he too left, just like Noah did with his ark of animals – escaped from all that he knew to start a new life.
But then my Jewish friend said something that took me quite aback… he said we all should have two wives – one for the household business and one to be passionate with. However, he never really went into the detail of if he had actually been in that position…
I guess, from all the talks I have with people, all the information people freely give me, if we are religious or not, we all have ways of going about our personal affairs. Most people are traditionalists, or at least start out as traditionalists – one man, one woman, one marriage. But the reality of life is, that most will stray from that traditional formula – the fairytale life that we all imagine our lives will be like. Some are strong and believe that their spouse doesn’t deserve to be treated with such disrespect, knowing that they had broken their vows and end their marriage… others hold onto something and try to repair their marriage, others are too weak to succumb to change so they continue to live a life of lies, spitefulness, distrust and disharmony in complete unhappiness.
But as people on the outside, who are we to judge? Yes we have our own sets of morals and ethics, but who are we to impose those on others? We don’t have to agree with what’s being said, and we certainly don’t have to adapt our lives to something we are not comfortable with, but if someone chooses to tell you about something that they have done, something that they enjoy, something that they aren’t sure about, or simply something that’s on their mind, you should accept that it took courage for your friend, acquaintance, relative or complete stranger to own up to their thoughts or reality and confide in you, and just support them in whatever they choose to do in their lives, no matter if you agree with it or not.