Originally Posted by laurlynn
Oh, Jane, thank you! You can't know how meaningful your last post is to me right now. He's got the kids tonight, and I was just starting to go into one of those weepy modes when first I came here and your words really hit home with me!!! I wiped the tears and took a deep breath before the flood gates opened. Whew, just in time...
Actually all of you ladies combined with things I'm reading and listening to are a huge help and inspiration right now.
Laurie, thank you too. I'd been having a really rough week and kind of wrestling with a lot of the same worries about why I put so much energy into trying to do the right thing when people who behave selfishly seem to have so much of an easier time in life. I got married in the church, and the idea of getting divorced feels like such a betrayal of everything I've always believed in--although I'd be (and have been) the first person to tell friends that for all that I believe in marriage, if you've done your best to fulfill the covenant you made not only with your husband, but with God, then I think it's fair to ask if you've done all you can, how long are you supposed to put up with not just abuse but with someone who deals with a loss of love by behaving with cruelty or passive aggressive nastiness simply to prove your commitment to that covenant.
I know one thing that's helped me a lot with that is coming from a half-Jewish family and seeing the whole Talmudic history of Rabbis wrestling with those sorts of questions and really trying to find that balance between upholding orthodoxy but still seeing that there comes a point where placing strict adherence to exact teaching above all creates more destruction than healing--for example, one of the first debates in the Talmud comes when the Rabbis asked whether, for all their strict commitment to doing no work on the Sabbath, it would break the Sabbath law to do the work of saving a life if someone were in jeopardy. And the Rabbis decided that no, this work would not violate the Sabbath.
Obviously that sort of questioning can lead to all sorts of spiritual abiguity. rationalization and trouble. That's always been why, in Judaism, it's so critical for Rabbis and scholars to debate with one another in those cases, because the point has never been to excuse or rationalize away a serious question, but to acknowledge the humanity of those dilemmas as they arise, and allow space for those who've truly done their best to honor all they believe in, and all they've put heart and soul into fulfilling, but still leave room for compassion for those situations where no perfect answer exists.
Anyway I guess that's a whole different can of worms. But thank you, Laurie. It helps so much to know that I'm not alone either.