“Honey, I’m Gay.”
Actress Fran Drescher has a new sitcom ‘Happily Divorced’, based on her own life, in which the main character’s husband wakes up one day, and tell her he’s gay. In the show (and in Fran’s real life), instead of this becoming a McGreevey-sized drama, it’s all groovy, and everyone stays happy, loving friends.
The show made me think about how couples can change mid-marriage, in general, and how that can become a tragedy – or not.
My husband was less than thrilled when, two years ago, I told him I wanted to go to Friday night services. He thought he had married an atheist as militant as himself, and “Lecha Dodi” was not what he had signed up for. It took a while for us to navigate my shifting attitudes towards spirituality/Judaism, and I’m incredibly grateful to him, that as tough as that was, we were able to come to a comfortable place with who I had become. This was a significant, if small shift (although we’ve had to wrestle through some larger, more difficult ones as well). I expect we’ll have more of them in the future (I think that comes with the territory for a non-traditional marriage), and I hope we’ll always emerge together, stronger, loving, however our marriage has to change or evolve.
Then I think of this situation in the extreme: my friends who were/are married in the Chasidic/Charedi world, and wake up one day saying (or thinking) “Honey, I’m not a believer anymore”. These stories are, unfortunately, almost all tragedies. I wonder if there is any way to navigate that transition without it being a tragedy, with some connection or love remaining*, or if the cost exacted by the community will ever wane (as it has in secular society re the “Honey, I’m gay” admission).
*or am I being naive in my assumption that there is any love to begin with?Printable Version