Thin skin and interfaith marriage do not make for a healthy combination. I know this because when I was first married, and then again when I was first converted, I was pretty much the Princess and the Pea of anything to do with interfaith life. I also know, given my personal history, I came by this honestly. But really. That wasn’t who I wanted to be. I’ve worked since then to appreciate that the things that seem insensitive to me are often parts of a religion that does not actively seek converts, working to find a way to integrate people from a variety of backgrounds into its religious life. At this point, I get it that it’s not easy on either side.
From time to time I meet another interfaith partner or Jew by Choice who is open about her experiences. In nearly all instances there are similar thin-skinned moments. I wonder if some of these are common among us? I wonder if they occur early in our life as Jews or as the spouse of a Jew and actively engaged in raising Jewish kids? What I’m trying to ask is, is there something that is a barrier to feeling comfortable that takes place at a particular moment in life for someone new-to-Judaism? Is there some way that this barrier could be cushioned, if not alleviated, given that all of us share the common goal of raising happy, emotionally healthy children who self-identify as Jews?
I’d like to make a poll, but would love some input on the questions to include. Please contact me through the link in the sidebar.