The Get or “D-Day”

20 08 2012

Today was a powerful day and I’d like to write a short reflection on its activities.

Yair and I woke early, ran a couple of errands around Riverdale and arrived hand-in-hand at our home synagogue in time for the scheduled 11:15am get (religious divorce procedure).

Both sets of parents accompanied us to the meeting and we set a good tone from the start by seating the families together.  (The rabbi originally instructed our respective families to sit on opposite sides of the table, but soon realized that would be unnecessary.)

The Get Crew

The Get Crew – Our Sofer is Second From the Right

We were introduced to a panel of witnesses and a sofer (scribe) who was instrumental to carrying out the legalistic religious obligations of the separation.  The Brooklyn (read: very religious) crew unintentionally provided some comic relief for Yair who was playful as ever on this occasion.

One example: Yair is technically required to own the ink, quill and materials needed for the religious ceremony.  Accordingly, the scribe unconditionally gifted these materials to Yair.  This action is generally performed with the understanding that Yair will choose to return these items following the ceremony, however Yair hemmed and hawed when the scribe asked if Yair would kindly consider “gifting” them back to him, making this poor sofer sweat for a moment.

Yair and I read aloud deep and personal statements that we had written for one other, and my beloved husband busted out his first set of tears in over five years since the day of our wedding.  After a bit of thought and conversation with Yair, we have decided to share the pieces that we wrote here on the blog as they reflect our deep love for one another and provide insight into the development of our relationship.

Reflections by Ayo

Reflections by Ayo

A good friend and spiritual leader of the congregation shared beautiful words about times of transition, and soon after the get was delivered and the proceedings were complete.

 Reflections by Yair

Reflections by Yair

Our families (who get along very well) joined each other for lunch while Yair and I spent a couple of hours relaxing, eating good food and cuddling Muffin, his incredible family dog.  We wished each other farewell for the next two weeks, as Yair will be returning to Austin this Wednesday in preparation for Burning Man, whereas I will be staying on the East Coast for another week to be with family.  We will be speaking often.

We have been blessed to receive a lot of love and support.  Our friend Shira arranged for dinner and an empty NYC apartment this past weekend so that we would have a quiet place to enjoy our last weekend as a married couple.  And my little sister Jessie decked out my childhood bedroom with white paper chains and fresh flowers.

Flowers and Paper Chains - Sisterly Love

Flowers and Paper Chains – Sisterly Love

To come:  Insights into the decision, reflections on the process and our path of love and healing (perhaps this will be helpful to others?) and – as always – goofy reports on our latest light-hearted adventures.

We send our love to each of you, and thank you for continuing to be with us on this journey.

posted by ayo

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21 responses

20 08 2012
roamingbarbara

Although you certainly don’t own anyone an explanation, I have to admit I am flabbergasted and curious to hear more about your future plans. Rarely have I seen two people so close so I have to assume some irreconcilable differences in life goals. This has to be hard on you both and I feel for you. It would actually be easier to not care so much.

Hugs,
Barbara

22 08 2012
ayo

Barbara dear,

We are definitely on the same page because it would be easier for me not to care so much, as well. :-)

Yair and I are closer to one other than to anyone else in the world, so – yes – the decision was motivated by big-picture reasons as we greatly enjoy each other on the day-to-day. I think Yair is planning on writing a post that may provide insight into all of that.

Thank you for your hugs. They are needed and appreciated at this time.

Light and Love,
Ay

21 08 2012
Matty

Wow, such a truly beautiful end to a beautiful couple. This post was awesome. You both are truly inspirational. Much much love and incredible respect to both of you!

21 08 2012
Marianne Edwards

Having followed you for nearly a year, I’ve come to realize that, you’ve always been showing the world that what’s “usual and normal” isn’t the only way and sometimes not necessarily “right”.

It doesn’t surprise me a bit that you’ve also been able to demonstrate “letting go” in a positive way. Too often society has convinced us that something has to be difficult – in truth, EVERYTHING can be done differently – sometimes it just takes finding your own route rather than following the well-trodden trail.

Congratulations! I do hope you’ll keep sharing your process on this journey. Just like your stories of being on the road, I’d love to witness it – see it through your lens(es) and learn.

21 08 2012
sail1942

The young Jewish couple whose blog I follow are getting divorced. F

Sent from my iPad

22 08 2012
ayo

Yup, that’s what happened. But it kinda looks like you meant to send this to someone as an e-mail instead of posting it as a comment. Just my hunch. :-)

And divorced sounds so dramatic and tension-filled. We should come up with a better word for this thing!

21 08 2012
Betty

I am disappointed.

It seems to me that this is what marriage is about.
Making it last despite all else. Forsaking everything else
for the good of the whole.

If love is there, where is the willingness to put selfish aspirations
aside? These same issues will arise in another relationship.

It is silly to think that two people will always want to go the
same direction. That is where commitment takes priority.
You make it work.

22 08 2012
I Agree With Betty

I agree with Betty, who clearly knows you two very well.
Betty is right to tell you what marriage is about, because after all, you guys have only had it for 7 great years. I think it’s fair to say that Betty does know more of what your marriage is about then you do.
Betty’s reflections on love are also insightful. You guys should be enlightened because she knows more about love then you, despite all the evidence that you’ve had a deep love for each other for a long time.
Lastly, Betty’s thoughts on commitment are pearls of wisdom. I think she’s right in assuming that because these posts hit your readers like a bombshell, you really didn’t put any effort into making things work, and that it’s equally sudden for you as it is for us.
Good work Betty. I’m sure that after having gone through the experience of getting divorced, your post will make them feel better.

22 08 2012
Yair

~~~SEE UPDATE BELOW~~~

Considering that I know the author of this comment as well as his (and Betty’s) complete ignorance of our particular situation, it is shameful that he – YOU – would write such a thing. It is wildly inappropriate for you to speculate on our marriage and to pass judgment on this decision given your near-total lack of information. Did you consider that this came as a surprise to our readers… because we decided not to tell them about it in advance?

I hope that you are engaging in some sick sarcasm in your comment about Betty making us feel better. Did you realize that your entire comment could cause nothing but pain? If not, you are shockingly dense. If yes, you should be ashamed of yourself.

D, I am incredibly disappointed in you. Until today I thought highly of you. Never again.

——

UPDATE!

I am just too close to the situation to have figured this out upfront, but the above comment was meant to be completely sarcastic. Thank you so much to our friend for sending me an email clarifying. He’s back to being super cool. :-)

22 08 2012
Cherie @Technomadia

Yair & Ayo –

I had to re-read ‘I Agree With Betty”s comment a couple times.. and I think they were actually being sarcastic to Betty for being presumptuous of your situation, and being supportive of you. I believe there should have been a couple ‘rolls eyes’ indications in there to make it clearer. At least, that’s how I read it… but I have no knowledge of either commenter, and could totally be off base.

22 08 2012
ayo

Wow. Such high emotions all around.

To Betty: You’re entitled to your opinion. This is a public blog and you made a public comment. In a way, it makes sense for you and others to be disappointed – mainly driven by the fact that the reasons for our separation are unclear, which can be confusing and can even elicit judgment.

That said – after a little bit of online research – I see that you work as an RN and are often empathetic with compassion for your patients. It is therefore surprising to me that you would have no compassion for us, no self control to hold back on your biting criticism and little tact in how your criticisms were presented. Separating was a very difficult decision and – as we will likely share and explain in the coming days – not one that I would have made.

I don’t know you personally, but I will tell you that I hold myself to very high standards in life. I try to spread good, to not gossip and to never intentionally hurt others. For mussar (introspection and self-improvement) purposes, I want to let you know that your comment did hurt me. And it was hurt with no possible benefit as what’s been done is done. I encourage you to search within and reflect on how you might have handled the situation differently.

To IAWB: Thank you for trying to speak up and coming to “our defense”. I am sorry if Yair jumped you. All of this is still very raw and very new. We’re doing our best and largely succeeding with keeping things positive, but Yair must have missed your sarcasm during the late-night read.

To Yair: Darling, I could have told you that IAWB was being sarcastic and supportive. But I know that you read Betty’s comments and then his, and only “saw red” trying to protect me and shield me from this. I’m glad that it all became clarified, silly man. I love you and will call you later today.

22 08 2012
examinedlifeworthliving

On an emotional note – this post moved me to tears, really!. From the more practical point of view – I am truly amazed at the uncommon wisdom, maturity, and honesty both of you demonstrate. I wish both of you the best life; I have no doubt you each will continue to created that for yourself.

22 08 2012
Yair

Thank you so much for your supportive comment. I’m excited to see where our lives go, both individually and as great friends.

22 08 2012
bstluka

Ayo and Yair,
I have been following your blog for over a year now and have sincerely enjoyed reading about the love you two share. The relationship you two have, of respect, fun, and adventure, has truly been an inspiration for me. I look forward to that inspiration continuing, as you two seem to be going into this change extremely level-headed. I admire your courage at recreating your life in such a big way at 26. Being the same age as you, it’s nice to know that our lives are not “settled” yet.

All the best as you make this transition.

23 08 2012
ayo

Thank you, Brooke! It’s always nice when readers come out of the woodwork and say hello. :-)

What part of the country are you in? If you ever find yourself in Austin, drop us both a line as it’s always great to put a face to the name.

24 08 2012
bstluka

I was living in Phoenix for the last four years and am originally from New York. However, I moved to Vietnam 2 months ago to continue my teaching career in a different culture.

22 08 2012
Cherie @Technomadia

I know there has been a lot more thought, difficult conversations and emotions that have gone into this decision than you guys could ever express in a series of blog posts. And I know that to many of your readers, this news will come as a shock.

I can only imagine the responses you might be getting in private compared to the public ones as folks process their own assumptions about marriage, love, commitment and how they’ve perceived your relationship. And I would suspect, a bit of envy at you guys having the opportunity to reboot your lives now – so many folks struggle for decades to try to make a marriage work because ‘that’s the way it should be’.

I commend you both for seeing past societal assumptions and making decisions that are right FOR YOU. It takes an incredible amount of bravery and self awareness to come to a decision like this. And the love you both have for each other, and the commitment to support each other in living your lives to the fullest, regardless of what your relationship looks like, is absolutely inspiring. In my humble opinion, I wish every relationship built in check-in points to fully assess the happiness and potential of the partners within it.

I do hope that the occasional negative comment doesn’t dissuade your from continuing to share your process – if that’s what you choose to do. I think society could use more examples of healthy endings of marriages to show that it’s possible if you put the intentions towards it.

22 08 2012
Lavie Margolin

Hey guys,

As not only a reader of the blog but your friend as well, it was difficult to absorb the news in your last two posts. Kudos on having the courage to share in a public forum. I am sure your thoughts and experiences will be helpful to others who are experiencing similar challenges in life. Wishing you both only the best in the future.

22 08 2012
Rachel Margolin

Hi,

I must admit I was very sad to hear this news I know you asked your readers & friends not to be, I just can’t help it. I wish you much success in finding what you are searching for in your lives going forward!
& I second Lavie on commending your courage & opening yourselves up to the anonymous comments of the world.

22 08 2012
frugalveganmom

It does sound strange to say, but congrats on the Get, you two. Congrats for not succumbing to cultural presssure to stay with someone forever even if you don’t see it working out long term. Congrats for realizing it and making the move before it got more complicated to do so. People change, they want different things, cheers to living life happily and finding people to share it with you.

6 09 2012
Stephanie Rosenblum

I had a random dream about Yair…and realized I haven’t kept up with your blog. So I checked it out today and wow, I had no idea. I am sorry for the sadness you feel but I am excited for your next 7 years. Divorce and break ups are so painful because you lose your lover and best friend. But You will always be best friends! If the world treated marriage the way you did, it would be a better place. You truly RESPECT, EMBRACE, & LOVE each others indivduality! What an inspiration!
A yoga philosophy that I live by and applies directly to you…”As the mind, so the man; you are bound. If you feel liberated, you are liberated. Things outside neither bind not liberate you; only your attitude toward them does that.”

If you ever make it to Columbus, Ohio I would love to see you!

Stive for Liberation!

Fanny :)

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