Lately, I've heard from different people among my friends and neighbors that if you don't love your SO because of the way they look-including their weight, whatever it may be-you're shallow and a bad person.
They have no idea how long I've been waiting for my husband to actually get the message, which has been delivered clearly on many occasions, and DO something. My fault for not being a drama queen...If I had been, either I would have got him to do what's right or we would have divorced. Either way, I would not find myself in this situation, waiting...I don't really know for what. Change? I haven't totally lost ALL hope, though I am close.
His weight is uncomfortable to see and deal with on a daily basis. The future consequences are unforeseeable. I can't bring myself to think about it because I'd explode.
And what I feel for my internet friend is ever growing stronger....Now, is it wrong for me to feel this? To long for comfort and being considered an attractive woman when your own husband says he's not interested in sex, that "it's not you, it's me" ? What future awaits me? Can I deal with it? And my sons? Would they understand it if I left their dad? Too many questions, no answer.
The thing is...nobody understands that it's so heartwrenching to try for years to get through to someone who just won't let you inside their problems or worries. And now I just don't know what I feel. I know that if I end this, I'll be the bad guy for sure. I won't lie, it scares me because there is no way people would understand it.
Am I selfish for wanting to change this situation? For wanting to feel like a woman and make love to a man with a more average size?
Am I wrong to feel this attraction for another person? This is new to me, totally. In 22 years of marriage, I can honestly say that until a few months ago I never felt anything special for any man other than my husband. But now that I've acknowledged the issue, there's no going back. If my husband doesn't do something, my marriage, independently of whether I stay or go, will be dead. It might be dead already. As I said in other posts, even if he does lose weight, I don't know if I can get the spark back in my marriage...if it was ever there. And if that happens...what is left of my marriage?
Marriage is for life, SM. I know that precept is unpopular nowadays and around here, but a promise is a promise: 'In sickness and in health, till death do us part.' Otherwise we are just talking about serial dating and shacking up, with maybe some spawn thrown in for good measure. And, no, your sons will not understand your rejection of THEIR father. I do not care what so=called progressive sociologists/psychologists have to say- divorce hurts children for life. You have a family, which is something more precious than all the sex in the world. It is that unit that you must think of, your own selfish desires coming in a distant second. So encourage him, cajole him, nag him, demand better from him, even threaten him. And by all means come here to complain and vent. But put the thought of leaving him out of your mind. It is a sin.
Sorry MB, I have to disagree.
Your view on the subject of divorce is based on your individual religious and social values and somewhat martyr attitude. While I'm sure SM appreciates your opinion I think it's unfair to tell someone to put something out of their mind because it's a "sin" for all you know, she may not even believe in the idea of sin.
I am divorced and yes, it is devastating and it DOES hurt people, and kids, and finances, and everything else that goes along with it, but time passes, people heal, finances and situations improve, kids grow up and while divorce will impact a lot of areas of their lives it does not impact every aspect. People can emerge whole spiritually and emotionally after divorce. Kids eventually become more interested in their own lives and friendships and school/work to worry about their parents situations.
Both my sons are grown, adult men one has a great career and the other a full-time student and they are well-rounded, intelligent, HAPPY people, and so am I.
Divorce is NOT the end of the world.
In reply to this post by Mr Blue
Mr. Blue, thanks for your answer. I appreciate it, really. But unfortunately I don't see it as simple.
Just for the record, I have never said I've contemplated the possibility of divorce. For now at least that is out of the question for me.
But the part about having an affair...I mean, a one night stand is not something I've thought of. This is not so much about sex as about intimacy and communication. I want to help my husband, but if he doesn't acknowledge it, in any way...I can't help him.
Yes, vows are important to me. If they weren't, I'd have been out the door a few years ago, but I don't give up on things, much less on people. I feel I have a roommate who I sometimes, not very often, have mediocre sex with. He's not interested, admittedly. He said it with all the words.
In sickness and in health...yes, obviously. But risking your own health, regardless of the damage you're doing not only to yourself but to those who you say you love,...isn't that tweaking the vows a bit too much? Because as I see it, the "in sickness and in health" part is about sticking by your partner if they have an illness that nobody could prevent or foresee, or an accident...That's life and nobody's to blame there. But you know, once I asked him if it were the other way around and I was so overweight what would he do. Do you know what he said?." I'd either get you to eat less or leave. A good mom can't do that to her kids". So much for mutual understanding.
I admire your willpower, Mr.Blue. I am by no means a saint. But if you've honestly asked yourself why you stay in a marriage that is so lopsided-the responsibility is all on your shoulders-, it has to add up to more than just honoring your vows, otherwise it's like living in purgatory.
In my case, I just don't feel it's over yet. I want to try my absolute best. That's my way of honoring my vows. But I don't discard separation. Fear is also a reason to stay. I fear his reaction, I fear my sons' reaction...and ultimately I fear my own reaction if he has a stroke or anything and I'm stuck taking care of him after having tried for so long, in so many ways to make him see sense. I'll be truthful...I'd resent it, because this isn't an illness that sadly happened, or an accident. It's something that he willfully imposed on himself and on the rest of us. A choice made over many years, not just one bad moment.
I can forgive mistakes made in haste, desperation, ignorance or under whatever circumstances. It wasn't your will alone, the circumstances played a role... but something that goes on for years and people tell you you're putting your life in danger, offer support...and still you do nothing...frankly, to me that's not fulfilling your vows. "In sickness and in health" also means, in my opinion, that you will not knowingly do something that damages your health or that of your spouse. What use is sticking to the words of the vows if you don't respect their spirit? What's the reason behind them, if not to teach you not to be selfish, to put other people's needs at the same level as your own? Isn't knowingly being careless with your health to the point of having issues being selfish and not thinking of the other person with whom you shared your vows?
This is so not about sex. Sex is just the tip of the iceberg. It's about making choices and pulling your own weight in a relationship. I did not marry a child, I do not consider myself as immature. I have many flaws, but I will never willingly forsake my health unless I develop a mental disorder. I owe it to myself, my sons, my mom and yes, my husband, because no matter what, he deserves respect for being the father of my sons, and he is a friend and a good person....but that doesn't add up to me being a martyr. My mother-in-law did just that...she was honestly a saint in my opinion. It caused her pain and suffering, and ultimately shortened her life. She said something that I will never forget when she was bedridden and dying. "Take care of the people in your life, but first of all take care of you. Don't do what I did, giving up my own life." Those words ring in my ears every day.
And there is no worse betrayal than betraying who you are. Loving and caring should never mean you have to give up your own self. I can stay in a marriage for my vows, but it would be null, void.
The thing about having an affair is that right now I wouldn't be fair to that person either. My internet friend, to his credit, has never ever said a word against my husband. He asks me to stay in my marriage, much the way you do, saying I vowed to love him. I loved the man I married. That man is buried under almost 100 extra pounds. Personality is not the same either, as you know better than I do. Even if it wasn't a crazy love, I had deep feelings for him. Now it's getting hard to see why I married him.
If it was just the sex, it might be easier. But the truth is I feel I'm alone in this. So, who's broken the vows? The person who has an internet friendship that will probably remain there, or the person for who "in sickness and in health" means "I can get as fat as I want and you'll have to stay and see me commit suicide in slow motion"'
Be honest, Mr. Blue. Fulfilling your vows means doing your best. I cannot see that my husband is doing his best.
Live Life Well, I totally agree with you. Divorce is not the end of the world. It's not for me just yet, but I don't discard it.
Thank you both. Hugs.
This post was updated on .
LLW and (to a lesser extent) SM,
At risk of alienating you, it needs to be pointed out that if something is wrong, i.e., a sin it is wrong REGARDLESS OF WHAT ANYONE THINKS. Just because someone doesn't think that something is a sin or even altogether fails to believe in sin, does not mean that he is not acting wrongly. For example, even if I fail to believe that theft is a sin, I am still morally required to leave the possessions of others alone- it is still wrong for me to steal. Morality is not relative to one's particular mindset; it is a universal code of conduct binding upon everyone. The greatest sin of our time, said St Pious X. is the failure to believe in sin.
I agree with you on that, what's wrong is wrong. Period. But my point is this: I'm striving to honor my vows. I'm imperfect, but I try. I am resisting temptation so far. It's hard, but I'm doing it. The whole point of vows is to make you think of someone else, not just you. Who, in my case, is risking the unity of the family? Me, who is consciously putting aside opportunities of cheating for the sake of the family and my own sense of integrity, or my husband who is consciously neglecting his health in spite of what it does and can do to the family?
Again, sex is a minor issue here. Divorce is not in my plans for the present or near future. My sons are suffering not because I think other men are attractive but because they see their dad at risk of heart disease or worse. I'm not leaving, but if I stay beyond a certain point, I'll be honoring meaningless vows, because I'll be keeping just the words, not the spirit. I don't think that's right or does anyone any good.
So far, I have not breached my vows. In my view, my husband has.
I've done all you mentioned and more, gone to counseling alone, as he won't hear of it. I'm trying to hold a marriage together, but as I did not take my vows alone, I do not expect to fight this battle alone. Or am I married to myself?
Is it not a sin to kill yourself daily little by little? Life is sacred, a blessing, is it not?
I am only human. I crave, not sex-or not only, I should say-, but a connection that is disappearing in spite of my efforts to maintain it. I am not a child. I don't believe in fairytales. I don't expect perfection from a man, just like I admit I am flawed. But I do expect an adult to behave as such, just like what is expected of me. No more no less.
If I am expected to respect the sanctity of marriage, so must he. Works both ways. You don't just cheat having extramarital sex. I'm being cheated out of a reasonably healthy partner with whom to live my life. That accounts for something.
Obesity and gluttony are wrong, but they do not constitute a violation of one's wedding vow. Infidelity for any 'reason', obviously would. 2 wrongs don't make a right, as they say. Your husband's bad, selfish behavior would not justify being unfaithful or a divorce. Yes, he is guilty of various wrongdoings, but do you want to join the club? Or do you value your FAMILY above all else, even your own life? I cannot get people to see the importance, nay the sacredness of a family, the fact that it is a living, breathing unit, precious and to be preserved at all costs. You will get lots of shallow-minded, relativistic, cliche-riden 'advice' about your situation- don't fall for it. Either be serious about marriage and family or discard the institutions and settle for temporary expedients, a la our Hollywood trend setters.
In reply to this post by Sexy Mom
Hi, SM. Very quick reply here because I am busy and late for an event, even as I type...
I respect your situation, truly I do. I understand how you feel, truly I do. I wish you wisdom, truly I do.
I'm with your mother-in-law. But the question is: what is it that you want most deeply? How can you best take care of yourself? Would an affair make you feel as though you are living a lie? Or would it be something that would empower you and give you the space you need to feel alive? Would it clarify your needs? Or would it complicate your life and give you more stress, avoiding taking the steps to follow through on the relationship that is really the problem?
I'm struck by the fact that you don't want to divorce your husband. Because if the situation is bad enough to have an affair, then isn't it bad enough just to separate?
And which path in all of this--thinking through all the consequences--would leave you feeling most you, most alive, most vibrant? Sex is only one way of feeling that way (and not always, either!).
Those are just the questions that spring to mind. Good luck! Hugs and strong thoughts!
Madame X (detail), John Singer Sargent, 1883–84, oil on canvas, 82 1/8 x 43 1/4 in. (208.6 x 109.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
This post was updated on .
'And which path in all of this--thinking through all the consequences ....'
You see that is just it, Mme.X, some things are just plain wrong regardless of the consequences. Let us not confuse morality and prudence. Suppose I rob an elderly widow's house of a considerable amount of gold and rare jewels. Unbeknownst to me she has just died in hospice. No heirs and in her will it mandates the destruction of those goods. No harm no foul, right? No one suffers as the result of my heist. Ah but it's still a theft and, thus, wrong.
If your spouse commits a crime of some sort and gets themselves jailed for 30 years, are you supposed to wait for them because they have not broken their vows?
When we all married, we believed that we had a fair assumption of a healthy, happy life.
Why is it so different to legally divorce the situation when our spouses have literally divorced from the idea of a healthy relationship 10 or twenty years ago?
Marriage is a contract, heck, the entire New Testament is a contract.
I'm not buying the morality argument. I believe that Fat Spouse had the same moral commitment to keep their part of the contract as we have for staying in the relationship. If they have relentlessly proven that they don't give a crap about our needs in the relationship, then they have invalidated/ broken the contract.
In reply to this post by Mme.X
Hi Mme.X !
The questions you pose are exactly where I'm at mentally and emotionally right now. That's just what I'm asking myself. I have no clear answer for now.
Things are not so bad on the surface. We talk, we have an acceptable family life. But the fear of something happening to him and him not doing anything in spite of being well aware has made have second thoughts about the whole relationship. It is literally killing the feelings I have for him. It has been this way for many years, but until recently I could not bring myself to admit it, to believe that he wouldn't care enough about himself, or me or our sons to do something about it.
I see my future as one day after another of caring for an obese husband who is apparently satisfied with just going on without addressing the issues at hand. We have talked about it, hundreds of times. If I were to follow Mr. Blue's advice of arguing, discussing,...he'd be the one to divorce me for sure, because when his oldest son and I talked to him, he said it clearly..."If you go on like this, I won't stand for it." And all we were doing was expressing our concern. And it wasn't just me, it was our son as well.
I know that I do not feel guilty of being attracted to my internet friend. I know that my husband has failed to clarify that he is indeed married when a woman has hit on him...more than once. He says it's easier to just say that he's not interested than explaining he's married...though I just don't understand why it's easier. I think marriage and fatherhood are way too stressful on him and since we married young-24- he's been stressed out for 22 years. Of course, I'm the same age as him. It hasn't been easy for me either, but I think I've adapted better, accepted my responsibilities and grown from there.
I don't want to separate as long as I have a reasonable doubt in my mind as to whether I've done all I can do to save this marriage. Right now, I'm stunned by the thought that I might have chosen wrong all those years ago. I will have to find an answer to those questions you posed. I don't feel comfortable with the idea of actually having an affair. I met this internet Kid through a forum where people explain their problems and vent their aggravations. Not on a dating site or anything like it. We were both looking for a supportive shoulder to cry on. I was not looking for anything but for someone to tell me I was not crazy or selfish thinking my husband was neglecting our marriage.
I wait and hope for my feelings to settle. I will not make a rash decision. There's too much at stake. It's not just about me.
Mr. Blue, I'm sorry to disagree with you. Results and outcomes DO matter. You should do what's right. But if doing what's theoretically right will make people suffer....I'm not sure about that. I have a friend who got his girlfriend pregnant, went on to marry her, and now he's stuck with a marriage in which he's responsible for unhappiness for both himself and his wife. She feels he doesn't love her enough and makes sure he pays. He withdraws into his shell. Their child has bitter, angry parents. Is that truly necessary? He did what was "right". The outcome is disastrous for three people. I think it would have been better to raise their child as best they could and lead separate lives. The example you give of stealing...I am with you in that case. But there are circumstances...If my boys were hungry and I could in no way give them food and there was a crate of fruit, or milk or whatever that I could take to feed my boys and at least nourish them until I could think of something else, believe me, I would take what I could for the sake of my boys. Not mindless, greedy robbing of things that I don't need. I wouldn't consider taking food for my sons wrong because the life of my sons is more important. Maybe you still don't think it's right. I know that, while stealing is wrong for me, my instinct to protect my sons is stronger. If put to the test, I wouldn't think twice. So for me there is no black and white, practically ever, except for physical violence and murder.
Which brings me back to my case. My marriage is certainly on the rocks. My husband is too scared to acknowledge this or his issue with weight. I think it's because he has insecurity issues as well. That is the key...I THINK. He won't open up and give me a hint. I can't help him more or work on it more if he doesn't let me help. You can't change people, no matter how much you love them. This is a two-way thing. I can't do it alone. I'm tired of trying to do it alone. I feel alone, I've made him aware of that fact and his answer is "don't complain and don't bug me with it". He's nice as long as I don't interrupt or nag or otherwise piss him. He can be nice for days and then suddenly argue with you for the slightest mistake or take your surprise at a piece of news as you doubting his word. That's why I'm ambivalent. It's not bad till it gets bad. I suppose it would be easier if he were openly abusive. He's not. He knows when to stop. If he's been nasty for a week, all of a sudden he starts acting sweet.
So basically it's like since it's not as bad as I can take I don't want to leave, just in case it gets better. And, let's face it. He's a friend who's been there for me in major stressful events, so I feel I owe it to him. But as for everyday life, I'm pretty much alone and he doesn't want to hear me vent more than once a month, though he wants to be heard as often as is necessary. He hasn't grown, hasn't matured and I feel partly responsible for that, so I'll try to figure out how to help.
Maybe what he needs is to be left alone and see how he handles it. I've tried almost everything else and I just don't see what more I can do.
Poolboy, I agree. That sums up how I see it. He's given up, whether he knows it or not. He hasn't kept his part of the deal and I am neither a martyr nor a saint. I won't look for an affair, but if the right person comes along, I don't know what I'll do.
In reply to this post by poolboy
You people either do not understand the nature of a promise or you are trying to rationalize the act of breaking a vow. Why do you think it says 'In sickness and in health'? To forestall just the sort of thing you are advocating: leaving a spouse when he/she becomes burdensome. (And, believe me, I know what it's like to shoulder a heavy load, having a wife weighing in the neighborhood of 500 lbs., a complete failure in the bedroom and an embarrassment in public. Oh how I dread her coming displays of gluttony during the holidays and the feeble excuses afterward.) The vows I took do not leave such wiggle room. I have said it already= yes SM's husband is behaving badly, yes he is not doing his husbandly duties. Still the marriage vow does not allow for divorce. You are treating it as if it were an employment contract, a wage in return for labor. Sure that agreement can be broken if either side fails to meet its obligations to the other. A marriage vow is not conditional, though- there is nothing one spouse can do to cancel the obligation the other has to remain faithful until death. Any agreement short of that commitment is simply not a MARRIAGE, but something akin to a high school romance.
I believe in moral absolutes. There are some rules that should never be broken. It is always wrong to steal; but if you take food from a store because you are starving there are mitigating circumstances that lessen your guilt. Or perhaps because your intention is self=preservation it does not qualify as a theft. But such an excuse does not exist in the case of a 'marriage on the rocks.'
Also, if you have been married in the Church, as we were, the bond was effected by none other than God Almighty, metaphysical superglue you might say. Thus, divorce is literally impossible
In reply to this post by poolboy
Because of laws' meddling with marriage, I think the vows have lost meaning.
People have been pushed to tolerate the unreasonable. I think many of the problems that exist in marriages are enabled by unjust laws. I think if the laws were taken away, people wouldn't get away with so much of the neglect and/or abuse that exists today.
Mr. Blue, though I agree with you in principle, I think some of the dogma has led to a "the road to hell is paved with good intentions" situation.
If we, through social pressure or law, bind people into marriage and then expect them to stay true to their vows when abuse or neglect exist, it only enables more of the same.
If law weren't entrenched in marriage and socially we didn't tolerate people taking advantage of others through marriage, I think a lot of the problems we deal with would lessen. Follows on the principle of you get more of what you pay for; i.e. we will get more of what we enable.
I think if we were lovingly just as a society, a situation like Sexy Mom's would say that the husband has forfeit his right to the rewards of marriage and has nullified the vow.
Unfortunately, law has fucked all that up and has put money and freedom (rights) above the purpose of marriage. The purpose (at least should be) of marriage is to create a HEALTHY environment for two people to thrive and prosper and (if able) raise children to be healthy and functional. If it's not, and there's no consequences to encourage that, then the institution has failed and become worthless.
"Worthless people live only to eat and drink; people of worth eat and drink only to live." -
In reply to this post by Mr Blue
What I hear in my head as I read what you say, Mr.Blue, is one of my sons when they were little and wanted an extra ride on the merry-go-round, even though they'd been told it was late and that if we had an ice-cream there would be no time for another ride...."But you promised!"....
What I mean is, yes promises should be kept. But you should be aware that it is unreasonable for you to expect others to keep their promises if you are not willing consistently to keep yours to them. As you said, not knowing you did wrong doesn't excuse you from doing wrong.
Can you seriously say that if I had an affair it would be a breach in my marriage vows, but that a person committing suicide in slow motion before the very people they claim to love would not?
If this is so, I have nothing more to say with regards to this issue. You have the right to keep your ideas. I cannot bring myself to think that way. I don't find it logical, practical, moral or beneficial to anyone involved.
"In sickness and in health" means that if your spouse suddenly gets sick or has an accident or whatever unfortunate events, you will stick with them because that's what's right, what you vowed to do and mostly what you, I or most people would want to do, because no one wants to get sick or have an accident.
But when day after day you put your life at risk, knowingly, having a choice-however tough-, you have the individual right to do so-it's your life. But please forgive me if I don't really appreciate that choice...
And if we talk about religion and God, is there anything more precious or more sacred than life?
In my country, a few years back, people who committed suicide weren't buried in normal church graveyards because they had taken their life, which is not ours, but God's.
Again, at risk of alienating you I must persist in defending the truth, which is something objective and independent of our beliefs and desires. Even if I were to concede that your husband has in some sense violated his wedding vows, such wrongdoing would STILL not justify your going out and being unfaithful, though it would make it more understandable and forgivable than if you do it on a whim. You have an obligation to keep your promises even if others are breaking theirs. In general, others' bad behavior does not constitute a valid excuse for misbehavior on your part. I am NOT defending your husband, I mean, come on, I'm the biggest complainer of all around here when it comes to spouses letting themselves go. Nor am I giving him a free pass to continue destroying himself and your marriage. My condemnation of him at this point would be even more severe than anything I've said to you so far. I'm just saying that YOU should not stoop to his level and begin trashing your marriage and family
I totally agree that two wrongs don't make a right.
That said, in my opinion, vows are what you make them. What BOTH people make them. Whether I do or don't have an affair, it wasn't me who threw the first stone. Now I am left to pick up the pieces of something that he doesn't even think is seriously damaged.
I will stay, as long as I can, for the sake of my boys and because I don't give up easily. But I know myself well enough to understand that if something happens to him due to his neglect, I will be resentful and bitter. Is that keeping my vows for what they were intended? I hope in my heart that we can sort this out, though hope is fading fast.
No SM, a vow means just what it says; its meaning does not depend upon what anyone thinks or does. You knew when you stood at the altar that your wedding vows meant a lifelong commitment. Nothing that has transpired since then could have changed that moral fact. If I say I promise to do X and I don't put conditions upon my honoring that commitment, then come what may I have a prima facie obligation to do X. Look I know I'm not telling you what you want to hear. Perhaps instead of an honest answer to your questions you were hoping for reasons licensing infidelity. Well, I'm sorry, I don't have any of those excuses. Nor do I think any such reasons exist. But ask yourself: have you gotten another answer that is as cogent as the one I've provided? Has anyone else argued for their position as well as I have?
Not putting conditions? Who says there are no conditions? Of course there are conditions!
First and most important to me is reciprocity. And second, to me "in sickness and in health, till death do us part, for better or worse..." these are all conditions. They work both ways.
Your answers are well based, well formulated, definitely. Nothing to object.
I don't need to be told what's right or wrong, though I do appreciate different points of view, however different from mine they may be. It always helps to clarify my ideas. One thing I must say: you at least admit your beliefs and points of view directly, you don't say one thing and do another. I respect that and admire you for it.
The reason I started this thread is that people think that infidelity is specially bad if it's because your spouse is fat. People don't see it for what it is. Despair, frustration and years of feeling alone in a relationship, trying to move forward in spite of everything. They think it's a sign of selfishness , of being shallow...though they might consider cheating on a whim acceptable.
Oh, I love this thread! Now forgive me, please, for dredging up part of an old posting, but ...
Whatever misery thin and faithful spouses suffer, whatever frustration they endure, whatever futility they feel, their sense of integrity and seriousness is admirable. And anyone who thinks that modernity is just going to hell in a hand basket is wrong. There are plenty of people out there--transcending political, religious, cultural boundaries--who struggle mightily with doing the right thing.
That said, I also think that leaving a marriage if a situation is truly toxic for children, or for one's own sheer sanity, takes some courage. I am also not sure that every "vow" is always just and right.
At the beginning of Plato's Republic (forgive me), which asks the question "What is justice?", someone suggests that justice consists of 'giving back what is owed' (i.e., one adheres to a sort of vow that one has made about what belongs to whom). Socrates challenges this answer by pointing out that if someone loans you his weapon and then goes pathologically insane, it is not "just" to give back the weapon, since he'll use it to kill someone. In other words, conditions do change and not all promises are wise, nor is adhering to them necessarily just. Morality must be judged by wisdom, not the other way around. That is, what is truly good is morally higher, and carries more moral justification, than sheer ignorant will (which is what some marriage vows amount to) that harms the people involved -- whether that ignorant obliviousness to what is good consists of being a codependent spouse, or else subjecting one's children to harm, or merely to grotesque example, such as living with the bitterness and spite and hate of unrelentingly insulting one's obese spouse.
Of course, Socrates' is a rational, not a religious point of view (in the Euthyphro, he makes clear that a moral standard must transcend the gods, not vice versa). Of course, the great religions are not antithetical to reason, but those holding an absolute religious point of view must concede that there is something irrational about finite beings (in their finite knowledge, under finite conditions) taking absolute vows.
So what exactly is it the wisdom by which we assess a vow? Can one justly leave the "marital" part of a relationship and still care about the good of the other person? What exactly justifies the letter of the vow's claim upon us? And is it wisdom or fear that prevents one from asking that question?
None of this answers SM's dilemma, but I go back to the question of what is truly good for you, your children, and your husband--a question that unthinking piety cannot disentangle because it cannot engage in the texture of circumstances that determine what is truly good in this life.
Madame X (detail), John Singer Sargent, 1883–84, oil on canvas, 82 1/8 x 43 1/4 in. (208.6 x 109.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Totally agree on every point! You explain it so much better than me! Those questions are where I'm at. When I find the answers, I'll know what to do. Always a pleasure reading your posts.
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