When my husband and I got married, our divergent religious backgrounds were the last thing on my mind. From the start, we were in full agreement that we would blend our Jewish and Christian traditions into an unstructured cornucopia of customs and holiday celebrations. This all-inclusive philosophy presented little conflict, and we were compatible in our religious laziness.
But, eventually, I became a restless wanderer with unresolved questions about my soul's purpose on this earth, and I longed for a deeper, more personal relationship with God. My husband remained content just where he was and this became a dividing force between us. While he gathered inspiration from the History Channel and science fiction novels, I began devouring the writings of great enlightened masters, gurus and eclectic ministers.
My spiritual quest led me to bounce from one house of worship to another. I explored Buddhism, Unitarianism, New Age Christianity and Zen meditation. On my insistence, my husband would often escort me to many of these spiritual centers—he found that they offered excellent opportunities for uninterrupted naps. When I attempted to discuss my deep findings after services, he would simply reply "very interesting" and our car rides home were draped in thick, uncomfortable silence.
I started to share some of my newfound wisdom with our children. My husband was in full agreement that this would broaden their perspectives and help them to become better people, but he preferred to take on the role of passive observer, rather than teacher.
I started to believe that if we could not share this essential journey together, we might not be able to maintain our love. How could we call ourselves true soul mates when we no longer saw eye to eye on something this fundamental?
I began to examine my marriage with the clinical depth of a physician looking for the source of an illness; something insidious had taken hold of our marriage and was eating away at us. I still loved my husband and wanted to fix things so our marriage could survive. Most importantly, I needed to restore my peace of mind.