Dear Avi and Adele:
My wife and I are an interfaith couple and we have been married for two years.
I’m Jewish and she is Greek Orthodox. For the most part, we’ve been on the same page about how we will manage both religions at the same time in our marriage. For some reason, though, she is adamant that our son (who she is pregnant with) not be circumcised because she thinks it’s the wrong thing to do. I think it’s critically important – it’s a tradition I grew up with. I don’t know how to get past this impasse. What do you suggest?
Schmeckle in a Pickle
Wowsers, what a pickle indeed! And to us it sounds like your son’s schmeckle is just the tip of the iceberg for upcoming challenges.
We presume that you’ve already both talked this through, expressing in an adult and mature manner your reasons for wanting what you want. We’d suggest as a next step talking to an unbiased outside party – nobody you’re related to, nobody who represents a religious extreme. A family therapist could help you navigate the situation.
You’re marching steadily toward the deadline for making this decision, and whatever the outcome, we’d recommend coming to a final decision at least 4 weeks before the baby is due. That way both of you can come to terms with the compromise before the joyous (and stressful) day and weeks that follow the birth, and be in the moment. Your families will have questions and lots to say, surely, and you need to be able to present a united front, as mother and father of this new child. The worst thing you could do is wait until the last moment, harbor resentment, and ultimately create a wedge within your newly formed family that will be difficult–if not impossible–to dislodge.
Livin’ and lovin’,
Avi and Adele
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