Equal Partners
by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners by Roland Ezri

Equal Partners

By Roland Ezri

"Women are the backbone of all societies. They do a substantial part of the work, and play a major role in raising the future generation yet they are largely powerless. The decisions that count are made by men and foisted upon women."

Writings by Roland Ezri

Perfection – IV. Acceptance of a Given Situation May Be Impossible

It took me years to figure that one out. Once I acquired
that knowledge, the actions of other people and my own actions
made sense. What am I talking about?

Let me give you two examples. Both are personal since I
acquired that insight through personal experience. The first
example concerns the reactions of other people, the second my own

For years I suffered from depression. That in itself is a
major health issue. But the reaction of other people (colleagues
at work and relatives) proved even more problematic.

At work, if they wanted me to join in fun activities, I
refused. Canadians are very polite, but more than once they told
me in polite or not so polite terms that I was antisocial. I
outlined my predicament. Some understood, perhaps because they
have (or had) a mental illness, others did not, but eventually
let me be. A third group could not let go of the “problem.”
They approached it from different angles. They persisted. One
day I had a eureka moment. I realized that these individuals
find it impossible to accept this situation. Depression is not
necessarily an invisible illness, but it is not as apparent as a
physical ailment. They formulated an opinion based on what they
saw and were totally unable to go beyond this point.

Armed with this knowledge, I learned to nod, offer a vague
smile, and say, “you’re right, I believe that will change, I
should give it time.” Once I no longer resisted and got into
elaborate explanations, I had peace, and so did they.

The same applied to relatives. We were invited to weddings,
bar-mitzvahs and other joyous occasions. We (my wife also
suffered from depression) had to refuse and face a big outcry.
In time we learned to politely ignore them.

There is a situation that I am totally unable to accept. It
has no impact on other people, and the impact on myself is
limited. Nevertheless, it’s a good example to illustrate the
point I am trying to make.

I grew up in Egypt in a milieu where divorce was practically
unknown. Spouses separated when one of them died. There was no
legal or religious requirements that forbade people from
divorcing. It simply rarely happened.

In Israel there were more divorces, but still the percentage
was very low.

Then I came to North America and got a shock. Mind you the
situation was not so bad in the ’60s and even the ’70s. In time,
however, the instances of marriage breakdowns soared. I was
totally at sea here.

I have no problem understanding that certain people were
never meant for each other and should have never married. My
problem is with the sheer number. A 40% divorce rate is
catastrophic and is indicative of an ailing society.

Then there are expressions that I find downright
nonsensical: “The health of the marriage.” “Work on your
marriage.” Health? Is that a patient or a marriage? Work? Of
course, spouses should respect each other and work together for
the greater good of the marriage. But isn’t that a given?

There are many factors and I took them into consideration.
For example, our world has become too complex and everyday life
has become very stressful. Of necessity, this will affect many
couples. Most women are now independent and need not stay in a
bad marriage for financial reasons.

All of this is fine and my logic brain accepts it. The
problem is that my emotional brain is captive to cultural
influences carried over from my early life. And they prevail.
Because of that, I now realize that the present divorce situation
is something I will never be able to accept. I accepted that and
moved on.

If you’re stuck in a similar situation, follow my example:
Accept it and move on.

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