Bintel Brief: Dr. Ruth on *Beshert* Troubles

Dr. Ruth Westheimer

Dear Dr. Ruth,

Some years ago, I met the person I believe to be my beshert.

This person is long married. I resisted marriage because I did not feel it fair to my now-spouse to marry while I still carried the sense of a beshert elsewhere. Finally, however, realizing that the other would never be free, I gave in. Both this other and I are traditional, settled people with pleasant, stable lives. Our spouses are both supportive, wonderful people. Neither of us, I know, would ever wish to hurt our spouses or disrupt our lives in any way. Our relation to each other is honorable and chaste. We do not discuss personal matters, and certainly never any of this.

No matter what I do, however, the sense that this person is my beshert strengthens. Whether this feeling is mutual, I have no idea. I do sense that there is a bond beyond individual will that only draws greater strength over time.

I do not believe this is idealization or infatuation. I know this person’s human flaws and difficulties. Yet, when we are together, I feel such pure, simple joy that it does not seem that it cannot be right.

I feel blessed to know this person at all. But we’re not young, time is going by, and, increasingly, each time we part, I feel a sense of tragedy that we will not spend more of what is left of life together. I am not speaking of the physical, though of course that is part of life. I am speaking of time itself.

I believe that we should honor our human commitments. But must we carry those commitments to the grave?

And, if the notion of the beshert can have any validity, is it not somehow a higher commitment, whether one is elsewhere committed or not?

PINING FOR A BESHERT

Dr. Ruth Replies:


Dr. Ruth Westheimer is a noted psychosexual therapist. She is the author of 32 books, including, most recently, “The Olive and the Tree: The Secret Strength of the Druze” (Lantern Books). She dispenses advice regularly at www.drruth.com.

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