Mar 27, 2017
To My Friend Thinking of Divorce

Shtetlhood blog by Shimona Tzukernik: A personal letter to a friend who has been contemplating getting divorced.

Shalom,

News reached me of your situation. You are unhappy in your marriage and want a divorce. I am so sorry to hear of your pain. My first and last thought each day is for both of you and you are constantly in my prayers. I want to share some thoughts with you from a place of deep love and a hope for both your wellbeing.

I am not writing as a therapist (I am not one) nor as a relative (I am not one). Nor am I writing as someone who has an answer. G-d holds His innermost wish and truth for both of you and with His blessing, you will both find that truth in your heart. I am writing as a friend to share something of my own story with you along with some Torah thoughts that have meant much to me on my journey. If these are useful to you, sending this letter will have been worthwhile. If not, as the saying goes, take what you like and leave the rest.

I think that during the weekend of your wedding celebrations I shared the concept of the partners in a marriage being like diamonds. In the analogy, a diamond in the rough is larger than one that is cut. But a cut diamond is way more valuable than a raw one. Only a diamond is tough enough to cut a diamond. And when one does so, it must be with skill because if not, the diamond can burst into dust. Life is just like that.

Before marriage we are like raw diamonds large but of less value than a person who has been refined by the demanding and deep inner work living with a partner requires. Only a spouse can "cut us down to size." And as we grow together, we must proceed gently so as not to "shatter the vessels" of our partner.

I may also have shared that according to Kabbalah, our lives before marriage correspond to the world of Tohu, unbridled lights that do not take the other into account. By contrast, our lives after marriage correspond to the world of Tikkun, rectification, repair and healing.

Or that according to the Zohar, each couple stands beneath the wedding canopy and believes they are marrying "face to face." We truly do believe we are entering the marriage seeing the other, being open enough to hold them in entirety. However, the Zohar cautions us: We all get married "back to back." We don't have the capacity (at the outset) to see each other. Once we are married, there is a separation of sorts between husband and wife akin to that which is alluded to in the account of Adam and Eve being separated by G-d in the Garden of Eden. When G-d then brings Eve to Adam he says, "Now this is bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh. She shall be called woman (ishah) because she was taken from man (ish.)" And the Torah continues, "A man must therefore leave his father and mother and be united with his wife. They shall become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked but they were not embarrassed by one another." It takes time, years and much inner toil, until we are able to meet face to face.

Maybe I mentioned that according to the Talmud husband and wife each only contribute twenty five percent to the formation of a child. G-d on the other hand contributes fifty percent via the child's ten spiritual abilities. Taking this even deeper, G-d is the context for our marriage. He is the Space that contains it. In fact one of the names for G-d is Hamakom, "The Space". We have to surrender to Him in order to find lasting peace, joy and purpose.

I am not sure which of these ideas I mentioned. They all sound so lovely, so noble. In theory. Once we are married, they take on another meaning altogether. Suddenly the poetic philosophy is painfully real.

I didn't know this when I married but I do now. G-d customizes each of our matches for our optimal and individual growth. Marriage is Tikkun, "Repair". This idea is profoundly illustrated by the famous story of the holy Divrei Chaim, the righteous Reb Chaim of Tzanz. It is told by Rabbi Avraham J. Twerski in his book, "The Zeide Reb Motele." In my own life, I have come to see myself as both the groom and bride in the story as I will explain in a little while. We are all such complex and subtle beings. G-d in His wisdom brings us together with our mate so that we can become all we are meant to be.

This is the Divrei Chaim's story:

"When still very young, the outstanding Torah scholar, R. Baruch Frankel, known for his Talmudic commentaries and legal responsa, Baruch Taam, chose Reb Chaim as a husband for his daughter, Rachel Feige. Shortly before the wedding, the young woman found out that Reb Chaim had a severe limp, and she refused to get married. R. Chaim asked to have a few words with her in private. She agreed to speak with him. Although no one was privy to their conversation, the story circulates that Reb Chaim asked his bride to look into the mirror. When she did so, she saw herself with a severe deformity. He then told her that she had been destined to be deformed, but since she was his soul mate, he had intervened, spared her of the pain and took her deformity upon himself. Needless to say, Rachel Feige consented to marry him. Reb Baruch used to say, My son-in-law may have a weak leg, but he has a very strong mind.'"

My friends, I am not G-d forbid pointing a finger, diagnosing, blaming. Not to either of you. What do we know? What can we know? In the Book of Samuel we read the powerful words G-d said to Samuel when he attempted to anoint David's oldest brother Eliav. "Don't look at his appearance, or the height of his stature, for I have rejected him. It (reality) is not as man sees. A person sees what is visible to the eyes, while G-d sees into the heart." (1, 16:7) I am simply sharing the truth that husband and wife a) carry things within themselves that are difficult for the other to manage and b) that those particular challenges are tailor-made for both the husband and wife to become the very person they are meant to and can be.

And the bigger the person, the greater their challenge. As the Talmud teaches us, "Whoever is greater than his fellow, his evil inclination is greater as well." (Sukka 52a) I perceive both of you as remarkable, gifted and wonderful people. You do not get those gifts for free. That is a difficult truth. But it is the truth. There are times I cry to my husband and say I do not want the pain that my perception or understanding came along with. He responds, "Better the pain together with the perception than neither."

* * *

To return to my main point that G-d customizes our soul mate for our optimal growth, I would like to share something of my personal story with you. I have decided to share it with you because if my situation can help you in yours, then my challenge, or Growth Opportunity as I have come to call our challenges, has been well worth it. I do so with the agreement of my husband. He too hopes for your good.

On the day of my wedding, I was confident I was poised for the "perfect" marriage. It didn't take long for me to think I had made a mistake.

Only later did I realize this was a common experience. At the time though I thought I was the only one. I attended classes where, at least so it seems to me in retrospect, the women presented a façade of an ideal marriage. They would say, "Let's say you have an argument" as if such a scenario was hypothetical. And then, "Such as" followed by a searching pause as they looked for the elusive fight which seemed never to have happened in their home! It was all I could do to stop myself from waving my hands and calling out, "I can give you a situation!"

The example was invariably the same. It didn't matter who or when, I came to anticipate the satisfied burst of enthusiasm that came with finding a memory. "Such ashe doesn't throw his socks in the hamper!" Oh. My. G-d. I would have been a happy camper if that was what my husband and I were dealing with. It never crossed my mind that the picture of marital bliss was at least in part a masquerade. (Yes of course I understand, it was all for the honor of the Torah. After all, how might it look if a teacher was actually struggling with the very concept he or she was sharing?!) All this was as yet entirely unknown to me. As such, despite those classes and lectures, I was in shock and pain. I contemplated a divorce. I could have walked away without ever looking at myself. And I almost did.

However something deep in my soul (plus a whole lot of loving support and guidance from our mentors ) made me stay. From the moment I first saw my husband I recognized him as a part of my soul. I had seen his innate goodness, reverence of G-d, commitment to Torah, depth. And although I didn't consciously frame marriage as rectification back then, I already intuited it. I chose to remain in the marriage. I am so grateful I did.

I learned with time that I had my own "limp" and I tried to work on fixing myself. I would even venture to say that The Method, my online program, grew in part out of the inner work I did in my marriage. It has not always been and is not always easy. Like life. No matter the path I would have chosen, there would have been challenges. G-d would have found a way to provide me with the obstacles I needed to become what He wants of and needs from me.

Knowing this, today I refer to challenges as Growth Opportunities. It has been a journey I would never trade. We thank G-d have a beautiful home, and refined and G-d fearing children who are good people. In his chapters on cultivating happiness in Tanya, the Alter Rebbe mentions health, sustenance and even children as material blessings. He emphasizes spiritual blessings, the life of our soul and connection to G-dliness.

Today thank G-d, in addition to the material blessings, I have an inner world that is vastly beyond anything I could ever have imagined. G-d has been my Therapist-Par-Excellence. I have been humbled, become softer and kinder. I hope and think I have grown towards truth. I learned that the only sure path to peace, happiness and living my purpose was to focus on my own soul and service of G-d. I have learned that Plan B is the real Plan A! We have not arrived but we are on the journey.

I personally understand the opinion of the holy Rogatchover Gaon is. He states that marriage is not a one-time event. Rather, he holds, every moment of their life together a man continues to marry his wife. We recommit to our marriage each day, each minute. It is a microcosm of the exhortation, "Choose life."

Before I conclude, I would like to reference the verse from Genesis about Adam and Eve not being embarrassed by one another. Adam experienced aloneness. Then he experienced the relief that came with finding his other half. Then they were both exposed, naked in each other's presence and they were not embarrassed. The degree to which we can tolerate shadows in another is cognate with that to which we can hold our own wounded selves. And that ability comes from our capacity to connect with our Unwoundable Self. In that place there is no embarrassment.

Dear friends, I hope you will receive this letter in the spirit in which it is written. I do not know what the right thing for you is but I did feel compelled to share these thoughts as you explore your decision going forward.

With love and blessings and prayers for both your well-being and that G-d's light shine in and through you always, and with deep respect,
Shimona

I thank my husband for agreeing to my sharing these thoughts. Our intention in doing so is to help others as they seek their highest path in making of our world what G-d intended. We both thank our mentors for their love, support and guidance.



Most Read Most Comments


Opinions and Comments
1
You never know what is truly going on
While divorce is not a first option, it can be the BEST option. Your job, as a friend, is to merely be supportive.
(3/27/2017 10:06:29 PM)
2
Thankful one.
I fully understand and appreciate your intentions your thoughtfulness and blatant decency for another Jew. Contemplating my own situation. (Not intended to refute your words...... in a few very simple words here)

Many years ago my engagement my wedding was forced upon me. By parents family and family friends. Due to overly burdensome pressures, I gave in. Needlesssly to mention the marriage fell apart. The divorce - 7 years of lies deception embarrassment with psychological and emotional utter torture.

The final court papers were a happier moment in my life then the wedding. I am single now. Never again I am content happy and live a life of respect honesty and calmness.

There are times when separation & divorce is called for.
To all those out there thinking your doing someone a favor. Please don't force or pressure anyone to marry. Save a soul save a life. For me it's too late. For the youngsters it's not.
Thanks for posting.
(3/27/2017 10:19:09 PM)
3
Amazingly brave
Thank you for your honesty. So rare and so refreshing.
(3/27/2017 10:20:08 PM)
4
To #1
There is not even one letter from the Rebbe that says such a thing, in fact the Rebbe writes that the Rebbeim didn't even use the word "divor..." because the situation is so undesirable even if justified.
(3/27/2017 10:32:03 PM)
5
to #1
I could not agree more!!!!
(3/27/2017 10:42:03 PM)
6
Thank you for sharing
Thank you for Sharing your heart, your sincerity and desire to "choose life" are shouting thru your letter. May G-d bless that your words enter into the hearts of his children, may we "choose life".
(3/27/2017 11:05:49 PM)
7
I can speak to this...
I was stuck in a marriage for just over a decade to a woman who went to lengths to hide severe mental health issues which came right to the fore after our wedding and wreaked havoc throughout our marriage.

It was like living with two people, one sane, smart, and sensible, and the other cruel, destructive, and utterly senseless. And each day (sometimes several times a day) different one's emerged. Cold, Loving. Sweet, Angry. Kind, vicious.

In our case, no amount of therapy or marriage counselling helped since it depended on which persona showed up to the sessions and anything agreed and achieved went out the window as soon as the tides switched without rhyme or reason and the "other" person emerged.

Later professionals who saw this behaviour for themselves lsaid it was Borderline Personality Disorder. Google it!

In our case, divorce was both a sad and blessed end to a miserable and torturous jail sentence of pain for me and our innocent children.

Sad because the "other" person, the one I thought I married, was all I ever dreamed of for a wife, and sad because it came with the terrible price of the "other" person living inside her that daily exacted a terrible and destructive cost on all involved.

B"H I and the children have since moved on with the loving guidence of our Rabbonim, and if there's one thing I urge anyone stuck in a marriage where there is mental illness and the person is uninterested in working through the issues or incapable of insight and self-responsibility to not walk but RUN to a rov who understands these situations and save yourself and your children while you can.

But don't do it alone -- you need experts involved, those that have experience to truly tease apart whether your part of the problem or if the issue is what it seems --- dishonest hiding of mental illness by a spouse.

So over 10 long and painful years I've learnt that while marriage might be a great place for personal growth --- I certainly grew a lot from the experience --- it is not a hospital to cure mental illness. Sometimes divorce is the ONLY option.
(3/27/2017 11:10:22 PM)
8
Divorce
Is the worst thing to do. ....
U have to see your spouse as your self and to do every thing u can to save him and you well make the best company for u and if u both see it is hard go togeter to a Rabbi which is a friend and smart.
don't forget ,
(3/27/2017 11:55:01 PM)
9
Plan C
Your words are honest, and I commend you for sharing.

Most of my friends that left their marriages,left because of conditions that were not tolerable in a marriage.
Before one leaves a marriage, there is much contemplation and thought that goes into that decision.
For example,in the instance of abuse ,staying together to complete one's "tikun" is not the best advice.
Before suggesting lofty thoughts and sentiments,your friend may be in a marriage that is destroying her body, soul and spirit.And perhaps she may need different support at this time.Unconditional love,empathy and no judgement. .

Unless you know the trutth as to why she is leaving her marriage ,empathy and support comes before parables and chassidic discourses .
Every divorce is different.What you may have struggled with ,may be worlds apart from her struggles and crises.One can't make such blanket statements of advice or suggestions, when one is unaware of the reason for the divorce.Sometimes the issues are not negotiable to live with,especially when children are involved.
Advising couples to stay together is sound advice if both partners are willing partners.Unfortunately, many times this is not the case.
I hope your friend finds the support she needs during this painful time. What she may need now, may be something different than what you are offering her at the present moment.
(3/27/2017 11:55:04 PM)
10
To #s 1 and 4 (and everyone)
There were instances in which the Rebbe told a spouse to go to a Bais Din, upon hearing of what was going on in the marriage.

In other words, there are definitely cases in which our Rebbe, in keeping with Shulchan Aruch, did not hesitate to tell a spouse in CERTAIN KINDS of seriously troubled marriages, to do the mitzvah of halachic divorce.

NOT that divorce is a mitzvah! But when there are CERTAIN KINDS of seriously troubled marriages, it is a mitzvah to divorce in accordance with all of the particulars outlined in Shulchan Aruch.

The Torah was not given to us in order that CERTAIN KINDS of seriously troubled marriages be perpetuated!
----------
Perhaps Mrs. Tzukernik should have added a disclaimer, even though she "covers all of the bases" by stating that she does "not know what the right thing for you is"
----------
All of this being said, Mrs. Tzukernik's points are excellent. A good companion to what she gives over here, I highly recommend the book "I Thought It Would Be Different," by Mrs. Miriam Adahan, in which the author dares to point out how some families (husband, wife, and children) are still better off in a very not-optimal marriage, than they would be if the husband and wife divorced.

Each marriage has to be assessed individually. It may be a person's destiny to deal with the challenge of a very, very difficult marriage in which, nevertheless, all parties involved are better off if there is not a divorce -- even though this "better off" is very, very difficult as opposed to very, very wonderful.

But of course, it may be the person's destiny to divorce (al pi Halachah, please Hashem).

Hashem works in mysterious ways, in leading us to the sparks we are destined to elevate. Marriage is one of Hashem's tools for our destiny. But, r"l, sometimes divorce is also one of Hashem's tools for our destiny.

Nevertheless, a couple contemplating divorce must leave absolutely no stone unturned in seeking the answer of what they must do -- or what they must NOT do. Mrs. Tzukernik's points are excellent. At the same time she needs to add a disclaimer to her points, lest a spouse in CERTAIN KINDS of very troubled marriages feel that divorce is not an option, c"v, due to the thought implied in this article, that the spouse is (or may be) supposedly copping out on their "growth opportunities" by divorcing.

May all who are in troubled marriages, whether they are "CERTAIN KINDS" of extremely troubled marriages, or not, be gebentsht with the kind of super-excellent mentors that the Tzukerniks obviously have had.
(3/28/2017 12:00:56 AM)
11
What a thoughtful article-really well written
If you find this is pertinent to you, please, I beg you, put aside your ego, humble yourself, and really take in and internalize what the author is saying. She speaks Emes. And I speak from long experience. I was ready to walk away from my marriage numerous times during those first several rocky years. We both came from dysfunctional homes and had to unlearn, and learn, a lot. Now, nearly thirty years later, I thank Hashem regularly that I didn't leave, and that the husband of my youth and father of my children is still my partner in life. It was worth it to go through the pain and discomfort-not only for my marriage, but for my own development.

Hashem has a clear plan for how each of us will reach our full potential and Tachlis, and perhaps a challenging marriage is your vehicle for that plan. Don't give it up because of petty differences or discomfort-you might like the next vehicle a whole lot less!
(3/28/2017 12:02:28 AM)
12
source
What are the sources, to all those concepts you mention?
(3/28/2017 12:03:25 AM)
13
As the saying goes
Divorce is NOT a solution it just replaces the old problem with a new and BIGGER problem...

Thank you so much for sharing these inspiring words of hope within this beautiful article
(3/28/2017 12:45:07 AM)
14
I agree with #1
I have been married 40+ years, but I have watched family friends' marriages crumble. In an ideal world Mrs. Tzukernik's blog is admirable but remember...it takes 2 to tango and if the other party isn't willing to rethink, whats to talk about?

It isn't your place to make or to approve/disapprove. Like #2, don't pressure anyone to stay married OR to divorce. It's not your business.
(3/28/2017 1:02:22 AM)
15
to #4
you have no idea what your talking about. The Rebbe defenetely agreed if necessary. You can feel blessed that you have no clue what it means to need a divorce
(3/28/2017 2:10:31 AM)
16
my humble opinion
a happy marriage isnt a condition , it's a decision !
(3/28/2017 2:24:56 AM)
17
Been there done that
Firstly this article is brilliant and I love the way it is written . And I can relate from every direction.
Secondly I got divorced after a year and a half of pure torture and abuse by a charming but extremely sick man (emotionally )
I remarried and experienced very similar to the above article .
When You are in the "right " marriage and yiu know it even though things can be tough sometimes you know that in your gut that your marriage is a healthy one and therefore you work through issues and grow together as a couple .
Bh I am married for many years and I see more and more every day how the 'diamond cutting ' is so clear .
It is vey different to be in an unhealthy abusive and disctruvtive relationship where you will probably end up being a shadow of yourself ., then being in a marriage where two healthy ( and different ?! ) people learn each other and buiild a beautiful relationship with respect and understanding .
I have been in both situations
My point is that I believe you know in your gut if this is infact a distructive dysfunctional relationship , or a "normal " healthy relationship even with the ups and downs and are ready to team
Up and help it grow (even if it would include some outside help )
(3/28/2017 3:24:35 AM)
18
is divorce inherently a bad thing, or a mitzvah?
This romanticization of being married makes it sound like a woman should feel ashamed if she divorced, and therefore by extension it does not sound sincerely supportive of a woman in a situation who really needs a divorce.
(3/28/2017 4:05:24 AM)
19
Thank You
Your words are a breath of fresh air as we deal with day to day Growth Opportunities. Thanks for your openness and caring to share.
(3/28/2017 4:26:54 AM)
20
All wrong
In the frum world, getting divorced (especially with children) is an excruciating process, and the aftermath is emotionally, financially, socially devastating. There's nothing selfish about it.
(3/28/2017 4:30:11 AM)
21
B"H
the book "first kill all the marriage counselors" might help, (it helped a lot of people
(3/28/2017 5:13:19 AM)
22
Selfish is your Ego to think you have the answers
You are not a therapist. You don't have all of the information.
It is just ego on your part to feel the need to publicize your letter. Look inside your self again. Its offensive.
(3/28/2017 5:59:32 AM)
23
"Talmud and scriptures"
The kesuba outlines what is required in a marriage.
When the contract is broken and the partners are not prepared to reconcile and address the issues,the Holy Torah allows for divorce.
There are plenty tractates on the topic.
I find this article wrong advice ,albeit thoughtful with good intent.

Please let the professionals that deal with trauma,mental illness ,addiction,infidelity and dysfunction do the work they were trained to do, and guide people accordingly.
(3/28/2017 6:47:49 AM)
24
God, Rebbe and self
Those who invoke God invoke peace and serenity
Those who invoke the Rebbe invoke martyrdom (why this is so is another discussion)
Those who invoke themselves increase the pain of themselves and others.
(3/28/2017 6:51:25 AM)
25
Any disclaimers?
Two frienda of mine were abused physically by their spouses.(children included )
Please discuss and elaborate on tikun.

(3/28/2017 6:56:37 AM)
26
Happy to hear it worked out
I agree that marriage takes a lot of hard work and much effort.
Each couple is different and has different issues to work through.
However,both partners have to be willing to work on the marriage.If one partner refuses help or treatment ,the marriage is not a partnership.
No woman should be in marriage where she is a victim or martyr for the sake of being married.
(3/28/2017 7:03:38 AM)
27
What do I know but..
GETTing divorced landed on me like the matching bracelets and my 'marriage' did, against my will. It was as hard as you can't imagine but that's what my kids and I had to go through I guess. Anyone can have their opinions about me themselves and others but I wouldnt have it any other way. Tachlis, is there a secondtime Shadchan in the house? Editor at col knows me
(3/28/2017 7:21:16 AM)
28
Each case is different
Sometimes it's more harmful for the children if the parents stay married, especially if the husband is harming his wife and/or children by living there.
(3/28/2017 7:22:48 AM)
29
To number 7
Which rabonim have been of help?
I am struggling with a spouse with mental illness and have not found any rabonim to be helpful.
Thanks
(3/28/2017 7:22:59 AM)
30
Thanks for your honesty
Refreshing to read some honesty on this forum,yet I don't find this article to be one written responsibly.
When one writes about divorce,one should include when divorce is appropriate and even healthier for both parties.
That is missing from this article.
(3/28/2017 7:36:04 AM)
31
This quote from #7 says it all
Tragically, this is a perfect description of a situation that cannot be fixed: "... where there is mental illness and the person is uninterested in working through the issues or incapable of insight and self-responsibility" This is not a marriage, this is not mere discomfort leading to personal growth, this is hell on earth and the Torah BH does not demand that we must live out our years (which will be horribly affected by the unspeakable stress and suicidal thoughts) in such a matzav. Yes, divorce is a horror for children of any age, but at least they will have one healthy parent. As for loneliness, there is nothing more lonely that being trapped with a vicious, destructive person. #20 sums it up, divorce brings its own terrible price. But we are told to choose life. When your dysfunctional non-marriage is the daily death of your spirit, your health, and your sanity, then choosing life is not selfish.
(3/28/2017 7:40:40 AM)
32
whomever Mrs. Tzukernik is writting to, should read the comments too
Perhaps the comments here balance out the article, so whomever Mrs. Tzukernik is writing too, if she reads the comments, will have a fuller set of ideas to think about.
(3/28/2017 8:05:10 AM)
33
to nu 10
The author does say she doesnt have the answer, she is not a therapist etc.
i did understand that she is not telling us we mustnt divorce etc as you suggest she should have written.
I really dont think she blames anyone for divorcing, thats not what i got from this articel Just points to ponder on before that decision
(3/28/2017 8:05:50 AM)
34
dont just "yeah, yeah" me
to #1: I don't want my friends to just be supportive. I want my friends to challenge me when needed, to tell me when I can do better & try, as tactfully as possible, to save me from making stupid, life-altering mistakes
(3/28/2017 8:06:29 AM)
35
True
This is real and true. Thank you Shimona.
(3/28/2017 8:43:22 AM)
36
The Truth
Regardless of whether you agree with divorce or not, the Torah teaches us that a marriage/shidduch is NOT AN ACCIDENT, it comes from G-d Almighty Himself and as the 9th posuk from the Rebbe's 10 pesukim goes:

"If he says he tried and he failed, don't believe him (that he tried) and if he tries and succeds (then know that he tired)

If you try and you really want it, where there is a will there is a way, it might not be perfect, or even what you want, but it's doable
(3/28/2017 8:53:18 AM)
37
To #15
The Rebbe said that he didn't want the Beis Din in CH to do gitten (and it doesn't) and those few people that the Rebbe mentioned Beis din, it was for the purpose of fixing the marriage, read the letters they are available online in Hebrew, someone who worked for the Rebbe for over 40 years told me that the Rebbe believed anything and everything is Fixable and that no marriage is Hopeless
(3/28/2017 8:57:29 AM)
38
Not so poshut
Every couple is a new world
In general is a process of growing , and if this process is normal , meaning 2 healthy individuals , they make it work and then they can look back and see how Great was and is
When there is adultery , things are different , more when there is a question al lo Halacha if they can stay married
Or if there is a continuous physical damage , or if someone is mentally ill, rl , then you don't solve the situation with a chassidishe vort
Everyone has a specific nisayon that can't be compared with another one
BH. I am married already 27 years , I never thought BH about divorce , I was the one who had to change , I thank Hashem that I became a new person , thanks to chassidus and the Rebbeim ,I appreciate and I am very happy with this beautiful life
I think that they key was . To focus and take determination in having success in my marriage ,
I owe everything to Hashem . The Rebbeim , chassidishe
Moshiach now!
(3/28/2017 9:00:03 AM)
39
Divorce????
Straight from the mouth of Rebetzin Shula Kazen:
When your spouse speaks nice, he is speaking to you.
But when he shouts, or insults you, he is speaking to the WALL behind you"
As a teacher, I personally have seen the effect that divorce has on children. It is very destructive.!!!!!

(3/28/2017 9:01:49 AM)
40
Screams out
that there is something remiss re shidduch system. There appears to be very little practical advice or preparation/recognition of the inevitable troubles and downsides in all marriages, eg problems with in-laws, intimacy, health, children, finance, employment, etc etc.
(3/28/2017 9:02:56 AM)
41
In Yechidus!
My relative was in Yechidus with the Rebbe and told the Rebbe that he was in a very tough situation (the Rebbe agreed) and that he couldn't deal with it and he wanted a way out. The Rebbe told him that by dealing with the hardships and working through the impossibilities he will become great. The Rebbe said the Reason why Avraham Avinu is Avraham Avinu is because he had 10 tests (he didn't look for a way out, he recognized the "hardships" as tests not "impossibilities" and therefore the very thing that one might think you have to run from is really only there to make you great!!!

This is what this article said...Exactly what the Rebbe said in Yechidus
(3/28/2017 9:13:03 AM)
42
Well said but, remember, nuance is needed...
Mrs. Tzukernik has written a good article that is much appreciated. She is speaking to the Jewish ideal of marriage. This is a message that must be emphasized and taught over and over again. Divorce, although certainly appropriate in some circumstances, has to always be seen as an absolute last resort.
I think the impression most people have is that all marriages come with challenges and, even though the issues are serious (i.e. NOT of the 'socks in the wrong hamper' variety), most situations should be worked out. Divorce is very painful and damaging to all involved.
This ideal was also what the Rebbe emphasized in his letters and public pronouncements (of course, I am not familiar with everything the Rebbe wrote). It is to be expected as, again, frum Jews need to emphasize the ideals of Jewish marriage.
THAT BEING SAID, there are marriages that should end and that should never have begun in the first place. These are the physical and severe emotional harm situations that have already exhausted their options (eg. professional counselling, etc...) And the horrible cases in which important information is withheld from potential partners. It is maddening that people think that that somehow is an ok way to send a young couple off on a lifetime together, by poisoning the relationship at the outset, destroying any sense of trust in the marriage (as between spouses, in-laws etc...), to say nothing of the victim who is being duped. These kinds of situations are not spoken about when we talk about the ideals of marriage. Therefore, the Rebbe isn't necessarily going to publicize these situations in his letters. That is as it should be. However, if people continue to be coerced into something or we force people to stay in a bad marriage, without being privy to the real cost of this advice and solely based on the "ideals of marriage" concept, then it may be time to offer more nuance in our public discussion of the ideals of marriage.
(3/28/2017 9:14:47 AM)
43
Mental Illness
Most frum people that think divorce is a good idea, claim that there is mental illness...

Just because a spouse is sick doesn't mean they can't be cured and a Yetzer hara that is out of control is not "incurable mental illness"

If G-d gave you a sick spouse, it is not for you to throw away but for you to cure!!! This was what the Rebbe taught us: the world and all the issues we confront are there for us to fix and perfect...not run from
(3/28/2017 9:19:39 AM)
44
To # 29
First you need to have mental health professionals on board and seeing what you see since we cannot be objective on our own, plus the professionals have the training to know whether it mental illness or something else (or, forgive me, if you are the problem and are just hiding behind her issues). Once that is clarified the professionals need to speak to your Rov.

It's a mistake to assume one can self diagnose or that Rabbonim can pick up the subtleties of mental illness. A good Rov works hand-in-hand with the family therapist or psychologist.

Also thankfully gender bias has been changing in recent years because it has been shown unfortunately time and again that women can be equally abusive to their husbands and children, possibly more so, then men.

(3/28/2017 9:20:30 AM)
45
To #29
If Rabbonim don't acknowledge that there is mental illness, maybe there isn't...sometimes we have to realize that we are biased
(3/28/2017 9:21:41 AM)
46
#17
very well said!
(3/28/2017 9:37:58 AM)
47
please clarify
Can someone please clarify once and for all why it is "believed" that the Rebbe didnt speak of divorce? and if so then why do we have the concept of a Gett?and if it was spoken about ..can you please share? ty
(3/28/2017 9:40:51 AM)
48
There is a condition is the Rebbe's letter
By the grace of G‑d,
Brooklyn, New York
Greeting and Blessing:
In reply to your notification of the date of your wedding to take place with G‑d's help [on]........
I send you herewith my prayerful wishes that it take place in a happy and auspicious hour, and that you build an everlasting Jewish home based on the foundations of the Torah and Mitzvohs, as they are illuminated with the inner light of the Torah, that is the Teachings of Chassidus.
With blessing of Mazaltov Mazaltov
/Rebbe's Signature/

The home must be built on "the foundations of the Torah and Mitzvos." If one of the spouses is NOT living up to those standards (abuse, adultery, physical violence, neglect,etc) because of various serious issues, then the Rebbe's brocha for an everlasting Jewish home cannot be makaim. A sincere request to #36: I tried with every molecule for many years to make a normal home - please don't add to my sadness by telling me I just didn't try hard enough.
(3/28/2017 9:43:11 AM)
49
Don't bring the Rebbe into this
The Rebbe was not be pro abuse and disrespect in a marriage.
(3/28/2017 10:15:33 AM)
50
Reconciliation
Is pedophilia or your husand molesting your own daughters also a tikun?
I would hope that the author would be careful with articles as such when addressing such a painful topic.
Food for thought.
(3/28/2017 10:19:47 AM)
51
To number 2
It's never "too late" . People find get married and remarried everyday of all ages and circumstances. There isn't an "age" or circumstance limit to find love and experience happiness! For you life begins NOW. I read a memior of a man who was on death row for 20yrs for a crime he did not commit or even had no nexus too altogether, he was let out a few years ago along with two of his friends also unfairly imprisoned, and he would have every reason to feel better and that life passed him by, he was 17 at the time of his incarnation, but takes the approach that he has more of future than a past and lives life to the fullest with his current wife that he "met" while being in jailed. Hope this helps
(3/28/2017 10:46:27 AM)
52
The Marriage Restoration Project-google it
This frum husband and wife team- he's a Rabbi as well as a lincensed mental health professional, are truly outstanding and he fully understands the difference between unsalavageable marriage with a partner with mental illness or two emotionally healthy people capable or working on the relationship who just have issues .
(3/28/2017 11:01:30 AM)
53
Married Forever
Lovely and flowery but zero practical advise. Get real and down to earth. A good marriage is hard work. Sometimes it is workable and successful, sometimes for the benefit of all it is not. My parents divorced when I was 12 and happily married for 53 years. This article doesn't say much.
(3/28/2017 11:03:27 AM)
54
Bravery and keeping it real
Bravery would be to write how she overcame her difficulties and what they were.
She doesn't have to disclose intimate details on a public forum but let's keep it real.Many couples have had bumps in the road.

Perhaps giving tips as to what helped her overcome those obstacles would have been more fruitful.
(3/28/2017 11:05:52 AM)
55
#7 I can empathize
all the traits you described kind, loving, vicious and cruel all in one day a roller coaster of emotion. Like I like to say, I never know which personality or who I will be waking up to. It takes lots of work and strength to be married to someone with any illness.
Mental illness is the worst because it gets the least amount of sympathy or help from the community. Only when I started seeing a non jewish therapist was I able to truly grasp the scope of the illness. When one is sick with a physical illness, there is tons of empathy, fundraisers, meal plans, home visits but when one is afflicted with mental illness you become a pariah to the community, people rather not discuss and rather gossip about it.

Once I began to view mental illness like a physical illness, I was able to mentally/emotionally switch gears. As my therapist explained there are individuals who suffer chronic, life long bed ridden illnesses which require a mental/physical toll but no one would ever dare consider telling the spouse to cut your losses and run, but with mental illness I can't tell you how many times I've personally been encouraged to leave my husband because of his mental illness.

Once I chose to stick by my husband and understand the disease more it got easier. There are still painful moments, but there is understanding from me and my children. When he needs to go away for treatment, I see it just as any other sick person getting treatment. I just wish the community saw it that way. When I bravely chose to share my life with all the rabbanim in the community, we never got invited out again and never received phone calls checking to see how we were doing.

This is where mental illness gets a bad rap and where our community is way behind in dealing with it. Luckily I found support from other communities but its sad that this is what needed to be in order to not feel ashamed to say that my husband suffers from border personality disorder.
(3/28/2017 11:10:01 AM)
56
sometimes divorce is necessary but should be never taken lightly
I am the product of divorce, but that was necessary since my father was abusive.

That said I understand the ramifications all too well. However there are still times people rush to divorce, me included. When things got tough that was always always my first instinct. It took a lot of therapy to not always seek a way out and work through.

I have many friends who've confided in me that they regret their divorce and only did so out of community pressure, since there was so much gossip surrounding their marriages. But once they divorced they were left alone without community support.
They realize now that their problems were fixable but now its too late.
(3/28/2017 11:14:38 AM)
57
It takes two!!!
Just like the wedding needs two people PRESENT!! Inorder to stay together and avoid divorce at all costs, it takes TWO people to recognize there is a problem and be PRESENT to work it out!!
(3/28/2017 11:18:53 AM)
58
critical reading skills!
This article was not meant to generalize every single marriage case in the entire world. As much as we are ego centric, we have to take ourselves out of the equation and understand that this article was written for a certain type, it goes without saying that cases of abuse warrant divorce.

But for those needing a disclaimer due to lack of comprehension maybe COL should add this to the article.
(3/28/2017 11:34:56 AM)
59
Social Media
When dealing with divorce the only person that we need to include in the equation is HaShem, your spouse and a very good therapist! I cannot tell you how many times I've seen posted spouses asking advise from the masses such as Balaboostas or Chabad Moms and some are the responses are just plain unhealthy and dangerous. The most important thing my kallah teacher ever taught me was to keep everyone out of my marriage. I understood this early on, whenever I had a problem and would vent to a friend, that friend would make it seem outlandish that my spouse would do such a thing, which would put it in my head that there is something deeply wrong. The same thing happened to my spouse with his friends. Only until you kick everyone out of your marriage can you sort out understanding one another.

For example I unknowingly had PPD and would spend so many months being inactive and crying. My spouse complained to his mother, who then told him there is something definitely wrong with me as a person, which caused many fights. The correct route should have been seeking a licensed therapist to diagnose and access the problem.
I can't tell you how many times Ive contacted a mashpiah for marriage advise and they told me the answer was taharas mishpacha. Yes thats partly true, but there is always more and this is where a therapist comes in, but it has to be one that is very well recommended- we've learned the hard way.

Treat your marriage like a prized possession not to flaunt to the world, or online, just as we are tznius we should act tznius with our marriage. It's not something we share with others. I will never vent about my marriage to family or friends because I have a therapist.
(3/28/2017 11:48:05 AM)
60
Not a reading comprehenson issue
While these sentiments were intended for a specific situation the undertones are quite apparent.
The comments are also reflective of a general negative attitude towards divorce in our community.
(3/28/2017 12:00:38 PM)
61
Jewish Marriage
In Yiddishkeit, there is nothing that comes before the union of husband wife, not even Hashem's Name (ie erase My Name to save the marriage). Mental illness, abuse and all the other REAL issues are not reasons to end a marriage. Yes they make the marriage difficult and almost impossible at times...but we have to remember what the Rebbe said so many times:

G-d Almighty has created you, your spouse and the situation and it is your job to make it work and make a dira even within the greatest of darkness

Its not easy but it is possible
(3/28/2017 12:26:49 PM)
62
like some say, there are
no simple answers
(3/28/2017 12:28:00 PM)
63
A Great Chabad Scholar
Said...Marriage is not 50/50 and it doesn't take two...

Marriage is 100/100...I have to do 100% no matter what even if the other side does less than 100% or even if the other side does 0%...over time my effort will cause the other side to come around, even against all odds, This is the Rebbe's promise: do everything you can and let :-) Almighty take care of the miracle part
(3/28/2017 12:31:00 PM)
64
Therapist
50 or 100 years ago no frum jew dealt with therapists, and people had happy marriages and the divorce rate was much lower...this is a measurable fact
(3/28/2017 12:39:12 PM)
65
As the saying goes
Divorce is NOT a solution it just replaces the old problem with a new and BIGGER problem...

Thank you so much for sharing these inspiring words of hope within this beautiful article
(3/28/2017 1:11:03 PM)
66
#64
50 or 100 years ago we did not have the possibility or hope of another way of life. The idea of divorce was still a stigma and women had no means of supporting themselves outside their husbands. Now that both spouses work and help with taking care of children, it's just easier. You are correct but I wonder statistiically how many of those marriages were truly loving and healthy ones?
(3/28/2017 11:40:31 AM)
67
To #61 :
"If G-d gave you a sick spouse, it is not for you to throw away but for you to cure!!! This was what the Rebbe taught us: the world and all the issues we confront are there for us to fix and perfect...not run from" If you yourself have not been trapped in a marriage with a mentally sick abusive spouse, then please do not give well-meaning pep talks about a horrifying experience you were spared & BH you know nothing about its physical & emotional effects on the well spouse and family.

To #55 - you are truly a tzedakis & I am not trying to minimize your pain & hard work but I noticed you referred to when your husband "goes away for treatment" - this is already a huge medraga - that he recognizes his illness and is being treated. It is well recognized that untreated mental illness gets much worse as the person ages. Singles please do serious research when considering a divorced person . That doesnt mean listening to every yenta but respect yourself enough to turn over heaven & earth to find out the truth. My dysfunctional spouse didn't last long with the next husband because nothing had changed. May there be an end to all tzuris with Moshiach Now.
(3/28/2017 11:49:39 AM)
68
wake up 64
Hey, sounds like 50 or 100 years ago no frum Jews dealt with any serious familial issues. I guess we just had perfectly happy husbands and wives all over the place. I wish we were living back then in those perfect times. Better yet, I wish we could be back in Europe. Oh, what a heaven on earth to have lived in Europe 70 years ago...
Crazy therapists, they came in and ruined everything...
(3/28/2017 11:53:31 AM)
69
I never comment but now one is necessary
The writer of this article is dead on accurate
While i dont judge someone in abusive situations there is dass torah writen on that. The pele yoetz says what one should do if there is an abusive hisband look it up and see for yourselves. Also the gemara in sotah clearly says that infidelity by the husband is not a deal breaker nor anger...
This is contrary to popular secular thought. I think in light of all of these things maybe marriage is more than an agreement but an unbreakable bond. Much like when the bais hamildash was destroyed it was only because the higher one was already destroyed so to a marriage. It has to be non existent to require devorce. You need dass torah not dass yavan their darkness prevades all corners of our society hashem yishmor. May mashiach come soon and save us from this cancer called marriage shalom bais experts...
(3/28/2017 12:11:49 PM)
70
Great comment 62 AND 63
Well said!
(3/28/2017 12:12:25 PM)
71
To # 45
"If rabbonim haven't admitted that there isn't mental illness, maybe there isn't" - maybe that means that they are not mental health professionals to make that call. You wouldn't go to a doctor for a psak and you don't go to a rabbi for a mental health diagnosis. Problems arise when people don't pay attention to who should be dealing with what.
(3/28/2017 12:41:28 PM)
72
To # 61
Your comment reflects the fact that you have been lucky enough to not understand what abuse is. If you did understand, you wouldn't be able to make the comment that abuse isn't a reason to end a marriage. If you or a family member had experienced abuse, you would most certainly not be able to casually say a spouse should stay in an abusive marriage.
What defines abuse is another discussion. Not everyone can claim abuse. To understand what abuse really is, these books may be helpful:
I'm so confused. Am I being abused? By Lisa Twersky
The shame borne in silence by Rabbi Avraham Twersky
(3/28/2017 1:06:37 PM)
73
mental illness
I suffer from mental illness. And there are times when it is tough on all of us. however with patience, medecine and counceling we work to have a good marriage and were blessed with good kids B"H,
(3/28/2017 1:26:22 PM)
74
3 core needs
There are 3 core human needs. 1. Safety 2. Satisfaction 3. Connection
Whether you stay or leave, it is important to ensure that these basic needs are met.
(3/28/2017 1:43:16 PM)
75
Thank you
Thank you, Shimona, for your honesty and bravery.
(3/28/2017 1:45:52 PM)
76
To #64
"people had happy marriages"

What are you basing this statement on?

50 or 100 years ago people simply stayed imprisoned in abusive marriages. There was zero tolerance for divorced folk.
(3/28/2017 2:23:41 PM)
77
The Real Mental Illness
You have a person who dates another person for 3 or 4 months and spends 100 of hours talking to another person. Then there is as much as four months of high pressure time (engagement/wedding planning) where people's true side comes out. Then there is the wedding day, then there is "the first year", then there is kid #1 and all the challenges with parnasa and everything else...

After all that, now that things are tough...I finally realize my spouse has mental illness and I just ignored/missed all the signs...

Come on...
(3/28/2017 2:56:31 PM)
78
To #71
A learned Rabbi with decades of experience that has seen and dealt with 1000s of cases is more capable than any mental health "professional"
(3/28/2017 2:59:15 PM)
79
What is Divorce
There are some very detailed letters from the Rebbe about what happens spiritually when someone gets divorced.

Read those letters and you will realize that it's better to "suffer" with your "sick spouse" rather than cause the Hashem and the melachim to suffer until the end of time
(3/28/2017 3:04:14 PM)
80
TO #69
Thank goodness you never comment, and this comment was not necessary and incomprehensible to boot.
Just recognize the fact that every individual couple faces unique issues and there is no one size fits all solution for this complicated matter.
(3/28/2017 3:14:36 PM)
81
To #77
Or maybe the victim starts being abused at the beginning of the marriage and stays for the sanctity of the marriage trying to make it work out of hope their abusive spouse will change...
(3/28/2017 7:13:23 PM)
82
To #81
Nothing stands in the way of one's yechida shbe nefesh...if one spouse refuses to quit on the other one, the Rebbe promises that the other one will come around "by hook or by crook"....words from the heart eventually enter the heart, even a sick heart
(3/28/2017 8:45:28 PM)
83
G-d and His angels
G-d cries along with his angels when a woman/man and children are living in pain.
I hope your children have happy marriages.Would be awful advice for a child in a miserable marriage.
#79 Your advice is hardly angelic.Hope you don't relay this advice to your friends or loved ones.
(3/28/2017 8:49:33 PM)
84
I relate to #2 and #7
I agree with the author wholeheartedly that divorce should be the last option. But we aren't Catholics and divorce is allowed in Torah.

I was not aware of the mental illness prevalent in my ex wife's family when we got married. She has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, and other members of her family have been institutionalized for periods. She is one of 9 children and of the 3 that got married; all have gotten divorced.

Thank G-d I got out of that marriage after 6 years and infidelity on her part, and am happy married to an amazing spouse for 7 years. While my daughter really suffered and continues to suffer as a result of the divorce, it was a painful necessity.

When divorce is the only option it's a blessing that we have that option.
(3/28/2017 9:14:47 PM)
85
Wow
It seems that all the pro-divorce posts have one thing in common: if someone is not having fun in a marriage (due to the spouse's abuse, mental illness, etc.) then it is grounds for quitting and this is the problem...

Just because a marriage is hard, uncomfortable, painful or borderline impossible it doesn't mean the answer is quit

G-d Almighty married every yid at Har Sinai and look how many of us are abusive (only 10% of Jews keep Shabbos!) and yet after 3500 years Hashem hasn't divorced even one of us after all the mistreatment (think about many Jews are involved with idol worship, adultry, etc.)

We can learn how to deal with our rotten marriages by seeing how many chances we get in out marriage to Hashem
(3/28/2017 9:31:03 PM)
86
Yehuda l g
I am a single 29 year old .I am open to share with those who want to hear about my observation s of older peoples out look to understand standard ing reality as a couple. Yl540@hotmail.com
(3/28/2017 9:37:46 PM)
87
thanks, but no thanks
You're trying to turn back the clock to when divorce was unheard of and a tremendous stigma for the spouse and the children.

You should have kept your thoughts to yourself.
(3/29/2017 6:53:42 AM)
88
Dear #85
I am sure that you will agree that your assessment of divorce as a result of "not having fun in your marriage" is very different than reaching a point when you are trying to figure out how to commit suicide every day but not have it look like one and holding back not because of halacha but because how could you do that do your children ? ( and you know the other parent isn't capable of raising them ) Welcome to a day in the life of an abused spouse - this is our reality and this is why all of your lofty words show that you don't have a clue. But luckily, HaShem knew that some of his children would torture other of his children beyond what is bearable and allowed for a Gett. So please learn from Him.
(3/29/2017 8:28:36 AM)
89
Better pre-marriage education
Divorce must be an absolute last option. It is appropriate in some situations but it comes with its own pains. The lesson we should all draw from this is that pre-marriage education needs to be improved. Frum communities need to be more honest about health issues (if we all are more open about it and better educated then it will be less of a stigma). There needs to be more practical, day to day reality type issues in addition to the loftier ideals of marriage.
Also, people need to know who to talk to when a real issues arises. Rabbanim need to know when to refer someone to a professional counselor.
There are likely more divorces today than there should be but that does not mean there should never be any. There are serious situations that a person can't and should not be made to suffer. Just because people suffered miserable lives, abusive marriages in the past does not mean they need to continue to do so. It is real easy to condemn someone to a lifetime of hell because the malachim might cry otherwise...
(3/29/2017 9:31:05 AM)
90
Dear #88
Again, our job is to make it work, just because there is a way out it doesn't mean we should take it.

Suicide and divorce are very similar...nothing positive comes from them even though they represent to the pain, they only represent new and BIGGER problems
(3/29/2017 10:42:51 AM)
91
shlomo
kind a delusion. when my parents want to divorce(always) i work hard to not let it happen. but after my dad die (to early for my opinion) and till now i think that it my gilt too, not only my mom. somehow i always against divorces,generally , but in particular i always agree(never say this but agree)
not long time ago among my friends and acquaintance was epidemy 6 couples in one year divorce. and wife was initiator. all cases 3-4 kids and woman was pretty sure that he cane remarried much beter with rich successful younger guy. after year 5 from 6 husbands remarried, but no one woman... most important for me that this new husbands are extremely happy and only bless G-d and ex wife for divorce
(3/29/2017 11:22:04 AM)
92
Thank you Shimona
Thank you Shimona for telling us what real life is about. I wish you would've told us when you were our highschool teacher, but maybe you didnt have the knowledge then that you have now. I wish we would learn that life has challenges and that if we see problems in our husbands, "OMG, poor me that I married him. I must get out. I'm too good for that." Just the opposite, the more good I am, the more "growth opportunities" i get (love that term btw). While I understand your article might not be for every situation, it spoke to me. Trust me. I could've been divorced now, but then i realized life is about working on yourself. Not just cruising through. And had i rushed to divorce, my life would not be better with someone else because this is what Gd wants me to work on, and it will come back to me. You are exactly where Gd wants you to be. And sometimes, you are the catalyst in which someone else can change.
This article was so spot on. It just took me a lot of pain and deep thinking to come the above realization.
We should be taught in school that Marital maneuvering is a part of life. And not everyone lives happily ever after. And NO. your husband not throwing his socks in the laundry is NOT a real shalom bayis issue. (That's the classical example they use but that is not the type of issues one should expect. We all have real life issues. And part of real life, is growing up and dedicating yourself to Hashems intentions.
(3/29/2017 11:47:43 AM)
93
The biggest mental health issue
The biggest mental health issue here is staying or encouraging one to stay in an abusive marriage.
(3/29/2017 1:10:23 PM)
94
The words "abusive", "mental illness"
These words are used as mud that people throw until it sticks... Bottom line: G-d Almighty not only gives us what we can handle but also, what we need and what is custom tailored for us.

When we get what we don't want we are not supposed to look for reasons or a way out, because G-d Almighty in his infinite kindness will give us that, our job as Jews is to elvate and fix the darkness not run from it
(3/29/2017 2:29:44 PM)
95
To #90
You comment to #88 is quite shocking and beyond insensitive.
I am the last person to promote divorce even in many difficult situations, but when it's that excruciatingly painful as indicated by 88's comment, it's probably a Mitzvah to divorce.
(3/29/2017 2:29:51 PM)
96
An Abused wife
I wanted to wait till all the comments to post:

My husband and I both frum but after after first child I felt like I was in an impossible situation. He developed mood swings that resulted in verbal, and on one occasion, physical abuse...after Tishrei one year I had had enough and everyone supported my decision to leave, even my husband's parents. I had spoken with a bros din and secular attorneys and everything was in place to "start over" and then I came across a letter from the Rebbe that completely changed my mind...it was printed in other publications.

The letter discusses someone who is greatly disbursed by a non frum person that comes to Shul and reads the newspaper...the Rebbe goes on to stay that when the Abeishter puts someone in our life who makes our own life impossible we need to confront the situation like one who is receiving a gift. The gift is the "seeming disaster" that we want to run from in order to save our own life. But the Rebbe explained, as only the Rebbe can with soft kindness and love, that if we run we will loose out on the mitzvah of helping and working with the impossible situation and person...because it reality by helping this impossible disruptive person we help ourselves and the world at large and we fulfill our purpose for being created.

The letter is a must read for anyone that believes divorce is the best option, it was written on the 16th of Tammuz
(3/29/2017 4:07:14 PM)
97
To #88
you should know that you're not alone.
I too was terribly abused in my marriage. it got to the point when I can barely come home,due to an abusive spouse and extended abusive family.
althogh things are more stable now,
I wish someone would've have told me
many years ago, The truth!!
that abuse is abuse, and you run when it's early enough, not when things are so messed up, that it's almost no point to leave anymore. there's much more I can write, please whoever reads this
get help when it's still early enough,
otherwise things will just be too late..
much much more I can write..
Way way too painful....
(3/29/2017 4:29:09 PM)
98
How about ?
If the hashgocha protis is that you are supposed to meet and marry a certain person, possibly even bring down children together, suffer for a certain amount of time, and then after trying in every possible way to honor the commitment you made under the chupa, and speaking to qualified therapists , rabbis, and mashpiam realizing there is truly no hope so then giving or receiving a gett ? You are not running away from your personal hashgocha protis, but that part of your journey is over and now you must heal and resume living.
(3/29/2017 5:34:21 PM)
99
By the way
You would be amazed at how often it is that the ABUSER is the one to end the marriage. Because they are completely emotionally unaware, they think any problems are all the fault of their spouse, not them, so they decide to "move on" to finally have the adoring spouse that they feel they deserve !
(3/29/2017 5:41:57 PM)
100
Consult Your Rav
If you follow the mitzvah of "aseh lecha rav" you can skip the advice of people who only know their world.
There's a mitzvah in the Torah to write a get.
In certain situations that is preferable to staying married.
Stop telling people that they can handle being sworn at, have things thrown at them, drunkeness, or being attacked.
That *is* abuse, and this behavior is unacceptable in any marriage, let alone a Torah marriage.
Getting out of such a situation is saving a life, which is a mitzvah that overrides even Shabbos.
(3/29/2017 9:22:56 PM)
101
#99 - so true!
Yes, that was my experience too, at least in part! After 6 years of her mood swings, laziness, manipulation and finally infidelity, it was my ex-wife who filed for divorce! (Despite rabbinic telling me that I should seek a divorce, I was like an abuse victim, still trying to work it out.)
The only difference is that she thank G-d never remarried, so she can't hurt another spouse. I, on the other hand, went through a long healing process, and am now happily married for many years.
(3/30/2017 9:10:33 AM)
102
Deal with the *mental illness * b4!
Solution: Date for a long time! Get to know all their secrets, and share yours , bc the deepest secrets whichever u don't say b4 u r engaged will come back to haunt you at the wrong time!
(3/30/2017 7:11:30 PM)
103
To #102 - it's often difficult to tell
I'm the commenter #101. It is so hard. I dated my ex for 3 months, and since it was my first relationship, didn't listen to my gut telling me to stop...
(3/30/2017 11:15:36 PM)
104
To 68
Wow! Or maybe it just means that they remained quiet about their abusive spouses- do you really believe that abusive relationships only began when therapists became "popular"? Only, in those days, there was simply less tolerance for divorce!
(3/31/2017 2:22:45 PM)
105
To number 45
Rabbis are not mental health professionals. Don't be so naive to think they know everything beyond their expertise..
(4/2/2017 7:28:02 AM)
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