Why is the frum world seeing more divorces while it’s dropping by the secular?

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  • #1360158

    Haimy
    Participant

    According to Dr. Schechter, a clinical psychologist and director of the Center for Applied Psychology at Bikur Cholim in Monsey, New York the frum divorce rate is now at 10% -slightly lower among chassidim, & the numbers are rising each year.
    In the secular world, divorces are plummeting & NJ is now the 4th lowest percentage rate of all state with just 9% defining themselves as divorced.
    With all the stigma & tragedy that occurs with a frum divorce, why is it growing by us & going down tremendously by the umos Ho’olom?
    What are we doing wrong, & what can we learn from societal trends to strengthen the frum marriage?
    I have some ideas but would first like to hear from the oilom their opinion.

    #1360232

    morahmom
    Participant

    One good reason that the goyish divorce rate is low is cause they don’t bother getting married in the first place.

    #1360220

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    Haimy…………………………
    You post VERY FLAWED numbers
    You quote Dr. Schecter about a divorce RATE of 10%
    You then quote a statistic that 9% of those in NJ describe themselves as divorced.

    Divorce RATE and MARITAL STATUS are not the same thing.
    I had a non-Jewish client get divorced on Thursday and married to the next spouse on Friday.
    The divorce goes into the rate, but if asked to describe herself on either Thursday or Friday, she could have honestly answered married.
    Once a divorced person marries again they no longer describe themselves as divorced, but have contributed to the divorce rate as a percentage of marriages that have been dissolved.

    As for why the divorce rate is increasing in the frum world? The frum world is often decades behind the non-frum world in many actions.

    #1360228

    Brooklyn Yenta
    Participant

    There are many reasons why divorce is going up in our circles, but most likely the reason it’s going down in the rest of the world is because they’re not getting married in the first place.

    #1360265

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Lots of poor usage of numbers here…

    As CTL pointed out, divorce rate and percentage of people whose status is divorced are not comparable.

    Also, if I’m not mistaken, the divorce rate refers to the percentage of marriages which end in divorce, not the percentage of the population who got divorced, so the fact that in the secular world the trend is for people not to get married is not necessarily going to affect the divorce rate.

    If you want to compare the changing divorce rate in the frum community to the rate outside of the frum community, you would need to show the rates for each over a period of time.

    Comparing by overall numbers, not as a percentage, would be almost entirely meaningless.

    #1360303

    akuperma
    Participant

    The statistics are in need of closer examination. Since frum Jews (almost) never live together without being married, whereas other Americans (non-frum Jews and non-Jews) often do, the comparative divorce rate also has to take into account the rate of permanent “living together” relationships ending. Also, since for all purposes there are no Orthodox “gays” (adopting such a lifestyle requires one to leave the frum community), whereas such lifestyles, and relationships are common among non-frum Jews and non-Jews, one needs to make a statistical adjustment.

    A more useful statistic should focus on families that include minor children.

    #1360361

    Haimy
    Participant

    You are welcome to do the research, divorce among college educated people married over the age of 25 is much lower than the national average of 50%, closer to 25%.
    The facts remain: frum divorces are rising while secular marriages are stabilizing.
    We need to take a fresh look at our chinuch & dating system to see why this is happening, not just blame society at large for our problems.

    #1360422

    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    There is more than one divorce rate.

    #1360420

    huju
    Participant

    Re CTLawyer’s first comment: Thank you for explaining to the opening poster the difference between apples and orange trees. If I weren’t lazy, I would also explain to him the need for citations when alleging “facts” like the divorce rate among the frum, or non-frum Jews, or gentiles, or salamanders. And I won’t even get into the need for specifying the period of time – 2015, 1996, 20th Century – he is talking about.

    #1360283

    Yiddishkiddush
    Participant

    I’m not sure why secular divorce rates are falling ( if it’s true, which I’m pretty sure is not ),
    But higher rates by us frum yidden is a direct effect of adoption to the outside world and specifically to their ideas on marriage and relationships,
    Too much shmutz out there and too hard not to notice it and not to get enticed.
    רחמנה ליצלן

    #1360449

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    @huju
    Thank you for your kind words.

    There is an adage I learned in my Statistics class 50 years ago this semester:

    Figures never lie, but Liars often figure…………………………………….

    It is very easy to skew numbers to ;prove’ almost any theory.

    #1360454

    Mammele
    Participant

    One likely reason for less divorces in the secular world is that so many children of divorced homes don’t want their kids to go through what they did.

    Point is not everything positive in the secular world can necessarily be duplicated by us when it comes to such complicated societal issues. And definitely not if its cyclical. B”H we weren’t part of their deep downturn so we won’t have the same upswing.

    Which doesn’t mean we don’t have a lot of issues to examine. It starts with chinuch and not spoiling our youth. Good shalom bayis doesn’t begin with marriage or dating/engagement.

    #1360457

    GAON
    Participant

    Haimy, as many have pointed out, your comparison of the 25% divorce rate of college educated is flawed, you will need to consider all that are “breaking up” as well, I am sure if you apply all numbers it will be more.
    In any case, yes, the divorce rate is indeed going up by the Orthodox, and you are welcome to give any analysis…
    You can say, it’s indeed the influence of the secular world as well, kids being spoiled, immature and thus, being used to having “my way” etc.

    #1360459

    jakob
    Participant

    the jewish divorce rate is higher because many FRUM yidden have R”L joined facebook which is the website that has cause THOUSANDS & THOUSANDS of divorces & intermarriages

    #1360442

    Yankelle
    Participant

    As stated by the erudite CTLAWYER, the frum world, in many aspects (and especially social matters), is living according to standards which are decades (if not centuries) behind the “secular”world. As the OP mentioned, divorce is still stigmatized in the frum world, which is causing many unhappy couples to stay together, to the detriment of themselves and their children. Some other issues within the frum world (an exhaustive list would be much too long for this post and would require its own article) include stigmatization of certain physical and mental diseases, lack of education, and an obsession with victimization and self-pity. BH we seem to be making some progress, which might explain the contrast between divorce rates in the frum vs “secular” societies.

    #1360484

    jdf007
    Participant

    It doesn’t help any, but I question numbers regarding marriage and divorces for the nations or states population at large. Out there, people just move in together, and then move out. They don’t always get married, and aren’t counted. The sample size of divorce is smaller, because you actually have to get married first.
    Like the NYTimes and Time said on a cover headline: Marriage is dead.

    #1360490

    BoysWork
    Participant

    Folks, I think we need to concentrate on the bigger picture here. Do we really care about the statitics of the secular world? They have totally different lives than us. The important issue here is that the divorce rate among young frum couples is rising at an alarming rate. In many case, its within the first couple of years, where children are already involved. As we all know, its the children that suffer the most, being bounced around from mom and dad.
    Do we know the reasons? Probably not. Jakob, you blame it all on facebook. Its not facebook alone. There are other reasons too. For example, immaturity. As an older person and a child of survivors (A”H), I can tell you that 20 year old guys were much more mature in that generation. Yes, most of us went to college, where we developed social skills. Tons of us met our spouses in colleges and singles’ weekends. Also, shidduchim are mostly based on silly resumes. Do you really think whatever is on the resume is true? Will anyone use a reference that will not say the best things? Face it, not every single guy is the best boy in BMG. How many girls have gotten married to a kollel guy only to find out very quickly that he has zero interest in learning?
    Way too much is expected from the young women, while the husbands just want to keep ‘hanging’ with their friends. Marriage is too big a step to take when you make a decision based on a piece of paper.

    #1360521

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    BoysWork, that doesn’t explain the rising divorce rate among frum Yidden who don’t have arranged marriages, aren’t kollel families, went to college, etc.

    The only slightly useful information you might have given us is revealing to us that you have an agenda.

    #1360532

    GAON
    Participant

    “Figures never lie, but Liars often figure”

    Thanks CT for the line and is soooo true!

    As they say:
    98% statistics are made up on the spot–including this one!

    #1360590

    BoysWork
    Participant

    to DY: and what, exactly, is my agenda? I am speaking about the community of which I am part of. And, sadly, every other day, I hear of another couple splitting up. It doesn’t matter if they are yeshivish or not. But I do believe that there is a definite lack of maturity in the young couples today, especially the boys. As someone else mentioned, which I left out, is that they are also very spoiled, and expect everything to be handed to them.

    #1360626

    The little I know
    Participant

    jakob:

    You are to be commended for taking ignorance to a new height.Facebook is not a universal cause for divorce any more than it was the cause for the Vietnam War. Divorce always existed, and the cultures of the times offer a minimum of explanation for any trends in this area. Meanwhile, you may survey therapists, rabbonim, dayanim, and divorcees to find a trace of validity to your assertion. i am categorically opposed to social media, and staunchly refuse to use it. But it does not cause divorces at all. It can be used by someone misbehaving in the wrong way, and become a contributing factor. Years ago, these forms of communications were managed via telephone and personal contact. Schmutz always existed, and it is ignorant and primitive to blame it on current developments. Yet, one can use technology the wrong ways and for the wrong reasons.

    I have yet to discover an instance in which someone contracted HIV via technology. Our own community has cases of seropositive people. Facebook?

    Perhaps the pursuit of the criminal element in destroying marriages will never yield anything that we can address to fix the situation. I propose we examine what makes marriages work, and direct energies to promoting that. It should require some changes in how we raise our children, as parents, as mechanchim, and (as I noted many times here in the CR) better preparation for marriage with professional guidance and direction. Chosson and Kallah teachers – are you paying attention?

    #1360676

    MDG
    Participant

    DY,

    I once heard a story (from Rabbi Abraham J Twerski IIRC) where a young couple were having troubles. Apparently the boy was more at fault. The Rav they consulted (the Steipler IIRC) said what can you expect from him, he has only been responsible to his shtender the last 10 years. Being a good learner does not mean one is a good spouse, and that assumes the boy is serious with his learning.

    Girls are expected to be mature and somewhat worldly, while being too worldly for a boy means he must not be a good learner. I have a cousin like that in Israel. Playing the keyboard was considered a mark against him. Maybe it’s different there.

    #1360790

    GAON
    Participant

    TLIK
    “Schmutz always existed, and it is ignorant and primitive to blame it on current developments. Yet, one can use technology the wrong ways and for the wrong reasons.”
    While I certainly agree with you that the blame on FB was overstated as a “prime reason”..

    However, I don’t think your comparison to the past is correct; Once-upon-a time, for order for one to get a hold of “Schmutz” he really had to go out of the way, whereas, nowadays, he/she can just be innocently “surfing” Facebook” accounts and fall into the worst imagined. It certainly does not help in any imperfect (but still solvable) marriage.
    Many of the secular world can certainly attest to that, how FB ruined their marriage. I am not saying you should or shouldn’t be using it, but you certainly have to be on the alert and use it sparingly, carefully and, mainly halachically

    #1360882

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    I am speaking about the community of which I am part of. And, sadly, every other day, I hear of another couple splitting up.

    Why do you cite factors which are unique to the community you say you are a part of, when other communities which don’t have those factors have no better sholom bayis and no lower divorce rate?

    You obviouly have a bias against those characteristics of the community, otherwise you wouldn’t cite them as unique reasons for divorce, when there’s no evidence whatsoever that there’s any correlation whatsoever.

    #1360884

    Health
    Participant

    YK -“But higher rates by us frum yidden is a direct effect of adoption to the outside world and specifically to their ideas on marriage and relationships,”

    True!

    “Too much shmutz out there and too hard not to notice it and not to get enticed”

    By this you mean, (Btw, I live in Lakewood), the wife says -“I want a brand new house, just like our neighbors’.”
    Not like a poster here that wrote this – “because many FRUM yidden have R”L joined facebook which is the website that has cause THOUSANDS & THOUSANDS of divorces & intermarriages”!

    I look around and I see the Frum community that has the latest fashions, from houses to cars, but all that they can blame is the internet, which a lot don’t even have!

    #1360970

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    MDG, that doesn’t mean being a good learner is an impediment to sholom bayis, it just means it doesn’t assure it.

    #1361030

    Yiddishkiddush
    Participant

    Can we be blunt for a min , your not gonna have a great happy marriage if u keep looking at other pretty girls or handsome men and imagening …right ?
    The grass is always greener…
    So just control ur eyes , because it’s not greener and u wont enjoy the grass on this side.

    #1361033

    BoysWork
    Participant

    Sorry DY, but you just don’t get it. Saying other communities have better or worse divorce rates doesn’t have anything to do with what I said. In the interest of not making machlokes a week before rosh hashana, I’ll bow out of the conversation now.

    #1361042

    Enough Divorces
    Participant

    Thanks Haimy for addressing this issue. Our community unfortunately encourages divorce when things get hard, whereas the secular world are not as influenced from the feminist movement at this time, as they have been through it already, unlike our community which has recently begun to adopt the feminist trend. As CT Lawyer wrote, our community follows the secular world albeit after a few decades.

    #1361051

    DaasYochid ☕
    Participant

    Saying other communities have better or worse divorce rates doesn’t have anything to do with what I said.

    It most certainly does. Showing that people in kollel don’t have a higher divorce rate than those not in kollel blows a huge hole in the theory that being in kollel causes divorces.

    Showing that frum people who didn’t go to college don’t have a higher divorce rate than those who did blows a huge hole in the theory that not going to college causes divorces.

    Same with meeting through a shadchan vs. in college or at a singles weekend.

    If you didn’t have an agenda against kollel, not going to college, and meeting through a shadchan (which you basically mischaracterize as getting married purely based on resumes, i.e. an arranged marriage), why would you blame high divorce rates on them for no reason?

    #1361102

    MDG
    Participant

    “MDG, that doesn’t mean being a good learner is an impediment to sholom bayis, it just means it doesn’t assure it.”
    I agree, but it seems to me that many take it to be.
    BTW, success in any other field, like business for example, also does not mean a better spouse although some may think otherwise.

    #1361133

    MDG
    Participant

    DY and BW,

    It seems to me that you are fundamentally arguing whether we look at the world around us and compare or just look at what we have regardless of the world around us. It’s kind of how Noah was judged “in his generation”. Nature vs nurture? Do we judge by the gadol hador or generation? ….

    #1361362

    🐈 Rand0m3x 🐈
    Participant

    The manner in which Facebook often contributes to non-Jewish divorces (it’s not shmutz)
    would not really apply to the frum community (or so I imagine).

    #1361390

    Mammele
    Participant

    I’m reposting my prior post since it seems nobody noticed it…

    One likely reason for less divorces in the secular world is that so many children of divorced homes don’t want their kids to go through what they did.

    Point is not everything positive in the secular world can necessarily be duplicated by us when it comes to such complicated societal issues. And definitely not if its cyclical. B”H we weren’t part of their deep downturn so we won’t have the same upswing.

    Which doesn’t mean we don’t have a lot of issues to examine. It starts with chinuch and not spoiling our youth. Good shalom bayis doesn’t begin with marriage or dating/engagement.

    End prior post.

    Sorry if I bored you guys but I wanted to be heard…

    #1361397

    Enough Divorces
    Participant

    Mammela, thanks for your post. It makes a lot of sense. Hopefully our community won’t have to learn the hard way that divorce is a real failure. We should follow our tradition and its wisdom and not seek to emulate the secular society and its trends.

    #1361396

    yytz
    Participant

    There are no reliable statistics about frum divorce rates from the past or the present, so we don’t know whether they are going up or down. Aren’t people just making guesses based on their experience?

    Goyish marriage rates increased dramatically for a few decades, perhaps because of feminism and the end of no-fault divorce, and then have slightly decreased (possibly because an increasingly small number of non-Jews gets married anymore aside from the educated upper-middle class). But their divorce rates are probably still far higher than ours.

    #1361403

    CTLAWYER
    Participant

    Food for thought>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.

    In the past half century, the birth rate for frum Jews has increased and the birth rate for most secular Jews and non-Jews has decreased (USA).

    Lower birth rate, fewer marriages in a community. Fewer marriages, fewer divorces. This doesn’t even deal with the non-religious (Jew and Gentile) living as partners without the benefit of marriage.

    #1361416

    Joseph
    Participant

    The goyishe divorce rate is in the ballpark of 40%. The Chareidi rate is about 2%. When we say it is rising, we mean something like it went from 1.8% to 2.2%. That’s a huge percentage wise increase, but it is nowhere comparable to the goyim and frei.

    #1363250

    gavriel613
    Participant

    @yytz “There are no reliable statistics about frum divorce rates from the past or the present, so we don’t know whether they are going up or down”

    It should be easy to work out how divorce rates have changed in the frum kehilla. Weddings are all officiated at by a Rov, and divorces are done through a Beis Din. At least with divorces there should be clear records of how many divorces happened in any given year in any kehilla. This can then be compared to the size of that kehilla to give an indication of the prevalent divorce rate. Doing this over many years would show if there has been any change and any trends

    #1363271

    JJ2020
    Participant

    Mamale- children of divorced home are more likely to get divorced.

    #1363320

    Mammele
    Participant

    JJ: you’re right, and I thought about it before my post, yet it’s more complicated than it seems at first glance . My assessment is that “kids of divorce” are getting smarter, getting counseling early on, and actually “fighting back”. (This is from a secular POV. We have some catching up to do in this regard , as our children of divorce have “bigger chips on their shoulders” which likely effects their self esteem. She ironically, IMHO less stigma on the kids can lead to less divorces down the road.)

    Below is part of an article in Psychology Today entitled “Are Children of Divorce Doomed to Fail”. While not statistical proof, I like how the author, Renée Peltz Dennison, examines the issue. (And that she agrees with me…)

    “Overall, recent research paints a more complex picture of the effects of parental divorce on future relationships. It has become clear that simply modelling your relationship off of your parents’ relationship isn’t the only option. Many couples take steps to consciously create their own relationship patterns, and many are able to actually learn from their parents’ “mistakes.” In addition, there are other important marriage role models besides parents. Parents are important, of course, but about three-quarters of the couples I interviewed discussed important and influential marriage models beyond their immediate families—including peers and peers’ parents—that they used to supplement their own learning about marriage, and develop the tools necessary to build what they saw as a successful marriage.

    More and more couples are actively constructing their own paths to relationships, and therefore actively determining their own marital fate. Interestingly, coming of age in a time of higher divorce rates in general may have taught the current generation that marriage isn’t something that should be entered into lightly. In USA network survey, 73% of respondents believed that couples should take at least one additional step (such as engagement therapy) before being granted a marriage license.

    After decades of research, and over a decade of marriage, I continue to work to understand exactly how my family of origin affects my current marriage—but I no longer live in fear of the “sleeper” effects of my parents’ divorce. After studying and talking to many couples who have successfully navigated a path from parental divorce to personal marital success, I am confident that the fatalistic picture of couplehood for those exposed to parental divorce is flawed, and that the “transmission” of negative relationship outcomes is by no means inevitable. The bottom line is we play an active part in constructing our own marriages, and therefore have an active part in determining their success.”

    #1363325

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    If in fact it’s true that the number of divorces is going down in the secular world and going up in the Frum world, it’s probably because the number of divorces in the Secular world is extremely high and the number of divorces in the Frum world is relatively low. It’s much easier for someone whose grade average is 50 to improve than it is for someone whose grade average is 99. In fact, it’s very likely that the one with a 50 average will improve and the one with a 99 average will go down.

    #1363326

    Lilmod Ulelamaid
    Participant

    Also, in the secular world, less people are getting married officially, and you can’t get divorced if you’re not married.

    And I would imagine that the ones who don’t get married are more likely to be the ones who would have gotten divorced.

    In a world in which marriage is not the norm, those who actually do choose to get married are a rarity and much more likely to be the type to stay married.

    #1363787

    Enough Divorces
    Participant

    Mammela, we can logically assume that children from divorce homes are more likely to learn from their parents mistakes than to merely copy their parents patterns of behaviour, in the same way that most people naturally learn from their past mistakes and its consequences.

    On the other hand, children from dysfunctional homes that their parents have not gotten divorced but have also not worked out the issues between them, are more likely to get divorced from their own marriages, as they may tend to copy their parent/parents behaviour while not having the advantage of learning from the consequences of divorce, unlike children from actually divorced homes who have likely internalized that learning experience the hard way, like you noted.

    #1363968

    JJ2020
    Participant

    Some people use bad experiences to grow. However overall it has a negative affect otherwise it would be better to be safe and parent so your kids could learn not be be like you. Obviously that’s not right. Being a good parent in a good marriage gives kids a higher chance than having bad roll models.

    #1364882

    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    Regression towards the mean. It’s math

    #1365122

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    I have yet to discover an instance in which someone contracted HIV via technology.

    I believe that a syringe and devices used for blood transfusions are both forms of technology.

    (Yes, I know that’s not what you meant…)

    The Wolf

    #1365131

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    The Chareidi rate is about 2%.

    I’d love to know how you came up with that figure (assuming it wasn’t just made up on the spot).

    The Wolf

    #1365159

    Haimy
    Participant

    This is the claim of Dr.Schechter of Bikurcholim of Rockland County. Google Dr. Schechter frum divorce study.
    Regardless of the numbers, we know it’s going up by us & going down by the educated secular.

    #1365171

    blubluh
    Participant

    What exactly does “divorce rate” refer to? The term “rate” suggests a relationship to time (the the number of occurrences over a specific amount of time as in per year, per month, etc. So, an increase in the “rate” of divorce would mean there are more divorces over the same time period than in earlier surveys.

    That’s not the same thing as there being more cases of divorce among certain segments of the population than others. It could even theoretically include a revelation that more divorces take place during one season of the year than in another, no?

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