Abusive marriages

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    What resources are available to an impoverished woman who is married to an abusive man & is seeking to get out of it?


    Call Shalom Task Force. All calls are totally confidential. The hotline number is 888-883-2323 or 718-337-3700.


    Shalom Task Force hotline is at 718-337-3700 or visit online at http://www.shalomtaskforce.org. They are the best. As their ad says, “It hurts to call a domestic abuse hotline, but it hurts more not to.”

    There are also shelters. Call for help

    I got this from an article by Ohel: OHEL’s Domestic Abuse Program offers a range of completely confidential services from private counseling, weekly support groups, to safe dwellings. All services are free of charge. Our telephone number is 718 851-6300. Please ask to speak to our intake coordinator where you will find a sensitive individual who will take your information and refer you to our department. You will then receive a call from one of our counselors directly.


    Illogicgal, DO NOT think too much about it. PLEASE make the call immediately and allow yourself to be helped by people who really care.


    May I be a little rude. Are you 100% sure that this is the case? Different parties both male and female can play as if they are the poor innocent victim.

    Question 2: Is abusive physical, mental, emotional, something else.

    If there is physical abuse, then he should definitely be warned and stands to suffer severe potential damage.

    If the others are the case, are there any potential possibilities of help, like therapy.

    Beis Din nad/or a local rav may and should be able to help as well.

    I do have a bit of experience in the field, so please don’t take my comments as “abusive”.


    fable, first things first and that is to get away from the abuse. The Shalom Task force knows exactly what to do and how. They know what to ask and know how to handle any given situations. Please leave it to the professionals to know and understand what they need to do. And give credit to the victim to have the courage to ask for help.


    fabie: Well said. There are many fools who wish to destroy Yiddisha marriages, when mostly they can be saved.


    Thank you for the info. It is not for me. I will pass on….And I am personally aware of the facts involved in this case.


    As I live in E”Y I’m unfamiliar with The Shalom Task Force, and as so I can in no way pass judgement about them. My comments regard those who listen to one side, and sometimes do more harm then good. I could give examples and write specifics, but I am also crystal clear that there are unfortunately numerous cases of actual abuse.


    When one listens to only one side you still can’t take a chance. Of course you can’t push for divorce, etc. and you wouldn’t want to have the achrius, the best advice you can give someone is to hand them the phone number of an organization such as Shalom Task Force who can help them out. If they are truly in trouble it is up to them to make the call. If they don’t make the effort to help themselves, there is truly nothing you can do to help them.


    Fabie and Tmb. May you never know the hell and gut turning feelings, of being the first on the scene,the bloodied and bruised innocents, the hollow stare of an emotionally destroyed victim, the sick private reality system, all precipitated by a dangerous sociopath. This is beyond the skill set of your average rov, and average bais din. I knew and know broad shouldered rabbonim whose bailiwick is the sordid and sad, dark side of human interface with halacha, and they had no hesitation to call the msw’s and the crisis counselors. These people are ‘standing between the living and the dead, to stop the mageifa’.



    Al Taamod Al Dam Reiecha – If someone is in danger, or we have any reason to suspect they may be, or claims to be in danger – our #1 priority is to take them out of danger. Act first, ask questions later. And fabie, if you will excuse my saying so, this is not the right place to ask those questions. We don’t want to know who and what and where and why, we want to help.


    Aries -“Of course you can’t push for divorce, etc. and you wouldn’t want to have the achrius”

    Not everyone is as honest as you. My divorce was caused by an outsider pushing it. She even convinced my ex somehow that she was emotionally abused. There are a lot of evil people out there.


    May I be a little rude. Are you 100% sure that this is the case? Different parties both male and female can play as if they are the poor innocent victim.

    You don’t need to know 100% in order to reccomend that someone seek assistance. I and I’m sure most other posters cannot make that determination but the are trained professionals whose job it is to make that determination.


    We need to define “Abusive”, some define an abusive relationship when the husband does not earn at least $100,000 a year.


    Ragachovers Assistant:

    I never in my life heard anyone call that abusive.

    Rather some men rationalize that this is their wife’s problem rather than admit they are abusive.


    Some signs of abuse:


    Let’s take some of the absurdity – mentioned right above – that goes for “abusiveness” by some of today’s cottage industry that pushes for the breakup and destruction of families – divorce.

    Mood Swings –

    Viola! He has “mood swings” he is abusive. He is sometimes happy and then all of a sudden something saddens him? Mood swing. Divorce!

    He promised to clean out the garage — week after week after week after week — and never came through? Abusive husband! Divorce.

    This is some of the drivel that passes off for abusiveness today by the haters of the institution of marriage, that wish to destroy families and innocent children by promoting completely unnecessary separation and divorce.


    I won’t get into the clinical specifics of abusive marriages; it’s not my field. But as a matter of legal services, the community pays woefully inadequate attention to the matter. There are many good honest people caught up in horrific family situations. Those issues might include domestic violence, drug use, a spouse or fomer spouse who is no longer religious, dead beat parents who don’t pay child support and myriad combinations of those issues and others. One common denominator among all those people is that they desperately need legal representation, and unless they are very well heeled or have parents who are of significant means, it isn’t available. (Remember the old joke where a prominent attorney says he wouldn’t be able to afford his own services? That’s what I mean. The cost of the legal services to really help these people is that high.) People are suffering much more in these situations than they need to because they cannot avail themselves of the legal services that might alleviate some or most of the difficulty. Attorneys, who are willing to do their part, cannot however afford to represent too many people for free; as they are called upon to do. They have families as well as staffs who have families etc. But, as a matter of trying to do their part would be willing to discount their fees to help some of these people. We in the frum legal community, especially those of us who specialize in family law, have long noted this problem and are dumbfounded by the complete lack of community response to it.



    TMB: Straw man fallacy.



    Good point! I pulled this list off a site, which I shouldn’t have done. Usually though, when there is abuse, the abuser matches multiple of the signs, not just one or two.

    Mood swings doesnt mean becoming saddened about something, but rather flying into a rage about nothing.

    As for actions dont match words: This is such a classic symptom of an abuser. And it’s certainly not as simple as a an instance of failing to do something he promised to do.


    TMB, broken promises means a lack of respect. A lack of respect for a wife is a sign of emotional abuse. Please do not make light of a very serious subject.


    Health, I am very saddened by your situation. That is why professionals need to get involved to weed out the unsolicited advisors with the wrong advice! Women are very vulnerable beings especially when they feel unloved. If they do not feel beautiful and they do not love themselves they may fall into the trap of not feeling worthy of being love. This might not be on a conscious but on a sub-conscious level and therefor might feel unloved and vulnerable to an outsider’s influence such as in your case.

    I am not about to guess what happened nor am i trying to pry into your situation. I am simply saying that people should not mix in other than to advise others to seek professional help and do whatever is necessary to make their marriage work especially if there are children involved. In today’s disposable society too many couples give up too soon thinking that there is someone else out there that will be a better mate. Unfortunately once they get what they think they want they are very sorry that they made a rash decision and would take it back if they could.

    For those meddlers who carry the achrius of broken marriages on their backs, Hashem has no intention of allowing you to unload it nuch 120. You will have to face him with your din v’cheshbon and all the achrius it carries and face the onesh you deserve.


    Flowers – I’m quite certain if you take every relationship out of context you could get those results. Honestly, it takes two to tango, you really need to know what and why these things are happening.

    Yes going too far is definitely a dangerous sign!

    He promised to clean out the garage — week after week after week after week — and never came through?

    Hay you’ve got me on this one, but no reason to rush to divorce for this alone.

    Agree here as well, on both sides though. Abused women tend to be abusive as well, to both their spouses and to their children.

    Here are some of steps in how to deal with most situations.

    1. Speak openly to your spouse about your suffering and lack of satisfaction. Never expect immediate solutions or immediate agreement. Learning to solve problems together is the best solution. Don’t run away just because he/she may be annoyed by what you have to say. Don’t hold anger in. Try seeking simple advice from those both of you respect. Don’t play the get even game, or lets play fare game. You forget to say hello nicely, so I will do the same. Each person should concentrate on their own giving and rules. Communicate difficult issues when the times are the most favorable. Both are in a good mood. No children crying in the background, etc. If you feel you are being abused, try respond with favorable deeds. Look for positive feedback from your partner, and then go with it. Never get family members involved.

    2. If 1 doesn’t work, ask your spouse if their is anyone he would suggest that might be able to solve the previous issues.

    3. If he/she still refuses ask if he/she would be disturbed if they saw someone agreed upon for support.

    4. Finally, if none of those work, seek help by yourself.

    That’s my rant for now.


    BTW Twisted, I have quite a lot of experience in this field, and have seen plenty of true abuse. Unfortunately, many of the actual cases of true abuse never get taken care of since the person being abused becomes accustomed to it. I remeber in a class we had for foster parents, their was a case of a child who said, “they missed the iron, which the father used to iron their back with.”


    What about abusive wives and mothers, usually those with Borderline Personality Disorder? I suspect it’s MORE prevalant among frum Jews than abusive husbands. These are the sweet women who are the nicest friends, neighbors and relatives and the nastiest “momsters” at home. They usually show all 10 symptoms above, but since they’re female, they’re to be pitied, “understood” and pampered. Their husbands, usually softies, are made to feel like garbage no matter how successful, and being among men, they don’t have the outside support abused women do. If you recognize yourself here, read “Stop Walking On Eggshells”.


    tryingmybest: Those are examples of normal marital conflict. Abuse is different. When an abuser is described as having mood swings – we’re talking about being really sweet one minute, hitting her the next minute. Abuse is not “why didn’t you take out the garbage”, it’s things that are not appropriate to write on yeshiva world.

    Actions don’t match words – we are talking about psychopathic behaviors. Why don’t you look up the definition of sociopath and abuse.

    I have a close family member who litigates divorces in the yeshivish/heimish community, and he says that 95% of divorces are the fault of the man. I also heard a big Rav saying the same thing. While yes both sides can be at faults, we have to be practical, and rescue women first, find out the facts later, or we risk losing and ruining many lives.


    Please, if someone asks for help from an abusive spouse, don’t question if they are being abused. Give them information and help and let professionals sort out the details.


    Fabie, you’re confusing shalom bayis problems with abuse.


    pascha: That litigator is hardly acting Jewish. And his statistics are figments of his vivid imagination. The chutzpa for him to even claim such absurd figures. Real Jews speak to rabbonim, not “litigators”.


    “I have a close family member who litigates divorces in the yeshivish/heimish community, and he says that 95% of divorces are the fault of the man. I also heard a big Rav saying the same thing. While yes both sides can be at faults, we have to be practical, and rescue women first, find out the facts later, or we risk losing and ruining many lives. “

    I don’t know who your family member is, but I’ve been litigating such cases for quite a few years. That figure is completely wrong. Like the rest of the world, most frum divorces happen due to mundane things like loss of affection between the spouses, incessant arguing and disagreements, and are not generally the “fault” of anyone.


    Aries- “That is why professionals need to get involved to weed out the unsolicited advisors with the wrong advice!”

    Oh, professionals were involved. This person was bashmutzing me way at the begining, when my wife still loved me. The last counsellor we went to, I didn’t like so I didn’t want to go back. I got my wife to agree to go to someone else. Then this person came along and convinced her that if I wouldn’t go to the one I didn’t want to, then I was playing with her and she shouldn’t go to anyone else. The one I didn’t like wasn’t our first counsellor, we had been to a few prior. My point is that even though there are men who abuse their wives, there are women who abuse their husbands. I don’t think it’s only 5% like a poster said. Also, there are many women who cry wolf. Let’s say a woman wants out of the marriage, but they want to win in court, sometimes if they use the abuse card, they gain a lot more than if they didn’t. And unless the man has good representation, they can convince the judge. Some men can’t even afford any representation like Cantoresq posted!


    ok, so first, speaking with rabonim, was also told it is 95% fault of men. what can we do. they are militants all over the world. some are immature with strong control needs etc. with no fine midos, good healthy upbringing, emotional maturity issues – it can be a disaster. BH I am in a great marriage, but was helping a close friend in an abusive marriage. I called Shalom tast force myself, so she doesnt have to go thru it. Thye gave me a list of telephone numbers of resources, and I did the leg work. took forever to rach people, voicemails etc. bh didnt have to put her thru that, only to find out – all resources said they could NOT help, some were unsure even why their number was given. I called back Shalom task force, they couldnt offer anything else. time for them to refreh their resources and do a serious Bedek Bayit before investing in ads in paper! I tried to contact their director, Rabbi Schonbuch, after asking friends for favors to get me his numbers. He did not return my calls. He seems busy with a paying practice, why would he care about a suffering woman in real need? I was dispapointed. I am saying 100% Emes, hoping to save tzaar to next person in dispair.

    Ohel Story – called them. receptionsit had no clue who to refer me to, took messages. i called several times, and once reached higher person who said they apologized, but recent hires were temps who really didnt know how to help. meanwhile reached one of their social workers, thru personal contacts, again 9going thru regular channels brought zero success and tons of frustration) and he was nice and said he would want to help, but tachlis, got zero help from him too. situation was real.

    the one who saved the day were Sister to sister, and some good people in the community who offered her shelter. was a scary story. still davening for her, but now bh she is on her own. she struggles to feed her kids (doesnt qualify for foodstamps), anyone who can offer food assistance, or other financial assitance, please let me know.

    teachers said kids behavior has improved drastically since separation. BH.

    Still davening for her. long way to go. now lets see the rabonim in bais din waive their fees for her. where is the jewish heart???

    Hope you find this helpful.


    Health, you seem to have an extremely bitter divorce. Don’t try to stop people from helping others because of your own experience.


    SJS and msseeker: right.

    TMB: He is a Rov who also helps with legal aspects. I used the word litigator because of the legal aspects.

    Cantoresq: I don’t know what area of divorce you deal with, but many divorces are not as peaceful as you are describing.

    Professional: Thank you for supporting my figure, I have heard it from more than one source.

    And Health, I’ve heard enough men whining about their terrible wives who put food on the table, raise the children, suffer abuse from their husband until they realize they can’t save the marriage and it’s hurting their children as well, and then these men try to turn their children against their mother and gain custody in order to “win”. It’s your job now to PAY CHILD SUPPORT no matter how unfair life is.

    A divorced man – can remarry very easily, and have a happy family. If you fixed whatever went wrong in your first marriage. It is MUCH harder for a divorced woman, they are left with nothing. Even if it was her fault, you can manage. She is suffering much mroe than you are.

    So get therapy for whatever issues caused the divorce, and remarry, and stop blaming her for ruining your life.

    I am sorry that the rest of the CR has to read this, but this is the truth.


    And health – even if your wife did abuse you, the fact that you are “bashmutzing” her the first chance you get, does not show that you learned the lessons from your first marriage.


    A good counselor is like a good shadchun and a good shidduch. You have to keep trying till you find the right one. A good counselor is going to side with the Marriage and not with one spouse or another. If a counselor sides one way or another it is time to find another counselor! No counselor should be biased in either direction and should always be working to save the marriage! If either spouse is uncomfortable the counselor should refer them to someone else. That is a sign of a good counselor because saving the Marriage is the goal not giving points to either side for being right. So the basics would be what can either side do to make the marriage work and what are both sides willing to do to make changes in the Marriage to make it work.

    And BTW that goes to any RAV you go to as well. Both sides should be equally right and equally wrong. The mediator should be able to see each issue from all perspectives.


    Hay you’ve got me on this one, but no reason to rush to divorce for this alone.”

    If you can say this you have zero understanding of abuse, nor are you familiar with any real abuse.

    Maybe I got you on this one because you think women are stupid and worthless too.


    msseeker Suggested “If you recognize yourself here, read “Stop Walking On Eggshells”.

    I am the spouse of someone who suffers from & with a BPD mother. I read the book

    And when you read it you will learn among many other things

    1)That you are unfortunately not alone, According to one of the coauthors 65000 people have revolved trough her web community from its founding in 1995 to the publishing of the book in 1998.

    2)That there is not much you can do to help, you cannot change the patient. The will to get well must come from the patient.

    And yes there are times when divorce is the only option such as in those case where there are children.

    3)That there is a dearth of clinicians who understand the illness (at least at the time of writing)

    4)The legal ramifications, custody, property, false accusations etc are horrendous and there too few lawyers equipped.

    To see the American Psychiatric Association’s criteria go to



    SJSinNYC- That’s the problem with most people, you read into things. Where did I ever post, people shouldn’t help out abused women? Don’t ever become a judge, because your emotions will cloud the truth!

    Brooklyn Yenta

    aries, you’re assuming that the couple involved are having run of the mill shalom bayis issues. when it’s NOT the case, but where abuse is happening, keeping the marriage intact is NOT the priority, but keeping the abused party safe IS. people tend to forget that not every marriage is meant to be. as frum jews, we believe that the torah contains our blueprint for life. part of that is the institution of gittin. a good therapist will not do what’s best for the “marriage”, but for the people involved.


    Also, there are many women who cry wolf. Let’s say a woman wants out of the marriage, but they want to win in court, sometimes if they use the abuse card, they gain a lot more than if they didn’t.

    Health, those are YOUR words.

    This post was started by someone asking how to help a woman in an abusive marriage (whether its her or someone else is not important). Then you chime in about your bad marriage and how women use abuse as a tool…that is INAPPROPRIATE on this thread.


    PB -Your posts are so outrageous, I don’t even feel they deserve a response! But I’ll answer this one- “even if your wife did abuse you, the fact that you are “bashmutzing” her the first chance you get, does not show that you learned the lessons from your first marriage.”

    Please show me anywhere in any of my posts I said anything negative against my ex! Where did I say that I was abused? Also, why don’t you learn halachos of LH? If you can’t possibly know who the person is -it’s not LH.





    msseeker -Fabie, you’re confusing shalom bayis problems with abuse.

    Yes, this is exactly my point. People tend to exaggerate, and miss the fine line.

    Sam l Am

    According to rabbonim I’ve spoken with, 95% of failed marriages are due to the wife. Many women are spoiled from feminism these days. They expect “equality” and want to wear the pants in the house. And then with the divorce they demand all sorts of things that are halachicly not entitled to under Jewish law, like alimony, child support, custody, and what not.

    They frequently falsely play the abused wife tactic. They shed crocodile tears of “emotional” abuse, etc.


    mseeker & I are referring to Borderline Personality Disorder

    Bipolar Personality Disease is totally different illness even though they share an acronym



    I’m going to agree with Sam here (Say! I like green eggs and ham! I do! I like them, Sam-I-am!? :-), even though I don’t know anything about the percentages (and just from what I have seen). The wife has to commit to the marriage, and from what I have seen in some examples, it is a loss of that commitment from the wife’s side that causes a divorce (Even if the husband did something not right, it doesn’t mean a divorce is required or even recommended). That is yet another reason why a couple needs a Local Rov.

    If there is even a hint of abuse, a professional should get involved. That DOES NOT mean the couple should get divorced, etc. but to make sure that everyone (including the children) are safe.

    You wouldn’t eat something that is probably Kosher, why would you not at least check out possible abuse.


    sometimes the “cause” for a failed marriage is the male partner, sometimes its the female partner, probably in most cases it is both, sometimes the problems can be worked out, sometimes they cant. sometimes the wife exaggerates or lies about the husbands behavior, sometimes the husband does, generally they both have some hand in this. weve heard people from both “sides” generalizing all cases from their case.

    the original poster received her answer and seemed satisfied with it. this thread is offending a number of people.

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