May 9, 2017 8:23 pm at 8:23 pm #1273244
Can anyone advise if they think I should bother taking my wife to a Beis Din? Little background, in Mar ’16, my baal tsuva religious wife said she wanted a divorce; which I disagreed with. We’ve been married 28 years, have good health, 3 pretty good kids & do well financially. I go to shul on shabbos and learn a little, but I’m not religious. Our Rabbi referred us to a sheila Rabbi in Lakewood. The sheila Rabbi questioned my wife and concluded no one would order me to write a Get. But then he said I’d be crazy not to because I shouldn’t have to be married to someone who doesn’t want to be married to me. We then went to a religious Jewish marriage counselor for a 2-hour session. This Rabbi was good because he probed every allegation against me; which there were many going back 25+ years. The marriage counselor properly concluded I was a good guy and we should try marriage counseling. As an illustrative example, I’d be accused of threatening my wife’s life because I own guns and I’m an Army veteran of several wars. The counselor would ask if I ever mis-used my guns. My wife would say no, but he could because he was in war type of thing. At this point, I thought it was settled that I didn’t have to write a Get. My wife then took me to Bais Din Maysharim in Lakewood. Big mistake. BD Maysharim was supposed to rule on whether I had to write a Get. Instead, they first told me I didn’t have to write a Get and no one would force me to. But since they tricked me into signing a blank-scope arbitration agreement, BD Maysharim verbally told me that if I didn’t write a Get, they would bankrupt me. To top it off, BD Maysharim never issued a written ruling. We both think we won at BD Maysharim. The arbitration agreement with BD Maysharim was mutually cancelled. Today, at my request, Beth Din of America, in NYC, has agreed to hear my wife’s request to order me to write a Get. I don’t think there’s any way BD of America will order me to write a Get. But after my experience with BD Maysharim, I’m not so sure. Does anyone have an opinion on whether I should proceed to BD of America? Or is it a lost cause because I’m not religious & she is? Is it enought that the shaila Rabbi said no one would order me to write a Get? Also, can anyone refer me to someone who represents people in front of Beis Dins? ThanksMay 9, 2017 8:34 pm at 8:34 pm #1273255JosephParticipant
How was the arbitration agreement with BD Maysharim legally cancelled?
Why don’t you want to give a Get (assuming your wife separated and refuses reconciliation)?
You initiated the case at BD of A and your wife agreed to accept your choice of that BD? Why’d you choose BDA? What makes you think they’re better than Maysharim?
How long ago did your wife become religious? Why haven’t you become religious? Are your kids religious?
What’s your end goal?May 9, 2017 8:46 pm at 8:46 pm #1273264
Joseph, I’m just not religious. I wasn’t bar mitzvhd until i was 40 and in the Army. I believe the Arbitration Agreement was mutually cancelled b/c it was legally deficient, i.e., blank scope & none of the Beis Din members were lawyers. I don’t want to give a Get b/c i want to try marriage counselding & stay married. I assume BD of America would be more like our sheila Rabbi & side w/ me; but I don’t know that for a fact. My wife became religous about 23 years ago. I’m fine with it. She buys expensive sheitels, we send our kids to yeshiva, israel, etc… etc… Kids are all religious; including 2 who are black hat. End goal is to get into marriage counseling with the Rabbi/counselor who thinks i’m a good guy & marriage workable. I’m really trying to find someone who represents people and knows how beis din work. ThanksMay 9, 2017 8:46 pm at 8:46 pm #1273267YW Moderator-29 👨💻Moderator
Didn’t we do this already?May 9, 2017 8:50 pm at 8:50 pm #1273269yytzParticipant
First–and I mean this quite seriously–drop everything, buy the men’s and women’s version of Rav Shalom Arush’s shalom bayis book The Garden of Peace, give the woman’s version to your wife, and both of you read and implement the book as if your life depended on it. This book truly works wonders and has saved many marriages. If you do this you won’t have to read on to number two…
Second, think about what you’re doing. You’re “not religious,” but you want to use the weapon of withholding a get to force your wife to stay with you?
I don’t know your situation, but in general it’s highly unethical to refuse for years on end to give a get when the wife is disgusted with you and is not going to change her mind. Many halachic authorities would say it’s required to give a get under such circumstances.
You want us to help you manipulate the halachic system by forum-shopping so you can prevent your wife from leaving or remarrying? Why would we do that? The Torah tells us to free the oppressed. Even an “unreligious” person can understand the enormous moral value of that.
Just because something is not legally required (according to some opinions) doesn’t mean it’s the ethical thing to do.May 9, 2017 8:51 pm at 8:51 pm #1273271
YW Moderator, yes, on the causes of the divorce; which i’m trying not to go into. But “no” on finding someone who represents people in front of Beis Dins. I’ve searched & talked to numerous people. Can’t find anyone. ThanksMay 9, 2017 9:01 pm at 9:01 pm #1273274
YYTz, I tried getting my wife to read “The Jewish Way in Love and Marriage,” by Maurice Lamm. She didn’t agree with it; especially the part about clearly defined roles. So I highly doubt another book would help. But thanks anyway.May 9, 2017 9:19 pm at 9:19 pm #1273277yytzParticipant
Trust me, this book is completely different. Don’t worry whether she will read it — regardless, read it yourself (the men’s version, called Garden of Peace.) It is amazing. Simply by following the advice of the book you will likely find that your shalom bayis problems are soon over and she is no longer requesting a get (even if she never reads a word of the woman’s version.) The same has happened to many people. It may sound too good to be true but it is not — I am 100% serious. Hatzlacha!May 9, 2017 9:25 pm at 9:25 pm #1273289GadolhadorahParticipant
After 27 years of marriage, statistics show a very small likelihood that counseling will resolve issues of the sort your describe. Nor do you need another Rav to advise you on the Halacha governing your fact situation since you seem reasonably well informed from the Rav you have previously consulted.. You and your wife are fortunate that you both sound rational, are not vindictive, have loving children and have the resources to move on with your lives as two separate individuals (and perhaps meet new partners). Give the get and begin the next chapter of your life. You are both “youngsters” and ‘by’h will have many healthy and satisfying years ahead of you. Much hatzlacha in whatever decision you make.May 9, 2017 9:44 pm at 9:44 pm #1273299
Withholding a get is cruel.May 9, 2017 9:46 pm at 9:46 pm #1273306
RebYidd, it was already decided on another thread that one person can’t unilaterally walk out of a marriage.May 9, 2017 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm #1273341
It doesn’t sound like you have much of a marriage.May 9, 2017 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm #1273337zaltzvasserParticipant
Hey, Lenny. I read your story and I empathize with you. I see that you’re a committed person. You might want to explore what makes you so committed to your wife. Do you love her? Are you very attached to her? Can you simply not imagine life without her? The answer may be all, both, or none. No matter what it is, I’m sure you want the best for her, and you want her to be happy. Now jump into her shoes. And no, I’m not going to say that you should divorce your wife because you love her. But try seeing this from her point of view, for a second. Why does she want to get divorced? Has it become too hard for her to merge your two very conflicting lifestyles into one marriage and home? Does she feel unhappy? Does she feel that you don’t love her? What’s preventing her from going to counseling? Is this post too long to be moderated? Can you fix any of the things that are bothering her? It may be too late, if those things have been bothering her for 27 years and nothing was done, even if she didn’t tell you that something was bothering her. I don’t know you, so I can’t tell you if it’s too late. Only you and your wife can say. Right now it looks like your wife isn’t interested in reconciliation. She wants a divorce. You want a marriage. And although (again, I don’t know you, so I’m not saying anything for sure) marriage, in a non-abusive case, is usually the way to go, it’s hard work. It sounds like she’s not up for that.
So where will you go from here? You have two options right now: Divorce or Don’t. Divorcing will leave both of you (yes, your wife too) lonely and searching for a new identity to replace the long-held one of “husband” or “wife.” It’s hard. Don’t, in most cases, leads to either reconciliation- which is not going to happen if your wife isn’t interested, since the same way one partner cannot unilaterally walk out of a marriage, one cannot unilaterally stay in a relationship- or it could lead to the following situation: Both of you will be lonely and searching for a new identity (sound familiar?). Alternatively, you’ll keep the “husband” label, and your wife will shed the “wife” label and change to “agunah.”
Obviously, I’m just guessing at what would happen since- again- I don’t know you. But ask yourself: What do I want? What do I need? What does she want? What does she need? What’s a good, practical solution so that we can peacefully move forward?
One more thing: As a fan of working it out through counseling, have you gone for therapy yourself?
Good Luck and may Hashem give you the wisdom and strength to make the right decision.May 10, 2017 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm #1273584yichusdikParticipant
Please consider giving the get and moving on. Marriage is a partnership. If one partner doesn’t want to be a partner anymore, you don’t have a marriage, you just have collective responsibilities.
One more thing. You can’t change her (and she can’t change you, though she doesn’t seem to want to. She just wants to leave) Only she can, and she’s expressed pretty clearly she isn’t interested in changing her mind or stance. So you are banging your head against a wall again and expecting a different result. That doesn’t seem to be rational.
Whether you convince her (which I doubt she wants) to go to therapy together or not, I agree with zaltzvasser that therapy is a good idea for you. And I would say that considering her religious observance a religious therapist would be good for you two if you go together, I think you can find a good therapist for yourself beyond that milieu. Hatzlacha!May 10, 2017 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm #1273590
You can’t have a real marriage with someone without their consent. (At least not in America or any democratic or free country.) The most power you have here is to create a zombie marriage that will stop your wife from ever remarrying.May 10, 2017 3:20 pm at 3:20 pm #1273677Avram in MDParticipant
I think cultivating a relationship with a rabbi – not just a one time question type of interaction – is very important. A rabbi who knows you well can help guide you on the proper path for your personal circumstances, and can likely provide counsel with respect to your case before the beis din.May 10, 2017 6:00 pm at 6:00 pm #1273720mentsch1Participant
I agree with the recommendation to read Garden of Peace
There is a chapter on divorce.
Since I read the book, and since I am divorced and remarried. I truly believe that the only way to stay married (assuming that is what you want) is to follow the guidelines in that book.
Basically, once a woman decides she doesn’t want a guy, you can’t force her to be in a relationship. Usually holding on tight will just make her run harder.
Read the chapter, and live the book. I did and I have had nothing but good in my life since I adopted the philosophy.May 10, 2017 8:15 pm at 8:15 pm #1273779Lilmod UlelamaidParticipant
Mentsch1, Avram, Yichusdik, GadolHadorah, YYTZ , RebYidd, and Zaltzvasser +1!
Lenny, please listen to all of these posters – find a Rav, go for therapy, read Garden of Peace, and most importantly don’t force someone to stay in a marriage against her will.
Hatzlacha!May 10, 2017 8:15 pm at 8:15 pm #1273776Lilmod UlelamaidParticipant
it was never decided that it’s not cruel to withhold a get. In fact, the majority of the posters agreed that it was cruel.May 10, 2017 8:15 pm at 8:15 pm #1273774
I just want to say the quality of responses on these boards beat goin to any counselor any day of the week. I agree w/ what everyone is saying. I just wanted an official decision saying i didn’t do anything materially wrong to justify the divorce. But then again, like the posters on here are saying, when one person wants out, the reasons don’t matter. So I’ll probably skip going to a beis din for a decision. I just ordered The Garden of Peace book. Thanks again for everyones input.May 10, 2017 8:52 pm at 8:52 pm #1273792The little I knowParticipant
Avram in MD:
Whoa. Not just any rabbi is a good assistant or wise counsel for a beis din, and not just every beis din is good for any rabbi. There is a matter of experience in the subject, and the knowledge about how specific rabbonim and batei din work. The rabbi that “knows you well” might possess many great talents and skills, but that does not guarantee that he has what it takes to give the best guidance when involved in a beis din. I am personally talented in several areas, but I cannot perform surgery or play violin. You are certainly correct in drawing attention to the “knowing you well”, but there is a particular skill set and other variables that are equally relevant.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.