Can a man be STUCK in a marriage?

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    Ok. I’m finally speaking up. If one isn’t happy in a marriage and their spouse is refusing to see a marriage counselor. (the Rabbi is powerless to encourage the wife) What should one do, especially since there are children? Should one be a tzadik and say this is what Hashem gave me, saying, I guess my chelek in life is to suffer, but to stay “married” for the sake of the children or should one end it and hope to get remarried and raise the children somehow.


    Question: Does the wife agree to accept a “get”? If not….then there is a major problem. Even if the wife does not want to see a counselor consult a rav.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕


    If you’re capable of doing it, the kids will probably be better off.

    If you’re not, they will probably be worse off.

    There’s no way anyone here can know…


    As iacisrmma was saying, a wife has the right to choose to continue the marriage even if the husband wants to divorce her, thus making it prohibited for the husband to divorce her. (Assuming the husband is an Ashkenazi.) This right was granted to her by Rabbeinu Gershom. Of course the husband has the same right to choose to continue the marriage even if the wife wants a divorce from him. But in that case he has that right directly from the Torah.


    You will only get a useful answer from someone who knows your situation well & can remain objective about it. Please try to find a qualified person to help you in your difficult situation.
    It would be reckless for me to offer my personal opinion not knowing you. There is a sholom bayis hotline which has helped people in similar situations, Google sholom bayis hotline.


    Shtika, why is the husband unhappy?

    The little I know

    Yes. And women can be stuck in a marriage, too. There is no gender issue with this – there are people who just won’t end a marriage, for any of a variety of reasons. Haimy noted quite accurately that there is only a little discussion of this topic in general terms that is worthwhile. It will not accomplish much for someone reading and wondering about him/herself, or someone close to them who may be in such a situation. I am no fan of medical advice on the internet, but this has even less value.

    There are marriages that linger on in misery. Discussions don’t help much. And many don’t progress in therapy because of the deep resistance that some may have to change. And there are marriages that just cannot succeed because of the chemistry. Some people learn to live with adverse situations, while others cannot tolerate it.

    People consult with rabbonim all the time, and some are capable of giving advice in this area while others (with the best of intentions and massive scholarship in Torah) are unable to be useful. There are times when the status quo won’t budge until there is the equivalent of brute force. One party moves out, consults with a beis din, takes a lawyer, etc. The result is most often a more bitter situation than before, and the sparring over kids, money, etc. can escalate. Sooner or later, these marriages do end, after lots of money has been spent on the haggling (beis din, toanim, lawyers, etc.)

    Here are a few generalities. Specific advice or direction needs to come from a thorough picture of the case from someone experienced and trained.


    Having been in your situation ( I am remarried, BH happily) I can tell you that there is plenty I wish I had differently, I am sure you are not blameless.
    Many people feel divorce and remarriage is the answer, but there is plenty of misery in the divorced/remarried crowd.
    I can tell you that I found the Garden of Peace to be tremendously helpful. I adopted the philosophy during my divorce and have seen tremendous hatzlocho since then. In addition, I used the philosophy from day 1 of my second marriage and I credit it with my success.
    That said, my advice is like this. If you are a tzadik, and you can keep the tension in your house to a minimum and it isn’t affecting the kids then stay, because even in a relatively friendly divorce like mine, the kids have issues.


    I think daas yochid hit the nail on the head. If you can stay in the marriage and remain a good husband and good father and continue to grow spiritually then it may be a good idea to stay together. If on the other hand staying married means the kids growing up in a disfuctional family that could be worse than divorce. You can speak to people and get advice but that will only get you so far. Rabbaim will give their advice but no one knows the situation like you do and no one knows your abilities like you do. Finally no one cares about your kids like you do. So you have to keep the best interest of the kids in mind. Also be really honest with yourself and your own abilities. This could be very hard to do. Also keep in mind if you are being abused you shouldn’t live like that and that may be another reason to leave. But don’t kid your self divorce is hard and messy and if you have kids you’ll probably always have to deal with your wife. Also get your finances in order.


    I haven’t read 4 comments awaiting moderation………………………..
    I am a family law attorney (I’m not looking for your business and don’t practice in NY or NJ)
    Speaking from decades of experience, staying married for the sake of the children usually harms both parents and the children. Children above the age of about 4 know when their parents are not living in harmony. The kids end up walking on eggshells trying not to show favoritism and end up with many psychological problems.

    The fact that a spouse doesn’t want to go to marriage counseling doesn’t mean you shouldn’t seek a therapist to help you make the marriage work or make your exit as comfortable for the family as can be.

    I can honestly say from experience, and I practice in a state that requires marriage counseling before a divorce can be granted, marriage counseling hastens divorce far more often than it saves a marriage.

    eli lev

    READ this book : The unexpected legacy of divorce by judith wallerstein


    Shtika, a husband in that situation should immediately acquire the Garden of Peace by Rav Shalom Arush and read it from cover to cover. It is an invaluable guide, and has a lot of important things to say about divorce as well. Many, many people attest to having completely solved their (seemingly insolvable) shalom bayis problems after implementing the book’s advice. It may sound too good to be true — trust me, it’s not.

    A husband can think he’s simply with the wrong wife, but then soon after he begins earnestly implementing Rav Arush’s advice, her behavior and attitude appear to completely change. Similarly, a man in that situation may divorce and re-marry, thinking at last that he’s found a suitable wife, only to discover that she acts just like his previous wife does (and now he still has to interact with the previous wife all the time as well to coordinate things and make decisions for the kids.)


    Yytz- that could work in many cases. However in cases of abuse it’s not the victim’s fault. They could change all they want and it’s not going to help. Sometimes there are people who take advantage of others. Like good guys who read garden of peace and try and do the right thing.


    Go for counseling, even without your wife. Perhaps you can get advice on how to improve things to the point that she would also be willing to go. If you give the image that you are simply suffering through the marriage, then you have no hope of bringing closeness between the two of you.


    Thanks to all who responded, I feel better already.. Special thanks to mensch 1 for rabbi arush book recommendation. I have the book by never got around to it.. But I definitely will now… I basically felt divorced from my wife for many years now, being treated as a slave not caring about me at all. Always feeling a need to control me, etc… I hope the book helps. Thanks again


    The wife has some kind of an issue and feels a need to constantly control me and tell me what to do in a very condescending manner.


    If the children are old enough to be part of the discussion, they should be. Of course they shouldn’t be making the decision, but it affects them, and they should be allowed to know.


    There are people who are stuck in marriages bc even though they are being mistreated they feel like it’s wrong to get divorced or they are better off in a bad marriage than being alone or they won’t be able to find someone else. Once you know you’re being a good husband and doing your best and it’s still not helping the answers might be divorce. Sure it’s horrible but some times horrible things happen. It’s also horrible for kids to grow up learning how to be a a parent from someone who abused their spouse and from another who takes the abuse.


    To the OP: in some communities there are support groups for people in this situation. They advertise in local publications every so often. Some people find this very helpful.

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