Divorce in the jewish community

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    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    LB- +1. No, your story is not unique. There is a reason why people get divorced, although not every case is the same and there can be different levels and types of abuse. Some are not as bad as yours, but some are worse. And no one really knows what is going on with anyone else, even if they think they do.

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    In terms of the miracles, it is only out-right miracles that are a problem, the type of miracles that are not going to happen to you no matter how much you daven, so you have nothing to worry about.

    I think the issue is brought up in the Gemara in reference to a man whom a miracle happened to and he was able to nurse his baby (I don’t know the details, but I guess his wife must have died and he was desperate to feed his baby). Nothing like that is happening to you, so you have nothing to worry about. When “miracles” happen to you, take it as a sign that Hashem loves you. That’s what I do.

    And always daven. You don’t lose out by davening. It is a Mitzvah to daven (and not just to say “I’ll be happy with whatever Hashem sends. We are not supposed to think that way – we are supposed to daven!).





    Halevai! How would you know? Did ask my wife and children?! 😉

    The Truth is hard to hear, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

    Iirc, I mentioned my post to an older yid and his response was an affirming grunt.


    Every annoyance becomes and is

    is turned into, abuse

    according to how much

    smaller your goals and destiny

    Since most are unwilling to admit thus..

    Enough Divorces


    I don’t know all the details of your personal experience. However, from the facts you provided, I’d like to comment that things are not as black and white as you tend to portray it. There is usually not one abuser and one quiet sufferer. If the silent spouse would communicate better with the ‘abuser’ spouse, and work things out (even if not equally fair), then most probably the ‘abuser’ spouse would not be yelling. I know of marriages where one spouse is very aggressive, and the other spouse learned how to accommodate him/her and they are very happily married with no yelling at all. So, please don’t paint one spouse totally white while painting the other totally black.

    If we believed more in the sanctity of marriage and that Hashem gives everyone different nisyonos, then there would be far less broken homes and far more happy and stable marriages.


    Enough Divorces, well said

    Furthermore ,a well developed spouse more often could if he/she desired [that’s the key word] channel the ‘abuser’ towards an effective positive use

    But who’s wants to bother, right?

    Skip those therapists and social workers[one of my brothers is one]

    Avram in MD

    Enough Divorces,

    There is usually not one abuser and one quiet sufferer.

    How do you know?

    If the silent spouse would communicate better with the ‘abuser’ spouse, and work things out (even if not equally fair), then most probably the ‘abuser’ spouse would not be yelling.

    Yeah, and if only people would not have wallets, then robbers wouldn’t mug them. Stupid victims.

    I know of marriages where one spouse is very aggressive, and the other spouse learned how to accommodate him/her and they are very happily married with no yelling at all.

    There is a big difference between an aggressive personality (i.e., direct, confrontational, let it all out) and abusive behavior. The former is an attempt to communicate, the latter is an attempt to control.

    If we believed more in the sanctity of marriage

    I believe deeply in the sanctity of my marriage, therefore I do not yell at my wife. Just like I do not throw my tefillin on the ground in a rage. There are some things that we just do not do.


    ITFD and ED, it seems clear from your posts that you are not speaking from experience, but rather from surmise, assumption, and confirmation bias.

    I understand. That’s how most of us approach things we don’t understand. We reach back to opinions and perspectives that are self confirming.

    I can tell you with absolute certainty that children DO NOT benefit from a couple staying together when there is a poisonous relationship between the parents. And even when it is less than poisonous, but still negative, the children see and hear and learn from what goes on. If you think staying married “for the sake of the children” is justified once steps have been taken to repair the marriage without success, please don’t involve yourself in any marriage issues. You’ll do more harm than good.

    As for the notion that an external individual can accurately define abuse in a marriage, the notion is strange. Clearly there are legal definitions of physical abuse, psychological definitions, financial definitions, but there is also coercion, blackmail, badmouthing the other, intimidation, deception, abusive language, passive aggressive language, and a myriad of other elements that can potentially constitute abuse, depending on the context. AND NONE OF YOU KNOW THE CONTEXT UNLESS YOU HAVE LIVED IN IT.

    As I have written here before, divorce is awful. If it can be avoided, if a marriage can be repaired, steps should be taken and counsel sought be it through a Rav, a therapist or a family member to save it.

    But when it can’t be saved, even two good but imperfect people need to learn what can be learned, change themselves if they can, as no one else, no one, can change them externally, and they need to rebuild their lives, for their own benefit, and for their children. What the people gazing over their hedge or talking about them in shul or when picking up kids from school think about it is irrelevant, uninformed and either malicious or fearful.

    Are you gazing over hedges?

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    Yichusdik & Avrum in MD +1,000

    and thank you! (on behalf of everyone who is in a bad marriage or who managed to get out of one).


    “I can tell you with absolute certainty that children DO NOT benefit from a couple staying together”

    While it’s better that the children grow up in a peaceful environment, is it better that they be raised in a quarreling environment with a higher standard of living or one with a lower standard of living and possibly in foster care but peaceful.

    How did these arguments start? Someone said something that offended the other and the other responded with something that offended the first person.Tactics such as verbal judo can defuse

    the situation. Likewise reminding them how much they loved each other when they were first married may help save the marriage.

    Almost every marriage can be saved if help is sought early enough. It maybe hard to realize they have a problem until it’s a full blown drawn out argument . By which time they are fighting without really having a reason. Like the Hatfields and the McCoys.


    Yichusdik & Avrum in MD +Infinity!

    Thanks lilmod ulelamaid for saying it first and offering thanks too!!!

    …..To anyone who thought that I was offering a black and white picture, Ooops, sorry I failed to mention all the things that the non-abusive spouse did over the years to make things work. The food was terrible so the person learned how to cook different types of food, all according to the person’s desires and none were ever good enough. The house was never clean enough so the person would come home from work to a house full of children and clean. The children took up too much time.

    There are many things that are inappropriate to add here too.

    The person spoke to the abusing spouse kindly, at a different time, not at all, when requested, through a family member, it goes on. It’s maddening to figure it out because there is nothing to figure out about this case of irrational behavior. What worked was staying far away.

    This is my family that I am talking about. My parents. I love them. Each parent has strengths and weaknesses. Being separated from each other allowed me to appreciate each as a person with unique qualities. Baruch Hashem.

    No one goes into a marriage G-d forbid expecting or wanting to divorce. My parents married after only a few months. They moved to another country. Isolation from social support. Obviously the parent that was abusive does not think that anything is wrong with the behavior. I know better thank G-d. My parents are divorced. Both of my parents had a parent die when they were teenagers. May my parents live to 120 in good sweet health with long days with blessings always B’esrat Hashem with Hashem’s loving-grace.

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    LB + 1,000!

    I feel bad that you have to put up with all of the ridiculous and insensitive (albeit well-meaning) comments, and I would argue with each one, but I have no koach right now. I am glad that you are able to speak up and that others are as well.

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    Apparently the post that my post was in response to disappeared – not sure why.

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    It’s back, and better than before! Thanks LB!

    Glad you put in the addition. I’m especially glad you wrote this, “I know better thank G-d. My parents are divorced.”

    That is one of the reasons to get divorced (in some cases). For the sake of your kids – so they will know better and not do a repeat performance, IY”H. Thanks LB.


    Which one is missing?

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    It came back – I guess you must have been editing it, because it seems to have an additional paragraph.





    it could possibly be you’re[plural] suffused with a mite little ne’gius?

    Trust me,almost everyone has had family members [or themselves] who have gone through more or less identical scenarios

    And still….


    Lol! Thanks, I thought that I was losing my marbles. Do they still make marbles? Those things are dangerous. Bouncy balls are too but alas they are too much fun.


    It’s good that we don’t have to live with each other.


    Of course, ITFT I have negius. My point is that without negius the elements and assumptions that have been thrown around here are rank speculation. You might be able to overcome the hedge gazing, but you still won’t have a true understanding of the circumstances unless you (or a parent or child or sibling – and maybe not even then) has lived them.

    Sorry, I respectfully reject your “and still…”.

    Abba S – As I wrote, divorce is not a first choice. As I also wrote, communications is the key to a good marriage. I am convinced, though, that there are few circumstances if any where considerations of a higher standard of living or other considerations are more important than not living in a poisonous, warring, and unhappy home environment.


    All I know is that people who follow daas Torah have less divorce than those “frum” who don’t. Also those that don’t start their life in kollel but rather work and get extra stressed also tend to have more divorce, working too much also causes divorse as the wife feels overwhelmed, we have to remember all that we have comes from the ONE ABOVE and not overly work or exert ourselves and cause extra stress.


    No thanks, Karlbenmarx. I try to follow my ancestor the Mateh Efrayim. He was able to be a posek, support the learning of many, be an example to the holy community of Brody, AND build and run a very successful lumber business. He was able to make plenty of time to learn and to teach, but He never contemplated “not working too much” or thinking to “not overly work or exert ourselves”.

    Ein somchin al hanes, neither in parnoso or in relationships.


    LU: “I think Person1 has a point. All these posts from several posters about how abuse is not abuse if it’s not physical and how people should stay in bad marriages, etc, can be kind of dangerous.”

    If that was all I would have let it pass (though that’s dangerous too) but he went as far as saying that our past glory was gained by tolerating (or encouraging) abuse:

    “Furthermore, In every glorious community,kehilla,country ,empire

    that people look back nostalgically, there were were many who were stepped on and were abusive to some.

    Froth all you wish ,but it was through those means that greater glory was gained for all”

    and than he said women might be ok with (or fond of?) being abused

    “Ponder please this also

    Which books-

    for women ,

    are some of the hottest bestsellers in recent years?

    Those which females are being abused?!

    And women seem to be unable to get enough!”

    I’m rereading (and pondering) the last quote again and again maybe at some point it’d seem less crazy.

    The little I know


    Sorry to bust your bubble, but there is no “protection” from divorce among the kollel community. That perception is plainly inaccurate. There may be divorces that are being withheld by advisers who believe they are accomplishing something with their guidance. But it is simply untrue. Survey the therapists who work exclusively in the frum community. Check out the rabbonim who sit on batei din that specialize in matrimonial issues. Inquire from toanim who work chiefly with divorces. Your presentation of facts is plainly fictional.

    It is not a kollel lifestyle that keeps families intact. It is not Torah knowledge. It is also not the trend to avoid professionals and seek guidance only from rabbonim. There are abusive men/women in the kollel community as there are elsewhere. There is a mismatch (a.k.a. bad chemistry) in every community. College education, secular training, attending and following daf yomi, levush, number of hours scheduled in the beis medrash, or even prominent family names are all unrelated to the conduct of a marriage or its failure. The true issues are midos, degree of consistency between someone’s potential and their actual pursuit of success, and the honest level of spirituality. The Torah true baal haboss is more likely to manage marriage well, while the kollel guy who is only following a trend of refusing to pursue a career is less likely.

    I enjoy the “junk statistics” that people spout to make points. The conclusions are reached first, then the numbers (usually fictional as well) are painted around them to give an air of legitimacy.

    There is a story of a talmid of Rav Chaim Vital ZT”L who passed away. He appeared to Rav Chaim in a dream, inquiring of him why he was given a portion on the next world that was most unfavorable. He claimed he was such a scholar, taught Torah and Kaballah to so many, was meticulous in his mitzvos, etc. Why was he thrust into a negative space. Rav Chaim responded that all his wonderful Torah achievements were obliterated in the face of his home behavior. He conducted his home and family life like a tyrant, being abusive to his wife and children.

    I would gladly want to believe that the Torah community fares better with shalom bayis. But the concept you cited of adhering to Daas Torah (altogether nebulous and vague) does not jive with the experiences of those who deal with the problems on a constant basis.

    If you choose to respond, please offer a bit more detail on what it is that comprises the Daas Torah that supposedly makes a difference.

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    Person1 – true. And the last line was kind of sick. And certainly not true in my communities.


    Oops rewind please: I pray that Hashem’s Will is my will.

    I pray that that my family, including all of my children and in-laws never are tempted to do anything that will cause their spouse to contemplate a divorce.


    yichusdik -“As I have written here before, divorce is awful. If it can be avoided, if a marriage can be repaired, steps should be taken and counsel sought be it through a Rav, a therapist or a family member to save it.”

    Well said – I agree!


    TLIK -“He conducted his home and family life like a tyrant, being abusive to his wife and children.”

    The implication is that men are the cause of divorce!

    IDK if that’s what you meant, but I know that a lot of people think that way!

    It could be the fault of the woman, without guilt of the husband.

    And in my case, it wasn’t either my or my wife’s fault, but of others that got involved!

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    Health – TLIK was talking about one particular case. In that case, it was the husband’s fault. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t cases in which it’s the wife’s fault.


    “The implication is that men are the cause of divorce!”

    Health I am sorry that you experienced a divorce so close to home.

    I cannot speak for the other posters, but I can say that I did not take it as only men are abusers.

    The issue is that sometimes men have more of a reputation in a community as being upstanding, so the point here is to say that being a mentch in public does not necessarily make one in private.

    It is possible that the wife may be a tyrant in the home. Even so, with men having more control over finances and more opportunities, unfortunately men who are abusive get a pass in society. Even Trump is out there awaiting Presidency come January.

    Yes and sometimes it is not the wife or the husband. Others that get involved may be the instigators. That includes in-laws too. Which is super unfortunate. Dunno.

    Health: A blessing for you…

    May you marry your zivug sheni b’karov, if you so desire.

    The little I know


    A few comments beat me to the punch. I was reporting a specific case. The message, which you seem to have missed, was that the external presentation may be quite good, while the internal truth can be much the opposite. As I noted, the correlations for marriage are not those of external appearances. I also know of women who appear to others to be righteous, but have a very different truth. I was challenging the notion that the “Torah” community is more immune to failed marriages and divorce. That is actually a fallacy, but it does feel good until waking and facing reality.


    LU -“Health – TLIK was talking about one particular case. In that case, it was the husband’s fault. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t cases in which it’s the wife’s fault.”

    It was obvious. You must have missed the part when I wrote this:

    “but I know that a lot of people think that way!”


    TLIK -“I was challenging the notion that the “Torah” community is more immune to failed marriages and divorce. That is actually a fallacy, but it does feel good until waking and facing reality.”

    And I wasn’t disagreeing with that point! After all, the town I live in is called Fakewood.

    But, you obviously missed my point!


    The Moderators did an excellent job with your subtitle Health!

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    I would gladly want to believe that the Torah community fares better with shalom bayis. But the concept you cited of adhering to Daas Torah (altogether nebulous and vague) does not jive with the experiences of those who deal with the problems on a constant basis.

    The relatively low percentage of sick people also doesn’t jive with the experiences of those who work in hospitals.


    IMHO that comparison doesn’t parallel

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    Please explain why people whose professions are to deal with problems have any more insight about the prevalence of the problem in terms of percentage than anyone else. Do they have statistical studies which we don’t?

    I think the analogy is apt, and it is only natural that someone’s perception of how prevalent something is is colored by their experience even without objective evidence, whether the problems be emotional, physical, mental, or shalom bayis.


    I met someone who told me that before she got divorced she was very judgmental of people who got divorced.

    It’s been my experience, though in less serious matters,

    that I often end up in the same situations as those I’ve

    been judgmental towards. Something to keep in mind…


    To follow through on DY’s analogy- these professionals may not be able to tell you the % of the problem within the general population, since the population they deal with is obviously skewed, but within the population that they treat, they can tell you the break-up. Hospital workers can tell you how many of the sick are male, female, or belonging to a certain age group. Likewise, people who deal with divorces might have a good idea of what % of those come from kollel backgrounds, etc.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    WinnieThePooh, they can say the breakdown of who they treat, but they cannot say how that reflects on the overall percentages.

    For example, if someone practices in Lakewood, they will likely see a higher percentage of kollel people than someone who practices in Teaneck and vice versa. There are non geographical factors that can skew it as well.


    DY, given the absence of hard statistics and evidence here, and the overabundance of anecdotal assumptions, I will retain the perspective that the numbers on divorce in the chareidi community are concurrent with any other community where social and religious conformity are prioritized. (Mormons, Amish, conservative Muslim, strict Catholic). I’ll leave it to others to speculate as to why that would be.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    I guess you don’t think that living according to the Torah gives us a healthier ability to relate to people than does living according to some other system, l’havdil.

    I very strongly disagree.

    Enough Divorces

    To Lightbrite and many other posters here.

    Divorce is a complicated sugya, since intimate relationships are complex. Of course there are cases where one spouse is so difficult to deal with that it may be almost impossible to live with. However, that being said, the fact still remains that most marriages are workable through the proper attitude and the right communication skills.

    Since there are cases where divorce may be warranted, therefore any spouse seeking divorce can easily (and will) justify himself/herself that he/she is from that minority, and will also portray his/her spouse as being from that minority, whether true or not.

    The general public has also become more sympathetic to divorce, and many therapists easily encourage it (with the approval of rabbanim who merely rely on the therapists), so therefore it has become socially and psychologically easier to divorce. So rather than going the harder route of putting a sincere effort to work things out, we are seeing many people with workable marriages opt for divorce, which explains the dramatic increase of divorces in our community.


    Are we not a traumatized people?

    There are objective research studies that show how intergenerational trauma and chronic stress affect the current generations.

    Hashem gave us tools in addition to Torah. Are you saying that your madrigal is so high that all anyone needs for a healthy relationship is complete emuna? Do you not eat?

    When there are interpersonal struggles in your life do you forgo communication with anybody always and turn only to Hashem and is that a solution? Because if so then why give us material Yidden the time of day when you have real life to elevate?

    Even rabbonim today say that no one in this generation is on the level that all we need is emuna and Hashem will clothe, bathe, feed, and heal us. We need histadulus.

    That includes therapists, doctors, acts of kindness to spouses, open channels of communication, and all the other ways that one can use to become a kli for brachot.

    You have every right to disagree. However to imply that Hashem backs this opinion is a way to bypass and opt out.

    Permission to deny granted.

    Still doesn’t mean that yichusdik doesn’t uphold the Torah.

    Was it Rashi or Rambam who was a doctor? What he didn’t think that Torah was enough? Shall we lift our noses up to him as well?

    IMHO Living in a Torah community doesn’t have to mean that family problems are swept under the rug. Do we do that for Hashem or for our own egos?

    Being proactive and fostering healthy relationships through teaching and counseling could give the Torah the kavod it deserves. Why not?


    The point is, DY, that what I think about the chareidi community’s abilities, what you think, what anyone thinks is less relevant to the discussion at hand than hard facts and statistics, if they are available. So, I did a bit of research.

    a 2012 study in Israel concluded that the divorce rate of charedim was about 1/3 that of non charedim. (Greenberg, Buchbinder, Witzum)

    Jewish divorce rates in general as reported in the US and Israel have fluctuated just above and below 30% in the last 20 years. So this would indicate a Chareidi divorce rate of around 10%, possibly a bit less.

    From what I could find about the groups I mentioned, Amish divorce rates stand at about 0.3% (Barna) (do you think that chareidi rates are lower than that?)

    Mormon Divorce rates were 6% in the late 90’s (Heaton, Goodman) so they could be a bit higher now. Still this is low and in line with what I wrote.

    Muslim divorce rates (for all, not just conservative) were higher than 30% in the US but about 10% in countries like Egypt and Turkey, which while conservative, are not as much so as Saudi Arabia or Iran. Also in line with what I wrote.

    Divorce among Catholic regular churchgoers was about 14%. Higher than the indicated Chareidi rate, but not incomparable.

    So, DY, should I not believe my lyin eyes?


    Enough Divorces: Understandable and thank you for your voice

    It would be nice to have people work on their relationships.

    I wonder if being in a closed community also has benefits in that there are limited options or socially acceptable ways to just move on and find a new crowd. In Israel it’s def harder to get away. So maybe that forces people to live with each other and face themselves.

    In the secular US, it’s easier to escape the world you grew up in at least in some way. That helps for someone who lived with abuse.

    At the same time, if the individualsame who got away with abusive behavior had to be accountable or else, perhaps cases of abuse wouldn’t become so severe.

    Perhaps there would be positive character reformation where the labels wouldn’t even apply in the unfortunate way that they are used today.

    Even in the way that I’m using them.

    Since this thread can go on and on, what positive things can we say here to inspire us and make this an uplifting thread beyond the hardship we’ve shared and discussed?

    This morning I thought about how if one keeps going and improving oneself then in time the right relationship will be ready where someone will also want to put in the same work that oneself is investing.

    Knowing about divorces is motivation to be committed to continually working on relationships.

    Thank you for reminding us that marriages can work with mutual and consistent gratitude and effort 🙂

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    LB- Unless I missed something, I don’t think that anyone said that one shouldn’t go to therapists. What was said was that a truly Torahdik person should be LESS likely to end up in the situation that he will need to get divorced.

    It was a relative statement. While in theory, there should be a madreigah that everyone gets everything from the Torah and would not need therapy and no one would get divorced, we are not on that level as few people are completely Torahdik. But relatively speaking, the more Torahdik someone is,the LESS LIKELY he is to come to a situation of needing a divorce. But it doesn’t mean that it can’t and won’t happen at all, and it may even be common.

    Also, while I agree with the basic idea of what you are saying, I don’t agree with the way it is phrased. Part of believing in the Torah is believing that there is NOTHING besides Torah. If going for a therapy is the right thing to do it is only because according to the Torah it is the right thing to do.

    Also, the only therapy that would be appropriate is therapy that is based on Torah ideals. That doesn’t mean the therapist necessarily knows what Torah is or realizes that his ideas come from the Torah (he could be a goy or a not-Frum Jew although it is better to go to a Frum Jew if he is just as good). Someone told me that Rav Matisyahu made the following comment on the concept “Chachma bagoyim taamin” (we should believe that there is wisdom amongst the Goyim): Of course there is wisdom amongst the goyim; they got it from us.

    If you study psychology, most of the names of the researchers are Jewish.

    In any case, there is nothing but Torah. Anything good in the world comes from Torah.

    Lilmod Ulelamaid

    ps: It was the Rambam who was a doctor. He became a doctor because he needed a parnassah after his brother died and couldn’t support him anymore.

    ☕ DaasYochid ☕

    Divorce rates are not only about marital harmony, they are also about societal pressure to stay married.

    I would guess that in those societies with lower divorce rates, there is more stigma attached to divorce than in chareidi communities.

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