November 7, 2011 2:37 pm at 2:37 pm #600389
I know there have been many posts here about divorce and all of the negative aspects surrounding it. The thing is, there has to be a time when it is necessary. So, the question is, how do you know when it is time? At what point does one say that it is better to be apart in peace than to live together in constant friction? Yes, there are two children involved – who I love more than anything. Obviously, being the father and knowing that custody is rarely given to our gender, I am scared that I will be compelled to have very little to do with them. I am also aware that broken homes are very hard on kids. However, to live in a loveless marriage for the next 20 years or so is a horrible thought. I just don’t know what to do. We have tried therapy (of course, everything is my fault) with little results. We have tried to work on it but it always comes back to the same few things that neither one of us seems to be able to get past. I feel like I would lose everything and she would come out playing the victim and still making me miserable for years to come. I just don’t know what to do. HelpNovember 7, 2011 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm #825753bptParticipant
Wow, what a tough spot to be in.
Without knowing the specifics, I would say the time to bail out, is when one (or both) of you is no longer willing to try.
As long as one of you is willing to try (and the other is amenable to the effort) then there is still hope.
Loveless marraige? That takes time to build, so I’m not sure if you can say you’ve hit empty till you’ve been working at building the realtionship of at least 5 years.
Is the parnasah situation something that needs to be looked at? That might be a sore subject, but one that could be a game-changer.
” Same few things that neither one of us seems to be able to get past”
Again, not sure what this is referring to, but everything (well. almost everything” can be negotiated.
See if you can summarize the “things” into a single sentence per thing (not here, between the 2 of you) and see if you can tackle one point at a time.
Either way, think long and hard before jumping ship. Its a very cold and lonely world out there, and one that does not forgive mistakes. Try to fix your marraige, whatever it takes.November 8, 2011 12:56 am at 12:56 am #825754EzratHashemMember
You need to get help asap, the coffee room is not the right place.November 8, 2011 3:55 am at 3:55 am #825755am yisrael chaiParticipant
“We have tried therapy (of course, everything is my fault) with little results.”
Please try individual counseling with someone you really respect.November 8, 2011 4:24 am at 4:24 am #825756
If standard therapy did not get you past the road blocks and the issues that keep coming back, then maybe you should try a Life Coach who is trained to get people passed road blocks and reach their goals. In coaching we believe in holding our clients accountable. So when you say “everything is your fault” sarcastically, are you willing to admit that you do have fault and are you willing to be accountable and take responsibility for your part of it? If yes, then there is still a chance. Because if YOU are then maybe a Life Coach can get your wife to see where she is at fault and get her to be accountable as well. A coach can also show you how to let go of the small stuff and keep your eye on the whole picture, the important piece which is the marriage and NOT the issues. If the marriage is the prize then the small little things that you fight about is not worth fighting over and you learn to compromise and let go. Obviously it is NOT so simple but that is the gist of it. Please don’t give up just yet. Try to make your marriage work for the sake of the kids. It would help if you both read “Choice Theory” by Dr. William Glaser.
I will give you an example. I have a client who tossed something to her husband and he blew up and chased her around the house. She swears she tossed it, he swears she threw it at his head. They are looking at the same incident from two different perspectives. She may very well have tossed it “to” him. But something in him triggered a memory or an incident where he saw the item coming at him and he honestly believed that she threw it “at” him. No matter how many times they go over the scenario he swears she threw it at him. How do they resolve this issue?
I told them both that it is not what she did that caused the blow out, it is what he perceived that she did that caused the problem. Since they now both know how he will react if she tosses/throws something at him consciously or sub-consciously so she should choose a different action. She should either choose to take a few extra steps and hand him things or put it down next to him. Or just put it down and tell him where she put it. It really had nothing to do with her. If someone else would have done it like his brother, he might have reacted the same way. She had to choose to work around his issue and he had to work on his issues and not react violently towards his wife no matter what. They each have to unlearn bad behaviors and learn different behaviors, keeping in mind that the marriage is the most important part of their lives and everything they do has to be for the benefit and strengthening of the marriage.
They each had a responsibility in the fight, they each are accountable to the marriage and they each have to choose to make the changes that will benefit the marriage and their relationship.November 8, 2011 7:37 am at 7:37 am #825757tahiniMember
Aries, what an insightful post, just wanted to thank you!
working on it, so sorry to hear of how you feel. A trained caring therapist ( not always easy to find) might help, especially by focusing on what can unite you as a famiy, putting personal obstacles to one side, sometimes total agreement is not possible. Compromise can be a good thing.
Thinking of you and wishing you and your family well.November 8, 2011 8:03 am at 8:03 am #825758old manParticipant
Ezrat Hashem is right. Get individual therapy ASAP. Don’t get it here.November 8, 2011 10:28 am at 10:28 am #825759
If one thrapist didn’t work, try another. I know of people who failed by a few therapists until they got the right one. Anyhow, ending it would be discussed with a professional, as well.
Even if your behavior is offsetting the situation, both of you will need consultation. It’s possible to love someone who has a tough disposition. You just have to learn how to understand, and relate to, him. Not every therapist will focus on this. It is a more natural response to address the behavior that is being perceived as aggressive (or whatever the issue is) directly. Being that it won’t change overnight, a better approach is to learn how to deal with it, and how to appreciate someone who is working on it.
I really hope I don’t come across as condescending. Sorry if I do.November 8, 2011 10:49 am at 10:49 am #825760NotABochurAnymoreParticipant
There is a story which can be found in the book “Dear Son” by Rabbi Goldschmidt (which is an excellent and very practical book, BTW). I will summarize it here but it is worth reading first hand in the book itself. A man once came to speak to the author about his failing marriage and to discuss the prospect of divorce. Rabbi Goldschmidt asked him if there are children involved and was told there were. Rabbi Goldschmidt then said that there is no option of divorce where children are involved and that more work needs to be done to better the marriage. The man protested and said that “listen, it’s better for the kids to not see the fighting. They will end up having two homes. two birthday parties, two chanukahs, two everything. it isn’t pleasant but better than the status quot”. Rabbi Goldschmidt brought him a used gemara and explained that children doodle in their gemaros sometimes and that doodling can really reveal a lot about what the child is thinking. The man accepted this notion and Rabbi Goldschmidt showed him the gemara which had some scribbling in it. One of these lines said “one home plus one home equals no home”. The gemara had belonged to a child of divorce and the words expressed his pain and confusion. The man was shocked and went home to talk to his wife. they did not get divorced and ended up working things out and having a beautiful marriage.
I am not saying what your specific case involves, but it is worth noting that children who come from divorced homes generally carry a tremendous pain. Unless one of the parents is being abusive or has severe emotional or psychiatric issues, divorce is a cruel torture for the children that is done out of one or both parents not willing to do what is necessary to work on the marriage. The work is VERY HARD, but necessary and worthwhile when considering the alternative. Please take this into consideration.November 8, 2011 2:26 pm at 2:26 pm #825761
Hi. First I just want to thank you all for the replies. Just to put it in perspective (BPT), we are now in our 6th year of marriage. Yes, parnassah is always a point of contention. I was the sole provider for over 3 years while she pursued her masters. Then she worked part time for a while then was out of work for a year. Now she has started work again (based on the school sched) but she had less than 10 hours of work per week. That itself is not the issue, rather the fact that she constantly complains that I do not make enough money. Meanwhile, I am trying to make my small business grow but it will certainly be a while before I can bring home serious money. She on the other hand is very picky about her assignments and where she will work – the work conditions have to be perfect or she will not take the job. No matter how much I stress to her that we need the money she simply will not “settle” on just any job.
This brings me to ARIES’ point. Maybe a life coach would be the answer, I don’t know. What I do know is that we have been to 4 diff therapists, 1 not frum and 3 frum. None of them accepted insurance and we had to pay out of pocket between $100-$250/hr. After spending $1000’s in the past, I don’t have much faith that the 5th time will be the charm. Additionally, we are running on a deficit of over $1000 a month (since she makes almost nothing at her part time job) and between credit cards and student loans we owe about $80,000. I simply can’t afford to see someone and spend even more money I don’t have.
To all of the posters that say that this is not a place to get therapy – I completely agree. I am just trying to see other people’s perspectives on things because mine is not objective. It would be very helpful to hear from people who have gone through a divorce, what got them to that point and whether it was for the better.
I am simply at a point where I am trying to make it work because my love for my children outweighs my issues with my wife. What I’m afraid of is what will happen if/when the balance goes the other wayNovember 8, 2011 3:43 pm at 3:43 pm #825762yungerman1Participant
Time for a new therapist. If after therapy you come out with the impression “of course, everything is my fault” then the therapsit is not doing his/her job. Aside from the fact that there are several different therapy approaches, (CBT, Analytical, Freudian, Systems etc..) the therapist’s job is to have you and your spouse discuss things and work on repairing the relationship, not focus on where to place blame.
You should never give up unless advised to by a therapist(which should never happen) or a competent Rav experienced in these matters.
Hatzlacha RabbahNovember 8, 2011 4:01 pm at 4:01 pm #825763BTGuyParticipant
No matter how bad things are, I suggest both of you try a little harder. And it is for these reasons: There was a time when you two were obviously very close. Added to that is the fact it is expected after years of marriage and children, that two people can drift apart. That is part of what is to be expected in this, or in the event of where people remarry. It is better to deal with this great difficulty now in this marriage because getting out without leaving no stone unturned does not mean this sort of thing does not have to be dealt with in another, more complicated relationship.
I suggest therapy, but it is said individual therapy empowers the person paying for the session, so beware. Try to work it out between the two of you to regain the connection the two of you had. Individuals need guidance on how to mature with each other. There may be personal things going on that affect each of your roles with each other.
In regard to the title of your post, I would suggest that perhaps you are not feeling it is the right time, or you would proceed. So, get as much rest as you can, try to eat well, exercise (I am serious) dont isolate, daven, and try to work with your spouse.
Hatzlacha!!!!!!November 8, 2011 4:02 pm at 4:02 pm #825764EzratHashemMember
There is an org that operates in Israel called Mesila, however they print materials for the U.S. to help people struggling with debt and finances, take a look at their website. If that is not helpful, you probably need someone with experience in financial advice who can take a look at your finances with both of you and help create a workable plan of financial management.
As for the therapy, I can only say if it were me and I already tried 4 different people, trust your own judgement that this is not the right way, despite the pressure to keep going back to (and paying) more and more therapists.November 8, 2011 4:28 pm at 4:28 pm #825765BaalHaboozeParticipant
Who am I to advise? But you posted here in the CR and I will offer my humble opinion based on the info you provided. You can choose to comment or snicker or maybe even accept. Regardless, whatever you choose to do, may it be with help from Hashem.
In many cases of divorce, there is lack of communication. This leads to lack of understanding, and perception. When a husband and wife talk calmly and respectfully to each other it is the stepping stone for a happy marriage. But talk to each other. Talk calmly and discuss things. Never scream! even if one is angry, express your hurt calmly with control on your anger. If it is a parnassa issue, maybe discuss with a third party. Express what you are feeling and don’t ASSUME what the other partner was thinking. Don’t be shy or embarrassed to say I’m sorry if you hurt your spouses feelings or ego. there are so many misunderstandings in marriage because of lack of communication. And that means to listen to what the other is saying as well. Maybe, MAYBE DO something nice for her out of the ordinary. Buy her a small gift out of love. Go out for a bite. But then express yourself and talk how you want to try to fix the situation. Think and dwell on the love you had for each other by your wedding day, and hold onto those feelings. yes the kids need you both, but so do you two need each other. lastly, and perhaps most importantly, daven and don’t stop to daven.
I wish you both the very best and BE”H you should both be matzliach.November 8, 2011 5:00 pm at 5:00 pm #825766
If you want, you can email me for someone who might be able to help. Though, you’ll have to guess my email address. (It’s not that hard.)
It’s a pity, because the particular issue you mention is very dealable. You would do well with someone who can put things in perspective.
When you spend money, although it is hard, you feel it is worth it in the long run. You can apply that way of thinking to her job, as well. If it is a strongly ingrained Mishegaas, so be it. It’s possible to look past it. It’s possible for her to look past her complaints, as well. It would be a real pity to give up.
You might not need someone with a degree. A seasoned Talmid Chacham is a great person to talk to, to get things in perspective. You walk away enlightened. You can go to both, too.November 8, 2011 6:40 pm at 6:40 pm #825767rcParticipant
be honest with yourself, if money were not an issue, would you have problems? if the answer is no, then you need a life coach and or a financial coach to get you out of this mess. iF on the other hand its just an excuse covering up personality clashes (like she wanted to be married to a Do er and you arent) then all the therapies in the world arent going to fix it. Try and isolate the REAL problem (NOT YOUR PERCEPTION) and work on that. IMHONovember 8, 2011 7:36 pm at 7:36 pm #825768D9Member
There is a book – How to improve your marriage without talking about it : finding love beyond words / Patricia Love, Steven Stosny. Some say it’s an eye-opener.
That said I’ve seen great many divorces. Please believe me when I say it – it is definitely easier to save what you have than to build something new on the ruins. Because the break-up doesn’t give you a clean lease on new beginning. Ruins are always there.
We tend to notice bad things. Naturally. But when a person finds himself in a second marriage, it is inevitable that once in a while he would think: “My previous spouse did this and that (or didn’t do this or that) and it was so nice.” Learn to notice good things while you have them.
Unless you wife has a serious psychiatric (not psychological) problems, I would advise to do everything in your power to save this marriage. Not even for your kids. For your own sake.
I know a woman (not religious, but conservative enough) who is currently married to her third husband. She was the initiator of both her divorces. Her first marriage lasted 9 years, second – 2 years, and the third is over 25 and still going. She has a daughter from her first marriage who had a very hard time adjusting to new “daddies.” After the woman lived with her third husband for a number of years, she told her daughter that if she had known how it would be with other husbands, she would have never divorced her father in the first place. Her last marriage looks most successful (over 25 years vs 9 and 2) not because she found the perfect husband, but because she realized that there is no such thing.
Hatzlachah and lots of koyach to you.November 8, 2011 7:56 pm at 7:56 pm #825769
Working on it, you are not married all that long and finances seems to be your major issue. Here is an eye opener: If you can’t make it work on your income as a married couple you can’t afford a divorce. It will cost way more than living together with combined income. Having said that, what is the solution?
How much do you understand your wife or women in general. That is a key component in building a happy and successful marriage. Since you can’t afford another therapist right now, I am going to suggest very strongly that you both read “Men are From Mars, Women are from Venus” by Dr. John Grey. I would strongly suggest that you read it first and then ask your wife to read it as well. This in addition to “Choice Theory” as I suggested earlier. Firstly it will give each of you a better understanding of the other gender, how they think, what they need, and how they feel. So you don’t have a feeling that it is “MY WIFE” or “MY HUSBAND”. Men and women are created differently. Our brains function differently, our hormones are different and therefore we think differently, we feel differently, our needs are different, and we react differently to the same situation.
Women are frightened when their husbands don’t bring in enough income to cover the bills. Women need to feel financially secure. She might not even realize that she is sabotaging herself and the family by being picky and choosy about her cases. There could be an underlying hurt, anger based on fear. You didn’t say what kind of business you have, but she might be afraid that you will work and work and still not see it grow into anything. She might be getting these ideas from her own fears, or from comments from friends and family.
After reading these books, you might have a better understanding about having a real conversation about these issues. Then there is another issue called Respect and Appreciation. You might feel that you paid for her education and she should appreciate and respect you for that, and you are right. On the other hand are you showing her respect and appreciation for the work she does do and the money she does bring home? Are you showing her respect and appreciation for helping with the finances no matter how much or how little they are?
Respect and appreciation is a key element to a happy and successful marriage. The failing economy has put a strain on many a marriage, but the marriage is the most important element in a person’s life. It is glue that holds a family together, it is the life lessons for the children to follow, it is the chinuch that you teach your children, it is their safety net and their security system. A failed marriage is equal to a dysfunctional family. So what wouldn’t you do to save a failing marriage?
The way to begin is NOT to look at what your partner should be doing to make things better, but to look at what I can do to make this better? What can I do differently to bring about a different, better and successful outcome?
WIT, I believe that you are stressed out and are working hard to build your business. At the same time, your wife is working very hard as well. She is after all a wife, a mother and a case worker. So both of you are working hard and are stressed out. You both need to understand the other’s perspective here. Although you were the sole earner when your wife was in college, she was actually working hard at the time as well. School is hard work, as well as doing it while married and with kids. So lets appreciate that.
At this point you feel it is important that your wife takes on more cases so that there is more income. How can she be compensated so that it is something she can handle? Do you have help at home? Are there responsibilities at home that you can take upon yourself? Can you help more with the kids? Having more cases by day also means more paperwork at night and at the end of the month. How can you show your wife respect and appreciation for making that effort?
On the other hand, what does your job entail? What are the hours for your job? Is there something you can do extra? Can you tutor a couple of times a week? Can you take on a part-time job on the weekends? Maybe if you are willing to do more, your wife would be willing as well.November 8, 2011 7:59 pm at 7:59 pm #825770velvelwolfParticipant
As yungerman1 wrote, there are different type of therapy. I personally suggest “Systems Therapy”. This type of therapy is more straight to the point, and (from my experience at least), has a goal of how many sessions you will go for. Therapists with other approaches may just say to continue going until you’re ‘all better’, whenever that may be. A Systems Therapist should be able to tell you after the first or second session how many sessions it should last. Also, try to find out which approaches didn’t work for you in the past; many times it’s not necessarily the therapist who’s bad for you, rather it’s the type of therapy. So if one approach didn’t work for you, don’t go to another therapist with the same approach. One more thing, if money is the main issue, divorce may make it even more challenging. It may be obvious to some, but I would say that you should always speak to your rav before making such an important decision. If you don’t have a rav, perhaps you know a rabbi that knows you personally. The reason for speaking with a rav is that they can advise you based on the torah they have learned.
Hatzlacha!November 8, 2011 8:11 pm at 8:11 pm #825771bptParticipant
Ok, so maybe you can compromise on the “work” issue:
You put your “business building” on hold, and take a salary job
She starts taking jobs that fit 80% of her requirements, so the $ starts flowing.
OTOH, JL makes a valid point. If money were not an issue, would all else be A-OK? If so, money is not your problem.
Focus on the root, and all the detail will fall into place.
And to those who say “the CR room is not the place to seek advice” I respecfully disagree.
Were we talking about halacha l’maisa or medical advice, I could see your point. But relationships? We’ve been down the road ourselves, so why not share our experiences? Just because we don’t charge $$$ for the service?November 8, 2011 8:32 pm at 8:32 pm #825772
Working on it, one thing I forgot to ask. Does your wife work in one school or in several? Does she work with boys or with girls? All this makes a difference. Not all teachers are cooperative when it comes to services especially for boys. If she goes to more than one destination that means travel (which she does not get paid for) looking for parking (which is not always close to the client) and shlepping her bag of tricks to the appointment. And here is the kicker, they don’t usually call to cancel so you waste your time. What you might consider picky and choosy, she might consider being careful or having been carefully warned about the client.
All these are possibilities that need to be considered.November 8, 2011 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm #825773
Working on it,
What are your wife’s feelings? Does she think that your marriage is on the ropes? Is she talking divorce too? I used to think that my wife and I were headed in that direction based on the way she talked to me and treated me. One day she noticed (from the web browser history) that I was looking at sites about preventing a divorce. She got a lot nicer. My point is that many women talk very emotionally and either are not in control of what they say or they do not understand how their emotionally charged words are interpreted. Like aries said above, read the Mars & Venus book.
I really see aries’ point that women “are frightened when their husbands don’t bring in enough income to cover the bills.” I’ve been w/o real employment for a couple years now, and it’s been really hard. B”H my wife has a good job (pays the bills), but it’s still stressful. Does your wife understand the nature of your business? Can she help? OTOH, if it will take a long time to make real money, then maybe you should switch businesses. Your parnassah is for living. If it does not help you live, then find one that will.
I have to agree that one home on low income is better than two homes on half a low income each. Does she know and consider this?
If you have verbal fights, you should set some ground rules, like no fighting or yelling in front of the kids. That frightens them. One thing I tell my friends who are new parents is that it’s not about them anymore. You have more important things to take care of.
BTW, what do they always say is always your fault? Do they have a point? Is there something that you can do that would make her a little happier?November 9, 2011 4:24 am at 4:24 am #825774s2021Member
How do u know when its time?
When u KNOW.November 9, 2011 5:31 am at 5:31 am #825775🍫Syag LchochmaParticipant
Obviously abusive situations are a whole different ball game.
s2021 – How are you? I have been wondering/thinking/worrying about you often!November 9, 2011 6:16 am at 6:16 am #825776smartcookieMember
Hey S2021! Nice to hear from ya! How’ve you been?November 9, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm #825777mommamia22Participant
I totally disagree with the advice that if money is tough to try to work it out because divorce makes it tougher.
We stay together because we want/choose to, not because we can’t afford not to.
Fights have two aspects to them: the disagreement itself and how we talk about them.
It sounds like you’re having communication issues, not lifestyle disagreements.
I wouldn’t give up on therapy. If you can’t afford private, why not go to a place with a sliding scale fee? They charge by income.November 9, 2011 1:13 pm at 1:13 pm #825778
Working on it,
Don’t pressure your wife (even in the slightest way) to work; let her do what she wants. She will eventually work more, but pressuring her will backfire and create resentment. It sounds that she is distraught already that your business is not bringing home enough money. Try to create a calmer atmosphere. She will respond in kind. Apologize if you have been pressuring her, and make it short. Talking too much about it can lead back down that path of negativity.
If she is working in the public school system, I can understand her being picky. A new teacher/councilor/etc in the public schools often get the least favorable neighborhoods and/or students.
BTW, what is your business? Maybe some of us can offer ideas on how to grow it.November 9, 2011 2:27 pm at 2:27 pm #825779BTGuyParticipant
I want to underscore what Aries2756 said. The book, “Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus” is phenomenal. I have overheard many good things about that book over the years and when I had some time to browse through it, I saw it to be very enlightening and make total sense. Every man should read that book.November 9, 2011 2:31 pm at 2:31 pm #825780vadimParticipant
You’d be surprised how often a psychiatrist can uncover the need for medication for either one of you. Therapy only goes so far, but when a personality disorder is involved, meds can save your life and marriage. And since it’s medical, insurance usually covers the costs.November 9, 2011 6:52 pm at 6:52 pm #825781
Working on it, it seems that we might have scared you off. I certainly hope not. No one is blaming you c”v. Since you are the one that posted and not your wife we are just trying to help you see things from your wife’s perspective and to understand a female point of view. That is not to say that you are NOT entitled to your feelings or that you are wrong, it is to point out that maybe you are both right and that is why you are miscommunicating. You both have valid points that you are holding strong to and that is the problem. If you could each understand that you need to validate the other’s fears and opinions you would be working on a different platform.
Since the husband has a stronger and more powerful presence it is up to him to open a safe dialogue and start to show some level of validation and understanding. The more you demand of your wife the more she will feel used. After all it is the husband’s responsibility to support the family and she is being understanding when she accepts the role in helping out and being a second income or in this case the main income. That is a huge responsibility and not one that a wife wants on their shoulders. Especially if they feel pushed and prodded into it and not respected and appreciated for it. The feeling might be “why should I work so hard while he plays at being an entrepreneur? This is too hard for me, too much responsibility for me. Why can’t he just get a job?” Your feeling might be, “why can’t she support me as I supported her with her schooling?”
Here is the thing. When she was in school, you earned a decent living and it did NOT take away income from the family. YOU were the hero. Now that you are trying to build a business and not working for someone else, YOU are taking away income from the family. YOU both have to be in agreement on that to make it work. She has to be in it with you mind, body and soul. She probably wants to, but is scared to death about the money. And you still have to be a hero. It might be hard to always be the hero, i am sure that it is and hard to live up to, but a wife needs a husband to be a hero, a wife needs to feel that a husband will always protect her in all areas including financial security.
On the other hand, she feels that it is NOT her job to bring in the big bucks. She might not even like what she is doing and therefor it is a huge sacrifice for her. If that is the case how do you make this work? How do you make her believe in you?
Do you believe in her? Do you believe in her because she can make money? Or do you believe in her because she is a great wife, great mother, eishes chayil, etc. If you believe in her because she is a great earner, then you are making her feel used and abused and that is tearing down your marriage. If you believe in her because she is a great wife, mother and eishes chayil then you have to make her feel that.
The more you push her to get more cases the more she will feel used and abused. The more you show appreciation and respect, the more she will feel loved and cared for. There is a book that most chassanim are asked to read “The River, the Kettle and the Bird” (?). It explains how a woman is a nurturer by nature and like a kettle she keeps giving and giving but if you don’t keep refilling the kettle it will eventually run dry. A woman will give her love, attention and devotion to her husband willingly and without expectation, but eventually, if it is not returned and not refilled with love, attention, devotion, appreciation and respect, she will run dry and not want to give anymore.
My nephew got married a year ago. My husband asked him what he had learned from his Chassan Rebbe. He replied the 3 A’s, Affection, Attention and Appreciation. Sometimes when life gets tough we forget about these very important top three. We forget to fill the kettle and take things for granted.
Maybe from your perspective you see an amazing woman, smart, intelligent, capable and you don’t understand why she can’t take over for a while as you are building for the future. That is logic at its best. But logic has nothing to do with marriage. Marriage needs emotion, kindness, generosity, security, balance, understanding, effort, etc. What you might see as stubborn and unreasonable might very well be your own stubbornness and unreasonableness to understand the underlying truths.
As I said before, maybe if she sees you trying to take on another job, she will see how much you are sacrificing and she will try to do the same. If she sees how concerned you are about how hard she is working, she will give back to you a little too. If you ask her how you can pick up some slack for her at home if she picks up more cases she will see that you are trying to help her while she is trying to help you and you are not taking her for granted.
So again, you may both be right in what you are thinking and what you are feeling. But here is the most important question that you must ask yourself a thousand times during your marriage. Would you rather be right or would you rather be happy? In many cases you can’t have both.November 9, 2011 8:06 pm at 8:06 pm #825782am yisrael chaiParticipant
Aries, you have such a depth of caring in your post, thank you for being here and for being you.
WOI-the fact that you’re asking the question means you are not there. When you know, you know. Since you have NOT decided it’s time, please change your part in the dynamics however you can (it takes two to tango); individual therapy will help you with that.
Wishing you MUCH hatzlacha.November 9, 2011 9:44 pm at 9:44 pm #825783
Aries: wow! your post is amazing.November 9, 2011 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm #825784cherrybimParticipant
Working on it – What makes you think that it will be any better with a different wife? Just try to make her happy because that’s what counts the most and make the best of your circumstances; I have seen a lot worse. Many women stay home and raise their kids so you should be thankful for any money that your wife earns. Show your appreciation rather than complaining.November 9, 2011 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm #825785pushtayidParticipant
Working on it,
I don’t want to say I know what you’re going through because nobody ever fully understands someone else’s issues but I can say that I went through a very rough time in my marriage that lasted two of the three years I am married. Baruch Hashem, we were able to get through it and we are very happy now. I was at a point where I had no doubt I was going to get divorced and I almost can’t believe I am here saying that we got through it.
The reason I am saying all of this is because I want you to know that Hashem is always there for you and has your best interests in mind. You’re going through a rough patch and that’s what Hashem wants but he does NOT want you to give up. I always quote my Rebbe from my yeshiva in Eretz Yisrael who said “if people knew how hard their second marriage would be, they would never end their first one.” As someone posted before, getting remarried and being happy may be harder than fixing your present marriage.
What I can suggest and what worked for my wife and I was speaking to a Rebbe who is an expert in the area. Regular professional therapy was expensive and did not work. When you speak to someone who is a gadol in torah and has tremendous yiras shomayim, you automatically tend to listen to him. The therapy with him did not cost anything and provided us with one of the most valuable things anyone can ask for – a happy marriage. I would never say it came without work – it was a lot of work on both of our parts but now I always say, you can always stay married to anyone as long as you are both willing to work on it. You just both have to be adults and have the ability to admit your faults and work on them because I promise you both of you have faults. It’s not just her and it’s not just you.
I really hope this helps you and I just want to say that we are all sharing in your pain and hope that it will turn out for the best. Hatzlacha Raba and may Hashem help you in this tremendous Nisayon.November 9, 2011 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm #825786Rav TuvParticipant
Oh you just know. Syag don’t laugh.November 9, 2011 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm #825787Rav TuvParticipant
Actually a different wife makes all the difference.November 10, 2011 12:13 am at 12:13 am #825788
Working on it,
As a guy who has been (and kind of is still) in your shoes, take aries’ advice.
You and your wife both seem to have valid points, but I don’t think that logic is what will get you wife to open up.November 10, 2011 4:38 am at 4:38 am #825789🍫Syag LchochmaParticipant
Musser zoger – you are a riot! But we know you wouldn’t hurt a fly 😉November 10, 2011 7:57 am at 7:57 am #825790
I once heard from a Talmid of Rav Pam Z”L in his name, that when you’re lying in bed and you hear the faucet drip it drives you nuts. On the other hand, if it is raining outside it is a soothing sound, or at least not bothersome. The difference, he explained, is that you cannot do anything about the rain but the sink is someone’s fault.
If you come to terms with the fact that certain things, whether a preference or even a total Meshugaas, won’t go away, you’ll look at it differently. The example here is that if your wife will not take certain jobs, don’t hate her for it. Just view it as a given, and that nothing can be done about it. When making plans take the Meshugaasen into consideration.
When an issue comes up (into your mind), try to think of it in these terms. Try, if applicable, to say to yourself, ‘who said it has to change?’ It’s not a sink, it’s rain. That’s the way it is.November 10, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm #825791mommamia22Participant
If, when it was good, it WAS good, than it might be worth salvaging. Circumstances can change how we behave and make us feel like it will never be good again. Here’s a hard question: are you seeing CHARACTER flaws in her or a response to stress on both of your parts that has the potential to be worked on?
My husband has this phrase “too bad, so sad”. To me it means don’t expect change. You’ve painted a picture of your wife as someone who will play the victim and who will focus on her needs. You did not describe her as a mean malicious person. To me, if a spouse is a mean person who acts cruelly and puts you down, contemplating moving on would be more obvious.
It sounds like you’d like your wife to be less picky with assignments and accept more, but more than that, to bare with you while you work on getting your business off the ground. I married a businessman. I can tell you, what helps is to discuss a time limit, by which time, if it doesn’t show signs of success, you fold and move on. I lived my whole life with businessmen and I can tell you it can be a hard life financially. One week money, the next not. Borrowing…the wife working, working….
I was a latchkey kid. My mother never knew I was skipping first period in high school because I couldn’t get there on time at 13. I was a GOOD girl, just irresponsible. I needed involved parents. Mine were too exhausted to be there for me. What you’re doing is l’maan the family, but it can turn into a selfish persuit if it goes on and on. Set your own time limit. Share that with her. You might find this relieves some of the pressure. Ask her, openly, without judgement, what kind of lifestyle she dreams about (working part time, being home,etc). Try to find a way to work together towards a common goal. It doesn’t sound like she’s on track with you about your business. Was she supportive at all or did the opposition come when the finances shrunk?
A home is only a home if kids see a family. It still sounds like you can work on this and make it so, with the right help. Stay strong. Keep asking. We’ll try to keep on helping.November 10, 2011 3:34 pm at 3:34 pm #825792
With all the great advice over here, I think it’s all for naught. There is more than a trace of narcissism in his posts.November 10, 2011 4:16 pm at 4:16 pm #825794DoswinMember
flowers: That is not the case at all, with the OP here.November 10, 2011 5:57 pm at 5:57 pm #825795FOFFYMember
Look if its going to be easier for your kids if you divorce than go for it no matter what cuz at the end of the day their the ones who matter most. it sounds like they are little and they need to be broughht up without the fighting… to be stable kids.November 10, 2011 7:26 pm at 7:26 pm #825796
flowers, I don’t see that either. I see a person who is hurt, tired and exhausted. Someone who is a bit misguided and misdirected. Don’t forget when a person thinks he is right and speaks to his buddies who all agree that he is right, it is hard to see the other side.
The worst thing a person can do is discuss his marital issues with his friends, or her friends as the case may be. Each set of friends will try to boost their own friend and build their confidence and self-respect by agreeing with them and telling them that they are right. That is the worst thing a “friend” can do unless there is abuse involved. A true friend will encourage a person to try to see things from the spouse’s perspective and come to a compromise.
This terrible economy has caused tremendous strain and conflict in many marriages. It is necessary for ALL to realize this and to see what a nisayon it is. The marriage itself should NOT be the korban of the economy. Couples should understand that they have to do whatever is necessary to strengthen the marriage, circle the wagons to protect it, because it is a great nisayon. A husband should remember how the wife circled him seven times at the chupah. How did he feel then as a chassan? I woman needs to feel her husband circle around her and protect her from all evils. A woman needs to feel safe and secure. That means emotional security, physical security and financial security. Men need to understand that.
A man believing that his wife is “superwoman” does not make her feel good. The woman would rather feel that her husband is “superman”. Both are foolish expectations, but if you have to put it in perspective, superman is a hero, and a woman needs to look up to and respect her husband in all areas of the marriage. When a husband flips that around it throws the marriage out of balance. A husband has to understand that. So if that is a necessary evil, what does HE need to do to make it work and put more balance into the relationship?
My son’s Rosh Yeshiva, when giving a shmuz to his talmidim, always starts his speech with “Before I start, I just want to thank my eishes chayil “name”, for allowing me the opportunity to be here tonight, and spend this time with you. This is her time and she permits me to share it with you.” What does that show you? It shows tremendous respect and hakaros hatov to his wife. It teaches his talmidim that his wife deserves his time and attention and that without her permission and agreement, he would not be available to his talmidim in such a capacity. It shows a commitment to marriage and to spouse. It shows he does not take his wife for granted.
So in a case where a husband, the one responsible to make a parnasah, relies on his wife to bring in the bucks, how does he show his wife respect and appreciation? WOI, that is a question that you need to answer. You are the one that needs to put the balance back into the relationship and see if that makes a difference. WE here have given you tools in which to do that. An excellent suggestion was made. Sit down with your wife and put a time limit on how long you need to make your business work. If it doesn’t take off by that date, then give it up and find a job. That is fair and reasonable. Ask your wife if she is willing to work a little bit harder until that date? Ask her what you can do to help her a bit if she does. Talk things out. Learn to listen to understand. That goes for the both of you. Ask her what her concerns are and how you can help her alleviate some of her stress.
Don’t give up on a marriage because of financial stresses. That is a nisayon that you just have to work through.November 10, 2011 8:40 pm at 8:40 pm #825797
Aries – No, you did not scare me away. In fact, I sincerely appreciate the time you, and many others, have put into formulating your responses. I simply realize that the situation is too complicated to be summed up in a few paragraphs and to receive appropriate advice I would have to provide much more information, which would not only reveal too much identifying info about me but also stretch the attention spans of even the most patient members of the CR. I would like to respond to a few comments though:
1 – if money was not an issue, there would still be a problem. It is more a matter of priorities in life and lifestyle choices to which money problems add an ever-present agitator
2 – I make more money now than I ever did working for someone else so this is not a matter of me playing entrepreneur to “see what happens at the expense of my family”. The problem is that we have to pay for our own health insurance in addition to rent, childcare/yeshiva, student loans, credit card bills etc.. I know that everyone these days has those but for me, those bills alone represent about $6000/month. That is before things like heat, electricity, groceries, car expenses… Again, I know that everyone has those problems. MY problem is that she has a degree that will pay her over $60/hr if she was willing to work. If she contributed just 25% of our income we would have more than enough to cover.
3 – I know that working in certain settings has higher stress levels than others. That said, I come from a school of thought that when you are struggling financially you cannot afford to be picky and you do what you have to do. How can she complain that we do not go away on vacations “like other people” but then she won’t take a job that, while stressful, would enable us to put money away to do just that? I simply can’t understand it.
4 – I work from home. That allows me great flexibility with my schedule. I DO help out at home. I take care of everything from finances and upkeep of the house to making dinner and taking care of the kids. In fact, the only thing that I do not help with is laundry. We also have a cleaning lady because my wife is not interested in cleaning. The point here is that I do many things already. I feel like all of the major responsibilities of our household rest on my shoulders and I get very little help from my “ezer”. To say that I should take on a few more things to pick up the slack is to say that I should absolve her of ALL responsibility in the house. If that is the case, in what way will she be a wife?
Aries – you asked “Would you rather be right or would you rather be happy?” Obviously, I would rather be happy but at what cost? I just can’t look the other way ALL THE TIME. These things do bother me and they don’t go away. Ignoring them only allows them to build up until they explode.
Haleivi – the metaphor about the sink is flawed because you would not just leave the leaky sink and say “well, that’s just the way it is”. You would try to fix it and if it couldn’t be fixed you would replace it rather than listen to the constant drip, drip, drip all day, every day. Wouldn’t you?
Look, I am not saying that she is a bad person. She is a product of her upbringing (with a single mom who tried to compensate by letting her have whatever she wants when she wants it). I do not blame her for that, even if it frustrates me. She is a good mother and cares about the kids. I just don’t know if the two of us are ever going to be on the same page. No, I haven’t made up my mind. That is why I am trying to put this into words and seek advice. However, I do question if we, both being good people who may have a happy future with someone else, would be better off going our separate ways now instead of “sticking it out” until we really can’t stand each other. We are both pretty young (early 30’s), at this point we may both be able to find happiness with someone else. If we carry on like this for another 5, 10 years we will have a significantly lower chance of that.
Finally, thank you FLOWERS for your opinion. Obviously I am a narcissist because I am asking other people for help with MY problem. How silly of me to be concerned with my life.November 10, 2011 8:54 pm at 8:54 pm #825798
Working on it: My apoligies for jumping to the wrong conclusion. I have seen too many who throw the burden of income on their wives, when it really is their responsiblity to support the home. I didn’t have the whole picture. Hatzalcha rabba.November 10, 2011 9:11 pm at 9:11 pm #825799
A couple ideas.
Maybe your wife’s problem is that she feels that you are treating her as secondary. She wants your assurance that she is primary. Her wanting to go on vacation may be more out of a desire for you to show her some attention (OK a vacation trip would be a *lot* of attention). Speaking of which, how often do (or did) you go out with her on dates after you got married? It’s a good idea to do so. It does not have to be something extravagant, but just time alone.
Do the councilors that you have been seeing understand the frum way of life? It seems to me that a Rav would be better in understanding and setting direction.November 10, 2011 9:28 pm at 9:28 pm #825800
Flowers – Its ok, I understand, although your reaction is representative of our culture. Too often the husband is automatically seen as the aggressor/perpetrator/the reason for the problem. Even after all the facts are revealed, the perception remains tainted with a bias against the man.November 10, 2011 9:56 pm at 9:56 pm #825801bein_hasdorimParticipant
when you feel there’s no way to fix it cause there really is nobody to talk to, your spouse is incapable of remorse, or change, or admitting any faults. Does not want to compromise at all!
If they cant or won’t compromise, you give in on some stuff, they’ll give in, then it’s over.It takes two to keep a marriage going.
Maybe more compromise on the man’s part, but at least some on the woman’s part as well.November 11, 2011 3:21 am at 3:21 am #825802snjnMember
I will add my two cents because based on the description of the wife’s job, I have a similar job and can relate. If my husband makes calculations of how much I can earn if I worked more and more hours, I feel very resentful.
a) Is my worth based on how much I can earn instead of the person I am?
b)There are other factors to consider besides money multiplied by hours. I don’t want to come home from work minutes before my kids with no energy. I know it’s cheaper to higher more cleaning help and work more hours instead of working less and doing more housework but I want to run this house the way I feel works for me instead of dealing with a strangers way of putting things away, etc.
c) This one’s the bomber but it’s true. If I wanted to work full time I would have married a kollel guy and have the respect and sense of loftiness of supporting a learning husband. I knew that having the burden of parnassah on top of having and raising kids wouldn’t work for me so I purposely married a working guy. Now I should work full time too? That’s not why I chose a working guy.
d) Having a degree enables me to work part time and come home with more money than a secratary job would yield. That doesn’t mean I should work as many hours as possible, it simply maked the supplement income easier to earn.
That being said, I think the wife should be understanding of the tremendous pressure the husband is under trying to earn parnassah. A simple but sincere expression of appreciation for the efforts put in trying to support the family comfortably would go a long way. Asking for vacations when the money is tight is being oblivious to the facts on the ground. There are many ways for a couple to spend quality time together withough spending a lot.
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