When is it time to divorce?

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    Is being miserable with your spouse enough reason to divorce? What about the kids? What if your spouse has issues of addiction/OCD, anger/rage, is overly controlling and unable to share feelings with their spouse, leaving the spouse lonely, miserable and totally confused as to whether to leave? Numerous marriage counselors were tried, to no avail. The problem-spouse doesn’t believe/admit they have addictions or issues, does not(want to) have a Rov or mentor to take advice from and only blames the other spouse for everything. To go or to stay? Age range is late-40’s.


    oh please don’t rely on answers from ‘Yeshiva World Coffee Room’ to guide you and help you decide for personal matters of such high importance!



    WADR, this is not the proper forum for this. You should not be basing major life decisions (such as whether or not to seek a divorce) based on the opinions of people in the Coffee Room (myself included).

    Please contact a rav and other professionals whom you know and trust and seek their advice.

    The Wolf


    When is it time to divorce? NEVER!! Stay Married!!


    We all feel for you. As on the other thread, about four month ago. My advice – stay connected to a Rav, kehillah. Or initiate connections. Rabbi Miller ??”? says in his works, it is one of the utmost important things in marriage.

    basyechida nomore

    You need help. Professional help. And most importantly, join a support group for people with controlling/ocd spouses. It’s really important for you to hear from other people in the same situation as you. This is a chat room, not a place to get help.


    to 147

    FYI. This is not a Catholic based web site. The Torah allows divorce. The problem is that too many people are so absorbed in themselves and their own issues that they forget that they even have a spouse for all intent and purposes. We live today in a highly stressed environment which easily triggers these many negative behavioral traits. Might likely be financial pressures which is root cause here.

    No question, however, that the decision this individual thinks they have to address now should be made only having consulted the best therapists and Rabbonim. May Hashem guide them and us all in all our decisions.


    I’ll agrre with everyone else, especially Wolf.


    I’m not qualified, but you have my sympathies.


    Do you have a Rav or Rebbetzin to speak to by yourself or that can guide you or refer you to someone qualified? ( the Rav should have experience with relationship issues and also does not have to be your personal Rav) After speaking to such a person you will then get your next steps.

    It is impossible to analyze your plea for help without a face to face meeting from a knowledgeable person that could help you and your family with your crisis.

    Going online with your question shows you still have doubt about your next step and indicates that you still have hope for your marriage.

    Your spouse’s addiction and anger problems are probably symptomatic of something but not that your spouse is Chasvishalom a bad person or is upset with you.

    There are many cases where initial failures occurred before a spouse was ready to realize counseling/help was needed.Eventually the spouse turned around was open to counseling and a remarkable change for the positive happened in the relationship. May Hashem guide you and give you much Bracha

    P.S. I am sure there are certain triggers that you know of that might set your spouse off.Additionally, as much as in the RIGHT you think you may be I am sure talking about this topic or whatever topic that upsets you spouse is a trigger.

    The following books are recommended by many therapists with positive outcomes.

    Fight Less Love More (five minute conversations to change your relationship without blowing up or giving in)

    Author Laurie Puhn JD

    The book describes how to bring up stressful topics from mundane issues to major ones between spouses so as not to lead up to a fight. You can order it online.

    B)To help your Shalom Bayis further especially before Chanuka: Unfortunately hurtful angry statements can leave an impression long after the words have been said. In a roundabout way you can roleplay by the Shabbos table by reading lessons out loud from the book Positive Word Power

    (Building a better world with the words you speak) from Artscroll it is sold in most Seforim stores.

    RE both books:You do NOT have to have Shalom Bayis issues to benefit from these books they can be helpful to everyone.


    As I think I mentioned on the previous one, there are sites you could subscribe to, that deal with your situation, anonymously.


    Divorce should be avoided at almost ALL costs. It should be a last last resort. The word should not even be mentioned in ones home.


    I think most couples today should get divorced.

    The thing is, that their second marriage will be just as bad.

    So they may as well stay married.


    bustercrown what is the nature of the addiction?

    You know, I’ll tell you that addiction is a form of a mental illness according the DSM IV

    I think you’re really in for the long haul if you try to stay with them even in the most favorable of circumstances, assuming that they EVEN admit and are willing and prepared to change and work on themselves with major intervention and therapy!

    However, its game over when the person doesn’t admit, and is in a total denial. Why should you and the kids suffer because they are not pulling their weight?

    Just my personal experience. I am divorced from an addict.


    Popa makes a great point. You have no way of knowing that your next marriage — should you even be lucky enough to be able to find someone — will be any better than this one. You will almost surely marry someone else who was previously married and had their own issues.

    It may even be worse.


    Why do people always assume that divorce is bad for the kids?

    I always hear people say “I’d leave if not for the children”

    Yes divorce is hard, yes it is hard on the kids, but there are times where it is better than the alternative.


    All addictions are different. What addiction are we talking about? How bad is this addiction? How is it affecting his fuctioning? How is it affecting you? The kids?

    I wish you the best of luck


    As the child of a divorced couple, I can say that my parents divorce was probably the best thing to ever happen to me. No more fighting. No more yelling. There was finally peace in my home.

    While it was hard for me, it was necessary measure. Its not the ideal by any stretch of the imagination, but there are times where it might be the right move. The Torah gave us the ability to divorce for a reason.


    Those rare times are few and far in between. Yes, they exists. But the vast majority of divorces were avoidable, unnecesary and very damaging to both spouses and, especially, the kids.


    Bustercrown, to answer your question. Yes, being miserable is a great reason to get divorced. The only question is if there is hope that things will get better. From what I get out of your post, you have tried and it didn’t help. Now what you have to consider is: are your children better off with your spouse, or without your spouse. Divorce greatly affects their present and their future, so that is something that is very important to take into consideration. If you and your children will be better off, then yes, divorce is the answer.

    It is important to see what your spouse’s issues are, and according to that, see how likely it is that such a person will change with professional help. If it is unlikely (and there are a great many books that will help you determine that), then you have to decide for yourself if you want to take that road.


    Jay, the Medrash says that Yaakov Avinu stayed married to Leah for that reason. The Gemara also gives such a reason.


    The children will be with both spouses regardless whether they are divorced or married. In fact, the other spouse may even gain primary custody. But either way he or she will have significant time with the children.

    The children are never divorced from either parent.



    I can attest that I am in no way “damaged”. I also have many friends whose parents are divorced and none of them seem damaged to me.

    The whole stigma of children of a divorce has to end. It utterly ridiculous.



    Without having seen the midrash inside, yaakov was still married to a tzaddekes, and stayed married to a tzaddekes. That isn’t the case here.

    Did it say that they yelled at each other in front of the kids?

    Did they belittle each other infornt of the kids?

    Did they make each other absolutely miserable?

    Obviously the answers to all these questions is no.

    So why apply the medrash to cases where the above questions are a yes?


    Anecdotally I’ve noticed that children of divorced parents are far more likely to get divorced themselves than children of a non-broken home. (Perhaps because divorce may have lost some of the stigma to them and they may see it as no big deal.)



    You can’t view this in a vacuum. You can’t purely compare children of divorced homes vs children of married parents.How is the marriage? What messages are they showing the kids? You need to ask is it better for the child to have separated parents vs having the child live in the home with the rocky Shalom Bayis. There are no easy answers and one size does not fit all.

    I will agree with you about children of divorced parents being more likely to get divorced themselves. But I’m not sure exactly how to quantify “more likely”


    For those assuming that I’m looking for answers from The Coffee Room as to how to proceed, you’re wrong. We have been in touch with numerous Rabbonim, even lawyers, and well on the way to divorce but now my spouse has been asking for another chance. I’m just looking for a bit of support here from my peers. The specific addiction is to Internet, and the OCD issues involve various excessive behaviors. He has a need to control and make all decisions for the family. My kids want us together at all costs despite the constant arguments and days-long silences. I am miserable with him, but my other considerations are of course the kids, plus the thought of being alone and not as financially secure, and wondering if there will be another marriage in my future, as I am still relatively young, attractive and have a lot to offer the right person.


    BC -“When is it time to divorce?”

    When I got the divorce papers in the mail then I knew it was time.


    Seriously, one should Not undertake Divorce from a spouse unless your Rov AND your therapist both say you Must. It must be so clearcut that they both agree.


    shmoel- do you have any evidence for this?


    shmoel -“The children are never divorced from either parent.”

    In the real world many times this unfortunately happens, no matter what the popular belief is.


    It is a statistical reality that post-divorce people tend to be financially less secure than they were pre-divorce.



    You gotta back statements like that up with proof


    BC -“We have been in touch with numerous Rabbonim, even lawyers, and well on the way to divorce but now my spouse has been asking for another chance.”

    Read my post. It has to be Your Rov and Your Therapist! Numerous Rabbonim Cannot be all yours. And maybe Not even one is Yours. The decision has to be made by the people I just mentioned, noone else. This is a much more major decision that even getting married in the first place. How do I know? Because I experienced both!



    If your kids are already noticing the path towards possible divorce, then you must immediately start telling your kids that they have a loving mother and father, and divorce or no divorce, that they will continue having parents who love them. Keep reminding them of this.

    If he really wants to change, encourage him to seek therapy on his own. Also try to see how the internet usage can be limited? Can you password his device? Unplug the router? Is he so addicted he uses it on shabbos? If he doesn’t use it on shabbos show him how he is able to let go.

    Why is he on the internet? Is this a cause or an effect? Does he rum to the internet cause of his addiction , or is it his drug, his escape? If so what is he escaping? If the latter is true, the internet might not be the main issue, it might go away if what is sending him to the net disappears.

    Good luck


    You have my sympathies, and I will not advise you on this issue. I will advise you though, to find social and financial happiness outside of the marriage. Make sure that you have friends and activities outside of the house so that you can air out (whether you stay married or divorce). I don’t know your financial standings, but if you don’t have a marketable skill take the time to take a course in something that interests you. Whether you stay married or not, you need some financial independence. I do feel that divorce affects children (from what I’ve seen) but so does a bad marriage with an OCD spouse.

    I will try to guide you a little though, you say your husband wants a second chance. What is he willing to do get it? You sound like you now have the upper hand, use it to the best of your abilities.

    I will strongly disagree with Popa, I think that most people should stay married. Marriage is great for the physical, emotional and spiritual well being of all involved; man, woman and child(ren). It is an institution that G-d himself created. Unfortunately, some people are spoiled or have mental challenges and don’t know how that marriage means that they need to give and not just receive.



    Every person I know from a home with a bad marriage or from divorce has baggage. In some rare cases where the kids are made of tough stuff they can handle it. Most however get damaged emotionally and have a very hard time in relationships with the opposite gender.



    You have our sympathies. Maybe being well on the way to divorce is the push he needs to finally go with the program and keep his promises. Perhaps at this point you might finally be able to have him do what it takes to make the relationship work again. What do your Rov and Your Therapist say to that?


    It seems to me that the decision of whether or not to divorce should be entirely based upon what would be best for the children. In cases of abuse or serious addiction divorce will almost certainly be better for the children. Other situations need to be taken on a case by case basis.

    Children must be the focus. If, as I believe is the case, most parents are willing to die for their children, they should be willing to stay in an unhappy marriage for their children as well.



    You make it sound as if us children of divorces are a different species. Everyone has baggage. EVERYONE. To think otherwise is foolish.

    Its not that im tougher than anyone else. Its that divorce isnt that that big of a deal. Yes its hard. Yes its sad. But at the end of the day, my parents marital status had no bearing on my emotional well being. I still have two parents who love me very much. And I imagine that most divorces are not very different than the one of my parents.

    To say that most kids get “emotionally damaged” is just ridiculous. Please dont make statements like that.


    Buster – there is no one-size-fits-all answer. And as you have likely garnered, many ‘suggestion’ simply mirror individual agendas. I am sorry you are in this situation. It stinks any way you slice it, and you won’t know you have made the right decision until you commit to one (whichever that is).

    What I can offer you as advice is not to consider your likelihood of getting remarried. You have absolutely no idea what will be in the future. You have to make a decision based on the now, and what you know for sure, and determine what is better. (that includes where/how you will live, your finances, if your work situation will change, as well as anything else immediate)

    To those who say ‘always’ or ‘never’ maybe your time would be better spent doing something else. In the worst case you are spouting harmful nonsense, and in the best case it is irrelevant.

    Buster – You are the ONLY one qualified to make the decision. People who know you can suggest or help guide. YOU are the one who will live with the consequences of this decision, and you are the only one who can make it.

    Best of luck, from the bottom of my heart.



    When you say the Rav and therapist are absolutely the ONLY ones who can decide if there should be a divorce or not, do you also mean ” and the two parties involved”? Please Gd I should never be in this situation and no one else here should, but I see this attitude or opinion a lot here that every decision in life should be made by you Rav. Hashem bH gave you a brain and a heart, shouldn’t we be able to know what is right for us, at least part of the time if not all? Of course consulting a rabbi close to you is important I am definitely not saying otherwise, I just feel like ultimately the decision should be up to you. If someone is miserable in a marriage, does not have love for their spouse anymore, cries themselves to sleep, no longer has attraction to the other, or feels unloved and gets berated.. Any number of things that boil down to a miserable marriage, and your rabbi says stay together, what is wrong with making the decision for yourself?


    Bustercrown – I feel very sorry for what you are going through. I hope things get better for you.

    Some posters told you not to come here for advice, rather you should go to a Rav and therapist. I don’t think you really came here for us to tell you what to do. You probably just want some support and friendship, which I hope you are finding here. This is a good place to come for that. We can certainly give our opinions but the ultimate decision is yours, of course with the help of Rabbonim, professionals, family, friends who know more of your situation.

    Also – some posters said you should absolutely not divorce. Of course, ideally, one hopes to stay married and “live happily ever after”. But guess what – this is not a fairy tale. Things happen. People divorce, unfortunately. No – I’m not advising you to do so. I’m just saying that sometimes that’s the only choice when all else has failed.

    As far as the children go; is it better for them to see their parents unhappy and arguing or better for the parents to go their separate ways and have the kids spend hopefully good quality time with each one? Not an easy decision!

    Only you (and those close to you) know your whole situation and hopefully will make the right choice for you and your children. I wish you all the best. May you have the strength to see this through.

    Keep in touch here. We care about you.


    Well the therapist did think that this path to divorce would be “hitting rock bottom” for him. But in actuality, he is now telling ME what he thinks I need to do to make the marriage work this time! Typical addict behavior…blame the other person and pretend you dont have a problem. He is in therapy with a useless, non-Frum woman who doesn’t challenge him (his own admission) on his stuff. I guess he’s just gotten comfortable there. I asked him many times to see an addiction specialist, he has yet to do it. Do I hold out much hope? No. But the Rabbonim are saying to try once more, and if it doesn’t work, then divorce. I feel so sorry for the kids and am scared at the prospect of being alone. He doesn’t use the Internet on Shabbos but at every other time he can be seen with more than one device being used at the same time! He takes his devices to Shul, to shiurim, to weddings (might need it for driving directions!), to the grocery (might need to look up a hashgacha!) and everywhere else. As soon as he gets in from work, his iPad gets plugged in to charge, presumably because he just finished using it. He refuses to install any filters and allows my kids to play games on it against my will, he had past gambling addiction as well, has a very compulsive personality . Sometimes I just really wonder why Hashem gave me this challenge and what He wants me to do with it. My husband seems to think any other wife would not be as bothered by “his stuff” as I am, I doubt that.


    Matan1: You sound like a well adjusted and good hearted person.

    WIY: You statements is not fair, nor is itcentirely correct.

    I know some childen from divorced homes that are very well adjusted also.


    Laurie Puhn, mentioned above, is Jewish, a highly-regarded Marriage Mediator, and a Harvard-trained professional.

    I’d suggest seeking out someone educated through the Refuah Institute, or another frum mental health professional, with proper training and hashqafot.

    Divorce will damage your children. The kinderlach are never the same afterwards.


    +1,000,000 gefen


    The thought of being alone is petrifying.

    You will only be able to leave (should that be where you are heading) when you realize that there are worse things in life than being alone. As long as you feel that that is the worst thing in the world the status quo will always seem better.

    I hope you have friends/family during this time who are there for you. Someone who has gone through a divorce and come out the other end could be an invaluable source of support and an excellent sounding board.

    Good luck.


    While Internet overusage is addicting, what you just described doesn’t seem to rise to the level of a divorceable offense.

    ready now

    Bustercrown, you said above-

    “The specific addiction is to Internet, and the OCD issues involve various excessive behaviors.”

    And get out of CR – I have said before -it could be grounds for divorce, has v sholom.


    I am involved in Klal matters, and would like to share my experience.

    A) A coffee forum is not the place to make life decisions.

    B) I know of many wifes that were thrilled to find their freedom and get divorced.

    C) Almost all of them later greatly regretted that fateful decision. It altered their life in ways they never envisioned, it sent them reeling for many many years, and things were never the same.

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