Dating Divorcees

Don’t they deserve another chance?

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Comments (41)

(38) LS, August 11, 2018 10:19 AM

Hey, no one’s perfect!

I am not a divorceé nor am I married to one. First and hopefully only marriage for us both. I’ll say that divorced people DO deserve another chance. What if the spouse cheated or was abusive? What if they simply made a mistake? People aren’t perfect. I am in my early 30’s and if I were still single, I would give a divorced guy a chance.

(37) David, November 5, 2013 6:40 PM

Mistakes and changes in people and direction are part of life

There was a time when people didn't divorce due to stigma. They suffered terribly and so did their children. I know someone whose wife began to make unilateral decisions regarding aspects of the marriage after almost 20 years. Those decisions affected their relationship , their children, their ability to have more children, and the husband's ability to function at work. Would it be a bad decision on his part to end the marriage? Sometimes one partner simply pulls away. I also know of several couples , married afther they were each divorced, and the second marriages have been blessed by Hashem for YEARS!

(36) Suzanne, November 5, 2013 5:18 PM

I've known many people who have been through divorce and ....

there have been many reasons for them. In a lot of cases, there is ONE person in the marriage who really is responsible for bringing about it's demise - the other person in the marriage is helpless. Strangely, a lot of divorce I've seen has been caused by women feeling at heart that they don't need their husbands and that he's "cramping their style". Other divorces I've seen have been caused by cheating. Less divorces, I've seen have been caused by drugs, alcohol and gambling and domestic violence but that happens, too. The ones I feel most sorry for are the divorces that happen because of some tragedy that the couple can't handle. There are also other reasons why people divorce and another big one is that they were married to someone who was chronically miserable, hateful, displeased etc. So what's the other person supposed to do? The trick is - when one meets someone who's been through a divorce that you would otherwise be interested in - try to find out WHY that person is divorced - are they the guilty party or not? (You might have to sneak around a little to find a general consensus). If they're guilty - yes, you're taking a chance with that person in the fact that they may not have changed their stripes. But if they're the innocent partner - they're innocent, plain and simple and should not be held responsible for their failed marriage. I'm wondering, however, if some of the reason why all 9 women bailed on this guy isn't just a lot of frum people being out of control about the
shidduh process. The orthodox world can be so out of control these days. Yes, a cohen can't marry a divorced woman but other than that there 's no reason to hang a person for being divorced, especially the innocent one. Many of these young women who stick their noses up at guys who have less than perfect pedigrees may one day just find themselves alone for good.

(35) Steve R, November 5, 2013 3:56 PM

Widow vs Divorced?

I was recently widowed. My wife of 33 years died after an almost 3 year battle with cancer. I am putting my foot in the dating pool by joining JDate. I am reluctant to contact a divorcee and would prefer a widow. But there is not a large selection of widowed woman here. Since I am just checking things out, should I prejudge a divorcee over a widow?
The other thing that really bothers me is that most are "culturally Jewish." What the hell does that mean? I am looking for someone who can be an "eishet chayal" and know what it means!

(34) Dina, November 3, 2013 2:12 PM

chaeck it out

It's okay to marry a divorced person but you should be very cautious and check him/her out well first. It could be it wasn't his fault and he was really a very good husband. It could also be that he was the most miserable rotten husband around . Don't think that people learn by their mistakes-sometimes they do, very often they don't. So check out this person carefully. , through family, friends, etc. But don't risk a twice divorced person.

(33) Anonymous, November 3, 2013 1:58 AM


I was divorced for 10 yrs and had no desire to remarry. I was set up with a wonderful gentleman and h too was divorced for 2 yrs. We hit it off immediately and have been married for more than 9 yrs. Love and respect can be found a second time and divorce people should be given a second chance even in the observant Jewish sector. Just make sure you get your get before all papers are helps and aides in your healing. Good luck to all divorced Jewish people in hopes that you find your soul mate as I have done.

(32) Eugenia, November 2, 2013 11:37 PM

Wait later !!

Telling you are divorced before getting to know someone is too soon !! Tell only once you know that person better !!I am divorced yet I wouldn't tell a man unless he asked me !! My divorce happened a long time ago and is a personal matter, not for me to let know unless I feel it will make a difference to the man I am dating !! Men sometimes believe , wrongly ,that it makes a woman desperate instead it makes her more cautious !!

(31) Elly, November 2, 2013 3:25 AM

Thank you for this perspective

Unfortunately, divorce is like a disease in my family. Every one of us has been divorced at least once. This is sad, but my family is not one in which joy, compassion, and love are shared. We have to learn the hard way to survive and exist in the world. It often takes a lot to learn how to get along with others and it is also a blessing if you, and your family, know how to do so.

(30) Anonymous, November 1, 2013 5:30 PM

To avoid...

...suspicion, why not just try to date individuals who are already divorced, and presumably within a reasonable age-range? Wouldn't that hedge the chances of success? Isn't that more reasonable? And readily acceptable? We are always reaching beyond the grasp. The better question to ask would be, "By what reason should a young man or woman take a risk?" And conversely, why wouldn't a divorced person automatically seek out the company of fellow divorced person, who can surely related, with whom to start a new life?

(29) Anonymous, November 1, 2013 9:17 AM

Is this just about women?

Extreme situations aside, a woman is likened to the moon reflecting her man who is likened to the sun. The state of divorced women is a reflection of our men. Yes women are stronger in the last two generations - so it's time for men to up their game. All those in favor of Men's Liberation and Maleinism say Ayyy :-)

(28) rachel123, November 1, 2013 7:10 AM

divorcees without children

I am a divorcee with no kids in my mid twenties. I can testify that in fact people don't give a fair chance to divorcees. A divorcee with kids, in my opinion, is very different from a divorcee without kids because of the relationship that one must keep with the ex spouse.

However, divorcees without kids if they went through a process and made changes, has several positive sides. And often you can't even tell that they were once married. Especially because in almost every divorce there were a few people involved and it can be fairly easy to check out what happened. Afterwards there is no reason at all to continue talking about what happened in the past! The person is also much more aware and humbled that relationships must be worked on and built, which is a huge contributor to a happy relationship.

I really don't understand why people are so turned off to dating a divorcee without kids that they won't even give them a second look. Sometimes people get divorced quickly for REALLY good reasons that they could never have stayed married to that other person.

I think this story that the Rabbi published is very important to bring up because they are needless prejudices. Go the person..ask the person for a reference or the counselor that was with him in the divorce...and if everything is okay that's it! No more reason to dig in the past! The person just wants to move on a build a happy home and is MUCH more aware of how to do so.

I agree that maybe it is a good idea not to bring it up bluntly. However, I also struggle with this because I don't want to feel like a "liar", or that I'm tricking the person. It is a very tricky subject how to bring it up. I would be happy if the Rabbi Salmon would relate to this issue a little and discuss what he thinks a divorcee should do that would be fair to him and to the person he is a going on a date with.

(27) Raphaelle Do Lern Hwei, November 1, 2013 5:45 AM

Second Chance, Yes. Subsequent Chances, Perhaps Not

I agree with Rabbi Yaakov that everyone deserves a second chance in marriage. I still maintain open communication with my boyfriend (son's father) though his brother and collegues attempt to rip me off a few times.
But there are non committed people who are into serial marriages. Their family suffers. A long term friend of mine is very badly affected. Her father, now in his 60s is in his third marriage with a woman in her early 30s. Her mum had abandoned her when she was 4. Her stepmum had tried her best to be of support to her by trying to contact her mum and communicating with her mum's family, even when she is deeply hurt by all this. Unfortunately, the other family members are not that nice and there is a rift between herself and her step mum. I would really avoid marrying this type of man, like my friend's Dad.

(26) Anonymous, November 1, 2013 4:26 AM

Another chance

As humans we can look over a situation in one's life and say to ourselves the person may have chosen the wrong person, events changed,the couple grew apart,They were not right for each other.He or she was abusive, etc. But when talking about Divorce. Divorce can become a source for adultery,stealing, murder, coveting of it and for it. Maybe a few of these women still have some belief, loyalty to God and his rules and don't want to wade into becoming adulterers even if it could be lonely. For them deep in their mind it could be uncomfortable to end up and try use the excuse. "Everyone else said that it was O.K. I thought I would take a chance". If God does not exsist it's a problem like all the others that come with being humans.They either get better,stay the same, or they get worse. If he does exsist Big Possible Problem.

(25) Anonymous, November 1, 2013 3:25 AM

Another view

I have a question: If the man/men you're meeting is divorced and has many chidren with his previous wife, which woman logically, in their own right mind divorces a man when they have many children, unless there is something really unbearable like abuse or mental ilness. That always puts a doubt in my mind that there was something wrong with the man. I am not being prejudiced.

(24) Anonymous, November 1, 2013 3:06 AM

I was married the first time for 15 yrs, divorced & remarried for 25 yrs this yr. My husband has 2 grown children, We had our first child together in my 40's, his 50's. I'm glad I took a chance it's been a great learning experience.

(23) Suzanne, November 1, 2013 3:01 AM

Sure, a second chance. But bear in mind divorcees have a responsibility for why their marriage failed. Like anyone else, they take themselves wherever they go. If it were my call in a similar situation, I would be disinclined to spend my time or energies with someone from a broken personal past.

(22) Anonymous, November 1, 2013 1:51 AM

You did not deal with second marriages of seniors. These situations present their own unique issues. Two people having a meaningful relationship at this point in their lives need to understand and accept that each comes with a lifetime of living and integration of family, friends and interests can be more challenging and requires the acceptance of each person being able to continue their own identities while integrating some shared experiences.

(21) Anonymous, November 1, 2013 1:13 AM

I would have married Harvey had he been divorced a dozen times!!!!!
Hope all is well with you Yaakov..sorry I cannot be at the Partners conference

(20) Anonymous, November 1, 2013 12:17 AM

same with disabilities

People also need to be more open minded to dating people with disabilities, both internal or external disabilities. Just like with this divorced man, many people are not willing to give someone with some kind of disability a chance either. It is pathetic and it is wrong. It is superficial behavior and judgment.

(19) Yechiel, October 31, 2013 11:58 PM

Follow the Money

The women probably knew that the courts take the lion's share of the man's assets and income and give it to the ex wife, likely leaving him impoverished. It's possible they might have given him a chance if he were wealthy, divorced or not.

(18) Anonymous, October 31, 2013 11:29 PM

Flying without a net

Quite simply, it's obvious to me that the single women you refer to we're turned away by finding out the most significant fact about your friend ifso facto. Speed dating types of events are geared towards marriage minded individuals who want to maximize their time and are "insulated" by time restraints. For him to "drop the bomb" after their brief encounter under false pretenses (misinformation) was unfair and hurtful to women who deserved to be foretold of his status. I counsel males looking for additional help in the dating and shidduch process and the tantamount quality a man requires to pursue a soulmate is honesty and integrity. All my "hand-holding" and advice is worthless if the premise of the relationship is not full- disclosure. Yes, I have access to numerous sensitive, sophisticated, cultured, fine women to whom good middos are a way of life. Your friend may find it more palatable to speak to myself, a rare concept as a male Shadchan or a traditional female shadchanis and he will replace speed with results and be represented as a proud Divorcee in search of his true bashert. B'Hatzlacha...

(17) Stan Corbett, October 31, 2013 11:07 PM

A Male who is a Cohen

I am a male. But being a Cohen I am not permitted to marry a divorced woman
The reason that she might have been a divorced woman could be with her husband. She could be a wonderful person.
Yet, this restriction is not placed on a woman who wants to marry a divorced man.
I will let the people out there decide if this rule for orthodox men is fair. ,

(16) Annie, October 31, 2013 9:57 PM

I would beware the person with more than one divorce.Once can happen to almost anyone. A friend married a twice divorced woman and is painfully finding out why she was-too late as she's alienated his friends & family, persuaded him to put the new house (bought with his money) in her name...and so on.

(15) Diana, October 31, 2013 9:41 PM

what's the age of the women?

How old are the women? If they are young, it may make perfect sense for them not to date divorced men, But the older the woman, the more likely it is that men close in age have been married or engaged.


(14) Shulman, October 31, 2013 9:01 PM

Second Chance

If the woman had been divorced, I hear guys might think, 'hey, how'd she mess it up - all she has to do is be nice and affectionate, and she couldn't even handle that - so I'm not going nearing her." But when it's the man who's been divorced, I've heard women say, "At least he wasn't afraid of commitment. At least he's the 'marrying type' - maybe it didn't work out, but at least he was interested in marriage, etc." So I don't know what happened with your friend, Rabbi - maybe he should wait 'til after the first date or even the second one to reveal it. It's not exactly a war-stopper: only lasted one year and no children.

(13) Friend of divorced couples, October 31, 2013 8:32 PM

Alternative interpretation of dating events and results

Why is it not possible that each of or some of the women decided they individually did not want to date the “candidate” after learning he was divorced because he originally kept it a secret (during the ‘speed dating’ event) and they decided they could not trust him to be forthright in the future if he “deceived” them during their original meeting by omitting an important part of his personal history? Isn’t trust and transparency a prerequisite for a potentially intimate relationship and partner for most people?

(12) stuart, October 31, 2013 8:18 PM

It is better to be single than to be in a mediocre marriage...but being part of a happy marriage is even better

When most of us marry we are often young...not fully matured into our true persona. So as we age oftentimes we find that the person we married is no longer the same individual....and often that leads to distance between the couple and eventual seperation/ diivorce

When the "second time arround" comes along you are fully developed....know what you want out of life...and another person to share your life. More than likely the other is also mature....and knows what they are looking for in a mate. The chances for a second marriage working out are good....though often the "baggage' that comes with a second marriage is too heavy to carry.

One must weigh carefully as possible whether it is worth picking up this "baggage" and all that it involves for the benefits of being a happy married couple again.

But, as to giving each other a second chance..... absolutely.

(11) jgarbuz, October 31, 2013 8:00 PM

From my personal experience, I would say, probably not.

Most men are not mentally equipped to be alone. Better to be alone as a stone rather than not to be respected, if you are worthy of it.

(10) Anonymous, October 31, 2013 3:14 PM

I don't think it was because he was divorced

Dear Rabbi,
Am I the only one who noticed what's wrong? The "problem" here is Not that the man was divorced but that he Didn't "mention" it. He Lied by Omission!

(9) Craig, October 31, 2013 3:33 AM

Sure glad my Lovely wife wasn't afraid, I think we both have learned from our previous lives. I thank G-d every day I found her!

(8) Rose, October 30, 2013 5:01 PM

From a woman married to a divorcee

I am happily married to a divorcee, and a stepmom too. The fact is, a divorcee (especially with kids) simply comes with a lot more baggage. While my husband was one of the divorced people who took an honest look at what went wrong, including his own mistakes, and made a commitment to change so his second marriage would be better, plenty do not. And even in that situation, especially when children are involved, you are signing up for a lifetime of a relationship with that person's ex, and a myriad of complexities that non-divorcees just don't have. While plenty of divorcees have the potential to be wonderful spouses, it's important to be realistic about what that means for a marriage.

(7) Tzippy, October 29, 2013 3:34 PM

Another point of view

I'm a divorcee, a mother of 3 wonderful children. I would like to give you another point of view of the issue:
People who were married and had to break their marriage know already that they are not perfect. Of course, I'm talking about people who live in reality and not about those with corrupted Middos who would always blame the other side. This is a very good reason to marry a divorcee - they are more humble then those who never did. They are more open to accept the other because they know they are not perfect and they have to adopt themselves. If they have children, it's another plus for them: you could observe them being with children and learn what kind of parents they would be for YOUR children.
But, for the very same reasons, I would never agree to date a bachelor. Well, never say never, but this is my general rule. If you still didn't experience real life, everything that comes with marriage, why would I be your guinea pig? I know my faults already, but do you know yours? I know the meaning of being a parents and devoting myself to my children, but do you?

(6) Bobby5000, October 28, 2013 9:26 PM


Initially, I married a woman with children and we recently celebrated our 25th anniversary. I have been happy and hopefully my wife feels likewise.

Note that how this man told the people about divorce may have been an issue. It is a little strange not to go out and casually in the course of a pleasant evening mention divorce as opposed to bluntly bringing it up; that may have seemed strange and prompted the women to go elsewhere. Instead of assuming that it is a small or non-issue, by bringing it up, you imbue it with an undue importance. Tell your friend to not discuss it, but do as other do, but briefly mention it the course of a pleasant evening and see if the results of the study change.

(5) Anonymous, October 28, 2013 8:59 PM

I DO agree with you. However, I think that the person who set up the speed date session should make some changes

(4) Anonymous, October 27, 2013 4:09 PM

I am divorced for 29 years already. I wish someone would redd me a divorce (a divorcee is a female) or widower. Don't I, also, deserve a second chance?

(3) SusanE, October 27, 2013 3:58 PM


Divorced people don't have two heads, and generally we aren't axe murderers. Nothing wrong with dating someone who has been divorced, if they are stable and independent. If someone has been divorced twice then that's another story. Even I wouldn't date a man who was divorced more than once. Or a man who was divorced with children. Or a man who was widowed. Widowed men just want another wife and any woman will do. What's the deal with divorce anyway? I don't understand that stigma in Judaism.

ael, October 28, 2013 7:10 AM

Reason for Divorce Stigma Part I

I think that one of the main reasons for a divorce stigma in Judaism is caused by different attitudes towards marriage in the secular world vs. the Jewish world.
In the secular world, there is a wide range of attitudes towards marriage. However, some people definitely feel (at least to some degree) that marriage is essentially about themselves: As long as I like this, I’ll stay; and if I’m not liking it anymore I’ll leave. They see marriage/their spouse as something that is supposed to ensure their own happiness. If they are not happy, then there must be something wrong with the other person or the marriage, and then the only reasonable thing to do is to get divorced and move on.
In contrast, Judaism sees marriage as a commitment to one's spouse. Above and beyond the commitment to not cheat on them and not abuse/neglect them is a commitment to the relationship itself. It's understood that marriages (even good ones) go through periods of being blissful, not so blissful, and sometimes downright unpleasant. It’s also understood that having a good marriage requires hard work, and is not something that happens automatically. One is expected to make the marriage a priority, and put their spouse’s needs before their friends’, parents’, and even kids’ needs. One will be required to compromise, and to adjust themselves and their lives to accommodate their spouse. One knows that only after marriage does one fully get to know the other person, and thus flaws that were previously unobservable, even latent, will emerge. People change over time. And nobody is perfect. Somebody getting married is expected to know all of this, and their marriage is a commitment to the other person despite it all. Marriages are expected to last till death do us part. Divorce, like amputation, is an anomaly.

Anonymous, October 28, 2013 7:11 AM

Divorce Stigma Part II

Therefore, somebody divorced could be suspected of lacking commitment or dedication to marriage, or of being self-centered. Obviously, if you are considering marrying a person, you’ll want to make very sure that they have the same appreciation of and commitment to marriage that you do. However, if you are not a potential suitor, your job is to be supportive, not to start wondering if this person has character flaws.
Please, don’t get me wrong. Divorce, like amputation, exists for a reason. One does not amputate a limb lightly, but sometimes it is the best course of action. Similarly, some marriages must be ended. The automatic commitment to a spouse which marriage creates is limited to those spouses/situations which are normal for marriage. Physical, emotional, and verbal abuse is not normal. One is expected to bend themselves to fit their spouse, but not to break themselves. Serious flaws which were deliberately concealed before marriage are grounds for divorce. Sometimes two people lave such utterly incompatible life goals that marriage simply can’t work. (Many times these people shouldn’t have gotten married to begin with, but that’s another discussion.) I’m sure that there are myriad other good reasons to get divorced.

(2) Anonymous, October 27, 2013 2:38 PM

Don't judge so quickly!

Thank you Rabbi Salomon for stressing this very crucial point.
As a divorcee, I can say that these types of challenges either make a person or break him/her. There are countless reasons for divorce and no one can judge whether they were right or wrong.Only Hashem knows what's really going on inside a person.
In my case, I thought long and hard and consulted with a Rabbi and a therapist before giving the get. It forced me to wake up and work on several emotional issues of my own. I feel that I have actually GROWN from the experience. Other divorcees have told me the same thing.
Chazal wrote a Tractate called Gittin, because they understood that in some cases, divorce really is the only option.
A divorcee who has seen his experience as a chance to grow as a person could well make a BETTER spouse than one who has never been married or engaged before.
before rejecting a divorcee, try to find out the whole story (from both sides, of course) before jumping to conclusions.

(1) Anonymous, October 27, 2013 8:03 AM

Rav Salomon's empathy heartfelt. As a divorcee' understand the reservation of the ladies.

The pain and loss of divorce may seem like a burden unpalatable to shoulder in starting a relationship. However we know there are 3x ways of dealing with setbacks, and the manner in which the divorce has been dealt with could be an immensely solid basis for a mature giving person with humility. Anger and seeing it all as a form of atonement could be 2x unacceptable ways of dealing with any loss. But if the lady were to discover a man trying for the 3rd way like Moshe Rabeinu, of seeing the positive and Hashem's kindness in the trial of divorce-loss, then she might have a real man of depth and a chance for 'one heart'

Meir, October 28, 2013 9:58 PM

I married a divorcee and had to divorce her since she didn't want a marital relationship. I have learned a tremendous amount about relationships, which I look forward to implementing. I pray Hashem will send me someone kind, who I can love and connect with for life.


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