Contemplating Divorce

Divorce is like amputation -- it's only done when the marriage is killing you.

Comments (31)

(31) Mitchell, July 19, 2012 8:12 PM

Doubts about if I married for the correct reasons

What if I can't remember the reasons why I married, or in fact I can cross out some of the reasons (my wife has changed). If I made a mistake then do I live it with it forever?

(30) Anonymous, January 30, 2011 3:30 AM

It is important not to judge

While it is a fact that people think that divorce should only occur under certain circumstances, the fact is people getting a divorce may not share with you what really happened. It may be the case that one of the members of the couple is lying about the actions of the other. These cases are so complicated. I think this is why it is said that a couple may divorce if they don't like the way their soup is cooked. Obviously that would not be the reason, but it allows people to get out of bad situations without having to explain everything in detail to others who may or may not have the discretion and discernment that their situation requires. Only the Almighty may judge a person.

(29) karen, March 9, 2010 10:07 PM

The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce Revealed

Everyone who is considering divorce [where there is no abuse ] needs to read this book and so do those who are divorced, step-parents, grandparents, etc. "Between Two Worlds: The Inner Lives of Children of Divorce by ELIZABETH MARQUARDT... to understand the affects on the children. The kids are forever changed!

(28) Anonymous, January 25, 2009 4:37 PM

Is not loving someone time to cut it off?

Of course the person is usually going to have all those same qualities you married them for because people don't change their innate qualities, only their behavior. What if the problem is simply a lack of love? What if the love was never really there in the first place, and now you are coming to grips with that and feel terrible. Is it time to divorce? Thanks Joe

(27) Anonymous, September 1, 2008 3:24 PM

Such Truth So Hidden

So many advisers automatically take the stance of avoiding it. Understanably! No one explained it clearly as an option. So following the advice meant allowing the green to spread and strangled the strength to move on. So Glad your word is getting out to both people and "advisors". Others won't have to be waiting for T'chiyas HaMaysim like I do.

(26) Anonymous, August 24, 2008 10:54 PM

Thanks for the advice - but this is very hard thing to do........

Thanks Lori for the advice and the analogy is apt but I feel sometimes this is very hard pill to swallow.... Family dynamics have changed so much in the past ~40 years. There is immense pressure put on wives/mothers nowadays to work and that complicates things even more. With the bills to pay and the kids to get off to school even getting by is a struggle. When we 'bay boomers' were growing up it was a lot simpler when Dad went to work and Mom wasn't spread so thin..... Trying to work on a relationship/marriage is also complicated by the fast pace of modern life .... Also some women are more aggressive and independent and this makes it harder to be a good husband and raise the kids. Sadly I know a family were the wife has to work is always tired and consistently swears and shouts and makes fun of her husband and kids. Partly it isn't her fault her husband has to struggle to make ends meet and they are constantly working to get by.......... but to stay together he is constantly being verbally abused and even belted up. Yes incredibly the wife swears and belts up the kids and sometimes her husband. Her husband doesn't lay a finger on her he is a really good neshoma/soul but stays in this relationship because the kids would be lost without him and beg him to stay.......Lori the analogy is apt but what is happening out there in the real world is so hard to come to terms with it is really tough out there. May G'd help us all...........

(25) Anonymous, August 8, 2008 10:11 AM


Thanks for speaking about the divorce as a amputation. It helps to know that sometimes you have to divorce and that it can be ok.

(24) solomon, August 7, 2008 8:24 PM

Divorce is NOT like amputation!!!

I love Lori's clips i watch it every week. Thanks
But this time I have to disagree. Divorce is not the same as amputating a leg. after divorce one can remarry.

(23) Anonymous, August 7, 2008 11:43 AM

Well Put!

Lori, as usual you hit it right on the mark. Just wish a lot more people would watch this before taking the drastic step of divorce. Before contemplating divorce think: "would he/ be a good second?"

(22) Anonymous, August 7, 2008 9:20 AM

Great Analogy!

I basically agree with Susan (post #19). I was so miserable, I couldn't function. I felt I was DYING. I felt life wasn't worth living. I felt trapped (because of finances and fear). I felt like my life was a lie, like I was an agunah in my own marriage! The tension and his angry episodes escalated, until one day, I just knew I had ENOUGH. I knew I'd rather live in a box and eat macaroni the rest of my life than to submit to any more emotional abuse, neglect, and loneliness. And after 18 years, I told him, no more. And the children were non-plussed. And after he left, he admitted he was gay!!! Women have a binah yeseira. We KNOW when it's not right. I am SO happy I took the step. The kids are managing. They understand fully why this happened. They saw how Aba treated Ima. They knew something was off. My daughter even recently said, "I love Daddy, but I'd never want to marry someone like him. I want to marry someone I can talk to, who spends time with me." Now, isn't that sad? But emes is emes. He wasn't fit for marriage, lied to me (and himself) about his ability to be a proper, caring husband. And now, to cap it all off, he's not even frum. Hashem yishmor.

(21) george, August 6, 2008 12:08 PM

Get over yourself!

My wife and I separated 1 year ago. Things were horrible and living together was unbearable. Children "issues", some good and some not so good brought us together. We realized that we loved the kids more than we hated each other and started to talk. As we spent more time together we got the sense that we were still fond of each other. With the help of some excellent counseling we came to see that we each brought our own baggage into the marriage and that no matter what we did we had to get over ourselves. Today, we are still in counselling and we hope (w/Hashem's help) to get back together again in a marriage that is not about "me", but about "us".

(20) Anonymous, August 6, 2008 10:25 AM


I liked the analogy used. Abuse does kill - physical abuse can kill the body as well as the spirit and verbal abuse kills the spirit. I am divorcing because of verbal abuse. There are a lot of people who don't recognize what it is. Your comments helped me - thank you.

(19) terry friedkin, August 6, 2008 10:13 AM

So appreciate you Lori

I think the amputation analogy is so apt in terms of making one's own decision. Can you address the situation where you are content and the other person makes this decision.

(18) yael, August 5, 2008 8:12 PM

dear anonymous

To the anonymous woman whose husband has been "flirting" with other women (8/3) - GET INTO THERAPY! His behavior is not okay, and if you can't get him on board with getting help together, go yourself and get support. You deserve honesty, respect and fidelity. Wishing you happiness...

(17) Anonymous, August 5, 2008 3:17 PM

It can be better for the kids if one divorces

It's far better for the kids if the parents divorce than to be in a house of hate, fighting and abuse. It's better to have two happy divorced parents than two miserable married parents. If the parents, particularly the mother is happy, the children will be as well. Lori should have also mentioned that marriage counseling does not always work and sometimes people could marry the wrong person or just grow apart.

(16) Nechama, August 5, 2008 2:17 PM

Counseling - a Blessing

To add to Lori's comments: When things hurt very much it's not time for a divorce but it's not time to sit still either.
Go to a highly recommended counselor. This is not the time for embarrasment or pushing things under the rug. Get the right advice from an expert! This can solve a lot of problems and prevent years of drifting apart. Choosing the right counselor is imperative - someone who understands your life style and really cares and of course has studied the subject thoroughly.
If husband and wife really work on their "midos" and judge each other favorably the counseling will go smoothly. And of course, don't forget to pray.

(15) Anonymous, August 5, 2008 12:08 PM

Lori- you're always on target

I wish I could speak to you in person. You always seem to know just what to say. You must have a very good husband who is THERE for you. Not everyone is SO lucky...

(14) Rachel, August 5, 2008 10:18 AM

Sad to allow life to defeat us

"Sad's" comments offer a very negative point-of-view of life. If people grow apart, then they can also grow back together. To think otherwise is simply being delusional. People grow and change, and a couple who has been married for 40 years is not the same couple who married at 20 or 30 years of age. Growing apart is an excuse we use when we don't try hard enough.

(13) Yehuda, August 5, 2008 9:33 AM

Agree, but with reservations

While I do agree with what Lori said, I wish to point out that even in frum circles, where you date according to halacha, many problems do occur. You try to find out as much as you can about a person/family before hand, but unless you go very slow (which is frowned upon in the frum world) or seriously investigate their backround, you may be in for a sad surprise. I did not know how severely emotionally unstable my ex-wife was when we were dating. I had not done enough checking on her family either. After that, it was too late. I am not subscribing to the secular world's idea either, but wish to point out that perhaps a middle ground is best. I am reluctant to say this, but many many frum couples often say to me, "I am happy for you, since now, you can be more careful in choosing your next spouse and have another chance at finding true fulfillment!" "I wish I could get another chance!" How sad! Many people stay in lukewarm marriages (at best) because divorce is worse- yet - there are admitting that they aren't receiving the joy and fulfillment that they hoped for!

(12) Daniela, August 5, 2008 8:40 AM

two points

One, it may not seem significant but I think it needs to be pointed out for perspective - 60% of divorces in this country occur over money. Just putting that out there.

And two, I think it's important when contemplating the whole divorce issue, that we distinguish between a) people who marry after dating the way people do in the frum world, where much is known before the first date and questions are asked without fear of scarring a person off or appearing like there's pressure on the other person to marry - two very great fears in the secular world - and no physical contact to fool people into thinking there is a commitment before compatibility is really discovered, and b) the rest of the population, who date for years before getting engaged, and have engagements lasting a year or more. The divorce rate in this country is not due to the ease of getting a divorce, nor the ease of getting married. I think it's due to the way people date. For people who should never have gotten married in the first place, who wouldn't have if they had had the freedom to find everything out that they needed to without fear before they made any emotional commitments or attachments, I'm not sure this idea of amputation can apply. For those who tried their best to find out, or who simply grew and changed in ways neither anticipated, this analogy is perfect. So, overall, great advice for frum, not so sure about everyone else.

(11) Anonymous, August 4, 2008 11:18 PM


Palatnik''s point of view is strictly from a religious angle, which contains and inherent negative slant on dissolving a marriage. She fails to comprehend that sometimes people just grow apart - and its no one''s fault.

(10) SusanE, August 4, 2008 12:31 PM

2nd comment. Divorce and Love

To annonymous 8/3 at 3:27pm.
Only you can decide if it's the right time for you to separate or divorce. I left after 35 years of marriage. We were both bright working people. We had a few disagreements in that 35 years and one big fight. So it wasn't a difficult life.
I stayed until the kids were adults and on their own. I was 54. My reasoning was "If I live only for another 2 years, is this the way I want to spend the rest of my life?" And If I live another 20 years, is this the way I want to spend the rest of my life?" The answer to both questions was a resounding No.
I made up my mind and went without a fight, without threats, without discussion and without another man to go to. (most women leave for another man) And I left within 3 days without a plan. I knew any lifestyle would be better than the one we were living. The children were surprised and agreed and said what took you so long, you should have done it about 8 years ago. I wasted those 8 years and will never get them back.

Many people speak about love in the marriage. There have many many articles on about Jews looking for love and marriage. It's been suggested, that you can quite well marry without love. That a good kind caring partner to marry and have children with is 'good enough'. I don't agree with that. Lori says perhaps something that would help a troubled marriage, is to look back at what attracted you to your spouse in the first place. What made you love your spouse? Bring those things to mind and you will fall in love with them all over again.. Well, that won't work if love was never there in the first place.

(9) Gary, August 3, 2008 8:40 PM

Divorce When It's A Mitzvah

It's a sin to hate another Jew. If you are in a situation that if you stay together you will come to hate your spouse, then it's time to divorce. The Torah doesn't want you to needlessly suffer.

(8) Rosen, August 3, 2008 8:01 PM

something to consider

Married couples who contemplate divorce ought to see this video.

It's sad how the divorce rate is so high, usually due to insignificant things or a lack in communication.

Shared values must go hand-in-hand between two people who are in love with each other. Thus, it wouldn't make sense to marry off someone who has diametrically different views and values than the other.

I keep on saying that people should love smart, and not blindly. All info must be out on the table between a given man and woman.

(7) Anonymous, August 3, 2008 7:43 PM

Two years ago I found some of my husbands little jottings from 1998. In his notebooks he wrote how he went to nightclubs and bars (during the summer months when my children and I were up in our summer cottage in the Catskills) to meet women. I also found notes on how to pick up women. I also found notes that indicated that he was interested in taking out a woman from his office during the time we were busy planning a wedding. When I confronted him he said "it was only a little flirting and nothing happened". But I know he came home once smelling of perfume. He claims when he sits in the office it wafts over on him. I feel totally humiliated that he made a fool of me for about ten years. I cannot function. Ive gained 25 pounds and I feel like I have ADD. I cannot focus or concentrate on matters that must be taken care of. I want to go to counseling but I dont kow where to turn

(6) Anonymous, August 3, 2008 5:52 PM

Good advice-but I required amputation

I stayed in the marriage until my sons were grown, had professions, their own families and the dog was dead.They all wished I would have left with them when they were young.Each case is different.

(5) cs, August 3, 2008 3:51 PM

I agree with Lori to a certain extent though.......

She should have provide examples of dire circumstances when a immediate divorce may be issued such as not being able to deal with incessant spousal abuse of all spectrums,dishonesty, and adultery/infidelity or when he/shelied(omitted)certain info. about him/herself such as a mental disorder( depending on the info and when in point of time in your marriage you discovered that your spouse had skeletons in his/her closet which may not neccesarily be disclosed prior to your marraige). We are talking about behaviors that are not condonable in a relationship, let in a alone marriage. In regards to other situations, one should seek marital counseling before contemplating a divorce.

(4) Anonymous, August 3, 2008 3:27 PM

unbelievable timing

I can't believe that this subject was addressed today. I have been in a funk all day thinking exactly about this. I have been contemplating divorce for many years but haven't been able to pull the trigger. My husband is a good, kind man..but I just don't respect him and have many, many, many disappointments/resentments regarding him and our relationship. I feel like there is so much "water under the bridge" that it is hard to move on from all of the pain...We don't want to put our kids thru divorce yet we both feel trapped in a relationship that died many years ago. Therapy hasn't helped...When do you feel like it is killing you enough to take the plunge of divorce........???

(3) SusanE, August 3, 2008 2:04 PM

What Then Are Good Reasons for Divorce?

If simply being ticked off isn't a reason for divorce, Lori, then what about living for years ALWAYS a bit ticked off. Always a bit angry. Always a bit unjustified. Always a bit disrespected.
When married life is that way, sometimes you need to become 100% indifferent to survive.
We all know how bad indifference and not caring is. THAT is not living. That is dying. That is being stagnant and not having joy. The woman is killing part of herself. She is killing her joy. The children surely suffer. Your families surely suffer.

I think that it is time to amputate and begin to heal. Because having no joy, no love and being indifferent especially in a marriage, is a disease that will become gangerous.
It doesn't have to be a physical beating to be abuse. And it doesn't have to be done by another person.
We abuse ourselves frequently by staying in bad relationships and bad marriages.

(2) Anonymous, August 3, 2008 5:37 AM

very beautiful

So well said!! do I get my husband to watch this???

(1) Anonymous, August 3, 2008 3:40 AM

Great advice......

I would also say to consider the children FIRST before yourself. Realize that even though you will benefit from the divorce, the children most certainly will not. Think of what it will be like for them to constantly shuttle between two "homes," what it will be like when parents remarry and the children become STEP-CHILDREN. If you haven''t been through it, take my word for it - it is one of the most difficult situations a child can endure. Let''s not forget the reduced finances when two homes must be created where only one existed before. Unless your spouse is an abuser, don''t divorce!


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