Profile Rabbi Dovid E. Eidensohn

Showing posts with label Rights of Husband. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rights of Husband. Show all posts

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Wife Demands GET, Give it to Her or What?

A wife demands a GET. Does the husband have to give it to her? Should the husband give it to her? Can the husband demand an effort to save the marriage, such as marriage counseling? Or should he just give it to her and let her take the children?

We have to answer these questions from two perspectives. One, is halacha. What does the Torah command the husband when his wife demands a GET? And secondly, we must know something else. Does the wife have a right to break the marriage and take the children from the husband?

The reason we have to ask the second question before we answer the first question is as follows. I have spoken to many people who are Torah Jews and learned, and when they feel that the wife has a right to divorce her husband, they insist on the Torah agreeing with them, even after I show them that the Torah does not agree with them. It doesn't help with some people to prove the Torah's opinion as long as they are sure that morally the wife has a right to leave. Therefore, we cannot just proclaim the Torah position. We must think carefully into a divorce, and its implications. Then we will think about the moral issues. And when we see the moral issues explored properly, we will turn to the halacha.

I have worked for years with broken marriages and women demanding a GET. A GET destroys. Husbands are broken, children take medication, families are devastated, hate grows and festers. Yes, a divorce is a disaster, for the husband, the wife, the children and the family.

When we realize this, we can better  understand the Torah position that the wife, in the vast majority of cases, cannot force her husband to give a GET, and if she does coerce the GET, it is invalid.

 Let us take a regular marriage. Two people from fine Torah homes with excellent background in Yeshiva and Bais Yaacov marry. They have a few children. Then, the wife has had enough and demands a GET. Does she have a right to do this? Does the husband have a right to refuse?

For the husband, a divorce is a life-changing disaster. Let us say he married at twenty five and now he is thirty five. By the time the divorce is completed and he is able to get back into thoughts of remarrying, years may go by. To start a new marriage at the age of forty or about that is a daunting proposition. The new wife would be a person around this age, possibly with children from a previous marriage. And if the husband remarries such a woman and has a house with her children, and hopefully, new children from him and his new wife, these children will have to get along with the husband's older children from his previous wife. Thus, three types of children will have to share one house. That may not be a problem. But if it is a problem, it is a problem. If the new wife stands up for her children, and the husband stands up for his children, you are looking at a very messy marriage.

Another problem is that the husband loses a large part of his income to support his children, now dominated by the wife. The children may visit here and there, but the wife, now divorced, has the major say and the major time with the children. The husband thus, in order to honor his wife's demand for a GET, must lose a large sum of money to support his children that he doesn't see very often, and he sees his children only here and there. And because the wife sees the children much more than the husband, and she often doesn't like the husband, the children may sense this and begin to dislike the father. Thus, the father can have the ultimate pain of his children turning against him. There are fathers who suffer terribly when their children refuse to answer their letters, or have anything to do with them. A child makes a simcha and there is an issue if the father should attend.

And today there is a legion of supporters of women who come to ladies divorcing or who want divorce, and teach them how to torture the husband. Step one is for a wife to make up lies about her husband that he beats he or molests the children. Next the wife is taught to get an order of protection based on her lies. Once that is done, if a father comes to his child's public event, he can be arrested and put in jail. A prominent therapist told me of the father who insisted on coming to all of his child's events, and was thus jailed for 56 times until the judge finally realized that the wife was making trouble where it didn't belong.

There was a case not long ago where a wife called the police and said that her daughter was bleeding and blamed the husband. The police experts in this field rushed over and discovered that the whole thing was a complete lie. Despite this, the child remained with the mother, and the secular court, the rabbis and the heads of the community continued to make war with the husband to destroy his name. All of these things are real and happen all of the time. And a husband knows it. He knows that his only protection is not giving a GET. Once the wife has the GET, she can completely destroy the husband's relationships with the children, and constantly harass the husband with claims of criminal activity. The husband must spend a fortune to defend himself, and his life becomes a hideous horror.

We now turn now to the halacha, which clearly says that in the vast majority of cases a wife cannot force a GET from her husband, and that it is forbidden to pressure him to do it. We can do so only after we realize just what is happening when we force a husband to divorce. A divorce can mean that his life is destroyed. As he ages, and loses strength, and seeks another mate, he is a cripple, financially, emotionally, and family wise.

All of those who encourage divorce and the destruction of a husband because a wife won't go to therapy to improve the marriage will have to answer for this in another world.

A couple once came to the Chofetz Chaim and he advised them to divorce. Somebody asked him, would it not be better to reconcile? The Chofetz Chaim answered, "According to you, why does the Torah permit divorce if we must always reconcile?" Yes, there are cases where the Torah permits divorce. But the mass divorcing in America today is surely not in the spirit of the Torah. The destruction of children, of husbands, of wives, of families, is so hideous that we cannot understand why so many people encourage it.

I had a case where a woman called the police on her husband and got  him put in jail. I asked her if she wanted a divorce, and she said that she did not want a divorce. I asked her, if so, why did she put her husband in jail? She said that the ladies told her to do it. Now, that sounds stupid. But I told it to a senior therapist and he agreed that in his experience this is not a rare occurence.

This is Torah? HaShem Yerachem.

Yes, sometimes there must be a divorce. But if today, you think you are next, contact me, because there may be another side to this story.