Decide! Divorce or Not
People marry, have children, often many children, but the marriage isn’t working well. Should the couple divorce? What should be the factors in this matter?
We mentioned in our previous post that divorcing when there are children is very questionable. In fact, the gemora clearly forbids it in two places. And yet, every day another family with a large amount of children divorces. Perhaps this is wrong. But how can people live together and fight constantly?
The Chofetz Chaim once advised a couple to divorce. Somebody asked him how a tsadik can say such a thing. The Chofetz Chaim replied, “According to you, that you must always make Shalom Bayis, why did the Torah permit making a GET?”
A key element in this issue is the First Team of those who can make Shalom Bayis. There are, in very community, those people who are more capable than others in making Shalom among quarrelling couples. When these worthies have tried their best and nothing changes, perhaps it is time to look for other solutions to the crisis. On the other hand, what is so terrible if you fail once and try again?
A major therapist told me that some people have bad traits that require dedicated work with a top therapist for years to cure. But the same therapist told me that he has worked for decades with the hardest cases and can achieve results. Of course, it depends how dedicated the people are because working on yourself is not an easy task.
Here is my plan. A and B have split. There are a lot of children. On the one hand, the children really need two parents in the house. On the other hand... There are two ways to approach things. One is negative and one is positive. Let us eschew the negative now because when I discuss it it makes me feel negative! So let's try positive!
It means like this. A and B are at loggerheads. How deep the pain is I can't imagine, and I go past it. What else can I do? Let's talk about positive things. The husband and wife have split, there are certain issues that will provoke bitter fights, and there are other things that won't produce bitter fights. Now, here is my plan.
Today is the end of Chanukah. Let us go to our couple and say as follows. Let's take a Holiday from war. Let's do the miracle of Chanukah. How? Each person will think only positive about the other at least for Chanukah, and at least for the experiment I make.
The couple at this point has not settled anything. Therefore, the wife is bitter and the husband is bitter. No, no, no. It is Chanukah. And if it not Chanukah, we will invent a new Chanukah. Any ridiculous thing is better than broken chldren.
So let us talk to A and B and say, Guess what! Today is Chanukah, the real or invented one. Let's do one thing. Let's make the children happy. What about gifts fo the children? What about a party for the children? Now, don't think this is an easy matter. For all of this you need somebody who is respected by both sides so much that they will put away their weapons at least for a limited period. That is no simple matter. When I get involved I don't take money so people have to respect that. And I am also too old to suffer from the fights so people have to behave. I also believe in miracles. So let us assume that there will be a miracle. The husband will come to the wife and the children with goodies or whatever and for a few seconds everyone can smile.
That is basically step one. But there is another idea. Now that somebody is involved in the whole thing, and that person obviously is enamored of fantasies, why not be truly ambitious? If the major therapists I spoke to assure me that the right person can fix a broken marriage, why are we different? If it takes two years to fix a bad trait, but the person tries hard from the beginning, maybe this makes a difference. When you see somebody trying, somebody who is the father of your children, you have to think twice before your break dishes.
I am seventy two years old and I married off nine children. But I am still running around to people who are experts to get advice how to behave in marriage. And when they tell me something, whether or not it hurts, it helps and I really try to behave. Let's consider that. What hope is there when a person splits in marriage and will sit with children from a broken family for long years. Who will marry these broken children? Maybe, just maybe, it will be possible to plant impossible thoughts.
I once made Shalom Bayis at a GET. The Rov worked for nothing. But isn't that what is it all about?
Jewish Torah people, who spend their whole lives learning Torah and musar, can't we somehow convince them to save their children from a broken family? Maybe I am just too optimistic. But when I come to the other world, that foolishness will protect me.