To Divorce or Not To Divorce?

Dear Rabbi

My wife and I have a terrible relationship. We are fighting and screaming all the time. I think our marriage is doomed but I am concerned about the social stigma. We are a frum family and in our circle it will affect our two children as they grow up and want to marry. People shy away from kids from divorced homes. Is that reason enough to stay together?


Dear FD

Your obvious first port of call is professional counselling. You mustn’t throw in the towel until such point as someone objective who stands outside the relationship can look in and determine whether there is hope going forward. I would argue you should consider someone religious as yourselves who always appreciates the complexities in a frum family lifestyle. That said, I think it is utterly absurd to consider staying together purely for the sake of sparing your kids some supposed stigma. Aside from the sad fact that divorce is more of an acceptable norm today, there is the far more significant point that your kids, growing up in a hostile environment will find it so much more difficult to form meaningful relationships of their own. They will develop in the belief that screaming and abuse is one way to resolve problems, and will likely find themselves in the same vicious pattern as yourselves. The greatest gift parents can give children in order to give them the edge to become a winner is that Mommy loves Daddy and Daddy loves Mommy, through tenderness and sensitivity. When a child is raised in a home where they see care, love and respect, they will grow with care, love and respect. When they see constant criticism and arguments they will grow to be critical and argumentative. To that end, it’s not about what other people are going to say. It’s about giving your kids the best chance in life. And sometimes it is better to come from a broken home than to live in a broken home.