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The latest trend in frum divorces

I think the title may be misleading so let me clarify, the latest trend in my friends who are getting divorce and it’s not the trend of late. Most of my friends who have gotten divorced, have done so due to religious differences with their wives. Those religious differences usually stem from the girl being quite a bit more religious than the guy and it’s time I spoke about this issue to see if maybe we can knock some sense into those entering marriages doomed for failure. I say doomed, because in the shidduch world a lot of guys will date girls more religious them because it’s assumed that the girl will help the guy stay strong in his religiousness – I find that this works in very few cases and it usually back fires. For instance I have several friends who were the types who grew up yeshivish, went off the derech and then came back on the derech quickly type of dudes. After jumping back into the game of frumkeit, they jumped the gun in marrying someone who only knew them in their formerly off the derech now inspired sort of BT phase and it’s common in the frum community to jump into things too quickly.

Back in my dating days (about 4-6 years ago) I remember being told by friends and shadchanim that it was best to marry someone a little more religious than me, I don’t doubt that this could be good advice, but I remember one friend in particular who didn’t even keep shabbos telling me that he wouldn’t date a girl who wore pants. There are plenty of dudes out there who will say things that amount to “modern orthodox girls are good for making out, but what will my family think if I marry them” and I always find that a bit disconserting. Basically, you put on a show for the girls you’re dating, but the girls you hook uo with get the real you. Hence the reason I never really did well in dating, I was simply too open, too divulgent and too honest for most frum girls.

Anyway, my latest friend to kick the bucket is a product of the yeshiva world who suddenly woke up one day and decided that he actually wanted to work. I know it may seem weird to some of you, but he decided to work because he was sick of being on food stamps and taking money from his parents and in-laws. He suddenly felt alone in the kollel world and decided to enroll in college. That’s where the problems started, he’s perfectly frum, but his little path away from yeshiva has taken him down the road to what I may call real modern orthodoxy. He started reading Solevatchik and Hirsch and maybe took some pirkei avos to heart in the places where it says all that stuff about “Torah without work” being a real crappy existence. To make a long story short, his wife, the sweet innocent bais yaakov girl who married the kollel guy finds herself with this YU-type of guy all of a sudden and their marriage took a nose dive.

I have met quite a few Frum Satire readers over the years who have similar stories. They all tell me that yeshiva set them up for failure, unfortunately these yeshiva/kollel guys rarely have any marketable skills, savings or idea of how to get an education or a job. In the other more common department, the inspired baal teshuva who rushed into marriage with someone on their level at their high point in Judaism are usually more lucky, they usually have money and skills because many of the folks who weren’t cut out for yeshiva developed skills and may have gotten an education. Either way, it’s an interesting trend amongst my friends and I just thought it would be a nice thing to let people know exists. Maybe this could even serve as a warning to those who are marrying out of their hashkafic realm.

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{ 62 comments… add one }
  • JG June 6, 2012, 6:48 AM

    Sad that it came out later than sooner, but this guilded welfare state of living off parents and the government can’t last. Sooner or later the money will run out !!!

    It was good enough for the Rambam and many other g’dolim to work. Do people think they’re on a higher level than these Tzadikim.

    Torah V’Avodah !
    Its a VERY healthy lifestyle

    • Anonymous June 6, 2012, 9:26 AM

      depends if you’re using avodah for Torah, or Torah for avodah. If you work in order to make parnosa so you can further your learning and Yiddishkeit, then it’s a good thing. But if you’re using your Torah or avodah for the opposite, then it’s a negative thing. And this doesn’t mean I support YU – there’s enough negative going on there (aside from the few students/staff who actually take their learning and Yiddishkeit seriously)

      • Synapse June 13, 2012, 5:37 PM

        “aside from the few students/staff who actually take their learning and Yiddishkeit seriously”

        While I’d say the majority of YU does take it’s learning and yiddishkeit very seriously, I’d say even having kids who don’t should speak volumes to how well they work to keep kids who are not as frum involved in a Jewish atmosphere that will leave an impact on them.

        Ya know, as opposed to hiding them in some far off school where they can’t damage the other kids shidduch chances until after they get married.

  • wife June 6, 2012, 9:07 AM

    I wonder if the problem behind these kind of divorces is that the emphasis in many communities for women is that the main way they can achieve spiritually is through supporting their husbands. Their own learning isn’t important, their davening isn’t important, and so on. So of course when their husband’s frumminess take a downturn they can’t take a hands off attitude because it’s “my olam haba too.” Trying to micromanage a spouse’s day to day is relationship poison.

    In cases where girls sacrificed a lot to keep the guy in kollel, I think some resentment is understandable when they’re suddenly like “oops, never mind.” Just like my husband would surely not appreciate it if I decided to be a sidewalk chalk artist after the several years we spent living apart for my specialized education and its high $$ cost. The difference is that, even with me as a chalk artist, my husband’s job would adequately support us and the resentment would probably mellow after a while. Whereas these girls may feel they’re spiritually “broke” if their husband doesn’t learn or observe sufficiently, since their own learning and davening can’t make up for it.

    By the way, your wording is ambiguous as to who’s actually doing the leaving in these cases. Is it the girls leaving their husbands for not being frum enough? Or the husbands leaving their wives to avoid the pressure?

    • ora June 10, 2012, 10:46 AM

      Good analysis. It’s the problem of the Embezzled Heaven…

    • TiredofRudeCitiesMiamiNYC June 12, 2012, 2:49 PM

      My husband was afraid I would slow him down, religiously; I tried explaining my ADHD symptoms and Tourettes might be a problem; he went off deep end, for medical reasons . . . and is now in detention awaiting deportation to Paris. His English has improved and he is in a cell reading Torah, Talmud and Tanya everyday, I hope not as penitence for our marraige, but as the only way to get his attention, by a Power Greater Thank myself. I learned with him, to live meds free, regain attention through prayer and Hebrew, love the light I had been fearing to go near for years; H-shem bless and keep him. Our story: arttzaddikim.blogspot.com

  • AztecQueen2000 June 6, 2012, 9:15 AM

    And this is why people should get married without trying to sponge off their parents. Then they can marry the person that reflects who they really are without worrying about what their parents think. (Personally, I find the idea of kollel sons-in-law abhorrent–good thing they wouldn’t want my girls anyway.)

    • Anonymous June 6, 2012, 9:28 AM

      sorry to burst your bubble, but EVERYONE puts on a disguise when dating (frum or secular). It’s just human-nature. So the goal must then be to decipher costume from person 🙂

      • lowa June 6, 2012, 5:45 PM

        to add to your “bubble” bursting, I would say that people throughout their long lives change… some for the better and some for the worse… the only way to make the partnership last is TOLERANCE!!! I know because I tolerated my hubby’s mishugas the first 8 years and now he’s (patiently) tolerating mine!!

      • abandoning eden June 7, 2012, 6:25 AM

        the difference is that in the real world we disguise ourselves in ways we think will be attractive to our potential partners vs. ways that will be attractive to our parents and our potential in-laws. Plus we also date each other long enough for that disguise to come off a bit- there’s only so long someone can keep that disguise up. I’ve found while dating that people’s “true” personality begins to emerge around 6 weeks to 2 months into a relationship, at which point some jewish people are already engaged and barely talking to each other anymore until the marriage.

  • Colloquially Speaking June 6, 2012, 9:27 AM

    Funny. With us it was the other way around. I was less frum (something his parents made sure to let me know they were upset about – five years into the marriage) and it was only at risk of me leaving (orthodoxy, not my marriage) that my husband starting reading Halachic Man. But then again, we’re different because we were both yeshivish raised and met in cracksquare…and then he thought it would be a good idea to go black and white…disastrous…
    On another note – what the hell is up with guys insisting on dating frummer girls? My husband asked his friends if they would marry the girls they were hanging out with in town and they all said no way…

  • Darth_Zeidah June 6, 2012, 10:31 AM

    Is this the sort of story a man on the eve of his marriage should be even considering, let alone writing about?

    • Anonymous June 7, 2012, 12:13 PM

      I think it is very important actually. People have to be realistic about relationships and what is necessary to make it work BEFORE the marriage.

  • Kneidel Maidel June 7, 2012, 3:35 AM

    I was also advised to date and marry guys who were more religious than me for that same reason. Boy, was I a letdown to that community because that never happened. Even there is still some religious differences between me and my husband but at least he is not a black hat yeshivah bochur grease ball who is completely clueless to the outside world with no personality. Yes his religious convictions irk me a bit and he is not so comfortable with my liberal views on religion either. But that partially unto itself makes our marriage exciting.

  • abandoning eden June 7, 2012, 6:20 AM

    Ha, I was the poor hapless modern orthodox girl who hooked up with a lefty yeshivish guy who thought modern orthodox girls were for “practice”- he hooked up with me and like 4 of my friends before he married a girl who had been shomer negiah her whole life. After we had been regularly hooking up for a month or two I tried to turn it into a relationship and we had the “define the relationship” talk, and he ended up dumping me like a week later. But then 3 days after that tried to hook up with me again (although I was not having any of that). Later he had the chutzpah to criticize me for marrying a non jewish guy.

    • Ephraim June 8, 2012, 9:59 AM

      Actually, I think your case is really the classic case of “why do the best girls only date jerks?” You dated a jerk. THEN you saw it as if to justify his hypocrisy that you either had to be shomrie negiah -OR- since you were jilted -marry a goy(who no doubt had no silly shtus or baggage frum guys carry -that’s why I used to like shiksahs -it din’d use them for “practice” per-se those relationships ended with my being to scared to completely renounce my beliefs -so I would go back to being a good celibate othodox boy and get ingnored until I couldn’t stand it and find another shiksa). Like many other people -you have/had a connection to the frum community but the extreme right nature didn’t suit you -or your then boyfriend, who decided to do or act in a way he needed to “fit in” after being an asshole to you. In your case you found love YOUR WAY , but…I just wish more (not so)frum girls would cross the picket line and stop playing the segregation game and shadchan game. Just hook up, it’s OK. I dated my future wife by shoozing with her in the shul lobby -then we just dated as consenting adults and got married -we were not shomrie negiah either.

      • ora June 10, 2012, 11:08 AM

        Ephraim: You are a jerk too, not only the guy she met…

        • ora June 10, 2012, 11:09 AM

          … I would define as a jerk any person who demands from others what they do not keep themselves…

          • ephraim June 10, 2012, 11:28 AM

            Ora, I never demanded anyone else be as good as worse than or better than I. I simply find it ironic a quasi frum woman would decide she must choose a shagetz and marry him because she fooled around with a guy who obviosly wasn’t mature enough for commitment.
            I don’t seek your approval regarding whatever I have done, because while it was wrong, I always wanted to do the right thing only too many people are just so high and mighty.

        • ora June 10, 2012, 11:13 AM

          ..or people who make up conditions as they go: if a non-jewish girl is good enough to fuck, why is she not good enough to marry?

          Are you so intimidated by your family, so as to betray your companion?

          I have much more respect for Abandoning Eden, who stood fast with her husband, even at the price of being disowned by her family.

          But I suppose that girls got more of that “loyalty” stuff than guys…

          • Ephraim June 18, 2012, 8:52 AM

            Ora, I would be happy to give you the last word since whether you are right or not is a triviality, BUT -actually it was , it was, in both cases -how Ironic they broke up with me citing they did not want a man who gives up beliefs for them -they wanted it to be MY decision. Those were low points in my life as I in my heart always wanted the frum wife of my dreams but fell on hard luck financially, and didn’t have impressive “Torah background” yichus or MONEY or any STATUS that your frum girls seem to demand, which is why the so called shuddich crisis is silly -so long as the women want only one type of man -they get what they deserve. I kno wthat sounds harsh but when I was living a celibate life for extended periods of times -watching other people get married and being made a pariah of sorts -I though “maybe going off the derech” wasn’t so bad. I just wasn’t good at it. I betrayed no one and last did my family to whom I am the black sheep factor in AT ALL. You ASSume things, because you think men , in general terms have more inherrent flaws. We men, actually wonder how “you” women could have the ability to put love and passion and sex on the same scale as Status, money and Power. True Men think with their dicks, but I wonder if some women at times completely lacked souls. I did say SOME. Now,meeting the frum girl of my dreams did help me see the light and want to become a better man. My crime was not wanting to be celibate at times when I felt belittled and alienated and putting my dick before someone’s feelings BUT I did not cross certain lines. I think marrying out when you DO have choices is worse take it or leave it.

    • Yochanan June 8, 2012, 12:51 PM

      I’m sure the guys who “practice” have such great relationships with their wives.

      • Ephraim June 8, 2012, 1:29 PM

        By that logic ANYONE who has had physical contact with a woman prior to marriage is DOOMED to have a divorce? I agree in the ideal, but speaking for people who are MADE into outsiders by our system -people will be human and feel alone and sometimes make bad choices.

        • Yochanan June 10, 2012, 3:01 PM

          You know that’s not what’s meant by “for practice”.

          • Ephraim June 10, 2012, 7:05 PM

            Yochnan, Do I want to know what the “real” meaning is? Am I actually naive about something? I have a feeling I can guess what you are talking about.

  • otd chick June 7, 2012, 6:53 AM

    Because guys who are non-religious altogether treat their women sooooooooo much better. Judaism teaches men to disrespect women so that’s what the men do.

    • Huh? June 11, 2012, 5:13 PM

      Are you being serious? Because you know that Judaism and the Torah demand that men accord their women the highest respect. Religious men who fail to do so are deviating from the Jewish code of conduct. And I don’t think you will find much respect for women in the secular world. Their bodies maybe, but not much else. Take it from one who’s been there.

      • Ephraim June 11, 2012, 8:19 PM

        My wife is a queen and there is none like here I would walk 500 miles and 500 more… why because I realize I don’t deserve her at some times, for all the flaws I have. I am reasonably “frum” and whether the torah says so or not -I and all my peers treat their wives well that I know of. On the contrary I would complain that in our lastest incarnation of Orthodox MEN are the weaker sex, it’s a struggle for an observant man to keep his biatzim and love his wife.

      • Synapse June 13, 2012, 5:43 PM

        To the non-frum crowd, it’s very widely acknoweldged that shiksas are for practice, jews are for marriage. This is even stated, ironically, by those with non-Jewish parents and non-Jewish fiancees so so much for that message.

        • Alter Cocker June 13, 2012, 6:07 PM

          first place I ever heard “shiksas are for practice” was on this blog, because Heshy loves saying it for some reason.

  • Batya June 7, 2012, 7:28 AM

    Excellent post. Also with people married a long time, sometimes they grow in different directions.

  • Chaim June 7, 2012, 9:19 AM

    Since he has no marketable skills, he will never make enough money to support a modern orthodox girl.

  • asifa June 7, 2012, 4:23 PM

    huge problem, huge consequences. ive been talking about this forever. people have to show their real self. if you have to hide that to pick up someone, remember that you are making this charade for the rest of your life- or you will get divorced. think about those poor kids you are screwing over by doing this. marry those nashim you hung out with because you were too “chilled” for the frummer ones. and frum girls arent always a picnic anyway, why marry someone you have 0 compatability with.

  • Modche June 8, 2012, 3:07 AM

    Heshy sad post but one quibble maybe in america its different but elsewhere you can work, read R Hirsch and R Soleveichik and not be considered MO the obsession with labelling is unhealthy

  • Batya June 8, 2012, 5:58 AM

    I think we all have fantasy versions of ourselves, and real versions of ourselves, and we like the fantasy a lot, and hope people will buy it, and sometimes are insecure about the more humdrum version that we suspect is more accurate. I think there is a strong temptation to find a partner who believes your fantasy is your reality, so you don’t have to face who you really are. I think this may be what leads to what you are describing. It’s hard being with someone who really knows you, and hard to believe they would love you if they really knew who you are. This seems really human to me.

  • OCTOMOM SPECIAL June 10, 2012, 3:34 PM

    Shiksas are an excuse; they have inflatable dolls, you know.

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