Divorce” is sad, and it’s also difficult for everyone involved.
We are torn. What should we do? When and how should we do it? And most importantly, is it really necessary? The answers will be different for every person. I know this from personal experience, having been divorced.
There are several things that one should consider before taking the steps to obtain a get. I am in no way anti-divorce, nor do I regret having terminated my marriage, but in retrospect I realize that it is important to be aware of many of the things I only came to realize much later.
Friends and relatives of people in difficult marriages can also benefit from awareness of these consequences; it will open their eyes to ways they can help alleviate some of the difficult situations in which divorcées find themselves.
Below are just a few of the challenges I hadn’t anticipated before my divorce and sincerely wish I had.
This may sound harsh and out of sync with the fairy-tale image of “and they lived happily ever after,” but accepting a marriage that isn’t what one had anticipated or is even challenging can really work.
It’s great to communicate with, learn from, and laugh together with one’s spouse, but it is entirely possible to survive as a happy, fulfilled and growing person without doing these activities with a spouse. A marriage that is missing one or more—or even all—of these things may very well still be worth saving when compared to the many consequences of divorce.
For some women, it may be worthwhile to stay in a less-than-optimal marriage when they consider the prospect of having to ask a neighbor to find out if her husband would be willing to learn Gemara with her son (because money for tutoring is tight), or to lend you certain sefarim that your daughter needs for a report (because your ex took all the sefarim).