But more often than not the thing that people look at in each other is the intangible ‘attraction factor.’ Which is of course very important. Attraction is based on both physical and psychological attributes. A marriage cannot succeed if a couple is not attracted to each other. But all too often the investigation ends there. Once the romance wears off – important things ignored will surface and if the differences are great enough – it can destroy the marriage. I know some pretty attractive couples where there was “love at first sight” that have gotten divorced. I recall one case where the marriage did not even last through the week of Sheva Brachos.
I don’t know if that marriage was salvageable. But I do know that many marriages are salvageable with just a little bit of work – and the right kind of therapy. And yet divorce seems to be an all too easy a way out these days. It used to be a rarity. When it did happen, people were embarrassed by it. Now it is as matter of fact as getting married. But still divorce even in our day is an ordeal for the couple. And if there are children – there will be a lot more suffering by all concerned. In cases where the marriage can be saved, that suffering will be needless.
On the other hand divorce is sometimes the right course of action. A contentious marriage where a couple is always at odds with screaming matches and constant bitter battles can have a far more deleterious effect than a divorce. If there can be no compromise that will lead to a peaceful marriage then divorce may be the only solution.
Where to draw that line should only be determined by a competent professional that counsels both husband and wife and then honestly evaluate what the best option is for them and their children. This does not mean that each spouse cannot have individual therapy. That can be very helpful as long as the therapist does not turn his or her client against the spouse without hearing their side of it. In my view any advice about divorce ought to come from an experienced therapist who knows both sides of the story by dealing directly with them both.
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About the Author: Harry Maryles runs the blog "Emes Ve-Emunah" which focuses on current events and issues that effect the Jewish world in general and Orthodoxy in particular. It discuses Hashkafa and news events of the day - from a Centrist perspctive and a philosphy of Torah U'Mada. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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