Dear Mrs. Bluth,
I have been an avid reader of your column and wonder why there are rarely any letters relating to the aftermath of your good advice. I hope mine will be the incentive for others to write in and share their hakoras hatov and the way things turned out.
Many years ago, I was a young married woman who realized she had made a mistake. My then new husband had presented himself as a self sufficient, rising attorney, who had a daily shiur and davened three times a day. His family, albeit a bit pushy and controlling during the wedding planning, didn’t really pose a problem.
After the wedding, my husband turned into a sniveling, petulant three-year-old. He would call his mother every morning before he went to work (davening and his shiur fell to the wayside and eventually stopped altogether) to ask what he should wear. When I asked if I should lay out his clothes for him, he flatly refused saying that his mother knew exactly what he needed. Mommy became an ever-present presence in our lives. She prepared his lunches, kept a log of doctor’s appointments and any other visits he needed to make, she even took to collecting our mail and paying our bills. He called her for almost everything. His father, on the other hand, was a manipulative, controlling tyrant who ordered his son around as if he was still at home and too stupid to make the simplest decisions. Our marriage, if you could call it that, was comprised of four people.
Too embarrassed to tell my parents, I approached his mother and father and asked them what was going on. His mother said he still needed her, as he was her youngest child, and only son. His father absolutely lost it and went on a rant of how ungrateful I was.
After almost eight months of this lunacy, I told my parents I wanted out. My father and mother supported my decision and went about helping me. My husband ran to his parents and his father started with the threats and demands. We ran to rabbonim; they ran to lawyers. We were ready to forfeit almost everything; they just kept upping their demands. They painted us as the worst sort of people and claimed to be the victims. It was the most horrible of times and it nearly broke us monetarily and emotionally.
And that’s when my father called you.
I will never forget the words of hope and support you extended to us. You told us to get in touch with Rabbi Bryks and ask him to represent us in bais din. Slowly, things began to happen. One morning, around 7:30 a.m., Rabbi Bryks called me and said to come quickly to the bais din office.
My husband’s parents had gone to California on some pressing family issue and Rabbi Bryks had managed to talk my ex into coming down and to sign the get without any stipulations! When I held my pitur in my hand, I was in a state of shock and great joy.
To say we are eternally grateful to Hakadosh Boruch Hu for guiding our steps would be a major understatement. Even while my ex in-laws tried to nullify the get by saying it was coerced and manipulated, the bais din stood its ground. I was free to marry and have a life. Within a year’s time, I had remarried and Baruch Hashem, have a beautiful marriage and family.
Every so often I think back to the misery and angst that was my first marriage and wonder how many other women are suffering their own nightmares. That is why I write this letter, to say that there are happy endings and we need to read about them. Thank you again for being the instrument of my freedom and thanks to Rabbi Bryks for physically pulling off the miracle.
How gracious of you to write such an uplifting and wonderful follow-up letter, even these many years later. It is much appreciated. You are absolutely correct in your assumption that letters such as yours are as important as the advice and the resources offered when someone is in pain or in trouble. It reinforces the emunah and bitachon that seem to lessen during times of stress and is often replaced with dejection, hopelessness and defeat. As long as there is life, there is hope. And where there’s hope, miracles happen.
I do, indeed remember your case and the miraculous way everything fell into place. Both I and Rabbi Bryks are thrilled that you have gone on to lead the life you deserve, with a loving husband and wonderful children. It makes everything worthwhile and gives us and everyone in this parsha that extra koach to march on.