Thursday, July 30, 2009

divorce of course

Someone recently told me that that people in the Tri-State are starting to make their Bar Mitzvahs fancier than their weddings... because you know, a Bar Mitzvah only happens once per lifetime.

What's up with that?

Divorce is not new. It's certainly not new to Jews. It's actually talked about in the Torah. (see Dvarim, perek 24)

But for some reason, it was always suggested that Jewish marriages were better than that. Marriage was forever. It was with someone who was compatible on many different levels. It was serious, as serious as Yom Kippur. Marriage was about being complete with another person, about creating a family, about living and passing on Jewish values.

They used to say, maybe they still say, that 50% of all marriages end in divorce. Slowly it seems that Jewish marriages are starting to catch up to the national average.

Ok, I'm exaggerating. It's my blog. But still.

I have a good friend from Brooklyn who is 23 years old. She went to a good all-girls school. A little more modern than Bais Yacov, but almost there. Out of 25 girls in her class, 20 have been married. 4 are divorced. I suck at math, but I think that's like 5%. I'm just amazed that these girls are only 23 and have already been married and divorced. (I'm actually more amazed at those girls who at similar ages have been married, divorced and remarried. I can't even do it once)

So what's the story? Why are more people getting divorced these days?

Is it because divorce is more acceptable? (which is totally cool in my books - why should someone be stigmatized because they married a capital L - Loser? and by Loser I also mean Abuser)

Is it because divorce is an easy option? An easy way out of an argument? I wish I had more insight into this, but as you know, I have yet to tie the knot with FrumPunk....

Rabbi Wallerstein blames the internet. And Facebook. In a recent shiur he said that husbands are spending more time online than with their wives. Is this true? Is Facebook really to blame? My dad is convinced that the Facebook generation is going to $hit. That we waste time checking out our friends' new Europe pictures when we could be out working and doing something a little more useful. Like making money. (if only I could find a job that paid me to write about myself...)

Oh, I just have to add this next bit before I forget. It may be total lashon harah, but I'm not mentioning names....

Apparently there's a new trend among singles... well divorced singles that is. Young divorced singles who may or may not have kids. Apparently there are some not-so-Shomer parties and not-so-Shomer vacations happening where these Divorcees leave their kids with their exes for the weekend and have fun with other Divorcees. Did I mention that all of these people are supposedly frum? Fakewood is right.

17 comments:

Ezzie said...

That's 20%, btw.

There are surely lots of possible reasons for more common divorce:

1) Pressure to get married {too} early
2) Less of a stigma to get a divorce
3) Immaturity (related to but different than #1)
4) Wanting what someone else has, not having it = lack of contentment [and things like FB can play a role; ultimately though it's up to the people involved to do what they can about things]
5) Kids/Money stress - also related to marrying young, sometimes - people aren't ready for it

Then you have the "other" reasons: People who do what you talk about at the end (and there's some of that among married couples, sadly) are those who may have been less than perfectly true with their spouses, or may be people who got into relationships in the first place based more on lust than other things.

Plus, there's the people who have major religious transitions around that time of life (one way or another), and that can have an impact. A divorcee we know said she felt everyone should be mechuyav to practice birth control for 1-2 years to start a marriage. I've heard many people agree with that statement.

Jacob Da Jew said...

Harumph. Suck at math? that's the understatement of the year.

Also, you contradicting yourself saying "Divorce is not new" and then supposably "Marriage was forever".

Actually, its a Catholic invention that marriage is forever and cannot be anulled.

I agree with Ezzie.

frum single female said...

wow , a 20% divorce rate in one class! i think that divorce among frummies is greater because in general in secular society divorce is much more accepted. getting married early is a pressure of being frum and wont stop because of the shomer negiah issue. once divorced some feel jaded enough to do whatever they want in that department. many singles get this way as well as they get older. it all sucks because it really is better to be married.
as for facebook and the internet causing divorce well yesterday it was tv and ten years from now it will be something else. i dont think facebook,the internet or tv is causing divorce, i think its much more complex than that and the rabbis who think this just want to give a pat answer to a complicated isssue.

SA said...

'Everyone should be mechuyav to practice birth control for 1-2 years to start a marriage?'

How is this statement helpful? I have no problems with birth control but I think it's a decision that should be made by the couple not one that is required by halacha. I have a feeling that same person who said this would be annoyed by someone who said that birth control is against halacha.

Ezzie said...

SA - No, they think that Rabbonim should think seriously about requiring such a thing. They don't think that people should just do it stam.

SA said...

'SA - No, they think that Rabbonim should think seriously about requiring such a thing. They don't think that people should just do it stam.'

I'm not sure I understand what you mean. The rabbi should meet with the couple and require that they not have kids for the next year? What if the couple feels they are ready to have kids but the rabbi says no? What if the rabbi thinks they should have kids but they just don't want to yet? Are you going to set a standard for every couple to wait 1-2 years? What if the couple is older and thinks that if they wait they might not have kids at all? What if the couple is younger yet feel they are financially and emotionally stable enough to have kids right away and want to? You can't set that kind of requirement - free choice does have to come into play.

Maidel said...

like i said, i suck at math!

ok - Jacob - maybe that is a slight contradiction (isn't everything in life?) but you gotta admit that divorce is more in style now than it ever was... (despite it always being an option)

is this a reflection of declining social values?

Anonymous said...

4 out of 20 = 20% of marriages ended in divorce (thus far!). Please correct the post.

It's also worth noting that 20% of the class (5/25) have never married and 36% of the class (9/25) are currently unmarried (assuming no post-divorce remarriages).

Jacob Da Jew said...

Maidel.

I like you. I like the blog. But please, fix the frickin post. You're only embarrassing yourself with those kind of errors.

Anonymous said...

Hooray for frum education!

Honestly Frum said...

One problem with the whole birth control thing is that many Rabbonim will not give heteirim right after marriage. I agree whole heartedly that younger couples should wait a year before even trying to have kids. Children are often seen as an accessory that will help fix any problem a marriage is having.

The internet and facebook do have the ability to put a strain on a marriage, if over used, but it's just the latest excuse and victim to blame for the problem. Maybe lack of parnasah and a generation of people being taught that it is OK not to work but to live off of society is to blame for the divorce rate.

The internet and facebook do have the ability to put a strain on a mariage, if over used, but it's just the latest excuse and victim to blame for the porblem. Maybe lack of parnasah and a generation of people being taught that it is OK not to work but to live off of society is to blame for the divorse rate.

Moshe said...

Immaturity and stress.

As far as internet and fb. Those rabbis don't want to deal with the problem, in many cases caused by those rabbis themselves, so they find a scapegoat. As FSF said, scapegoating and not dealing with the problem itself is very common and is not something new.

Lvnsm27 said...

I think that with the internet in general, people are spending too much time on it and not enough time with their family. Think about it. First they're at work, and then at home, they're on the computer.
I don't have a husband and children yet to be with, but when I do, I would like for us to spend quality time together.
Thank G-d we have shabbos. Still though, people should spend more than once a week together.

Lvnsm27 said...

here's a vid about the best gift that we can give
family time

Moshe said...

Spending time on internet together with wife so there goes your idea.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I also found an interesting post on frum dating at http://shidduchtalk.blogspot.com/. Maybe if people concentrated on the right things when dating, they would not end up in divorce.

Anonymous said...

4 out of 20 is 20%