Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Turning Tides

As told to Leah Gebber

I didn’t want Yom Kippur to end. I was 21, newly engaged, and come Ne’ilah I felt that my inner work was not quite done. I needed to continue pleading, I needed time before the shofar blew and the year ahead was sealed. Just a few weeks later, as I walked to the chuppah, I felt a certain thickness in the air, like I was wading through a sea of emotions. What did it mean?

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I was just a regular girl. I never wanted the best, the greatest, spitz. Nor did I expect married life to be perfect. While we were dating,Daniel told me that at one point he felt very down in yeshivah, and I thought: Ah, he had a sprinkle of depression. Well, what of it? Most teens go through a difficult period at some time.

Right after the wedding, though, it was clear that Danielwas not okay. Was it the demands of marriage? The life changes? Fear? I didn’t know, but I knew that I would take care of him. I’m a gentle person, emotionally even-keeled, and I’d support him through whatever it was. We moved to Lakewood a couple of weeks after the wedding — although far from our native South Africa, Daniel had learned there at one particularly productive phase as a bochur and he’d always planned to return. I thoughtDaniel would be pleased — he had pushed hard that we make the move so quickly. But far away from home,Daniel’s behavior quickly spiraled out of control. Medication, therapy — these were tiny, ineffectual Band-Aids against a huge problem. It was obviousDaniel was seriously ill.

I tried. I tried so hard to lead a semblance of a normal life. I had a job lined up, and I was there on time every day. I cooked supper. Cleaned the house. I should have been on top of the world — newly married, fresh life. But my neighbor commented that I looked as if the entire world rested on my shoulders.

I was in touch with our family rav all the time, and he even took the trouble to visit us when he was in the States a month later. He saw that the situation was unworkable. “You’ll probably have to get divorced,” he said.

The response left my mouth before I had time to consider it: “We don’t do that in our family.”



To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Evolution vs. Revolution
Shoshana Friedman I call it the “what happened to my magazine?” response
Up, Up, and Away
Rabbi Moshe Grylak What a fraught subject Eretz Yisrael is, to this day
Where Do You Come From?
Yonoson Rosenblum Could they be IDF officers with no Jewish knowledge?
Heaven Help Us
Eytan Kobre Writing about anti-Semitism should rouse, not soothe
Work/Life Solutions with Chedva Kleinhandler
Moe Mernick “Failures are our compass to success”
An Un-Scientific Survey
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Are Jerusalemites unfriendly? Not necessarily
Out of Anger
Jacob L. Freedman How Angry Lawyer was finally able to calm down
5 Things You Didn’t Know about…Yitzy Bald
Riki Goldstein He composed his first melody at eight years old
When the Floodgates of Song Open, You’re Never Too Old
Riki Goldstein Chazzan Pinchas Wolf was unknown until three years ago
Who Helped Advance These Popular Entertainers?
Riki Goldstein Unsung deeds that boosted performers into the limelight
Your Task? Ask
Faigy Peritzman A tangible legacy I want to pass on to my children
Are You There?
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Emotional withdrawal makes others feel lonely, abandoned
A Peace of a Whole
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt Love shalom more than you love being right
Seminary Applications
Rabbi Zecharya Greenwald, as told to Ariella Schiller It’s just as hard for seminaries to reject you