Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

A House on Shaky Ground

Malkie Schulman

It’s one thing to put up with socks on the floor or other annoying habits. It’s an entirely different story when one’s husband starts slipping in his relationship with Hashem. Can a woman stay married to a man who no longer keeps Torah as she does?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Every couple has their disagreements, usually about mundane issues like taking out the garbage or balancing the checkbook. What happens when their differences fall into the category of religious values, when after a few years — or even decades — of marriage, one spouse decides some or all of the laws are archaic and not necessary to follow anymore? Is divorce the only answer, or can a couple like this make it work? The Gemara teaches us that Hashem values tranquility in the home and harmony between couples to such an extent that He allows His name to be erased for the sake of shalom bayis. There are many women like Ilana who, upon rabbinical counsel, stay married to men who have spiritually lapsed — some no longer religious, some who keep “basics” like Shabbos, but let many other halachos fall by the wayside. Wives who are able to make this excruciating and complicated reality work are heroines. They knowingly sacrifice their image of the ideal husband, the father they dreamed of for their children, and continue to build a home with the one they already have, exactly as he is. Resilient and resolute, with the advice and input of their rabbanim, they do whatever they can to  keep their families intact and raise their children in a healthy, frum environment.   I Won’t Do That! With 613 commandments, there’s very little in an observant Jew’s life that doesn’t have a religious component. From eating, sleeping, speaking, forms of entertainment, to work — religion touches upon everything. Can a couple still remain close when there are such distinct differences in their lifestyles? And assuming it is possible, should they? Suppose the less-religious spouse wants the other to do something halachically forbidden or simply against the more religious spouse’s principles — how does she handle that? 

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.

The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"