Keeping the Focus
When Facing Divorce

By Dr. Akiva G. Belk

This essay study is dedicated in the loving memory of Mr. Paul Sakash, may he rest in peace.

Few would argue about the feelings of pain, resentment, bitterness and alienation divorce brings. Divorce has been described as worse than the death of a loved one. And while all of this is close to accurate it's not exactly.

Actually divorce is the eternal separation of two people. It's the separation of lifestyles, religion, religious interpretations, physical contact, emotional contact, support, bank accounts, credit cards, positions, family, relatives, children, pets, scrapbooks, pictures, responsibilities for all of the above and much more.

As awful as divorce is, it can be helpful to keep the focus before, during and after, even when unfortunately some of your worst nightmares become just sick dreams compared to what actually happens.

Divorce was provided by G-d as a way for two people who found their lives to be more distant and opposite than originally thought. Most people would never have married had they realized the strong, determined differences separating them. Even though, after the fact, one realizes the hard truth within the cyclone of difference, it doesn't relieve what one experiences. Divorce more clearly defines it.

Certain divorces offer unpleasant reminders of the great differences between two people. These divorces, G-d forbid, are capped with the words revenge, retaliation, reprisal, anger and greed. They more clearly enunciate the differences that result in the divorce.

Accepting Divorce
There is no way to describe the pain inflicted by such actions. However there is a way to face it. Face divorce eyeball to eyeball. Accept it! Accept it for all that it is and move on with the lessons from it.

How we look at divorce plays a part in how we accept it! Realizing that divorce is generally good when two people are not compatible is better than sulking over the fact one is now divorced. In other words, why sulk over being separated from someone who is not your soul mate? When two people with irreconcilable differences are bound by a marriage agreement, it can be difficult for both of them. Trying to hold on under such trying situations is not always the best choice.

Judaism supports marriage! Judaism encourages maintaining a very healthy relationship with one's spouse. However, if two people are not meant for each other Judaism also supports divorce. In Judaism divorce does not represent the hardness of one's heart as suggested by the New Testament. Judaism supports the concept of finding one's soul mate.

More frequently than not, divorce represents two people who should have never married, two people who are not compatible, two people who are not alike, two people who would be happier if they found their soul mate, arranged by G-d. Staying in a relationship with the wrong partner may be courageous or financially rewarding, but it is like forcing a puzzle piece into the wrong space. It doesn't quite fit properly.

Obviously it is very important to make sure that one has reached the correct conclusion when considering such important matters. It might be good to set an appointment with the local rabbi to discuss marital difficulties with regards to the Torah. It would also be wise to set a series of appointment with a non biased professional marriage counselor. Review the difficulties and prospect for solutions. After a detailed review of the difficulties... after careful sorting through them, issue by issue, it should be clearer what to do. A professional will help you determine if your present relationship is Berschert or not. However you must decide what to do...

If a relationship is not divinely ordered, if a marriage is not forged with that divine spark, if the souls are not welded together on the spiritual level, if a marriage is not intended to one can change that fact. Accept it! Deal with the issues! Do your best. What else can you do if you're in a relationship that doesn't fit? Wallowing in anger, blame, guilt or sulking doesn't help.

I personally do not believe that soul mates can or will divorce. They are connected by G-d from Creation to be joined together. I believe that soul mates grow together not apart. I wrote a very unique article not included on this web "sight" about how Adam and Chava are so specially mated for each other. These insights will be available in my soon to be published book, G-d willing, entitled Revealing the Mysteries of Hebrew Letters and Numbers.

Life does not end with divorce! If your marriage ends in divorce eventually you will reach the place where you can move on with life. When you do, it will be helpful to have a plan. For example:

A person who is an avid reader, who reads four or five hours a day every day, who finishes a book in two days, etc. should not be seeking a mate at the annual employees' picnic / party. They should seek a person who shares common interests. That means connecting with someone at a book fair, library, etc.

An individual who strongly dislikes pets, for example, should be careful not to connect with a person who has two cats, a dog, a frog and a turtle. A pet store, a pet show or a park where pet owners congregate would not be the best place to search for a mate.

All I'm saying is, define who you are and define what you do not like. Connect with the places that exemplify who you are and avoid the other areas. Simply put, finding the perfect mate means finding an individual who shares your same likes and dislikes with only a few minor differences. These basic concepts which are the foundation for a strong, stable, life long relationship are overlooked everyday.

Ride the pony you're on...
Often after a divorce a person's self confidence is shaken. One reflects on what their former spouse said about them. All the complaints and compliments whatever they may be, one thinks often about them... Ignore everything that has been said. Just as you defined what you enjoy and what you dislike, do the same thing with what you like and dislike about yourself. The point is, ride the pony that you have. Your soul mate will accept you for what you are! You can work on your dislikes together...

I personally feel it is wrong to pretend to be different than who you actually are. Remember, it was G-d who said, "It is not good that man should be alone." Every person ever created to live on this earth has a soul mate. That includes YOU!

Your soul mate will be like you! Your soul mate will enjoy the things that you enjoy. Your soul mate will avoid the things that you avoid. Search for your soul mate in your world.

Wishing you the best,

Dr. Akiva G. Belk

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