What can we say to a couple who are fighting all the time and are now talking about a divorce?
And the answer is – ach, wouldn’t it be good if you could give a simple answer to that? The answer is they should go not to a marriage counselor. I know a case of a woman who goes to a marriage counselor. So I asked, who is it? It’s a she. Is she married? No. So what kind of marriage counselor is it? It’s like taking driving lessons from somebody who never drove a car. And sometimes it’s even a failure in marriage, a divorcee. And even if she’s successful in her marriage, it’s usually an ignoramus who studied some theories from books and has unrealistic approaches to life.
And so my advice is go to an older talmid chacham. That’s not me – I’m not old and I’m not a talmid chacham. My telephone is already ringing all day long because of this. And I don’t advertise. There are good people to go to. Not me. Choose an old talmid chacham.
But don’t make the big mistake that so many make – because when people go to a marriage counselor, or even worse to a psychologist or psychiatrist, they pay a big fee. But they expect an old talmid chacham to sit down for an hour and talk, and then they walk out and say thank you. Therefore, you should make it your business to remunerate him generously, as if he liked money. You should pay a generous fee. Some of them who won’t take anything but you can give it to their charities, their yeshivos. And they will give you a little bit of time, a few minutes, and that’s more precious than sitting for an hour at a silly marriage counselor.
And it can be pointed out to these people that no matter what, divorce is always going to turn out worse. It’s only because the grass seems greener further on. After it’s all over, they look back and regret. How many divorced women and divorced men have spoken on the telephone to me! And I ask them, “Will you reconsider the first one? Would you like to remarry the first one?” And they said, “I would like to but it’s too late.” And therefore the time to reconsider is before you do it.
TAPE # 204 (February 1978)