According to Rabbi Shmuley, divorce is never good, but it is often necessary, especially in cases where there is a recurring pattern of alcoholism, abuse or adultery. For most couples, he says the single determining factor for divorce is whether there is any affection or love left in the relationship.
Sometimes, couples think there's no love left when, in fact, there is, Rabbi Shmuley says. He recommends couples seek the help of an outside counselor to help repair the marriage before they come to that conclusion. Couples should also ask themselves the following questions to help determine if they are still in love:
- When you have a piece of good news, who's the first person you want to tell?
- When you see something beautiful—a mountaintop, sunset or rainbow—who do you wish was there sharing the experience with you?
- If you see your spouse in pain, would you want to drop everything you were doing and run to take away his or her pain?
- Do you find yourself thinking about your spouse all or most of the time?
- If someone were to criticize your spouse—even if the criticism was justifiable—would you defend him or her?
- Do you get jealous when you see a member of the opposite sex showing your spouse attention or affection?
- Do you love talking about your spouse to other people?