Dear Rabbi,

My head is in a daze, and I am not able to function.

I entered my marriage with little wisdom. Since I got married, we have always struggled financially. I begged my husband to go to college so that he could make a decent salary and we could pay for the necessities. But he never planned for the future, and he wouldn’t dream about having a more fruitful life.

I did the best I could in making decisions, but they were all bad ones to start with. I tried to wear all the hats in the house. I decided that with G‑d’s help we could get through our mess. At one time I stopped eating, and I stopped talking to him and all my friends.

I watched my best friend divorce her husband and move onto a relationship with a wonderful man, and she is so happy. But I stayed in my marriage thinking it’s my duty to do so, and my marriage is a mess and in shambles.

I am so confused about everything. At this point, I don’t even think there is anything you could say. Please rabbi, pray that G‑d give me wisdom.

I am tired.


Thank you for trusting me with your struggle. You’ve done the healthiest thing you could: you have acknowledged you cannot solve this on your own and reached out to someone for help.

But be clear about one thing. If you are truly committed to making things work out, and work to improve slowly and make real changes in your marriage over time, then you will undoubtedly, with G‑d's help, see progress.

The most important task for you right now is to try to stabilize and preserve your marriage.

There are two things you need to do immediately.

First, you must have some regular time for self-care in your day or week. A car that never gets gas or oil changes won’t run for long. Doing this will help you feel more stable, like you are moving towards your personal goals, and it will help you be more balanced in your relationships with your family.

Second, you must introduce an impartial, third person into the picture—a therapist. Find one who will take your insurance, or give a reduced rate, or even barter. It is important to do this even if the budget is tight. Working on yourself and your marriage creates a vessel for greater blessings. The effort and expense invested in developing marital harmony will bring more happiness and stability to your home.

If your husband refuses to go, tell him that you are going because you care for him and the family, and that you know that there are issues, and that you want to address them and make changes.

G‑d willing, with time he’ll join you. A therapist who regularly works with you will see patterns and unhealthy behaviors that you didn’t see on your own, and he or she will help you make positive changes.

Also see an overview of Marital Harmony from our Jewish Marriage site.

Please keep me posted.

Rabbi Zalman Nelson, LMSW,
for The Judaism


Thank you for responding. As embarrassing as it was for me to reach out, I thank you so much for responding. I decided that once a week I would do something as simple as properly caring for my nails without any interruptions. I intend to follow your advice and seek a therapist unknown to us, and I will keep you posted.

Please continue to pray for me.