10 Kislev 5781 / Thursday, November 26, 2020 | Torah Reading: Vayeitzei
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The Drone    

The Drone

The drone is a male bee with no stinger. It also doesn’t gather pollen or produce honey. The drone is the classic parasite, living off the work of others. As a husband, he’s...


Translated by Rabbi Lazer Brody

Dear Rabbi Arush,
My husband and I are both native-born Israeli Baal-teshuvas from non-religious families. My husband attended one of the best Breslever yeshivas for Baal-teshuvas and that is one of the reasons I wanted to marry him. I too became close to Breslev at the time.
Today, we are having enormous Shalom Bayit problems; we have been married for over 4 years and have 4 children, thank G-d.
My husband has a lot of ups and downs. During the short periods when he’s up, he can be really amazing, but the other times when he has nefillot (“falls”, or setbacks) he is really down, does nothing, yells at the kids, doesn’t lift a finger and just sits around playing video games or watching movies all day.
Now I am not one to tell my husband how to be with his Avodat Hashem (service of Hashem), but the main problem is that he doesn't take responsibility for family income. He has no job and makes no effort to find a job. When he has worked it was always short lived or temporary employment.
For years I played the good wife not being too assertive, in order to give him the opportunity to take care of the family. Because many people would say that if you show that you are not doing it, he will be "forced" so to speak to take responsibility. Well, it never worked, there were many times that we did not have food or our electricity would get shut off. My husband was apathetic and oblivious to the whole situation.
About a year ago, I decided that I can't take it anymore so I started working, now I am working full time; the problem is that it is still not enough to cover all our minimal basic expenses. Now, the situation is that I work all day while my husband is at home on the computer all day. When I come home, I have to do the cleaning and take care of the children, which means that I am doing everything and he does nothing.
I have been telling him for months that I can't take it anymore, that I need his help, that he should go out and find a job or even find a Kollel for that matter. I even told him, at least try, at least make an effort to find something, for that in itself would be enough for me. But he stubbornly continues to do nothing. What makes life worse is that when we don't have money, he complains to me that I am not making enough money, or will get mad at me for not writing a post dated check that I know I won't be able to cover.
He is just totally impossible and he realizes it. He is always complaining, upset, angry or depressed.
He can't understand why I am mean to him. He shrugs his shoulders like somebody completely out of touch with reality and says that he hasn't done anything to mistreat me, as if putting all the pressure of the household one my shoulders is not mistreatment. I tell him that his apathy and total lack of responsibility are destroying me emotionally, but he still doesn't get it.
It's always me trying to “pull teeth” and no effort from him. I beg him to seek outside help but he won't go to marriage counseling or even talk to a Rav. I told him that he needs therapy if he is always getting depressed but he jokingly says that that is part of his problem that he won't go get therapy, and that is the sad truth.
Rabbi, I just can't deal with all this pressure anymore. The main reason why I wouldn't want to get divorced is mainly for the children, but what kind of role model is he? No learning and no working, while surfing nonsense on the web all day long? I don't feel that he is capable of ever being a consistently supportive husband to me, that I can actually count on.
I feel trapped, choked and I don't know what to do. I have been trying all on my own to keep this family together and I didn't want to have to resort to divorce but I really don't know how I can continue like this.
By the way, I follow all your columns and shiurim on Breslev.co.il. I talk to Hashem every day early in the morning for an hour while the rest of the family is sleeping. I also bought The Garden of Peace for my husband before Rosh Hashana. He read it, improved for a while, and then went back to his old ways.
Please tell me what you think about separation, or divorce. I’m at my wits end. May Hashem bless you for helping me and the many thousands of others who you reach with your wonderful teachings. Most sincerely, AP from Israel
Dear A.P., may Hashem bless you and keep you strong!
As you may know, I am against divorce in almost any situation, unless there has been infidelity or severe abuse.
Your situation qualifies as a case of severe abuse. If your husband was even making the slightest effort to get help or to improve himself, I would encourage you to be long-winded and to stick it out for a number of obvious reasons, such as the children. But, if he refuses to do anything, and neither helps at home, makes a living, nor learns Torah, then he is nothing better than a drone. This of course is a blatant breach of the commitments that he committed to you on the Ketuba, the marriage contract. Judaism looks unfavorably on those “drones” who collect no honey and live off the work of others. With all best intentions, I don’t have time to elaborate, but Chapter 11 of “The Garden of Peace” gives a comprehensive overview of a husband’s responsibilities.
Since he refuses to seek help, you have no choice but to kick him out of the house. If this is not possible, then you should take the children and leave. Oftentimes, when such lethargic husbands are faced with the stark reality of losing everything, they’re jolted back to reality and start doing something about themselves.
If once you separate, he does nothing to improve, then you have no choice but to seek a divorce. May Hashem bless you and the children, and may He open your husband’s heart and mind. With blessings, SA

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  The Drone
David2/23/2009 11:18:36 PM

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