I just received the following comments with permission to post them anonymously - from a respected therapist with extensive experience with the frum community. It is a shameful reality, that therapists, rabbis and lay leaders - have to be afraid of being harassed or sued if they openly talk about the problems of an adversarial divorce where each side feels they need to level the field by gaming the system - to get even partial justice.
Anyone who deals with divorce is aware of the lies and exaggerations that are made as well as the injustice and insensitivity and the incredible amount of time and money required. However these lies or false accusation tend to be more often by women who feel that it is necessary to compensate for the biases of the system.This therapist adds the excellent suggestion to evaluate for borderline personality - especially in this case. Hopefully he will agree to my request to offer suggestions to improve the system.
I am reading the Yoeli Weiss story, and hesitated to comment. I am aware of much of the story in this case, and I am also involved in quite a few cases in which I am witnessing a similar pattern. Yoeli actually nails it quite well in his position paper that is the most current post on your site. He calls attention to the use of the Internet, including but not limited to YouTube clips, various websites including her own, and the social media to discredit him and win her case in the court of public opinion. The difficulty in all this is that anyone who reaches conclusions based on a system in which שמוע בין אחיכם has not been followed has zero credibility, and this includes rabbonim and dayanim who do exactly this on a regular basis.
I am not someone who takes a side with either gender. I have publicly stated that my experience includes evil, nasty men and evil, nasty women. There are no statistics, as are commonly found with “advocates” who tout them as if they are fact. I need to judge each case on its own merit. If it were not a breach of confidentiality, I would provide names and contact info for the spouses who I sided against, who would testify that even though I advocated for their litigating spouse, I was neither vicious, nor even judgmental. I, in fact, do not affiliate myself with any organizations, as I find all of them biased and prejudicial.
Yet, the systems in place to address domestic violence are universal in assuming that the perpetrators are the men, and the women are the victims. This system is open to abuse, and it is frequently exploited. I have had many cases of reverse abuse, where fabricated allegations were used to destroy innocent people. Support groups for women struggling in their marriages regularly trade advice about how to do their husbands in. Some rabbonim told me that my estimate of 50% fabrication in DV accusations/arrests is way below what they see (claiming closer to 70%). To date, NYS has never prosecuted false police reporting for DV, but there is a technical violation.
While I have an opinion about the Weiss/Stein case, I note that the presence of fiction in the widely publicized cases is overwhelming. This case is not anomalous. There is pressure to “even the playing field” because husbands in marital conflict are apt to “withhold” a get. Actually, that happens less often than portrayed. In reality, the husbands accept the sound advice that the get is the final severing of the relationship (known as krisus), and once there is an agreement, one proceeds with the get. When women create fabrications that lend support to their claim for full custody, limited and supervised visitation, and unrealistic demands for support and maintenance (alimony), plus countless other possible unilateral demands, agreements cannot be reached. While I do not pasken shailos, I am supportive that men who are being handled unfairly with regard to visitation obtain a psak-heter to take the issue to Family Court to insure their access to their children.
Borderline Personality is one of those conditions that is nearly impossible to insist that a man tolerate, and these gittin are characteristically conflictual and dramatic. It would be reasonable to expect this case to at least be evaluated for that issue.
I have had difficulty in writing comments on your site. Sometimes browser incompatibility, recently the need to register with Disqus. (I do not register anywhere.) In addition, I never use my name in comments, especially since litigious people will attack me for breaches of confidentiality, even if they were not clients. However, I felt that my sentiments about the subject are worth sharing with you. You may pass on these comments on your blog, but please do not use my name or any other identifier.
I am agreeable to correspond with you on this painful subject offline.