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Ami Mag - Student Loans Divorce 5-23-2012

Ami Mag - Student Loans Divorce 5-23-2012

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Published by Shmarya Rosenberg

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Published by: Shmarya Rosenberg on May 31, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/31/2012

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TRU
TH

rt.

'-
 
f
t:==:
rhere was a
lot
of
acrirnony
in
the aftermath
of
my
divorce, and
I
although
it
might
seem foolish to be so bitter about a studentloan, the fact
that
such loans are now a
hot
topic
in
the upcomingpresidenrial election underscores
just
how
much
a sheepskin can
actually cost.
In
OUf
case,
my
"Wife's
degree carne
with
a
hefty
price
tag-<>ur marriage.
You
might
not
empathize
with my
situarion.
In
fact, you might
not
approve
of
my-<>f
our-lifestyle
and our choices.
It
was,
however, ourshared belief
as
a couple
that
I would continue to learn indefinitely without
the
burden
of
pamasa.
I innocently entered into a marriage
that
was shrouded
in
dishonesty, leading to a traumaric ripple effect
that
ultimately tore us apart.
But
let me
start
at the beginning.
When
I first embarked
on my joumey
to the
chuppah
so many
years
ago, Inever imagined
that
my
future
was
anything less
than
a bed
of
roses.
It
soundslike a cliché, but I
was
the
"top
bochur"
in
my
yeshiva.
I carne from an "arnazing"family: my father a well-known
maggid
shiur,
and
my mother
a beloved teacher
in
the
lQCal
Bais Yaaknv.
As
a popular, serious
masmid,
with
yichus
to boot, Ihad everything going for me.
It
didn't really matter that
my
parents couldn'toffer much in the way
of
financial support;
the
phone
rang
off
the
hook
with
shadchanim
clamoring to
redt
me the best
girls
on
the market. Suffice
it
to
say,
lhad a long list.
But when
Rivi's' name carne up, the list was relegated to the
bottom
of
the
junk
drawer
in
the kitchen where
my mother
had spent so many hours fieldingphone calls. "1his
is it!
" she proclaimed
with
a huge
grin.
Everyone
s&,
med toknow
it
immediately. Rivi was descríbed
as
everything l could have noped for,and more: smart, capable, perfectly
put
together, and the

ofher
Bais Yaakov
class---<!
former student
of
my own
mother,
who
could
not
stopraving about
how
wonderful she
was.
Rivi had gone to a top seminary and waslooking for a
realleamer.
Her
parents were respected and wealthy communityfigures, honored at every
yeshiva
and school fund-raiscr
in
the neighborhood,who were ccrtainly looking to buy their daugbter the best
bochur
out
there-<>r
so
it
wa.s
asswned.
It
got
even better. Rivi had been accepted to an
lvy
League program
in
OccuparionalTherapy
in
the
city.
She had only a few months left beforeearning
her
mastds
degree. Rivi would no doubt land a dream job, and l wouldbe able to pursue
my
drearn worry-free: I could learn for life. The
shadchan
touted Rivi's academic qualificarions as the best
part
of
the
shidduch;
little did Iknow
that
I would have to pay a price for
it-literally.
We
dated for a short period
of
ime. I
was
sure from the very
start
that
it
was
a match made
in
Heaven.The conversarion flowed easily between us,
and
we
shared the same goals and vision
of
the
future:
Rivi
was
very serious about
marrying a
ben
Torah.
She even suggested
that
although
her
parents couldsupport her, s
he
truly wanted to be a
part
of
the
mitz'UOh,
and would work tosupport her husband for
"as
long
as
I can."Before I knew it, I was
an
excited
chosson,
and
Rivi
and I were the
talk
of
25I
VAN,5772
I
MA
Y 2J, 20
12
I
AMI
·
lIV1NG
I
25
 
·
I
I
the town.
"Why
didrit I
think
ofit
first?" so many peoplesaid
at
the
vart,
held
in
my future in-laws' impressive home.I enthusiasticaliy accepted ali the
mau!
tovs
and embraces,believing
that
I was truly
the
luckiest boy
in
the world.Rivi's parents
went
all-out.
No
expense was spared
in
order to marry us
off
n style. This carne
as
no
surprise, since
the
Goldsteins' were very well-to-do.
Sheva
brachos
passedquickly and then, quite abruptly, we settled into real life
in
our
apartment
in
Lakewood. Every
moming
I left happily for
yeshiva,
while Rivi made
the
commute to the city to /inish
her
degree. For
th
e first few months, Rivi's parents supported us,
butat
Rivi
's
"insistenee"
the
checks would stop coming onee shegraduated and started working.However,
it
didrit take long for reality to
hit
like a ton
of
bricks. Rivi started 100king for a job a few
months
beforegraduation,
but
wasrit able to /ind anything locally.
"It
looks
like
the market is
STUDENT
LOAN
really fiooded here.There arc too manytherapists looking forwork
in
Lakewood,"she sighed.
It
didrit
seem to matter that
Rivi had gone to
THE
SHADCHAN
TOUTED
RIVI
lS
the best school; noonewas
hiring.
Shebroadened
her
search,
but
after a few moreweeks started to
get
desperate. "Is
it
reallysuch a big deal
ifI
eomrnute to Brooklynevery
clay?
Lots
of
women arc doing
that
now," she said
one
ACADEMICQUALlFICATIONS


BES
T P
ART
OF
THE
SHIDDUCH;
LITTL
DID
I
KNOW
THAT
I
WOULD
HAVE
TO
PAY
A
PRICE
FOR
IT
-Ll
TERALL
Y.
night
after seeond
seder.
But
it
wasdt the commute
that
becarne
OUf
probiern-it
was
her
salary. Rivi eventually found a
job
in
Brooklyn,
but
thepay wasrit nearJy
as
glarnorous
as
we had been led to believe.After all, Riviwasgraduating
with
honors from a top university.Shouldrit s
he
be raking
it
in?
"No
matter,
,
Rivi
said. "lt's
not
as
if
we
have a
lot
of
expenses.
It's
ju
st us right now." She aecepted the job, and soon afterbegan making the daily grueling eommute from Lakewood.
No
sooner
had
Rivi set foot
at
her
first job, though, the checks from
my
in-laws stopped coming. By
then
wc wcre expecting our firstbaby,
but
baruch
HaJhem,
Rivi
's
salary
was
sufficient. I continued
26
l
AMI·L
IVIN(j
!
MAY 2
3,
20
t2
I
2 S
TV
AN,
5772
learning
in
yeshíva
without worrying about
farnasa--until
first surprise carne
in
the maii.
It
was one aftemoon during
bein hasederim,
immediatelyRivi started working, whcn I found the letter. I
had
stoppedbaek at the apartment for a quick bite
to
eat. The
U""H
.
aWC
c.

I seoopcd
it
up
as
I nonnally did each
day.
When
I started
t:
riffie through the letters, one bill eaught my eye. Iwasto discover
that
it
wasrit
just
another utility bill,
but
a billstudent loan, the first that Rivi had ever reeeived--and a
atthat
.
J
wanderwhat this
is
about?
Tm
sure
this bill
issu!>po.
",
.;:j
to
Riv;}
parents'
address.
L_

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