Posts Tagged ‘separation and divorce’


After His/Her Infidelity

Posted on: August 19th, 2013 by tobendlight

break-upA friend recently asked me to write a prayer to be said by someone suffering after the infidelity of a spouse or partner. The victim of infidelity in his own marriage, he was now helping a friend cope with the same trauma. We spoke about his experiences, which were important in writing this prayer. I also gave him a copy of a prayer he could say on behalf of her spiritual healing, called “R’fuat HaNefesh: Healing the Soul.” This appears in my book This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

After His/Her Infidelity
I thought that we were in love.
Was our past a lie?
Was I living a dream, a desire, a yearning?
After all we’ve been through together,
Was it false?
How long ago did your heart leave me?
How long ago did your hands and your eyes
Yearn for someone else?

Oh grief,
My soul is rent,
Torn apart by the one who promised
To help me find my way,
To help me journey through joy and sorrow,
To help me make myself whole.
You were once the warmth that held me.
You have become the blade that twists inside me.

God of compassion,
Grant me the strength to live a life of dignity and honor
In the face of this betrayal.
And the devastating abandonment by [some of] my friends and community.
Help me to believe that there is light after this darkness.
Bless me with the time and space for healing.
Grant me the willingness to renew my trust others,
And the ability to trust myself,
As I move into a new life.

God of mercy,
Be my hope when hope has left me.
Be my strength when my strength has crumbled.
Be my rock to anchor me through this cruel moment.
Be my courage to preserver and to rebuild,
To choose, once again, a life of awe and wonder.

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers For a New Day

Postscript: Here’s a prayer to be said on removing a wedding band.

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Photo Source: Cuddlebuggery

This Ring: An Ending (Long Version)

Posted on: January 6th, 2013 by tobendlight

Wedding_ringsThis is an extended version of “This Ring: An Ending,” a meditation to be said on the act of removing a wedding band. My initial goal was to create a concise prayer versatile enough to be used either after a divorce or after the death of a life partner, which I explain on the post for the short version of this prayer. Eight months after writing it, my sense is that a longer prayer – with some specific directions – would be a useful alternative. Three optional sections are identified with [brackets]: two with instructions, one with optional language. This prayer will appear in my forthcoming book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

This Ring: An Ending (Long Version)
When I put your ring on my finger
I wrapped it around my heart.
A dream fulfilled.
A moment ripe with potential.

In removing this ring from my finger
I release my heart
With grief and joy,
Uncertainty and faith,
In unequal measures.

[Remove ring; set it aside or hand it to someone, the reverse of the wedding process]

Ancient One,
G-d of compassion and grace,
Let this moment be a blessing
So that healing continues
To flow into my hours and days.

[Grant my children
Comfort and relief,
Solace and understanding,
In the days and weeks ahead.
Let me be a source of strength and consolation for them,
An unbroken source of love.]

Grant me the insight
To honor the past and embrace the future
With dignity and passion,
Wisdom and thanksgiving,
Kindness and charity.
Then, G-d of life,
I will return in wholeness
To a life of joy,
To song and dance,
Laughter and praise,
As a beacon of Your light,
A source of hope and peace.

[Add Sheheciyanu, Kaddish, Birkat HaGomel or another reading, perhaps a poem or song.]

© 2013 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: For some people removing a wedding band will be a Shehciyanu moment. For others, it’s clearly a Kaddish moment. Someone who escaped abuse – or survived an accident in which their life partner perished – might consider using Birkat Hagomel. Some will use this prayer in a solitary setting. Others will use it as part of a healing ceremony of their own design that takes place in the company of friends or family. Here’s a prayer “For Bereaved Children,” for healing the grief of our children, appropriate for parents to say whether the loss is by death or divorce.

For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. Connect with To Bend Light on Facebook and on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Jeff Belmonte’s Photostream via Wikimedia Commons

“Alden has become one of Reform Judaism’s master poet-liturgists…" - Religion News Service, Dec. 23, 2020

“Mesmerizing, spiritual, provocative, and thoughtful, Alden was everything you would want in a guest scholar and teacher.” – Rabbi Denise L. Eger, Congregation Kol Ami, Los Angeles, and Past President, CCAR

"Alden Solovy has become one of the most revered liturgists of the last decade…" - Jewish Post & Opinion, March 29, 2023

“Alden left everyone feeling inspired.” – Cantor Jeri Robins, Shabbat Chair, NewCAJE6