Tanya Zajdel grew up in a Hasidic family in Montreal and was excited to embark on her life as a wife and mother after marrying a charismatic rabbinical student when she was 19. It didn’t take long, though, for Tanya to realize that her marriage was not going to be as she’d expected. No matter how hard she tried to live up to the ideal of the perfect Jewish wife—supportive, modest, an upholder of shalom bayit, or “peace in the home”—her husband responded with increasingly volatile and sometimes violent behavior.
It took Tanya a long time to figure out how to do the right thing for herself and her family. This is her story, brought to us by producers Shea Shackelford andTori Marlan. A warning to sensitive listeners: This piece includes descriptions of violence.