Can You Say "No" If….

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    Is there something wrong with someone saying “No” to a Shidduch because the boy/girl’s parents are divorced?

    I have 3 friends whom are divorced (after being married for less than a year) and each of them, their spouses came from divorced homes.

    Does this make sense? Should I not go out with someone if they’re from a divorced home? When yes? and when no?



    Idk, I had/have that fear too. I guess you just have to be able to check into the details thoroughly, and see what effects they may have from it ect. Though it will be hard to actually get the truth.


    Not necessarily. But if I were you I would find out what the story was. I’ve heard of cases like your friends but I’ve also heard of one’s where the marriage was very strong because the children learned what not to do from their parents.


    It is a factor to consider.

    But, the problem is not the divorce, it is the bad marriage that led to it, and the fallout.

    So, if you marry someone whose parents are not divorced, you just don’t know what is going on in the house. You may be better off with a divorce where at least you know what the problem is.


    “I have 3 friends whom are divorced (after being married for less than a year) and each of them, their spouses came from divorced homes”

    That is indeed a troubling statistic.

    But by in large, I wouldnt hold a parents failed marriage against their child. There are some people who grow up in a split home who vow that they will do everything in their power to be the best spouse that they can, and they are.

    When looking in to a shidduch (and L-rd knows how good everyone is at that) it is important to focus ON THE PERSON! Yes, you need to look into the family as well, but at the end of the day you arent marrying his/her mother or father you are marrying him/her, and this goes both ways. The parents could be the nicest people on earth but their child could be a rotten grape so, I think in the end you have to focus on the individual most of all.


    You can say no for whatever reason you want. No explanations are needed! if you feel you are not interested for whatever reason it is say NO!

    says who

    I think, if the kids are emotionaly healthy and strong it shouldn’t be a problem.



    I have to disagree. At the end of the day you are marrying the family, albeit on a lower extent. The family/issues will be there. I know I wouldn’t date someone who has a controlling parent. I have been through that experience, as well as my friends. At the end of the day you NEED to be looking at the individual, but keep an eye out with the family.


    You have to do your research with any shidduch. I would look into it even if the boy or girl is from a divorced home and see. Even if someone is from a home where the parents stayed together doesn’t mean they had the best marriage and there were no problems. Look into it.


    But how can u find out if she/he was affected by this?

    It’s not something most people would tell you…


    There are three sides to every divorce. His, hers and the truth. If you have a serious shidduch inquiry speak to all rabbonim who may have been involved.

    not I

    AS well if YOU feel uncomfortable about saying no you should discuss it with a ROv or Rebbetzin. (not sure if you are a boy or a girl!

    Sac. as much as you have to look at the person for who they are the pointis that they may be scarred or posess the same negative trait as one of their parents..


    Sacrilege; while I totally agree with you that you are marrying the person and not their family. In essence you are partially marrying the family. You go there every Yom Tov and at times for Shabbos, and besides for that, these things dont just happen without affecting the children and you don’t want your spouse to be mimicking the learned behavior from their parents…


    I think this is one of the great dilemmas of shidduchim. I think that NewUserName’s observation does have some potency as I’ve noticed it myself, yet it is extremely unfair to the children of divorce.


    Depends on the reason why the parents divorced. If their divorce was ugly, disrepectful, or caused by abuse, then stay away.

    These bad Middos and nature to abuse can very likely go over to the children. This is after all what the kids saw all their years.

    Many, many times, children from abusive homes, are going to abuse their spouse/kids.

    You have to be extremely careful.


    I can definitely understand the question.

    It’s not that you are blaming the person for the bad marriage of their parents.

    What would concern me, is whether the person might have subconsciously learned from their parents that if/when you have a problem in your marriage, the solution (rather than working very very very very hard on saving the marriage)is divorce.



    I guess it depends on the situation and then you can judge accordingly. Thats why I said you SHOULD look into the family, you dont disregard the family completely. Also, if the family is the one CAUSING the problems obviously that isnt something you can ignore… but I think that is a different situation, that you cant really know about until afterwards.


    In that case you have to decide how important it is for you to be able to “go to your in-laws”. The same issue arises if you would be dating a Baal Teshuva, no place to go for Yom Tov or Shabbos…. This is something only you can decide for yourself, how important is this to you? If you have a stable family, maybe its not so important? Maybe its important anyway? You have to decide.


    When researching, make sure to find out if he has mentors and role models, and families who he has spent time with outside of his home. Perhaps he was away in yeshiva and spent a lot of time in a certain home? Almost like a ben bayis. This is important so he knows what it means to run his own, properly functioning home.



    Yup, I threw 2 things into one. I wouldn’t say no, I would just get my minions to do some searching for me;)

    I usually decide by flipping a coin.


    i used always say that the person isnt marrying the family, they are marrying the individual (when i was a teen…) however the truth is that the home they come from DOES effect them, even if it doesn’t surface riight then. it can come up later on in life.

    With divorce you must check out well how it effected the kids. Thats not to say that if a couple is still married but has terrible shalom bayis, go for it. Most often these situations have deep effects on the children.


    seems like im not the only one looking for yichus!?!?!? but in all seriousness to those who say ur marrying the family….i guess u wouldnt date a bt or someone whos father is a goy?!?!


    I have a very, very close friend whose parents are divorced and he himself is in the process of getting divorced too. However being that I am very close to the situation I know that the girl has many problems and that boy is not at all to blame. So although your statistic is very compelling, things are often very different than they seem.


    I think you shouldn’t jump right to it if the other details fit. You should do some extra checking out, find out WHY they got divorced, and if the boy/girl have any role models of shalom bayis outside their home (assuming they got divorced because of shalom bayis issues.) It’s very important for people to have role models of shalom bayis, because the way your parents related to each other is the biggest cue you have for relating to your husband or wife. This is true even for children of married couples. Unfortunately, not everyone who is married has shalom bayis.


    First of all thanks so much everyone for all ur advice…

    We looked more into it and saw that it was caused from an abuse situation so we said no… (thanks Smart Cookie!)

    And bennaishek BTW as crazy as it sounds I think i know which person you’re talking about cuz i’m also close to the situation…

    but really you can’t believe all that you hear from each side of a divorce as apushatayid said, there are 3 sides to every divorce, his, hers, and the truth… with all my friends I just STAY OUT OF IT!!


    Unfortunately, my husband had this same attitude when my kids were dating and it had absolutely nothing to do with the kids at all or if they were damaged from the divorce or not. He just plain and pashut said, that sometimes it is difficult to deal with mechatonim to begin with, he just doesn’t want to deal with 2 sets of mechatonim for one shidduch, he just does not have the patience, the stamina and the PC etiquette to handle it!


    You need to find out about the divorce, make sure there’s not abuse or triangulation (yes, I know, “intact” families can be just as dysfunctional if not more) and see how the kids deal with the parents now. There will always be a rough adjustment time but if the parents worked in the kids’ best interests, if they are decent people, and the kid has minimal if any baggage (carry-on accepted, unresolved baggage is not, ever), go for it.

    If the situation is more complex, but the kid checks out wonderfully, you have to ask yourself if the kids are up to managing this. If they’re very young, it might be too much considering all the stress marriage entails during the adjustment period. In which case you might want to tell the shadchan it might be the right one but not the right time.

    And aries, if this isn’t the first post-divorce chasuna what about finding out how the other chasunas went. I have been at a number of such chasunas and they went off well. And I don’t know how often people are actually dealing with two sets of machutanim.


    You can never judge a person on a “statistical basis.” (I know some statistics – I’m not just talking though my hat 🙂 The kids didn’t cause the divorce. The parents, and sometimes only one parent, caused that. You have wonderful, warm people coming out of very difficult situations. What if it were you? Would you want to be judged and automatically condemned for something you had nothing to do with?

    That said, of course you have to do your homework. But even with someone from a non-divorced family – what if there were terrible problems in the family, which severely affected the children, but they didn’t get divorced because of fear of social disapproval, and just toughed it out, mangling the kids in the process?

    And as far as mechutonim go – some perfectly “normal” family situations can include an in-law you wish lived in Seattle.

    There’s no safe rule. Life is hazardous. Do your homework, daven, and make up your own mind.


    Along the lines of what other people have said here…

    It has been found to be statistically important (I dont like to say true cuz nothing really is that simple) about divorced vs. married but unsuccessful/unhappy couples and their kids. Kids can be worse off from the latter than the former. We just spot divorced couples and cannot always tell the others out. Look into every family and while you may never know the story until after a chasunah, you may get a clearer idea about the children’s mental health status.


    Tzippi, when dealing with husbands at times there is no point in being logical. There is a thing called “stubbornness”. There are times when people have idiocies in dealing with shidduchim some don’t want out of town, some don’t want an only child, for my husband this was a deal breaker.


    recently there was a study that showed that having friends who are divorcing was a very high risk-factor for divorce, higher even than having divorced parents.

    Divorce is, in a sense, contagious. Once one pair of members in a social group do it, the other members of that social group are much more likely to do it.


    also, I’m a bad person to ask about this. I believe that we are all individuals with individual traits. Many people (not enough) are able to learn from their failings and many more are able to learn from their parents failings.

    Do children of alcoholics all become alcoholics? Some do, but many avoid it because they watched what happened to their parents.

    Every person needs to be given the opportunity to change and learn.

    Also, I’m a bad person to ask about this. My wife is twice-divorced and her parents were divorced. High risk, eh? But I was convinced that she had changed the behaviors that contributed to her divorces and she would not do those same things with me. I considered her character and her ability to change her behaviors. I would only marry her if I was sure that I could be her last husband.

    For the most part, I was right. Occasionally those behaviors creep into our relationship and I point them out, and she endeavors to correct them quickly. She recognizes them right away and changes them.

    I wanted to marry this woman, she was extremely special. She completed me. She was better for me then any of the undivorced women I had met. It took some convincing by her and by me that things would be different this time and they are.

    We all contribute to our own lives by the choices we make. Thank heavens we are able to control many of those choices.

    Would I consider entering into a shidduch with someone from a divorced home? It depends so much on the person. There are no guarantees in the marriage game. Look carefully not only at his family situation but at the boy’s character and his ability to effectively change behaviors he wishes to change.


    Aries, I read you. I should have rephrased that: for those who have Mr. Aries’ concern, you might want to find out if this will be the first post-divorce chasuna, and if not, how the other(s) played out.

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