Out Of The Mailbag: (A Parent’s Involvement In A Child’s Shidduch)
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Tagged: marriage, parents, shadchan, Shidduchim
- This topic has 27 replies, 20 voices, and was last updated 14 years, 3 months ago by SJSinNYC.
February 5, 2009 6:24 am at 6:24 am #589318YW Moderator-99Member
Im writing this in the hope that parents who read this will open their eyes a bit.
I am a young married woman and am putting much effort into redding shidduchim for my single friends. I truly believe that people in my stage have a sort of obligation to help make shidduchim as I know the girls and my husband knows the boys.
Baruch Hashem, many of my friends have already found their bashert, aside from one who I am particularly close too. She is a top girl with literally every maalah. There are suggestions practically pouring in for her; the best boys in every Yeshiva. The difficulty lies in that she is from a litvishe home and would like a slightly more Chassidisha boy and is therefore not interested in the boys being redt to her. Her parents, though, insist that their family isnt chassidish so why should she marry a chassidishe boy? My friend is not a fly-by-night type of girl. She takes life very seriuosly and has thought about this a lot. She honestly wants a Chassidisha boy.
As it happens, my husband has a good friend who is a top boy and is perfectly suited to my friend as far as chassidishness goes. The boy and his parents are extremely interested in the shidduch and so is my friend. Her parents, though, do not understand why they should agree to a chassidisha boy when their family is litvish and there are so many good litvishe boys waiting to meet her. My friend tried many times to explain to her parents that this is the type of life she really wants to lead but they do not seem to understand.
It hurts me that many such parents are not taking their childrens needs into account by listening only to shidduchim that are suited to them and not to their children. They need to focus on what type of partner their child needs for life, not what passes for their family name. Why should they care if their daughter marries someone a bit different than them? Their children are the ones getting married- not them!Their children have to be happy and comfortable in the marriage. Dont they see that?
I know that everything that happens in a persons quest to build a home is directly from Hashem. I wonder, though, if parents need to open their eyes a bit more and take their of-age children a bit more seriously. They are mature adults that have considered carefully what direction they want their life to lead.February 5, 2009 6:27 am at 6:27 am #636546qwertyuiopMember
i agree with this, parents should not be forcing thier kiids to marry people they don’t want, rather they should let thier kids pick.$February 5, 2009 6:28 am at 6:28 am #636547kapustaParticipant
great point! the parents aren’t getting married, if hes a good boy and a good girl and the couple is happy, (or has the potential to be) then why are they interferingFebruary 5, 2009 6:37 am at 6:37 am #636548asdfghjklParticipant
yay mod99 is back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!February 5, 2009 6:46 am at 6:46 am #636549asdfghjklParticipant
wow a well written letter indeed!!!February 5, 2009 6:49 am at 6:49 am #636550postsemgirlMember
I agree. sometimes you wonder if the mother of the boy thinks she is finding her own shidduch with the kinds of questions she asks. It’s mamish disgusting. Being in the parsha I know what it is like. The boy can be one type but the mother is out to impress her family and neighbors that she is looking for the rich pretty….. girl who is nothing like the girl her son is looking for. I think mothers need to realize this. This is my opinion on the matter.February 5, 2009 8:23 am at 8:23 am #636551PosterMember
U cant make a blanket statement here. In this case the parents may not be considering their child’s needs but usually, in most cases, parents want the best for their children. SOmetimes a parent may be able to see a broader picture than the child in shidduchim.February 5, 2009 9:09 am at 9:09 am #636552think613Member
Well, if she’s not interested, can you please send on all these best litvishe boys that are pouring her way? I’d like to know where all these bochurim are coming from…February 5, 2009 2:22 pm at 2:22 pm #636553Itzik_sMember
It is well known that shidduchim where the essentials, such as color of Shabbos tablecloth and style of shoe, either do not match or are not up to the other party’s standards, lead to unhappy marriages and then L”A divorce.February 5, 2009 2:42 pm at 2:42 pm #636554gavra_at_workParticipant
The parents always have the right to not support their child’s shidduch/style of life. The child may do as he/she pleases (as an adult), but then don’t expect any financial support from your parents.February 5, 2009 2:43 pm at 2:43 pm #636555MommishMember
Assuming that she’s already gone out with several Litvishe boys and knows what she wants, perhaps she could get her parents’ Rav to speak to the parents. They may be able to hear this more easily from someone they look up to than from their daughter.February 5, 2009 2:54 pm at 2:54 pm #636556NobodyMember
A sad but very real letter. Unfortunately some parents are unable to compromise or find the right balance and ultimately when the child reaches a certain age they come to regret their earlier decisions.
We must respect that the parents think they are doing their very best for their child. We do not know the ins and outs of this story. Many Litvishe families won’t take someone from a Chassidishe family as they feel if they are interested, there must be something wrong! and vice versa, only to retract that thinking years down the line.
The Hashkofo and way of way of life differences between Chassidish and Litvishe families is enormous so we need to bear this in mind, as well.
If a Rov became involved to speak to the parents then maybe they would start to see clearer but well meaning souls butting in, is I am afraid not the answer, and will act as a red rag before a bull.February 5, 2009 3:21 pm at 3:21 pm #636557
but usually, in most cases, parents want the best for their children. SOmetimes a parent may be able to see a broader picture than the child in shidduchim.
Sometimes, what the parents view as best, is not what the child wants. In the case above, the parents might fear that she will slowly dislike chassidish society and eventually divorce. Its a legitimite fear – a lot of people who cross boundaries have trouble adjusting. I’m not saying the parents are right, just that you need to defer to the person who is dating.
If the person is not mature enough to know what s/he wants in a relationship/marriage, chances are they are not ready to get married.February 5, 2009 3:33 pm at 3:33 pm #636558DebbyMember
Well it seems like here that parents want their daughter to follow their ways & it hurts them that she isn’t. Maybe someone besides their daughter should try to open her parents minds & explain to them that not every child can be eactly what they want . . .etc!February 5, 2009 7:02 pm at 7:02 pm #636559JotharMember
It also goes the other way. Many people get in their heads a naarishkeit of what they want, and a bit of realism from level-headed parents is in order.February 5, 2009 7:04 pm at 7:04 pm #636560oomisParticipant
I think a number of things about this issue. First, I think the girl needs to examine closely exactly WHY she wants only a chassidishe boy. If there are sound and realistic reasons for this, she should try to explain them to her parents. For those whose immediate gut reaction was, “let her marry whom she wants” and the parents should not make an issue of it, she may be very young, and what she wants now, may not be the best thing for her down the road. That is not to say that a chassidishe lifestyle is not best for her, but as has been noted Litvishe and chassidishe are very different styles, and she may be romanticizing the idea and not really know what’s best for herself. On the other hand, this may be something she feels she needs in her life, and assuming the boy is an ehrliche frum boy, they should not dismiss the idea out of hand.February 5, 2009 7:32 pm at 7:32 pm #636561
Advice from parents is important, but ultimately its the person’s marriage not the parents. The individual should be the only one to actually make the decision.
Nothing frustrates me more than when I try to set someone up (especially when they get older) and they say “Oh just talk to my parents.” I generally take that to mean they arent really interested. [Please note, this is different than asking questions about the shidduch and then saying can you pass the information on to my parents to check out]February 6, 2009 12:28 am at 12:28 am #636562jam19Member
This letter brings out a very strong point. parents have to support their childrens choices of shidduchim. shidduchim is a time to find a partner that matches. period. Its not a time to change a persons choices and hashkafos so that they can marry someone that will please your neighbors.February 6, 2009 12:33 am at 12:33 am #636563kapustaParticipant
gavra in general I would agree with you but why should the parents be the ones to decide who she gets to marry?February 6, 2009 2:02 pm at 2:02 pm #636564cherrybimParticipant
Many years ago, I spoke to Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT”L about this issue.
He told me that while in the best case situation children should follow parental advice regarding shidduchim, but ultimately, the child is not m’chuyav to obey the parents if they are opposed to the match.
Of course, the given here is that both the boy and girl are definitely Yidden.February 6, 2009 3:09 pm at 3:09 pm #636565myshadowMember
Usually the parent understands the child better than they think. Unfortunately in so many couples where they went against their parents the match ended in divorce. I say U MUST have your parents complete complete haskamaFebruary 6, 2009 3:45 pm at 3:45 pm #636566dave375Member
Why don’t you go to a Rav who the parents respect and follow to talk some sense into them?February 6, 2009 3:59 pm at 3:59 pm #636567
Usually the parent understands the child better than they think. Unfortunately in so many couples where they went against their parents the match ended in divorce. I say U MUST have your parents complete complete haskama
I dont know if I would say usually. I know many people who have gone on different paths from their family (still orthodox, but moved to the right or left), and their parents didn’t quite understand what they needed. Did the parents want whats best? Absolutely! But there was definitely a disconnect in the choice the parents would make vs the child.
An example: a friend got engaged to a guy. Her mother wasn’t thrilled with the match because he is an argumentative person (he is a wonderful guy – a lawyer – and he has that typical lawyer personality). Her mother wanted a much more calm/serene person for her daughter so her house would always be full of peace. It was a wonderful thought, but ultimately this guy is the one who is right for her. They are B”H happily married with a daughter. So who was right? The mother or the daughter? In this case, the daughter.February 6, 2009 7:03 pm at 7:03 pm #636568oomisParticipant
Parents have an increased sense of a say in whom their kids should marry, the more they are required to support those kids after marriage. If your parents are buying a house for you, they have every right to FEEL that they should have a major say in what type of house, where it should be, etc. I am not saying they have the aboslute right to make all the decisions, but it is understandable that they will want their input strongly regarded. In genreal, any parent wants to have input in the choices a child makes for the future. But the downside of being dependent financially on them, is that they still treat their married children like they did when they were much younger. So if they pay the bills, they want their word to be the final one. I am not saying I agree with the concept, but I do understand how it can evolve that way.February 6, 2009 7:06 pm at 7:06 pm #636569myshadowMember
SJS, definately true, I guess what I was trying to say more is try not to get into a marriage that the parents are very strongly against. From your friends story it doesn’t sound like the mother was vehemently against it.
My friend was going out with this guy who the mother was always against the match, but they got engaged anyways and a month later the engagement was brokenFebruary 6, 2009 7:35 pm at 7:35 pm #636571JosephParticipant
myshadow makes very good points.February 6, 2009 8:16 pm at 8:16 pm #636572qwertyuiopMember
torahis1: don’t be so quick to judge, Don L’schaf Z’chus.February 8, 2009 1:55 am at 1:55 am #636573
Myshadow, do you know why they broke it off? Could it be the parents were driving her crazy about it?
I think its best to get your parents advice and see how your future spouse will fit into your family, but ultimately you need to do whats best for YOU. YOU are the one who is going to live with your spouse, not everyone else.
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