Predicting success of marriages and Kesher with a Rov

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  • #595025

    Ofcourse
    Member

    Wouldnt it be great if there was some way to determine in advance of engagements/marriages, which couples have a higher or lower likelihood of divorce?

    Wouldnt it be almost as great if there was some way to increase the chances of good marriages staying good?

    Would a real Kesher with one Rov (who has an open door policy for questions and issues that arise), beginning at the engagement, or possibly before, and continuing throughout the engagement and marriage, increase the likelihhod of success of marriages?

    I think yes. And my guess is, it would probably yield drastically better results than therapists, marriage seminars and self-help books.

    #741642

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Would a real Kesher with one Rov (who has an open door policy for questions and issues that arise), beginning at the engagement, or possibly before, and continuing throughout the engagement and marriage, increase the likelihhod of success of marriages?

    How would you define “real Kesher?” How would you measure the success of a marriage? Is the mere existence of a marriage (i.e. the fact that they didn’t get divorced) a “successful” marriage?

    The Wolf

    #741643

    Ofcourse
    Member

    WM:

    ok, here’s the quick answers, and please dont pull them apart and do a pshat, remez, drash and sod on every word. You know what Im getting at.

    1. Kesher defined: a meaningful attachment between individuals, and in the case of a Rov, admiration of him.

    2. Successful Marriage defined: Both spouses feeling theres mutual effort, caring, and devotion in the relationship, with happiness and satisfaction tipping the scales.

    #741644

    nishtdayngesheft
    Participant

    Wolf,

    the question was put out to the general public to answer as they understand the both terms. If you do not want to answer, or do not have an answer don’t.

    Deflections like yours above do not add anything to the conversation.

    #741645

    ulisis
    Member

    Wouldn’t it be great if there was a Rov one could go to who would give the next week’s winning lottery numbers?

    It would solve the tuition crisis.

    #741646

    WolfishMusings
    Participant

    Deflections like yours above do not add anything to the conversation.

    On the contrary, if someone is going to later use the question posited here as “Aha, see, that proves that having a kesher with a rav is an indicator for successful marriages…” then those terms must be defined, or else the question is meaningless.

    Is as if you ask “Are the Yankees good?” You have to define what you mean by “Yankees” (this year’s team, the last decade, all-time?) and you have to define “good” (winning record, make the playoffs, win the World Series…). Without those definitions, the question itself is meaningless.

    Of course defines a kesher as admiraiton of a rav. Well, I admire my rav and I admire my mesader kiddushin, but I don’t call them terribly often and I don’t socialize with them very often. Does that count? I’m sure most couples have some rav they admire, but is that enough?

    The Wolf

    #741647

    Ofcourse
    Member

    Gotcha, WM!

    Kesher with a Rov means: Kesher- a meaningful attachment with a Rov who you both admire and respect, and as I mentioned above a Rov who has an open door policy for questions and issues that arise, where this Kesher is benefited from by regular consultation when such questions or problematic issues arise, as opposed to hanging up the picture of a Rov on the wall and looking at it now and then, or davening in his Minyan and little else.

    ulisis, for that you need a Kabbalist.

    #741648

    hanib
    Participant

    depends who the rav is. not all ravs know how to advise people correctly in difficult situations. there are some rabbeim who are amazing; while many others can give dangerous and/or harmful advice. a person who has s’micha can answer halacha sheilos, but may not have the ability to answer relationship shailos (even if they have a great marriage).

    #741649

    I agree with Ofcourse. Those of my friends who have a truly happy and successful marriage, have a Rebbe or Rov with whom they share a close relationship.

    A Rov/Rebbe will be preemptive as well. They sense the challenges, based upon circumstances and personality and help work through it.

    #741650

    morah reyna
    Member

    A connection with Rav is vital. A marriage without hadracha won’t have too much Hatzlacha.

    #741652

    Ofcourse
    Member

    shlomozalman, I dont think that a Kesher with a Rov can guarantee a good marriage, but an always available scholarly mediator, who is familiar with the couple, certainly helps.

    #741656

    hanib
    Participant

    i’m not saying not to go to a rav, but if have more serious issues -choose a rav carefully.

    #741657

    Ofcourse
    Member

    shlomozalman, unfortunately Ive heard of way more marriages permanently damaged by “professionals” than helped. I also havent heard of a professional who wanted to finish up business with client(s) asap and didnt want to see the client(s) on a steady basis, for longer. This is a business, you know. Similar to a dress store salesperson telling the customer, you really dont need that many dresses, you’ll be fine without buying. Im sure there are some sincere professionals, who dont want to shlep out therapy, but they’re the minority.

    #741658

    Shlomozalman: A young couple who wants a psychologist, therapist or marriage counselor to be there for them throughout engagement and marriage (for how long? Till 120?) is too immature to get married in the first place.

    Giva a man a fish, you’ve fed him for a day.

    Teach a man how to fish, you’ve fed him for life.

    A rov/Rebbe etc (who usually goes unpaid for this particular service) can accomplish this.

    You feel otherwise, based upon you’re general shita. Good for you

    #741660

    shlomozalman: You claim Rabbonim ruin marriages and the “solutions” of western society save and make them. OK.

    Can you please explain why western society has such a dismal successful marriage rate, while the ways of the “ruining” Rabbonim are so much better?

    Hollywood had (could be they still do) the highest percentage of shrinks and those who utilize them, yet their relationship failure rate is about 87%!

    #741662

    Ofcourse
    Member

    truth be told, in all my time of being in the CR, I havent seen as potent an answer to a question!!! WHOA! How right you are!

    #741664

    Ofcourse
    Member

    shlomozalman, “The success of marriage in western society is irrelevant to this discussion”.

    Absolutely not. The attitudes and values of western society as far as disposability of marriages definitely crept into our outlook on marriages. A Rov’s old fashioned genuine concern is way more sincere than any professional’s concern. And the couple realizes that, which makes his Hadracha more effective.

    Also, a Rov is a lot more accessable than a therapist, who is rarely available outside of the 45 minute session you pay for dearly!

    “$ee you next week”.

    #741665

    AinOhdMilvado
    Participant

    Let me share my thought on one of the MAJOR causes of marriage problems, that I’ve never heard anyone address…

    When going into shidduchim, everybody wants to know EVERYTHING about the person they are being redt to, BUT…

    I really believe that though they want to know all that…

    VERY often, the person does not know THEMSELVES!

    Do they really know their OWN hashkafos?

    Do they know where they THEMSELVES fit in to the frum world – i.e. do they see themselves (for the future) as “yeshivish”, as “chassidish”, as “modern”, or perhaps as some hybrid combination of these or other sub-groups in orthodoxy??

    Have they REALLY made an HONEST assessment about what is important to THEMSELVES in things like ruchniyus and gashmiyus?

    Do they REALLY know what THEY want for the future?

    And… if they do NOT yet really know THEMSELVES, how can they possibly decide on ANOTHER person who will be right for THEM?

    I feel before a person says he or she is ready for a shidduch, they should think long and hard and deep about who THEY are and who THEY want to be for the future.

    Only then is there a chance to find the right “ezer k’negdo”.

    #741666

    1dayatatime
    Participant

    Rabbi A J Twerski discusses how to prepare for marriage in an effort to curb the divorce rate in on another site

    #741667

    Ofcourse
    Member

    AinOhdMilvado, “I feel before a person says he or she is ready for a shidduch, they should think long and hard and deep about who THEY are and who THEY want to be for the future.

    Only then is there a chance to find the right “ezer k’negdo”.

    Good point, but many straight out of Sem girls, etc. (some guys as well) are in a cloud, and wouldnt dream at that point in their lives that they might need/want something else, down the line. So I think readiness to be flexible is the key.

    #741668

    cherrybim
    Participant

    I don’t think it’s the Rav per se that makes for a better marriage. People possessing character qualities that desire and welcome a Rav into their lives, and heed his words unconditionally, are the same that define candidates for a good marriage.

    #741669

    shlomozalman
    Member

    To all those who responded to me: I appreciate your willingness to engage me in a vigorous but civil discussion. Unfortunately, my point of view is immediately removed from view. And so I find it pointless to continue.

    edited

    #741670

    AinOhdMilvado
    Participant

    Ofcourse…

    Flexibility is, without any doubt, a very important ingredient for a successful marriage, but one must know from what starting point they are being flexible from.

    I see so many young people getting married that clearly do not really know who and what THEY are, and/or want to be.

    Then, a few years down the line, when they finally have started thinking about this question, and started formulating and crystalizing what their own hashkafos are, – about frumkeit, about politics, about career, about financial issues, about children, etc., etc., etc. – then they realize that their spouse is on a totally different page.

    How much better off they would have been if someone would have advised them to do some hitbonenut, some serious introspection, about these issues BEFORE they sought out a mate.

    #741671

    Ofcourse: Thank you . That’s a beautiful complinent. I appreciate it.

    Thanks for the thread and it’s direction

    #741672

    Ofcourse
    Member

    Ain, “How much better off they would have been if someone would have advised them to do some hitbonenut, some serious introspection, about these issues BEFORE they sought out a mate”

    Unfortunately the changes in their needs are often a result of some years of life experience. Hitbonenut, over a number of years, maybe. I dont think most parents in the frum community, as much as they hate divorce, would be too happy about kids putting off marriage for years l’hitbonen.

    tbt, youre welcome, Im just being honest.

    #741673

    AinOhdMilvado
    Participant

    Ofcourse…

    I agree with you.

    I was not suggesting that young people “put off marriage for YEARS l’hitbonen”.

    Young men WILL spend some serious time to investigate what yeshiva (and/or college) to go to. They will look at literature about a school, talk to others who learn or learned there, visit the place, meet rabanim, etc.

    Isn’t investigating YOURSELF at least as important?

    What I am suggesting is that young people spend SOME time, a few months (at least a few weeks) in some serious, HONEST introspection about what they want for themselves for the future, what kind of a life, where geographically, what source of parnassa, etc. What kind of life do they see themselves living ten years down the road? Sure, they may have some changes of mind as time goes on, but develop some type of plan and path for yourself.

    My thought is, how can you know who is right for YOU, when you don’t even know who YOU are?

    #741674

    Marriage is a give and take, period. What I’ve always asked people before they start going out is, “I know you want to get married, but do you want to BE married”. Forget all the fireworks, the excitement of telling everyone you’re engaged, the “lovey dovey” first year, the superficial things like looks or money. When the smoke of passion clears, it’s real life.

    Bottom line, you’re going to live with this person every single day, for the rest of your life. You’re not going to find perfection, you WILL fight at times. It’s all normal. To me love is secondary, the key is developing a true friendship. That alone is what builds a solid foundation and is the glue that can keep you together.

    As far as a Rov, of course it’s good. As long as he’s the type of Rov that knows how to give people the advice that they need. Not just a generic solution for everyone.

    #741675

    AinOhdMilvado
    Participant

    ItsJustMyOpinion…

    “I know you want to GET married, but do you want to BE married”.

    Well said!!!

    If engaged couples would spend as much time thinking about the MARRIAGE as they do thinking about the WEDDING, they would be very wise indeed!

    #741676

    Thank you AinOhdMilvado.

    and btw, I’d have to say that the majority of marriages, especially in the frum world (no I don’t know the statistics) are because they never should have gotten married in the first place

    #741677

    SilentOne
    Member

    I am not certain if this story goes to heart of the thread, but my story is a very beneficial Limud to all out there to see how, if I had abnegated my desires and narrow-mindedness, in favor of accepting the strong Eitzah of a senior Rov (a world acclaimed Gadol B’Yisroel), it WOULD have saved me from a disastrous marriage. Instead I made Teirutzim (excuses) why I did not have to accept his Eitzah (which admittedly was difficult to follow), and I wound up with more than a decade of marital pain, ending up with me being tossed out of the house and a Get. It comes down to Emunas Chachomim which unfortunately I was weak in and I failed the Nisayon; now I have several children who are “Lebbideke Yesomim” and I am to blame. My ex-spouse came from a home weak in Yiddishkeit which nominally kept Kosher. Although my then Kallah was far more “Frum” than the parents, she ate in their house. The Rov I went to, when I was a Chosson, strongly advised me that as a test of my Kallah’s ability to separate herself from the Hashkofas Zaros (Hashkafos foriegn to Torah-true Yiddishkeit) of her parents, I was to stipulate prior to marriage that we could not eat in the in-law’s house and not go there on Shabbos (although he advised to visit them often on Sundays). The Rov said that if my then-Kallah would not accept these conditions, I should break the shidduch. When I left the Rov’s house, he saw I was wavering, so he called out to me “Chazak V’Emutz” (be strong and courageous). I was not strong or courageous and instead I found some Halachic Heter to eat at the in-law’s house and spend Shabbos with them. I will spare the readers my sad story, but all that the Gadol had feared came true; had I followed his advice – I am totally certain that the marriage, which turned out to be a very bad match, would never have come to be and instead I would have been able to find a marriage partner much closer to this Rov’s ideal of Yiddishkeit. Instead the marriage was disatrous and ended up in divorce (despite herculean efforts on my part to save the marriage for years). My all the readers take this story to heart and have the courage to listen to Gadolim and be certain that their spouse-to-be is on the same page (i.e. share the same strong Emunas Chachomim) prior to marriage.

    #741678

    I’m very sorry to hear your story. Best of luck and I hope you’re able to maintain a good relationship with your children.

    That being said, that’s another big no-no. If you think you’re going to marry someone and change them, ie. make them frumer or the opposite or anything else for that matter, It Ain’t Gonna Happen! and you’re headed for disaster and disappointment.

    #741679

    aries2756
    Participant

    S1, when my kids were dating there were specific questions that I asked. I wasn’t really interested in turning over every stone and finding every skeleton in the closet. But the answers that I needed about the parents were this. “Will they be good role models for my children and grandchildren”. That was very important to me.

    Any good marriage is a result of hard work. It is also a result of each spouse putting the other’s needs before their own. You don’t need a crystal ball to tell you that if you do that you will have a good marriage. You don’t need to have a Rav hold your hand to do these things. You might need to be reminded by your Rav every once in a while that YOU are not the most important person in the equation, but those are the basic rules for a good marriage. I also don’t believe that marriage is about “give and take”. Marriage is about giving. If you both keep giving you will both keep getting without having to “take”.

    #741680

    SilentOne
    Member

    aries2756: Thank you for your feedback. The unique thing that this Gadol did in my case was set up a litmus test for my “ex-Kallah” to see if she could live up to the standard you hailed DESPITE her background (which lacked the modeling you described as critical). I know that the litmus test WOULD have worked if only I had trusted in his advice (without the Rov even meeting the party in question). But I failed to heed his advice and alas, what will become of the memories – are they to be scattered as the dust and debris?(from Abie Rottenberg’s song).

    #741681

    aries2756
    Participant

    S1, we have no idea why WE have to go through the things we do only Hashem knows. It is possible that had you given her the test she would have passed just to get you to marry her. You can’t possibly know. She might have pulled on her inner strength till after the chuppah and then let her true feelings emerge. That has been known to happen as well, so please don’t beat yourself up about it.

    #741682

    SilentOne
    Member

    aries2756: Thank you very much for your words of consolation. Returning full circle to the topic of Emunas Chachomin with regard to Shidduchim, I maintain that, had I listened to this Gadol, in the Zechus of passing this difficult Nisayon, it would be impossible that any harm could have come to me, so I humbly disagree with you on that item. Hagaon Rav Moshe Feinstein ZT”L said with regard to another great Posek (of whom Reb Moshe ZT”L said “I don’t come up to his ankles”!) that it would be impossible that any harm could have happened to an Agunah he allowed to remarry (i.e. it was IMPOSSIBLE that if Hashem guided this Posek to permit the Agunah to remarry, that the original husband would still be alive). Similarly, it would have been impossible that had I listened to this Gadol, that the ill-fated marriage would still have come to be. Emunas Chachomim, in my opinion, is the one of the most essential keys to success in Yiddishe marriages.

    #741683

    aries2756
    Participant

    S!, then I would suggest to you, that you should go back to him and ask him. I believe that YOU need closure and mechila from this Rav. And only HE can answer you and tell you if you are right or wrong in your assumption. If he tells you that you are right and you are responsible for your own fate he might also be able to tell you what you can do to assure your children a successful future. If he tells you that you are beating yourself up for nothing and what happened has nothing to do with not following his suggestion, then that might take a big weight off your shoulders. At any rate you can ask mechila from him and get a brocha.

    #741684

    SilentOne
    Member

    aries2756: Thank you very much for your Eitzah and concern – much appereciated! Unfortunately the Rov is no longer in this world, but I went to his Kever in the presence of a Minyan to ask for his Mechilah. I would be able to get closure if other people learn from this story to base their marriage on Emunas Chachomim (as well as other important Midos and Deios)…

    #741685

    aries2756
    Participant

    Well then now that you have asked mechilah from the Rav z”tl, it is time to ask another RAV how you can forgive yourself.

    #741686

    SilentOne
    Member

    Since I think that this thread is coming to an end, I feel it safe to summarize that my experience has taught me that having a Kesher to a Rov would indeed increase success of marriages, as long as both parties share true Emunas Chachomim. The caveat that I would stipulate is that both parties have to tie their loyalty with the same Rov (not that each goes to their own Rov and gets differing Hadracha) and that they start the process as soon as they are engaged (if not earlier, if Shaalos come up before engagement). Which Rov to select is beyond my ability to say, but the entire issue should be spoken out during the dating process. In my case, it is clear that we should have selected the Rov from my family’s Kehilla (i.e. the Gadol who told me not to eat from the in-law’s kitchen when he said “their Kashrus is not our Kashrus” very emphatically) since I was the one that was being “asked” to let down my standards and eat from a less “Kosher” kitchen than had been in standard in my parent’s home. Clearly, it was incumbent on me (the most impacted one in this situation) to get a P’sak from the Rov who knew my family and I should have made it imperative that the other part honor this. Perhaps the policy should always be that the couple use the Chosson’s family’s the Rov or his Rosh Yeshiva etc. Any ideas?

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