February 17, 2020 10:08 am at 10:08 am #1832239HaimyParticipant
Our tzibbur works with the assumption that a 100% marriage rate is the ideal situation & what we should strive for. After all, there’s a Mitzva to get married so we should be encouraging everyone to do their mitzva & get married. Truthfully there is no generic Mitzva to get married according to the Sefer Mitzvas Habayis by rav Epstien. There’s a Mitzvah to seek out a marriage partner with whom you can have a successful marriage with. There’s no mitzva to go throiugh the act of marriage with someone incompatible with you. Not only is it not a Mitzva, it is actually a serious aveira to to be in an intimate relationship with someone you feel incompatible with, & it is likened to a maaseh zenus.
We know that people with certain personality disorders make it nearly impossible for them to develop a stable relationship with a spouse (or with their children). Personality disorders are very difficult to change, Yet, we encourage all people to get married. Divorce is tragic but can be preventable in many cases if proper research is done before they even meet. According to NAMI, 4% of the adult US population over the age of 18 is seriosly mentally ill. Some of these people are externally very successful but are a true source of misery up close.
I believe that many divorces & unhappy marriages would have been prevented if people would be more aware of the warning signs of serious personality disorders & stayed away from them.
I’m thinking of having a guide written about how to do proper research into a prospective shidduch & how to discern the emotional health of a potential spouse. Many parents don’t have the skills or knowledge of how to get the critical information for a shidduch. edited This can usually be identified earlier on when the right questions are asked. They won’t necessarily be recognized on a date.February 17, 2020 10:54 am at 10:54 am #1832411lowerourtuition11210Participant
“how to do proper research”, all the research in the world will not reveal anything when things are hidden from others.February 17, 2020 3:39 pm at 3:39 pm #1832511
I suggested to have required shalom bayis classes before marriage.February 17, 2020 3:39 pm at 3:39 pm #1832517GadolhadorahParticipant
People should marry if they feel the desire to have a lifelong committed relationship with another person and have children. If they conclude they are not read for marriage or are incapable of sustaining a committed relationship they shouldn’t marry. Its no one else’s business how or when they make such a decision. All these threads seeking to establish norms for marriage seem to focus more on the feelings of the parents, grandparents, etc. rather than just leaving the most important decision of a person’s life to that person. Its OK not to marry if that is your decision for now and you can revisit that decision if/when your beschert comes into your life.February 17, 2020 5:20 pm at 5:20 pm #1832554
Pru Urvu is a Chiyuv. One is obligated to get married.February 17, 2020 5:21 pm at 5:21 pm #1832555
Better to be married and divorced than to never marry. No question about it.February 17, 2020 5:21 pm at 5:21 pm #1832557
The Chasidim know how to do a full research before dating.February 17, 2020 6:34 pm at 6:34 pm #1832569TRUEBTParticipant
While “The warning signs” might be obvious to you, they can be easily misunderstood. This can lead to a shadchan labeling someone as psycho when they were just having a bad day. Rather than labeling someone based on flimsy evidence, I suggest waiting until after the third date and then paying for professional advice.
At that point – before the engagement – there is no issur of lashon hara, so it is the ideal time to try to find out the truth.
The three conditions that you mentioned, Asperger Syndrome, Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissism, are not well-defined. We could sum them all up as problems creating close relationships. I think the best approach is to ask about the roommates and friends of the prospective shidduch. On the dates, it is a good idea to ask about friends and roommates as well as family members. Ask about sibling rivalry. Ask if they enjoy spending time with their father. Ask for stories from their childhood. After the third date, I suggest the couple go on a long date (meaning from the morning until night begins). It’s hard to fake being nice all day if you have one of those conditions. Then go home and ask yourself if you want your vacations to be like that long date.
AT THAT POINT, Don’t be afraid to go to a professional marriage counselor with experience and present the evidence. Most Rabbis and Shadchanim are not professional marriage counselors. It can be very difficult to distinguish between an immature girl and a narcissistic girl. The professional should give you one technique specific to that one individual to help you test whether you should continue the shidduch or not.
And of course, don’t forget to daven.February 17, 2020 8:02 pm at 8:02 pm #1832579
So-called “professionals” are the worst people to ask.February 17, 2020 8:03 pm at 8:03 pm #1832581
Say Tehilim 121February 17, 2020 8:03 pm at 8:03 pm #1832580
Haimy – your insertion of aspergers in that list and context is incorrect and offensive.February 17, 2020 8:33 pm at 8:33 pm #1832611
Syag, many would say the same about the other two things Haimy included in his list.February 17, 2020 8:41 pm at 8:41 pm #1832616
okay. then go ahead.February 17, 2020 9:18 pm at 9:18 pm #1832622Edmark1234Participant
I never heard of this sefer from R’Epstein but everything mentioned is common sense. I don’t know anyone who strives to marry someone who is incompatible. edited I know people with aspergers who are happily married with kids. So called normal people can be happily compatible someone who is slightly autistic.February 17, 2020 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm #1832684simplesenseParticipant
Gadolhadorah I presume and hope you were speaking about girls, because had you meant boys as well, every word of yours would be contrary to Shulchan Aruch Siman Alef of Even HaezerFebruary 18, 2020 12:17 am at 12:17 am #1832698HaimyParticipant
I Actually requested YWN to remove this post after It went live because I realized that there are people that can feel hurt by my mentioning specific disorders. I ask mechilah of any person I may have hurt & request of YWN to either remove this post entirely or at least remove the sentence mentioning specific diagnoses. I acknowledge that there certainly are individuals who suffer from these & other disorders & who still maintain a stable home. My intention was about severely disabling situations.
I also know of people whose lives were ruined because they unknowingly entered a marriage with a mentally dysfunctional spouse & no one cared to warn them about it before.
At the divorce proceedings of one young woman (who nebach hasn’t remarried now 10 years later) the boy’s Rosh Hayeshiva berated her for rejecting his beloved dysfunctional talmid. This tragedy could have been avoided in my humble opinion if the right research had been done before the marriage.
Forget about trusting the references listed on a resume, they are the least reliable source of information. Use the references to find other unbiased people who will give you a true picture of the person. Roommates can provide invaluable information since they see the day to day interpersonal behavior of the person. I always ask the following question: Would you be comfortable with this person marrying a close relative of yours? the tone of the answer is very revealing. People aren’t offering bad information outright, we want to be positive about other Yidden & don’t want to hurt them. You need to ask the right questions to protect yourself.February 18, 2020 12:34 am at 12:34 am #1832702
thank youFebruary 18, 2020 11:56 am at 11:56 am #1832810dak1Participant
As someone who broke (along with many others) an engagement, it is far better to break when one sees red flags than to proceed with what will be a rocky marriage that will end up in divorce. Shalom bayit is one of the most important things. In many cases, a person will act differently post-engagement, so it is always best to re-evaluate when one sees the warning signs. In my case, my ex-kalla had anger management issues. She would throw a tirade and take off her engagement ring. She even did this on Yom tov.February 18, 2020 1:40 pm at 1:40 pm #1832831rationalParticipant
Reb Eliezer’s suggestion of pre-marital shalom-bayis counseling is a wonderful idea.February 18, 2020 1:40 pm at 1:40 pm #1832824GadolhadorahParticipant
To those who suggest that a bochur should marry even if he has great reservations regarding both himself and the intended kallah, I will respectfully disagree. Talk with your family, friends, rav and others whose view you respect but NEVER marry just to be married. Give the process some time to find the right person for you. I’m sure some will say that p’ru u’ravu trumps everything. If thats what you believe, then obviously feelings don’t matter.February 18, 2020 2:50 pm at 2:50 pm #1832881
Thankx rational. They become the driver of a family by getting married with a licence as driving a car. You don’t want to drive your marriage of a cliff. You need to take a drivers ed class.February 18, 2020 4:30 pm at 4:30 pm #1832911
An environment which has constant arguments is very bad for children. Some say it is a mitzva to teach your son how to swim. Swim in tbe sea of life. Pru Urvi does not mean after having them, throw them to the volwes.October 26, 2021 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm #2021128aposhiteyidParticipant
A marriage is never a failure. Every single person has a bashert set from 30 days before they are conceived. Some people are set with 2 basherts, so it needs to happen. the divorce is necessary. Hashem made the marriage fail because that’s what’s meant to happen. You cant speak about avoiding disaster; you cant avoid it, you’re not meant to avoid it; its meant to happen. Instead of putting the blame on somebody else we need to just remeber that its all from hashem and all needed to happenOctober 26, 2021 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm #2021129aposhiteyidParticipant
And btw there is a mitzva to get married- to fulfill peru urevuOctober 27, 2021 12:16 am at 12:16 am #2021201
aposhiteyid: You’re 100% correct. It irks me to no end when some divorcees say their marriage was a mistake or it should never have happened. Are they saying that their children were a mistake?!October 27, 2021 1:04 am at 1:04 am #2021231
It is absolutely ridiculous to say say that it’s engaging in zenus if you don’t get along with your spouse. I am estimating that at least 20%, and likely more, of frum marriages, are with spouses who do not/or lose respect or liking to one another. Not only in this generation are there such marriages, but in all generations were there such marriages. With marriages that were completely arranged, I would not be surprised if the unhappy marriages were closer to 40%.
I say kol hakovod to those who MUTUALLY decide to continue to be married despite really wanting to divorce. To say such that people in such marriages engage in znus is not only ridiculous, but it’s a disgusting thing to say.October 27, 2021 6:57 am at 6:57 am #2021290
Arranged marriages have a higher rate of being happier and working out better. Compare the secular world or the MO world.October 27, 2021 11:30 am at 11:30 am #2021351
ujm, there’s arranged marriages and there’s arranged marriages. Today’s arranged marriages are not like like the arranged marriages of previous generations when it was almost given that the two people who their parents decided to get married would get married. Today the parents vet the buchar or girl and their families and decide if their children should meet but that’s where it ends. It is up to the boy and girls to decide if they want to get engaged or not. This is accross the board, in all sectors of the Chareidi world.
The higher rate of making a marriage work is not just how the marriages are arranged, but within the Chareidi world people generally want to make marriages work out and the key to that is to work on one’s own middos. In the MO world the drive is not so strong to make marriages work out for a variety of reasons.October 27, 2021 11:30 am at 11:30 am #2021355
It is bizarre, and incompatible with Torah, to proclaim that there is a mitzvah to enter a bad marriage. It is similarly blasphemous to blame this on the mitzvah of pru urevu. There are so many clear references in Torah that a marriage is intended to be a loving relationship that denying that is either foolish, or borders on apikorsus.
Let’s begin with Yitzchok Avinu – ויאהבה. Shall we continue with ושמח את אשתו. The metaphor for אהבת השם is אהבת איש ואשתו as per שיר השירים. Shas is replete with open references to this relationship. אהרן הכהן was busy with being אוהב שלום with specific reference to בין איש לאשתו. A relationship lacking this is not the Torah model.
We all understand that some marriages are not ideal. But to proactively push someone into such a situation is cruel, and has no Torah position in its defense.October 27, 2021 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm #2021396
There’s another issue being discussed about hiding mental illness before marriage which is a terrible thing to do. However, no one is sating that people must get married to people with mental illness.
Of course, no one should hide anything. If people believe they have a mental illness they must discuss it beforehand. However, I must insert here that many people are being misdiagnosed with mental illnesses when most of the time it’s about middos and has nothing to do with mental illness. Technically all human beings can be diagnosed with mental illnesses in one way or another, none of us are perfect.October 27, 2021 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm #2021393
The little I know, I never heard of anyone pushing anyone to enter a bad marriage. Nobody here suggested that. We are talking about continuing a marriage that has gone sour.
I don’t judge anyone for divorcing in such a situation, nobody should go through life feeling pressured to stay in a bad marriage.
I do admire people who try to stay in a bad marriage (of course as long as there is no abuse going on). I believe that choosing such a life is not in vain.October 27, 2021 1:52 pm at 1:52 pm #2021451
I am not quite as comfortable about someone staying in a bad marriage. I have seen it happen. On occasion, the family can ride it out successfully. But that is the exception. More often, the home environment is bitter. The fights, while perhaps not violent, are destabilizing for the family. Sometimes, they play the game well enough that the neighbors don’t know. But the kids almost always do.
These kids later enter marriages, and get into trouble. They did not merit seeing parents resolve disagreements, and have no model to do this. They then repeat what comprised their environment for most of their formative years. Result: The short term looks positive, with the absence of the bitter wars that characterize so many divorces. The long term is not so rosy, with children entering their own marriages with baggage.
I concur completely with the hiding of mental illness being completely wrong and disgusting. It is serious, and prevalent. I am aware of rabbonim who counsel and advise to withhold such information. The results are major destruction. The Chofetz Chaim was bold in guiding shidduch information to be open and honest, and that phohibition of lashon horah was not relevant to these situations.October 27, 2021 7:56 pm at 7:56 pm #2021612
TLIK: More often than not the fighting between exes after a divorce is more bitter than it was when they were still married. And after divorce they are far far more likely to be using the poor innocent children as their pawns in fighting with their ex than they ever did while still living together.
Divorcing to “spare the children” from the fighting is typically a foolhardy course of action that is counterproductive. All that is “gained” is now the children are no longer living with both their parents, having traded that in for a broken home with a missing parent who they’re lucky to see once a week instead of seven days a week.
Growing up without both full time parents causes far more harm than acknowledged.October 27, 2021 9:04 pm at 9:04 pm #2021657
The quip repeated often is that “Marriage is Grand. Divorce is a hundred grand.”
Aside from the financial cost, the emotional cost on all parties can be severe. You are correct in noting that. The question is whether “staying together for the kids” is a good idea or not. And there is no simple answer. Each case is different. Some parents can handle this. Others cannot. Making a decision on this requires doing something that no one can truly do well – predict the future. There is no “One size fits all” here. For one couple, divorce can be the lesser of the evils. For another, staying together with all its challenges might be better. Trying to apply a general answer to this is simply irresponsible. And being blind to negatives of each option is similarly foolish.October 27, 2021 9:51 pm at 9:51 pm #2021739
TLIK: And who do you think is best suited to make that decision of yay or nay?October 28, 2021 11:21 am at 11:21 am #2021886RedlegParticipant
Bingo.November 11, 2021 4:00 pm at 4:00 pm #2027188AhPeleAtzumahParticipant
What you’re looking for is a book that will discourage parents from trying to marry off their unstable children, which will never stop happening regardless.
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