Preventable Marriage Disasters

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  • #1832239
    Haimy
    Participant

    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.

    #1832411

    “how to do proper research”, all the research in the world will not reveal anything when things are hidden from others.

    #1832511
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    I suggested to have required shalom bayis classes before marriage.

    #1832517
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    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.

    #1832554
    Joseph
    Participant

    Pru Urvu is a Chiyuv. One is obligated to get married.

    #1832555
    Joseph
    Participant

    Better to be married and divorced than to never marry. No question about it.

    #1832557
    Joseph
    Participant

    The Chasidim know how to do a full research before dating.

    #1832569
    TRUEBT
    Participant

    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.

    #1832579
    Joseph
    Participant

    So-called “professionals” are the worst people to ask.

    #1832581
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    Say Tehilim 121

    #1832580
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    Haimy – your insertion of aspergers in that list and context is incorrect and offensive.

    #1832611
    Joseph
    Participant

    Syag, many would say the same about the other two things Haimy included in his list.

    #1832616
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    okay. then go ahead.

    #1832622
    Edmark1234
    Participant

    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.

    #1832684
    simplesense
    Participant

    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 Haezer

    #1832698
    Haimy
    Participant

    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.

    #1832702
    🍫Syag Lchochma
    Participant

    thank you

    #1832810
    dak1
    Participant

    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.

    #1832831
    rational
    Participant

    Reb Eliezer’s suggestion of pre-marital shalom-bayis counseling is a wonderful idea.

    #1832824
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    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.

    #1832881
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    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.

    #1832911
    Reb Eliezer
    Participant

    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.

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