Shidduchim: Why is everybody lying and is it ok?

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  • #592445

    I had a discussion recently with a few married couples and it turns out that they all lied to their prospective spouses during dating and are now happily married. The things they lied about were things which the spouse will figure out by being married to the person. Now these people all said they wouldn’t be married if they hadn’t done some lying. I’m not referring to lying about health problems or anything like that, but more about personality and habits…I was frankly sickened by the conversation and it bothered me on a few levels. I don’t really have what to hide but I can’t imagine myself lying to the person I want to marry. On the other hand all these liars are happily married so it kind of looks like lying works out in the end?

    To all the married people, did you lie to each other as well or did your children lie in shidduchim? Is it ok to lie in shidduchim?

    #698072
    charliehall
    Participant

    My wife and I met on frumster.com. I did not lie and I did not hide anything. Neither did she. Shadchanim had actually advised me not to tell the whole truth about myself. I ignored their advice and found the right person.

    I frankly can’t understand why anyone would lie in shidduchim. You will not be able to keep the secrets. And I can’t imagine starting out a relationship with dishonesty!

    #698073
    dunno
    Member

    Some people lie up to a certain number of dates. I can never understand someone who would go into marriage knowing that it’s based on lies. However, as you say, it works.

    #698074
    smartcookie
    Member

    I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t trust my husband if he would lie to me before. It would ruin the trust in my marriage. Even if he would lie about a minor detail.

    Just be honest if you want your spouse to be honest with you.

    #698075
    yeshivaguy1
    Participant

    I am just wondering are we talking about smoking. I know many guys who smoke who know that almost every girl will not marry a smoker and they lie about it. I remember a kollel guy who used to sneak behind my building to smoke bec his wife had no idea he still smoked (she thought he quit before marriage)

    #698076
    yeshivaguy1
    Participant

    I remember walking into bmg dorms and coming across a large group of guys smoking. They were wearing their bathrobes and would go into the shower after they had a few cigarettes so their clothes wouldn’t stink of smoke bec they were all in shidduchim.

    #698077
    apushatayid
    Participant

    EVERYONE lies?

    #698078
    HadaLXTP
    Member

    I was told by a known Rav that not all secrets need to be told to a perspective Shidduch.

    #698079
    WIY
    Member

    HadaLXTP:

    Fair enough. So what are the rules and where do we draw the line?

    #698080
    minyan gal
    Member

    Yoish – Did you ever think that some (or many) of these couples may also be lying about being so happily married? Nobody really knows what may be going on behind closed doors.

    #698081
    aries2756
    Participant

    When I deal in shidduchim I always, always tell those involved that lies will eventually rear its ugly head and bite you in the behind. We are not a society of secret keepers. Unfortunately we are a society of yentas. And although people may keep secrets when talking shiduchim yentas are way too eager to spread stories and rumors afterwards.

    #698082
    WIY
    Member

    Aries,

    Unfortunately lying is rampant in shidduchim. Shadchanim lie big time as well as the guys/girls refrences. I know someone who went out with a girl recently who was described as beautiful (not cute but beautiful!) By 6 different people who were called. Not only was the girl not beautiful, she’s very plain looking. The shadchan pushed for a 2nd date but the boys parents could not believe that after all that info she wasn’t even cute so they arranged to be there when their son picked her up and they saw that she was clearly not attractive. The fools who lie for these girls or guys are only making them go on wasted dates. You can “mean” well but they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    #698083
    Helpful
    Member

    WIY: with that attitude I can guarantee that boy will end up with a “beautiful” witch. With a broomstick. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. There is NO subjective “definition” of beautiful. That boy and his parents will get what they deserve. Broomstick at no additional charge. Especially with the primary importance that fool places on physical beauty, so much so that his idiotic parents felt it important enough to make a special trip just to verify her so called beauty. Fools — boy AND parents.

    #698084
    Health
    Participant

    Everyone nowadays seem to forget the end of the posuk -we have organizations to combat the first part, but noone I know talks about the second -“Me haish hehchofetz chaim … Nzor leshoinchah mayrah oosifahcesschah medaber mirmah!

    #698085
    charliehall
    Participant

    “Sheker hachen v’hevel hayofi.”

    Do all these young men fall asleep right before kiddush every Friday night?

    #698086
    aries2756
    Participant

    Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but if the boy is expecting to see a “beautiful” girl and is met by a plain jane that girl does not have a fighting chance to make an impression on him and vice a versa. However, if the truth were told “I think she is pretty, I can’t guarantee what your eyes will see” Or I think she is pretty but she doesn’t wear a lot of makeup, but she is very cheinidik. What is most important to you her outer or inner beauty? On many occasions I have told prospects “you can change a person from the outside in but you can’t change a person from the inside out!”. Appearances can be altered with make-up, lenses, different glasses, haircut, clothes, etc. And that goes for both boys and girls, but you can’t change a person’s heart or personality. Their inner traits and values are what’s most important.

    #698087
    myfriend
    Member

    The larger problem is with these vain boys seeking external “beauty” above all else.

    #698088
    mdd
    Member

    Charliehall, why did Chazal mandate that a boy see a girl before marrying her? Why did they make a takona to facilitate access to make-up and besomim for Bnos Isroel (end of Meruba in Bava Kama)? I am not saying, however, that looks is the most important criteria — middos and iras Shamaim are.

    #698089
    aries2756
    Participant

    myfriend, who is teaching them that? What is missing here? What exactly are they learning from their parents?

    #698090
    Health
    Participant

    myfriend -There are many vain women looking for handsome, rich, young, yichus men – just like men looking for the same thing.

    #698091
    aries2756
    Participant

    The halacha is that they should be attracted to each other and not find each other ekeldik. Of course this makes sense. But what does not make sense is the concept that they are entitled to the most beautiful girl in the universe and that they should seek that one out. Who says that Hashem has chosen that for their bashert? That is very conceited of them don’t you think? That should not be the most important criteria for marriage.

    A young woman can learn to enhance her looks with makeup. She can change her hairstyle with her new sheitel, And the same goes for a young man by changing his glasses or wearing lenses and with a different haircut. And of course changing the style or even color of clothing can make a huge difference in appearance. But you can’t change a selfish person to be generous, you can’t change a sharp tongue to be a sweet talker, etc.

    #698092

    As an experience mother/grandmother who B”H married off all children i will comment:

    1. A very ehrliche shadchan,who no longer practices once told me,

    Mrs.—- , a shadchan is a liar. The only thing you could believe me is the name i give you. The rest is up to you to check out.

    2. Even when you present things up front they are apt to change.

    By one of our children one of the up front issues was the language to be spoken at home, to which the mechutin consented. At first the language held with the children, now the younger ones only speak English. When my mechutin called Erev Yom Kippur i did mention it…so what!!!

    3. My husband smoked for 40 years and stopped cold turkey 2 years ago. The tobacco seeps in and can be smelled for a long time after. So for those who think they are fooling someone by smoking in shul yard, backyard, etc. all i can tell you is that the girl who does not pick up on it has a poor sense of smell.

    My neice who is B”H married had dated about 2 boys she was interested in and they in her. She picked up on the tobacco smell and that was end of shidduch. One boy promised to stop after married, when stress would be less. After she married and went shopping for a bookcase, she ended up in a store which unknowingly was owned by her former suitor. Yes, there he was chainsmoking in the store. Yes, he got married before her ! When he realized who she was he turned red. No, he did not stop smoking.

    Smoking is rampant,even with such as 11 year olds smoking. And guess what, alot are stealing to support this bad habit.

    So add stealing to you shidduch blog.

    #698093
    Health
    Participant

    Lia – As I’m in the medical field, I can pick up on those things, the avg. person cannot. They wear suits freshly cleaned -the odor is dulled by the cleaning smell. They use mouthwash and strong deoderant to mask the smell on themselves. Unless you are keen, it’s hard to pick up. One of the signs we look for -for alcholics is the green-mouthwash smell. They hide the alcohol smell with that. Smokers are more honest with med prof. I guess because there is no Detox areas in the hospital or psych wards for smokers as opposed to where we can put alcoholics.

    #698094
    HadaLXTP
    Member

    Just a little delay in replying. Please forgive.

    Personally I don’t agree with everything these Rav’s have told me regarding what should and/or should not be told. Everything is all relevant to where one is holding in their dating life(2nd 3rd 4th dates?)I think. Rules: If you have made a mistake in life that you no longer make, then why bring it up? Health issue, different story altogether. Ah gut Yom Tov to all. 🙂

    #698095
    aries2756
    Participant

    Hada, the point is that small mistakes are no one’s business as we all make mistakes. Large mistakes that are well known and can come back and bite you, should not be concealed if it might be considered a lie or a lie by omission by your future spouse and cause sholom bayis problems in the future. Think about how you would feel if the shoe was on the other foot.

    If c”v you were a girl who once hung out all the time in your youth and was actually OTD and ate treif b’farhesiah. Now as a mature young lady you are on the right track and have left all that behind you as foolish and childish and having gone through a very rough patch at the time in your life. Kol Hakavod and kudos for having the strength and emunah to turn your life around and become a true Bas Torah. However, there is a way of telling your future spouse about this time in your life in a non-problematic and non-confrontational way about how you have made tremendous strides in your life. In other words by talking about the positive influences in your life and the improvements you made in your journey of becoming you. Sometimes, it might be necessary to have this discussion together with the Rav who knows you the best so that he can pave the way for understanding so the young man does not get scared off.

    But what if this is not disclosed and the gossip mongers get to him after the marriage is sealed. “Did you know that I your wife used to be friends with my sister and they used to eat at McDonald’s?” How do you think your husband would feel if he was hit from left field with such a revelation? On the other hand if he had the knowledge he could combat that yenta with “B”H isn’t it amazing how she turned her life around? And how is your sister doing?”.

    #698096
    HadaLXTP
    Member

    Agreed. Factor: Public or not?

    #698097

    You don’t need to come on the first date and say “Hi my name is Meir. I smoke once a week, used to take ritalin, and got over childhood cancer when I was 3”.

    However, lying and concealing are different things at different periods in dating. If someone asks you “Do you smoke” or “Do you go to therapy” “Do you take meds”, you need to say the truth IF you think the dating is going anywhere. You can’t evade the question or conceal it, and should be prepared if you do have an issue like that.

    Concealing is ONLY ok if you’re not yet sure where this is going and don’t trust the other person. It’s not great but it’s understandable. Once you know where things are going, not telling them something you know they would want to know is dishonesty, plain and simple. It also shows that you’re not at peace with yourself and haven’t accepted the fact that you, like everyone else, has faults.

    I think it’s really dangerous to play with dishonesty in the beginning of a relationship as well. But this is just an anonymous female’s opinion, not a Rov’s so of course you have to ask.

    #698098
    yitzy99
    Member

    “….I know someone who went out with a girl recently who was described as beautiful (not cute but beautiful!) by 6 different people who were called….”

    The 6 different people probably knew her and to them she really was beautiful. This young lady was quite blessed not to get involved with this family.

    #698099
    missme
    Member

    well said yitzy99.

    #698100
    yitzy99
    Member

    Thank you, missme.

    #698101
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    We’re talking about looks?

    Well, you should certainly tell the guy before you get engaged if you have been lying about your looks.

    I know someone who found out after 20 years and 10 children that his wife was actually fat. He divorced her on the spot. To be fair, he had been lying about his beer belly, kugel lips, and receded hairline (not to mention his age- he was 45!).

    #698102
    smr
    Member

    my rule: i tell people BEFORE they tell me the name:

    I do NOT answer ANY questions about physical traits. (height, weight, looks)

    #698103

    pba – i hope that you’re joking.

    #698104
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    paschabchochma:

    Well, I hope that all the posters who are ok with lying to your potential spouse are joking.

    I don’t even know why you would want to. Do you really want to marry someone who you think would reject you if they really knew about you?

    I’d rather not get married.

    #698105

    minyan gal – btw that was very funny

    pba. thanx for explaining.

    #698106
    charliehall
    Participant

    Mdd,

    I was taught that the takana was to prevent another situation like that of Yaakov Avinu who ended up marrying someone other than the person he thought he was marrying.

    The emphases in the frum community on physical attraction, and on money, regarding possible marriage partners is worse than among the goyim. We should be ashamed of ourselves.

    #698107
    so right
    Member

    charliehall, I agree with you that the emphases in the frum community on physical attributes (and money) has gotten extremely bad in the past number of years, nevertheless I wouldn’t go so far as to say it has C”V gotten worse than the goyim. But you are correct that we should be ashamed of ourselves.

    #698108
    Health
    Participant

    There used to be 5 Mems people looked for in a shidduch -1. Mamone (Money), 2. Maareh (Looks), 3. Mispacha (Family yichus), 4. Moach (Brains), and 5. Midos (Character traits). I guess now we are down to the first three or two.

    #698109
    Pashuteh Yid
    Member

    It is funny, but lying in shidduchim goes back a long way. The Rambam brings that in certain places, the number they promised for a dowry or as a gift in the kesuva was sometimes magnified by about 50% or so. Everybody understood what the real number was, despite what was written. Do not quote me on this until I can find the actual source.

    #698110
    WIY
    Member

    A guy has every right to date a good looking girl and a girl has every right to date a good looking guy. The guy I was referring to in my story was a guy who wanted to date a pretty girl he never said she has to be drop dead, but people were describing her as though she’s really attractive and she’s very clearly not (she also dresses very plain) that’s just plain lying and not right to the boy and the girl, why should people have to waste their time and come to distrust the dating process because of liars?

    If a girl isn’t beautiful don’t rave about her looks, call her cute. If a girl isn’t smart don’t call her a genius when she is very clearly average, if a girl is quiet don’t say she’s a great conversationalist and then the guy has to suffer through a painful date…now this goes for the guys as well I’m not picking on anyone, guys have to be honest as well, whoever is giving the info has to be honest!

    #698111
    chaimss
    Participant

    As a guy who’s not in Shidduchim yet, this is a topic I’ve had mixed feelings about. For example, if I had hashkafa problems in the past, or if I have some “deep, dark secret,” on one hand it’s better to be honest, but on the other hand, the girl may be more accepting of it once she got to know me, versus hearing it at first when she’d say “no, no, definitely not.” The other thing I’m thinking, is omission the same as lying in this case?

    #698112
    popa_bar_abba
    Participant

    chaimss:

    I don’t think anyone is advocating putting it on your resume, or sending it along with your information like the name of your shul.

    We are discussing whether you should mention it before you get engaged, or just pretend it doesn’t exist.

    #698113
    Sacrilege
    Member

    RE: medications I heard from numerous Rabbonim that you dont have to tell unless:

    1- it effects your life on a day to day basis

    2- its life altering

    3- its going to impact the life of your spouse.

    I’m a firm believer in honesty is the best policy in which case I think the person in the situation should tell the potential suitor once thwy become far along enough that they are comfortable with the person and it would mean something to them. Also, I never understood how you could really build a TRUE relationship with someone if it was based on lies (this goes for medications and OTD, or some other skeleton issue)

    #698114
    mw13
    Participant

    charliehall:

    “The emphases in the frum community on physical attraction, and on money, regarding possible marriage partners is worse than among the goyim. We should be ashamed of ourselves.”

    Speak for yourself. We may not all be perfect angels, but to make such an extreme generalization like that is really pushing it.

    Health:

    “There used to be 5 Mems people looked for in a shidduch -1. Mamone (Money), 2. Maareh (Looks), 3. Mispacha (Family yichus), 4. Moach (Brains), and 5. Midos (Character traits). I guess now we are down to the first three or two. “

    Who’s we?

    In general, we frum jews tend to be our own biggest critics. This is usually a good thing, but it does have the side effect of magnifying our faults in our own eyes. We focus so much on what we are doing wrong, to the point that we make it out to be much worse than it actually is. We may be too into looks, money, etc, but that certainly doesn’t make us anywhere near as bad as the goyim. We have plenty of things we need to work on, but I really think we have ourselves underrated.

    #698115

    i want to know why people who call themselves “shadchanim” are allowed to withhold information about themselves? if you’re calling me and asking me about my child and then suggessting a shidduch for him/her, i want to know who YOU are.

    #698116

    wew! everyone’s freaking me out! I’m not even close to shidduchim yet but why in the world would someone lie? Eventually they’ll be looked down upon as a liar no matter what. You don’t have to bring up the issue but don’t deny it.

    #698117
    Sacrilege
    Member

    MW13 @ Charliehall –

    “The emphases in the frum community on physical attraction, and on money, regarding possible marriage partners is worse than among the goyim. We should be ashamed of ourselves.

    Speak for yourself. We may not all be perfect angels, but to make such an extreme generalization like that is really pushing it”

    Um, no its not. I’m going with Charlie on this one. The fact that guys only give girls one date, means (basically) that they arent “attracted” to her. The fact that they think they can sum up a person and all their virtues in 2.5 hours is mind boggling. Bottom line its all about the looks. period.

    #698118
    myfriend
    Member

    Agreed Sacrilege. The ironic part is those placing an emphasis on external beauty tend to end up with someone lacking internal beauty. “Misery finds company”, as they say.

    Those not placing an emphasis on external beauty tend to end up with someone with internal (the ikkur) and external beauty.

    #698119
    AinOhdMilvado
    Participant

    Many people DO lie about even serious issues and hope for the best.

    MY advice – double check your information, – and – if people hesitate before giving their answers, then TRIPLE check the information.

    #698121
    artchill
    Participant

    From time to time, it’s important to remind people of the following:

    Proposed dates from families with a history of abuse OR estrangement, must be thoroughly checked out. Do your research and make an informed decision. The wrong decision can ruin your life and those of future generations.

    Don’t fall in for shidduchim crisis hype and settle for trouble. Take things slow and go with your eyes W-I-D-E open.

    BE VERY CAREFUL!!!

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