March 17, 2014 8:28 pm at 8:28 pm #612366
ok this is a pretty sticky question, but im curios what the world thinks, (i for one will follow what daas torah tells me to do and so should u). but again out of curiosity…
prior to marriage if one has done some stupid regretable things EG; s/he was a gammbler or a drinker or had a problem, eating disorder, depression, addiction or anything else that would be frowned upon (or make us part of being human and making mistakes). And by the time marriage came around s/he was ok, “healed” and past these behaviors and s/he did teshuvah and really worked on her/himself to be a good person, should one tell a potential spouse? is it necessary to even bring it up? is it, that whats done is done and the spouse whether husband or wife wasnt even in the persons life at that point and ergo don’t have to know?
so should one tell a potential spouse or even an actual spouse or are some things better left unsaid if they will just cause friction?March 17, 2014 8:34 pm at 8:34 pm #1008670🍫Syag LchochmaParticipant
I think that if there are things in your past that you have done that are definitely over, it may not be necessary to say anything although it would not be fair to imply that you have been pristine all along.
That being said, I don’t think that holds true for addictions. If a person REALLY was addicted, that is not something that goes away. The person may find that when life gets really stressful, he may need to return to some groups for a booster shot. Usually an addict needs to abstain from certain activities or situations completely and indefinitely. I think that someone who was truly addicted needs to say something because it may become a sticky situation later on.March 17, 2014 8:41 pm at 8:41 pm #1008671zahavasdadParticipant
There are “addictions” and there are “youthful indiscretions”
For example if someone in their youth went to McDonalds in a rebellious stage, that is not an addiction, that was an indiscretion, there is no need to tell someone you might have done such an act.
If you had gone to a casino a few times and played the slots dont worry about it and keep it secret. If you went regularly to Atlantic City and spent thousands of dollars there weekly, then that is an addiction and not an indiscretionMarch 17, 2014 8:44 pm at 8:44 pm #1008672
I say to err on the side of disclosure. If it isn’t a big deal, then it won’t be a big deal.
If you went to a casino just a few times and played the slots, she won’t mind.
FTR: I have gone to a casino, less than 10 times, I usually played roulette using “progressive gambling”.March 17, 2014 8:56 pm at 8:56 pm #1008673RedlegParticipant
The problem is that the past often refuses to stay buried. Past peccadilloes, no matter how long past, how deeply regretted and completely atoned, have a way of popping up at inopportune times. Then what?
I’m not speaking of real addictions of the sort remarked by Syag. I mean the kind of bad behavior, even crimes, that would be, at least, deeply embarrassing or even damaging if found out. It’s a dilemma! Do you bury the past and hope it says buried or do you tell your prospective (or actual) spouse and trust him/her to believe you when you say you’re a changed man/woman and there is no danger of you repeating your previous bad behavior. I submit that if, indeed, you are “healed” you need a spouse that trusts you and believes in you. A spouse, potential or actual, that would give up on you for trusting them is not one worthy of your trust.March 17, 2014 9:10 pm at 9:10 pm #1008674akupermaParticipant
If by what theory are you saying an FFB can’t become a BT?
I assume the writer is an FFB, since a BT wouldn’t need to ask such a question.March 17, 2014 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm #1008675SoftwordsParticipant
ihear – in truth I am not on a level to state my opinion, but non the less this what I would think. Hopefully I will not steer you in the wrong direction.
We see that Hashem “lied” to Avraham about what Sarah Imeinu said. Why? Because of Shalom Bias. We can learn from here that not every truth should be told.
However, in a case of marriage it really depends if that information will affect the marriage if not told prior. Therefore, a reliable posek should be consulted. May Hashem guide you to receive the correct psak.March 17, 2014 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm #1008676Sam2Participant
I have had several NCSY-type people who have since been Chozer Bitshuvah (and become very “Yeshivish”) if they are obligated to tell potential spouses about past dalliances with the opposite gender. I was told (by several major Poskim with whom I discussed the issue) that it is Assur to divulge such information as it would be an Issur Chamur of Lashon Hara (as it is often very easy to find out or obvious who the person was with).March 17, 2014 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm #1008677☕ DaasYochid ☕Participant
FTR: I have gone to a casino, less than 10 times, I usually played roulette using “progressive gambling”.
Not a kuntz to tell us, let’s see you tell your wife (didn’t you once post that she doesn’t know your real screen name?).March 17, 2014 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm #1008679
ok firstly redleg.. wow thats awesome i never thought of it that way…the only queation is, can a date of 14 dates be held to the same trust level of a person thats married or even engaged, is it fair to ask that of them? maybe they are or should, i dont know just asking…
2nd softwords ur saying good and its true but may i turn u to redlegs first paragraph where red says very truthfuly that the past has a annoying way of popping up at the most unoppertune time.
3rd sam2 i understand that u cant tell bec of lashon hora but what if they themselves told their future “spice” would that be suggested? or the point is that nobody should say anything at all including themselves?
and to all people: isnt it difficult to have a full relationship with someone if u know that there are things that ur deliberately not saying BECAUSE ur nervous they will not accept u?March 17, 2014 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm #1008680
If you want a healthy marriage I don’t think you want to have your spouse get surprises later on. Marriage is built on trust. Finding out that your spouse kept a big secret from you is not conducive to future trusting.March 18, 2014 3:51 am at 3:51 am #1008683
Why is it a secret if u didn’t even know her when the thing was going on or happened? Why should marriage mean that every mistake someone makes in their life before getting married must be examined, ur marrying the person ur dating not who they were 2 weeks ago 2 months ago or 2 years ago.March 18, 2014 3:56 am at 3:56 am #1008684
Ah, this reminds me of the story of my dumb friend. http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/coffeeroom/topic/my-dumb-friend
So against my advice he married that girl. And they had a great marriage for 15 years, and had lots of really dumb kids who they both thought were really smart, and they were great parents to them.
Well, one day he comes home in a bad mood, and he yells at the kids, and is mean to his wife, and slams the door, and drinks beer after supper while doing YWN on the computer.
And then for like two weeks he’s coming home every night in a bad mood and yelling at the kids and being mean to his wife and slamming the door, and sometimes drinking beer but always doing YWN and posting dumb things because he’s dumb.
So she goes to the rav, and says she wants a divorce because her husband always is mean to her and yells at the kids and slams doors and does YWN and sometimes drinks beer.
So the rav asks, ok, but what is he normally like? So she says, I just told you! He yells at the kids and is mean to me and slams the door and sometimes drinks beer but always does YWN on his computer.
So the rav says, ok, but what was he like 2 weeks ago? Oh! 2 weeks ago? Why didn’t you ask? He was a great husband 2 weeks ago, and for the past 15 years.
So the rav says if has been a great husband for 15 years, maybe she shouldn’t be so fast to divorce him, because maybe this last 2 weeks is not really him.
But she says, no. I’m not married to who he was 2 weeks ago, or 2 years ago. I’m married to who he is right now, and I don’t want to be married to who he is right now, so I want a divorce.
(And of course you remember he is a kohen, and boy was that get mekushar expensive! (Kidding, there was no get; she wouldn’t accept a get unless he agreed to never see the kids; boy were you gullible and thought there really was a get. What do you think this is? Hollywood? Megilas Lester?))March 18, 2014 4:12 am at 4:12 am #1008685
Ok and therefore?March 18, 2014 6:13 am at 6:13 am #1008686
ihear, are you kidding? Are we talking about running a red light? Mistake is a very nice name for sins but get real. Who you are now is made from who you were. And regardless of any reason the guy would want to know, a person’s history defines the person. One day you are married to this innocent person. The next day you find out that this very nice person duped you.
I know this makes no sense to you from this perspective so let’s look at it from another viewpoint. Imagine this real open-minded guy agrees to marry you. Three years later he finds out that you witheld this information and he is totally fine with that. He even goes on and on about how it doesn’t make a difference what you did in the past. Then you find out why. It turns out that he killed three people and threatened another two. But the next year on Yom Kippur he “saw the light”. He never cried like that before. He decided right then and there that he’ll run away, change his identity, and enroll in Yeshiva. He’s Mamesh a Mentch and a real Baal Teshuva. Besides for his obcession with sleeping with a weapon and always living near a border, he’s completely normal, and most important, a wonderful father.
Will you smile just as before, or better?March 18, 2014 11:39 am at 11:39 am #1008687Torah613TorahParticipant
Popa: His ex-wife’s definition of a bad husband is drinking beer and posting on YWN? She really is dumb.March 18, 2014 11:41 am at 11:41 am #1008688Torah613TorahParticipant
And did she tell him before they got married that she was dumb? No she did not.
And did he tell her before they got married that in 15 years he would drink beer and post on YWN for 4 weeks? No he did not.
You should try to get them back together. They deserve each other.March 18, 2014 2:26 pm at 2:26 pm #1008689
Poppa,very cute story but really that’s the argument for telling someone… a person grows up in their lifetime and what they do is part of development, ur not gonna tell ur spouse every time u sucked ur thumb or that u wore diapers as a child or numerous other things that people do that are part of developing As a human being… so in short yes it should make a difference what u would or wouldn’t say, especially if the spouse will gain nothing from it.
And haleeivi, we are obviously talking about a case where a person makes a mistake and then respeccted opinions agree that they are past it like a therapist or a rebbe or teacher. They don’t make that decision on their own. But regardless, murder? Really that’s what ur comparing a mistake someone makes throughout their life too? A mistake that harmed nobody except themselves compared to an action that ended 3 lives ?? I understand it was just an example/joke but it has to be in congruence one hurt others and one did not.March 18, 2014 3:17 pm at 3:17 pm #1008690
That’s what I’m getting at. So you do agree that you would want to know about it, you just feel that it depends how severe a sin. You agree that the past is more than just a history book. My example was also about a real turn-around, which is why I set it long into the marriage, when you got to know him as a real nice person, which he is — now.
Well, most people would be quite horrified to find out one day that their close and trusted spouse had a very different past than what they imagined. I think it might help if you think about yourself finding out stuff about him a year into your marriage, rather than coming up with rational for someone else to accept you no matter what comes their way.March 18, 2014 3:31 pm at 3:31 pm #1008691🍫Syag LchochmaParticipant
Haleivi – I got a different impression of what the OP was asking. I had a ben bayis who was a solid BT. Solid, meaning secure in frumkeit. He was getting married to someone who was also a BT and secure in her frumkeit. The boy and I were discussing just how much detail is important to discuss. The kallah knows he had a secular past but she may not know just what type of recreation he was into. She may assume he had taken drugs, but maybe she would never have assumed heroin use. It isn’t that the spouse doesn’t know that there were indiscretions, it is about providing detail of the amount and nature.
Along those same lines I had a friend who was from a BY family but was very promiscuous in high school. She married a very solid straight boy from a very good yeshiva many years later. I asked her if he knew about her ‘past’. She told me that he knew she was sent away for high school and what that implied but not the details. It wouldn’t be right for him to think it never happened, but he may not need to know the specifics.March 18, 2014 3:57 pm at 3:57 pm #1008692jewishfeminist02Member
By all means you should disclose. If it was a major enough life event that you’re even asking the question, you probably already know the answer.
I will take issue with the details, though. I agree with Syag Lchochma that a true addiction is not something that EVER goes away, and therefore it absolutely needs to be shared because it will affect a potential spouse. I need to point out as well that there is one item on your list that really doesn’t belong there: depression. First of all, like addiction, depression is not something that ever truly goes away. But more to the point, it’s not a “stupid regretable [sic] thing” that is “part of being human and making mistakes”. Depression is a clinical disorder. No one chooses it; no one asks for it; it’s not a “behavior” for which one needs to “do teshuvah”. (One might say that addiction is also clinical and out of the person’s hands, with the notable caveat that the addiction might have been avoided by not picking up the cigarette/alcohol/whatever behavior in the first place.) Also– both addiction and depression need to be properly treated and maintained. That is key. Because even if you think you are “over” it, if you stop going to AA meetings, stop taking meds, stop avoiding dangerous situations, whatever the case may be, you WILL backslide. There are so many cases of people who had their disorders completely under control and then got cocky. The results are always tragic.March 18, 2014 4:06 pm at 4:06 pm #1008693
Didn’t anyone else here attach schedules to their kesuba disclosing all the items otherwise covered by the representations?March 18, 2014 8:55 pm at 8:55 pm #1008694
Feminist, because it was a major life event for one person doesn’t automatically mean that it must be shared. Again, the reason it could be a major event in that persons life is simply because of guilt or anger or whatever. When people do dumb things that are intense for them that doesn’t mean that it is important to share with another person necessarily.
And haleivi I hear what you’re saying, and I definitely understand in the context that you’re saying it in where a person has a whole history that’s shady, but what if she fell into something that was bad, call it a slip or mistake or anything u like but that wasn’t the type of person they were they happened to have made a doozy mistake would you still think it should be shared?March 18, 2014 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm #1008695
To know where a certain ‘mistake’ falls, between sucking a thumb and murder, requires judgment. If you don’t trust your own you can discuss that particular ‘mistake’ with (someone you trust/LOR/PhD/Popa bar Abby).
But do keep in mind that while having been Chutzpadik for a week wouldn’t define you, other things do. When a person has specific stuff in their past it is part of the wholesome picture of which a spouse wouldn’t want to be lied to.March 19, 2014 4:22 am at 4:22 am #1008696
You’re saying goodMarch 19, 2014 2:00 pm at 2:00 pm #1008697
Ok so to understand u would say that a mistake that a person makes be it big or small as long as its a mistake and really isn’t who that person is wouldn’t have to be disclosed, on the other hand if a person was consistently doing these things then the potential spouse should be informed?March 21, 2014 12:26 am at 12:26 am #1008698
So where does the world stand on mistakes that taka aren’t who that person is but a mistake they fell prey to… disclose? or not disclose? It may change a potential spouses view and make him/her drop the person but it really isn’t who that person is, its a real mess up a blunder if u will and one they regret.March 21, 2014 2:12 am at 2:12 am #1008699
“It may change a potential spouses view”
And an active spouse as well.
“and make him/her drop the person”
Or, in the case of a spouse, deeply ruin the trust and the relationship.
“but it really isn’t who that person is”
Beautiful thought, and very good Chizuk.
Have you heard of growing stronger from your mistakes? If you think that applies here than you are agreeing that the mistake is very much a part of your identity. Not as a transgressor — anymore — but it is there in some color (either as ???? ?? ?????? or ???? ?? ???????). The choice is his whether he wants to be open minded or not. Do you believe in giving a son and daughter a say in their Shidduch? Why would your spouse have less of a choice?
It is starting to sound like you know the answer but wish it weren’t so. You seem to feel that the rejection won’t be based on a real understanding of how far you really are from your history. This is a true concern. People get repelled from shocking news. I believe Reb Moshe Feinstein said that after a relationship has developed, before getting engaged, is the time to disclose the uncomfortable stuff. You might want to get some advice of how to introduce it, and in how many steps, and when to start planting some early necessary introductions.March 21, 2014 4:20 am at 4:20 am #1008700mom12Participant
I would not say anything..unless it is something like being on medication, which continues into the marriage…
on the other hand if the situation would be reverse,
would you want the significant other to disclose this information to you or would you let bygones be bygones…March 21, 2014 11:53 am at 11:53 am #1008701
You get the type of marriage you ask for.
If you want to have a marriage where you both keep secrets from each other because you’re afraid the other won’t love you if they know–go for it. You won’t be tricking him, because he’ll be tricking you also. It goes both ways: if you aren’t open with him, he’ll pick up on it, and not be open with you.
And don’t think it won’t continue after you’re married. If you aren’t secure enough in the relationship to tell him about what happened two years ago, you also won’t tell him what happened at the grocery store, in fear of rejection. And he won’t tell you what happened in yeshiva or at work.
But you will be tricking yourself, because you’ll think you actually have a marriage when really all you are is roommates.March 21, 2014 8:28 pm at 8:28 pm #1008702
You’re all saying good, I honestly hear both sides. I do sound like I know the answer but to me what the answer is, isn’t necessarily what it really should be, but I thank u all for the input. Its good to know what people think.
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