Out Of The Mailbag – To YW Editor (Divorce Crisis)


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

yw logo8.jpgDear Readers,

I wanted to bring something up that I am sure many other girls are suffering from. I decided to write when I heard today of yet another 2 divorces. First of all, all of you out there that are living through it, I feel for you and hope Hashem gives you the strength to rise above your challenges whatever that may be.

As for my concern. Shidduchim is hard enough as it is with all the different challenges (as I prefer to refer to it instead of crisis). However, I have become a bit petrified when it comes to marriage! People that I have always known as such good and stable people, I am now hearing and seeing daily that they are getting divorced! My whole world is being shaken. My whole secure feeling of what marriage is, is totally being rocked. Of course I am aware that it’s not happily ever after the second prince charming comes along and sweeps you off to a new fantasy life of bliss. But I can’t handle this. My young classmates divorced… quite a few of them. My friends parents… also quite a few. Neighbors, friends, acquaintances…. ?!?!?! Hashem help me!!! I am so scared when dating. How will I know better than any other what to look for in each person and how to pick up on certain signs! I don’t mean to shift the blame to the boys. I am sure some of the boys have a fear likewise about the girls. And then some of them find out after marriage that a girl has a lot more to her than her looks, and they wish they would have known to be aware before they got married.

Yes, sometimes it is necessary to get a divorce because of abuse or mental health problems. This is scary because it is so hard to see especially when the person is charming and has lots of chein. And when checking out (so I have learned the hard way with dating) people don’t really tell you these things straight because they want the person to get married. Nebuch, at the spouse’s expense! I’ve wondered, is everyone in this world expected to and supposed to get married even if they have abuse issues, or anger problems that are out of control?

About the guys that are not of the above category, just not compatible and discovered they couldn’t work things out after marriage or whatever the case may be. How am I supposed to know what to look for in that case. I have been out with quite a few boys that I have been comfortable and happy around and in the end for x or y it didn’t go but how do I know what to look for to make sure I will be doing the right thing to marry the right one? Being in the somewhat yeshivish world I haven’t had much interaction with boys and don’t necessarily know how to read them since I am not one. And so the fear lives on.

Ah, Siyata Dishmaya you say??? I admit 100% it is all in Hashems hands. But my friend that just got divorced also had siyata dishmaya and is a baalas bitachon and was also so happy at her chasuna. Yet she and her baby are no longer in the life of her husband. And the chills once again run up my spine. Why am I special that Hashem will protect me more than her?

I mamish daven at every chuppah that it should be a bayis neeman adei ad…. I daven that the whole world should be able to raise the next generation with functional happy families. But I can not help but be afraid and cry as each day I hear of yet another….. broken home!!

Please readers…. What can we do??


Petrified in the Parsha.


  1. Your fears are completely reasonable and very realistic. The situation today is very scary. I too walked down to my first chuppah with hopes and dreams. Little did i know that my life with my ex would be a living gehinnom. after suffering from severe verbal, mental, and emotional abuse..Hashem gave me the courage and strength to get out. Bruch Hashem ..with nissim!! of course after the news of the divorce became public i started hearing from everyone “oh, I remember he had such a temper that he once beat up my friend” or “everyone knew he has a sick temper and has many enemies…you deserved better” this one is the best “when you got engaged to him we were all wandering how you didn’t notice his abusive nature..we were curious to see if it was going to last”!!! why didnt anyone tell me before?!! when i asked them this they said “Lashon Hara” when are people going to learn the rules of Lashon Hara and see that saving someone from untold suffering and pain would not be Lashon Hara?!?!
    my advice to you is to have complete emunah and Bitachon in Hakadosh Baruch Hu. And to daven as you never have. if you are davening now…just daven harder.. it is never hard enough! i always was a serios davener..therefore i didnt understand why i had to go through what i did.. but we don’t now Hashems ways..He is Emes and his ways are Emes. I took a lesson from my divorce and that was to get even closer to Hashem, and daven even harder than before and Baruch Hashem he has answered my tefillos! There is hope after divorce! as for you, daven and after that try to do as much research as you can before you go out and get swept off yor feet… dig even as far back as elementary school, neighbors, friends, chavrusos,,, because it’s easy to be charming and nice on a date.. but people that know the person in real life on a daily basis will know the real character. May Hakadosh Baruch Hu send you and all of the singles in klal yisrael their right zivug- an everlasting zivug! And may we all greet mashiach bekarov!!

  2. Sorry gal, but your belief that the only valid reason for divorce is “abuse or mental health problems” is wrong, and indicative of an immature oversimplification of marriage.

    Speak to a rav, rebbe, or a therapist before you get married. No, not your parent or friend. Speak to someone who has dealt with hundreds of marriages. You’re in for a surprise.

  3. are all these people getting divorce after receivng rabbinical advice & guidance or they dont bother listening or even asking rabbanim??

  4. to the letter writer
    did u ask ur friends WHY are they getting divorced. [subject to hil.l. hara]?

    & then ask urself & the boy u date [& ur rav], is divorce the proper reaction in such situations.

  5. Approximant divorce rates:

    Hollywood relationship failure rate, over 80%
    Western countries such as the U.K., over 50%

    United States of America (which has gone down since Sept. 11th): 40’s to 50%


    Frum world: It has gone up to close to 10% (although the ratio is higher by the MO and lower by Chasidim)

    According to R. A Twersky, it is due to the fact that marriage is viewed as form of deriving self pleasure. Things work differently if we see ourselves as carrying responsibilities in our marriages.

    May you be zoche to meet your zivug and build a Bais neeman b’Yisroel- a binyan adei ad. Omain

  6. Based on 21 years of experience of being happily married and watching others not so:

    1. Don’t marry anybody you don’t feel 100% comfortable with. If you need another date (or 2 or 150) to get comfortable but the other side won’t hear of it – walk away.

    2. “Good family” is a red flag! If the proffered spouse isn’t a mentsch his Good Family won’t help. Actually it’ll make things worse.

    3. Don’t get married to solve any problems. Marriage doesn’t solve any problems – and creates plenty new ones.

    4. Don’t hide information. Make sure the other side isn’t. Ask a million questions about the other side. Not “what color tablecloth” but “is he ill”, “is he depressed”, “is he on medication; should he be?”, “is he addicted to drugs/smoke/drink” and others to help those who haven’t learnt Shmiras Haloshon properly to be able to answer.

    5. Yeshivish chevra: If you’re lying about your Love for full-time Torah study” or your spouse is (or you both are) you are going to become a divorce statistic very quickly.

    If he’s planning to go into full-time learning because he can’t do anything else you’re asking for trouble.

    When she goes out at 6:30 to work a full day with morning sickness and he loafs around, you have a divorce in the making.

    You’re much better off with a fellow who works a full day and then goes to a few hours of Daf Yomi/night seder. He’ll be too busy to get into trouble.

    Also: You may both be 1000% frum but you’re human. Flirt with your spouse or the next door neighbor will. Dress up for him or the next door neighbor will.

    If you think that frum husbands don’t care about Sheker Hachein and Hevel Hayofi you’ll discover that divorce is very lonely.

    Buy the young couple a fully furnished apartment in a fancy neighborhood and provide for their every needs for a few years and then expect them to be mature, responsible adults.
    Then you wonder about divorce? Fighting about finances is as bad as not having to worry about them at all.

    Be carefully out there.

    – Danny

  7. the only thing you can do is consult with daas torah. its possible that the people you mentioned who are getting divorced did not properly consult with daas torah before making these important decisions.

  8. A good friend of mine got divorced recently, from a girl he had been married to for a bit over a year- When i hung out with them i thought everything was going great and they were perfect together, but the truth is you never know- one of the things he told me later and also gave me as advice- Is really get to know the girl/boy you are dating- dont just get engaged after 3 dates- which unfortuatly will not work for people who grew up in a more modern yet frum environment.

    Spend a longer time with the person, go on a long day trip together- try get everything out in the open first- even chisronos- Meet the whole mishpocha- put on the table all your future aspirations, plans and desires- because what my friend told me is that his wife had a very different outlook on what they wanted for their lives- which caused considerable friction- and this could have been solved if they had discussed it before.

  9. Dear reader may Hashem help you to find your basherte soon and to have your own bayis neeman. That said, As a veteran to the ranks of those in the battlefeild s of marriage, I have only one thing to say. MArraige requires alot of hard work and hashems help. A good marriage is the product of two people who are working together with hashems help to raise a futrure generation for klall yisroel. It seems to me that everyone forgets about this element of marriage. Everyone thinks of the romantic, non torah, veiws of marriage and leaves out the rest, Hard work. HArd work in a normal situation(non abusive…) will yield fruit. A freilichen purim to all


  11. Perhaps a good first step would be to downplay the inexcusable importance chitzonios has taken in shidduchim. Instead of focusing on financial status and physical beauty, more significance should be heeded to ruchniyos.

  12. I believe the writer has made a fundamental error in assesing the situation. She clearly is working with the assumption that the root cause of the majority of divorces is one of two things: 1) Incompatability, 2) Out-of-the-ordinary character and/or personality flaws. My personal impression is otherwise. I will admit that in our age when husbands and wives spend much more time with one another than in previous generations, that there is indeed a greater need for verifying compatibility. However, this verification ought to be able to be accomplished by meeting the potential spouse a number of times to see if you enjoy his/her company, do you find what to talk about, do you enjoy similar topics, etc. Likewise, I think that most young couples have indeed verified that they are compatible with their spouse and that that was a major part of their decision to marry this person. Furthermore, as the writer herself acknowledges, even people who at least certainly seem to be nice, stable people are getting divorced. So then, assuming that the appearances are not decieving (which although they often can be, it is not likely that that is the case with friends one has known very well for years), out-of-the-ordinary character/personality flaws is ruled out as being the major cause of the high divorce rate, Hashem yeracheim. So then, what is the cause? Rav Shlomo Wolbe zatza”l once said (I heard directly from him during a shiur) that if people would learn mussar more (and thus acquire much more refined middos) there would be many less divorces. Here you have it, the cause, according to Rav Wolbe, is not out-of-the-ordinary character flaws, rather it is ORDINARY character flaws. Apparently, what we have come to accept as the standard for a “nice girl” or a “good boy” does not quite cut it for marriage. That degree of “niceness” and “goodnes” may be able to “get one by” when it comes to other interpersonal relationships, but marriage is a whole other world. In a similar vein, Rav Eliyahu Goldshmidt (author of Dear Daughter and Dear Son, HIGHLY recommended books on marital harmony) wrote ABOUT HIMSELF (in his book!), that when he got married he realized that he had a long way to go to truly acquiring the middah of patience. And, please girls do not react with the knee-jerk response of being insulted. His statement, in my humble opinion (or perhaps not so humble 🙂 ), really gets at a lot of what makes up the crux of the issue. MEN AND WOMEN ARE DIFFERENT!!! REALLY DIFFERENT!!! And it takes a lot of, and i mean a lot of, patience to successfully maneuver an ONGOING (!!!!!) situation of dealing with someone who’s way of thinking, feeling, assessing, reacting, etc., etc., etc. is so different from one’s own. It would seem that the major onus of responsibility in this regard is the husband’s, but there is no question that the wife also must be prepared to undertake an ongoing (again, ongoing…i.e. never ending!) approach of trying to understand her husband’s “side of the picture”. Of course, lack of proper patience is not the only middah that stands at the root of the high divorce rate, but it is certainly a major one. By the way, a sad yet cute story that Rabbi Goldshmidt tells about the need for patience is as follows: There was once a man who was having severe marital issues because his wife “was driving him crazy” He simply had no patience for her. They got divorced. Some time later, Rabbi Goldshmidt met up with this man and asked him how things are going. “Great, I am happily remarried.” “Really, is your second wife really that much easier to deal with than your first?” “No, not at all. In fact, she requires so much more patience to deal with than my first wife.” “So, then how is it that you are now so happily married and having so much more success in being patient than before?” “Simple, I learned my lesson.”

    Coming back, what we need to take out of all of this is that marriage is the real litmus test of a person’s character and it demands a constant, ongoing working on one’s middos in order to be successful. Rav Aharon Kotler’s rebbetzin said (do not remmeber in which book I saw this, perhaps also in Dear Son), “When I was first married I needed to get used to my husband’s sharp nature, and later I needed to get used to his amazing patience.” Let us learn the way from our gedolim in terms of what it takes to make a successful, happy marriage.

    But…I am not done (sorry). Thus far we have really only covered (b’kitzur nimratz!) the general approach of what it takes to have a HAPPY marriage. I personally think that it is not sufficient yet to account for the alarmingly high divorce rate that is beginning to endanger even the frummest of circles, Rachmana litzlan. I think that the answer to this enigma is that we live in a hedonistic “chad pa’ami” generation. For those who do not know what “chad pa’ami” means, it is the modern hebrew term for throw-away dishware, etc. We live in a time when the catchcall of the world at large is “Indulge all your desires, whatever they are, whenever they are..and take what you want and leave the rest.” You’re hungry? Go to the fast food place, or pop it in the microwave. You want to buy a new PDA? Just go on amazon.com and at the click of a few buttons (or one click if you so choose 🙂 ) it is on its way to your doorstep without you getting out of your chair. You want to visit your cousin in Eretz Yisrael? Just hop on a plane and you’ll be there in less than a day (when once upon a time it was anrduous journey of somtimes months!). Chevra! We have to wake up! Easy come easy go. Ever heard that one? There’s a lot of truth to it. A lot. There was once a time when even the goyim understood that “when the going gets tough the tough get going” but now they say “when the going gets tough…throw it out and buy a new one”! Ahhh…consumerism – we have so much of our immediate gratification and eternal suffering to thank for it. Ok, now, without all the glibing, cutting sarcasm…what it this all boils down to is one main point. Society at large has accepted upon itself an attitude of “as soon as things become the slightes bit unpleasant, just change your sitaution” whether that means a new car, a new job, or…a new wife, Hashem yeracheim. Unfortunately, we are very mushpah by the goyisheh surroundings within which we live, and especially in this internet-information age when the ramblings and babmblings of every Tom Dick and Harry are thrust in your face at the mere stroke of a key.

    “Chatasi”. The first step to teshuvah, as all you good bachurim and seminary girls well know from all of the mussar shmuessen, is hakaras ha’cheit. Realizing what you did worng. If you never become aware of your aveirah, you obvioulsy will not be able to fix it. So, in our context, the first step is to realize and become aware of this pernicious foe – realize that we are unfortunately not immune. Once you see that the mountain is there you can begin to take the measure neccessary to safely scale it, instead of just ramming right into it or falling off its cliff. To be completely blunt: realize that the moment you have the slightes bit of friction with your spouse, it is VERY LIKELY (Hashem yeracheim) that the thought of divorce will creep into your mind even if only in the darkest corners and furthest recesses thereof. Realize that, if you don’t do anything about it, you are unawaringly going to enter marriage with the assumption that “if it turns out blissful then great, and if not I’ll just throw it away and get a new one.” Oy kee hoshbarnu. Hashem should forgive me for writing those lines but oy lee im lo omrah.

  13. u know what… ur right! it definitely is a problem. but if i were u i wouldn’t sweat it, i mean every time u get into a car u could go crazy about all the people dying in crashes. just daven and seriously that’s the most u can do.

  14. (I was not done…I accidentally pushed the submit button.)

    Now that we have made ourselves aware of this implaccable enemy, we have to begin working on our plan of fighting him. We have to read books that speak about how marriage is a mitzvah and an achriyus to the Klal. How we are entering it not to indulge our personal wants or needs but to be mekayeim the ratzon of Mee sh’amar v’hayah ha’olam. We have to read about the tremendous kedushah that is present in marriage and how divorce is thus akin to a churban ha’bayis. Baruch Hashem, there are many, many great books on the crucial topic of Shalom bayis and one must make a point to read them and absorb their teachings, all the while constantly revisiting in one’s mind that “I am trying to find a spouse/I got married not to bring myself pleasure, but rather to uphold, to be mekayeim the tzivui and ratzon of Hashem yisborach.” The more we are mekayeim “v’ha’shei’vo’sah el l’vavecha” with this yesod, the stronger we will be in flouting the hedonistic consumerism of the outside world. Hashem yeracheim al amo Yisrael.

  15. Tehiilim un Trerin! Extensive research inquiry! Tehillim un Trerin! SLOW – EXTENDED dating (vs. being caught up in projected persona and how many things you have in common!) Tehilim un Trerin! Extensive parental exposure and involvment! And of course Tehilim un Trerin!

  16. What should we do? ABANDON the horrific Shidduch System that created this nightmare. Send your children to batei yakov and yeshivot that have proven track records for graduating bnai adam/menschen. Focus on decency, excellence of character.

    Choosing whom to marry because of superficialities such as tablecloth colors, yichus (the BESHT taught that yichus starts with ME), accents, dress size, finances, etc. created this disaster! It’s killing the birth rate let alone living adult hearts.

    Referring to men and women of marriageable age as boys and girls is demeaning.

    Talk about sinat chinam!!!!!! Lying about ages when honesty is a necessary trait for successful marriage?????? STOP IT!

    Many kosher singles events have mechitzot that prevent singles from meeting altogether! Many famous halachic figures met their spouses in casual circumstances, without multiple aitzeh-gebbers deluding and confusing anyone involved with the entirely natural proccess of marital attraction.

    Now that singles, let alone married people cannot attend music concerts together is a symptom of rabbinic coercion, NOT devekut. Bullies in black are ruining Jewish lives. Thay are not manhigei Yisrael. They are egotistical fools. And responsible for the SINGLES CRISIS!

  17. I was thinking whether or not I should comment about this but I guess I’ll decide right before I press the “submit” button. First of all I feel like I’m reading a mirror image of myself. I am also petriefied of divorce. You see in my immediate family we had 2 divorces, I have about 3 cousins that got divorced, and unfortionetly my very good friend. I feel like its becoming so normal and accepted in todays society that its like wierd if people actually stay married! Its very unfortionate becuase this divorce issue is strongly impacting the dating issue. Your right, people become more scared to commit and I can tell you its even true for myself. And the older I get the harder it gets becuase I also just keep hearing more divorce stories. Just keep davening for klal yisroel. I’m sure for many families/homes that were r”l “broken”, your tefillos saved countless more!

  18. the key is not to be selfish. many young couples these days only think of themselves and dont want to to give. as long as you’re willing to work on yourself once you get married and don’t mind giving up somewhat, you’re headed in the right direction!

  19. petrified in the parsha

    your not the only one scared.
    just last month a friend of mine after being married for a short time got DIVORCED! not seperated, that maybe they’ll work it out- totally divorced.
    after this story i simply felt bad for all the young girls getting engaged.
    now when i hear a 12th grader or even a girl who just started seminary get engaged, it may be a simcha, but im scared for them.
    how is a 17-18 year old in the yeshivish community, who didn’t really speak to a guy b4, all the sudden spose to live with him?

  20. Premarital counseling has been MANDATED by the rabbonim in some West Coast communities before they agree to be mesader kiddushin. All told, there has been some success with this initiative.

  21. Well, for starters you can insist a boy doesn’t just take you to lounges to sit around and talk about topics from a predate checklist. Insist on doing more interactive and revealing things.
    Also, realize that today we live in a disposable society, and alot of young people don’t realize that marraige at any level is a huge amount of work on midos. So rather than deal with their spouses differences, they rather say

  22. There is so much to say on this topic. On the one hand maybe people are getting divorced for no reason; on the other hand, why be unhappy your whole life? The divorce rate used to be much less but couples were not nessescaraly happy. There is no practical way to ensure that you’ll have a happy marriage. You can check out as much as you want, get to know the guy well, both be good giving people…. and it still won’t work out. The only difference from todays generation is that people have these major expectations of what marriage will be. In the old dor people got married to have children, build a home, and live. They had no expectations and so they were happy. If you come into marriage thinking hearts and stars all day – you may be a bit dissapointed.
    The only thing people don’t realize; if something is not working out – GO FOR HELP!!! SOONER THAN LATER! There is nothing to be ashamed of. Don’t go to your parents and young friends. Speak to a rov, choson teacher, proffesional…. You will only benefit.

  23. I’m with 14 and 23. That said, here’s my take, based on my 20+ years of marriage.

    I have been curious as all get out about the reason behind the divorces I hear about but unless a shidduch is proposed with one of the parties or families,it’ll have to be teiku territory for me. So I can’t tell you why kids (and older couples ) I know are divorcing.

    I can say this – check out Mishpacha’s recent Family First section for parents on children divorcing. Take seriously the issues raised, suh as ignoring warning signs, the willingness of kids now to walk away from difficulties, etc. You sound like you come from a caring family and can trust your parents. You can also find other adults you trust. As a parent I am happy to have as many good adults in my kids lives.

    I think my computer’s acting up so I’m going tosend this with an important P.S.

  24. P.S. You write, why am I more special, etc. Realize that divorce is different from other challenging situations. It is not like an illness, that for unknown reasons Hashem chooses to bring on a person. It is caused by serious problems, that in some cases could have been caught before marriage, or could have been worked through. With reasonable hishtadlus and good hadracha you should approach this parsha with optimism and a willingness to devote your life to giving. Some nervousness is a healthy sign of a realization of the seriousness and importance of marriage but it shouldn’t be paralyzing.
    P.P.S. And thanks to all those who shared their experiences. Stuff does happen, and thank you for enabling others to learn from what you’ve been through or seen.

  25. If every couple sits together once a year and listens to Rabbi Millers’s tape “10 commandments of Marriage” it would save many marriages!!! The first commandment is “Marriage is like life, it has it’s up and downs”………..

  26. I heard from a Rav that 85% of divorces are preventable. Some of the biggest problems seem to be:

    1. Lack of mussar learning.
    2. Large, impersonal yeshivas create a lack of guidance to help you keep small problems from becoming big problems, and to remind everyone that ahava means ani hav- Giving, not taking.
    3. People being forced into learning when they would rather be working.
    4. The drug abuse and wild living of today’s at-risk youth coming back to bite them later in life.

  27. B”H

    Dear letter writer,

    Amid all this advice, I will offer some as well.

    There is nothing certain in this world except Hashm. Everything else is something you must take a chance on.

    Ask a thousand questions and you may drive the other away. Try to get the perfect spouse, and you will find yourself alone. Try all you want, but love doesn’t come with a guarantee.

    A marriage is like anything else in this world–if you want it to flourish it takes hard work and dedication from both parties. It requires kindness when you wish to respond with anger, patience when you are at the end of your rope, empathy when you are spent, love when you are feeling apathetic, and selflessness when you just want to be by yourself. It is the ultimate test of one’s will to succeed when all things seem to be failing. Most of all, it requires a lot of translation work.

    When my husband comes home at the end of the day, sometimes he is churlish and impatient (translation: he is tired and hungry.)

    Sometimes I am needy and whiny (translation: tired and hungry).

    Sometimes he yells at me for no reason (translation: I need to know I am not alone in the world.)

    Sometimes I yell at him for no reason (translation: I need to know someone cares about what I do all day).

    It isn’t easy. It is like learning a language–first you struggle with simple words, then you struggle to make the words come out in the right order, then you work to actually communicate. It takes time and effort.

    Don’t avoid marriage for fear of divorce. Embrace marriage for fear of facing hunger, exhaustion, feeling alone in the world, and fearubg no one cares what you do without a partner to stand beside you.

    Remember that only Hashm is perfect, and your spouse’s imperfections can actually become endearments.

    Don’t use fear of divorce as an excuse to avoid the Torah requirement to marry. Fear is normal, but facing fear alone is not in G-d’s plan.

  28. divorce is simple
    if its ur true zivug, ur 2nd half of neshama IT WORKS!
    it its not, IT DOESNT!

    that’s the BOTTOM LINE.

    also each marriage is a TIKUN. some NESHAMOS have to be brought down to this world from these 2 people and then its over. we dont know HASHEM’S CHESHBON. (other neshamos now have to come down from one of spouses with another person…) sometimes just going thru marriage/divorce/yisurim it is major tikun for Klal Yisrael and brings Mashiach closer…

    NOW, its IKVATA DEMASHICHE and we are in a SPEEDY MODE! “beitoh achisheno” THIS is The Time so although it is difficult like labor… it is ALL from ABOVE and ALL GOOD.

    SO soon Mashiach will come and our eyes will be open to understand why all this is occuring.
    We should try and accept it with simcha and trust.

  29. Yael…You are right on target. If more people had your attidude the divorce rate would be much lower. The only thing I would add is that couples should not hesitate to bring even small problems to a 3rd party (outside the family) before they turn into big ones!!

  30. In seminary we were told and convinced only to marry a boy who will be in kollel. They explained to us and we were told many stories that these boys have great middos and treat their wifes far better than others and that we shouldn’t compromise for a working boy. I was convinced of course and so was everyone else so it became a trend to marry kollel. After seminary I went out with a full time learner that would sit in kollel. That’s all that mattered to me because I was told if a boy learns we will have a great home and shalom bayis. I was blinded by everything else and we were about to get engaged. But, right before I heard that he has some bad characteristics and I was boruch Hashem saved.

    But, I have a good friend that married A boy that learns in kollel. Unfortunately she didnt have the zchus as I did, and she is divorced now , the reason is horrible to mention.

    All I want to say is that girls shouldn’t be blinded to only marry a boy if he sits and learns because that doesn’t mean everything as I thought it did. A boy can learn and doesn’t necessarily mean that he will be a good husband. It shouldn’t be the ruling factor when marrying a boy! It was very wrong for my seminary to brainwash me into only marrying a kollel guy. I hope this gets out to many girls PLEASE LOOK AT THE BOY! And don’t just be fooled that he learns!

  31. #30 Beautifally written.
    Some comments were posted on the importance of better chinuch on the topic of marriage. I agree 100%. When I was engaged I went to my kallah teacher (Lakewood) and now I can say (5 years married) it was a joke. She didn’t teach me a thing. Why not? What is the reason for this? It’s important to spend time on the halachos – but what about everyday life? Why aren’t you teaching more?!? I myself struggled a lot in the beginning of my marriage, with a lot of help by many very special people (Rabannim, choshon teacher..) My husband and I are doing much better. We’re still not perfect and we are working very hard. But B”H we have 3 beautifal children, and a calm and peaceful home now.
    In short: before you’re married speak to people, get hadracha. Once you’re married continue speaking and getting hadrachah.

  32. R’ Chaim Vital writes that middos are not mitzvos because they are the basis for all the mitzvos. Without proper middos there is no mitzvos.

  33. stam benaden

    I think you should wake up.

    Thats is NOT how it works!!!!!

    This was not how it was even 10 years ago, now its totally out of control.

  34. Just a note to some of you that commented on the above article.
    I am chassidish, went on 2 besgows – 1 hour each; My husband learns full time. And …. I am b”h very happily married!!!! Seeing the boy more before the engagement or during the engagement will not get you anywhere…. You need maturity and SIYATTE DISHMAYE!!!Lots of it!! And lots of teffilos….
    Good luck to all of you at there who are still looking…

  35. Of course married life is a whole lot different (on both sides)than the dating period where everything seems like bliss.

    T-H-E-R-A-P-Y seems to be a four letter word in our community; it should not be.

    Many couples have achieved amazing success with a qualified therapist.

    Often times this will save peoples marriages.

    In addition, there are many people running around with unidentified mood disorders or chemical imbalances which makes them prone to living a roller coaster life of “ups and downs” with frequent bouts of depression and mood swings. These people literally wake up in the morning with the “cup half empty”.

    On the outside, they may project a completely normal and healthy personality. Their problems cannot be discerned during the dating period and only comes out after the marriage and once they are required to actually live with a spouse.

    Once married, these people are prone to be verbally and emotionally abusive as a result of their own inner conflict. These are not bad people just people in need of help.

    Baruch Hashem, today there are many subtle, yet effective medicines for all kinds of mood disorders etc. Hashem made this available to everyone for a reason. Most of these medicines have little, to no side effects and do not present any danger to the people taking the medicine or to their families.

    There is no stigma in taking a medicine to help you live a healthy, normal and productive life.

    This kind of stuff literally CHANGES PEOPLES LIVES, enabling them to develop and maintain healthy relationships.

    Half the world is on medication for one reason or another..and you would never know it.

    If you are a candidate, therapy alone will not work. It’s like filling up a cup (constantly) only to find out that there is a hole in the bottom.

    You need to fix the hole first (medicine) and then fill up the cup (therapy). These two methods will often compliment each other and are equally important for the right people.

    Save yourselves and your marriages….


  36. if anyone gets to this comment—
    i dont have time to read through them….
    my personal feeling is that in our society of chasing the pleasures of life — yes, the gashmius, many of us (Rabim vegam Shleimim) are too caught up…causing stress and a lack of commitment (new phone every 2 years, lease new cars every 2-3 years)– nobody is committed to anything….and marriage is no different.

    a little argument here and there, some miscommunications, a few comments from the in-laws, a few money issues, someone said the wrong thing, a few days missing minyan, whatever, these normal occurrences become a volatile, poisonous mixture. let’s not forget the daily stress, that people aren’t happy, etc… so they just throw the whole marriage out and think it will be great then…

    “I can’t deal with it”….does that mean that they can deal with being single again? with having a wife and child to support ? or seeing the ex-husband marry someone else ? or the guilt of destroying the family and possibly hurting the child(ren)? that all pales in comparison to “i cant deal with it”… it our cop-out society and we are falling from it…

    a marriage is a commitment. that’s it. you’re in it forever. there’s no out. that’s they way to deal with it. the husband has to be nice to his wife and make sure she isn’t being hurt from his bad middos, temper, whatever and the wife has to do the same. everyone has to care for each other. instead of going into marriage saying “what can i get out of him/her” the relationship has to be one of giving, not taking… that’s the way…
    sure there are exceptions and mental problems and people who are too immature to be married —- but they are the exceptions. every case has to be dealt with.

    why are we all still frum? i mean, we make a mistake and fail at something, and sin, whether purposely or by mistake…..do we say– that’s it– i’m outta here ? that would be impossible, so why is it a quitting society in marriage? it’s such a sad thing….

    i propose that all yeshivos and bais yaakovs implement years of marriage training from 9th grade and up. it could be once a week for 1 period, but it should be a forum to discuss topics of marriage relationships and coping–when to reach out for help–noticing problems…etc…
    why are marriage classes only (mostly) halachos? come on— we coach our kids to get along with each other when they play? suddenly we expect to let these [kids] get married without any coaching, training, whatever? our houses (parents houses) should be role models, but too often they are not. and a lot of the lessons are lost to the younger children who only see parents who either get along better than when they got married, or worse….so who knows

    may Hashem be with us and help us all!!!

  37. With all this talk about the only two reasons to divorce is abuse and mental health it opens problems with people who do have mental health problems. Firstly, it is not their fault. I admit there are many levels to this but the second someone mentions depression people get all antsy.

    Many people today are depressed. There are medications and they do help. It should not be a blanket rule for a divorce. People can live with depression if they responsibly take care of it and admit that they need help. I am talking about people who are already married. Marriage is to help each other- no matter what! Depression is a sickness medically just like many other illnesses that people stay married with.

    Life is not supposed to be perfect. The wonderful thing about being married is that you have someone to help you through life no matter what it brings. And you have the wonderful oppurtunity to do 24 hour chesed and v’ahavta l’reicha chamocha. Every one is so busy with chesed- but Chesed starts at HOME! I know a lady who was the biggest chesed macher around but she got divorced! If she really knew what chesed was she would not have destroyed her family by getting divorced.

    Maturity is so important!

    People have to accept that shalom bayis is 100% their responsibility. If each side takes on 100% responsibility for the survival of their marriage then they have a 200% chance of success. But if each looks at the other one as responsible then they have a 0% chance of survival.

    Marriage is a responsibility, not a free for all. The most important person Hashem is going to be concerned about on how you treated him is your spouse! And if you divorce your spouse without working hard beforehand, you will have to answer up.

    Sorry for darshaning, it just upsets me to see this happening in the world. It makes me very sad to see uphappy people and broken homes.

    Hashem should help everyone build a binyan adi ad!

  38. I wish couples would be taught before marriage that the first couple years of marriage are really the toughest, even though you would think otherwise. From the western point of view, the newer the marriage, the more “spark”, so the easier it is to get along. You might look at a newly married couple with some envy- I don’t- b/c I know their misconceptions about each other are coming to light. We bless them with joy and the ability to see one another as the only ones in the world, b/c right after the wedding is when they need this blessing most! Shana rishona is perceived of as fun- in actuality it is a fragile time for the couple. It’s in the first couple years that you discover where your major differences are, and I do think that’s why so many newlyweds are divorcing… after you’re married long enough (I think at least 5+ years) you begin accepting things about your spouse that were once impossible to accept, and that is true giving.
    When dating, middos are really #1- they determine how you and your spouse will handle the challenges sent your way, and that is more important than what the challenges actually are. The greatest predictor of divorce is how you “fight”, not whether or not you do.

  39. One of the best pieces of advice I got on marriage is that you have to be as committed to being married as you are to the person you are married to, because sometimes, the truth is, that committment to staying married is what it is going to take, because you are’t going to be so crazy about the person you married.

    I think we also have this idea that if we find someone “perfect,” someone without any problems, there will be no divorce. That’s nonsense. EVERYONE has problems, even if their tablecloths are right and they wear a size 2 or they tip their hat brim the right way and and plan on learning full time.

    After one of my babies was born, I had very bad post-partum depression. Should my husband have thrown me out because I wasn’t perfect? Because I had problems that weren’t revealed before the chuppah? Chas v’shalom. No, he’s a mensch who stood by me while I got the help I needed and our marriage is stronger now than it was before we went through this huge nisayon because we know we can count on each other no matter what. And that’s the preventative for divorce…

  40. Everyone seems to have a p’shat in this matter. While I’m sure there may be some truth to each reason – there’s no 1 reason that is really the cause. Each case is different.

    What I would suggest to the writer & anyone in the Shidduch Parsha is what I always tell singles who I redd shidduchim to: Look for a mevater & parents who are mevater. Easy-going & forgiving people. That is the most important trait to look for. I think most shadchonim will agree….

  41. Well, here’s my humble opinion on this matter. Just because a boy can sit and learn when he is 21 years old does NOT say ANYTHING about his ability to carry on any sort of meaningful relationship with anyone! Remember that our frum society frowns upon any sort of socializing between genders. Chances are that most yeshiva have never had any subtantial conversation with a girl. Many have not been taught simple manners. Many can not look you in the face when they talk to you. Many of them are so caught up in themseves (especially after being told by their parents & shadchan that they are the next gadol hador) that they have no idea that life is about giving & not taking. Being a mentsch does not happen automatically! Most of the time they had to have seen it from their parents. Remember, if the father is a creep…..beware. It’s not easy but the first thing to look for in my opinion is a mentsch who is not so full of himself & will treat the girl like a mentcsh too….Hatzlacha!

  42. A few points. 1)Like Rabbi Frand once said good middos have become synonomous with wimpiness. A man is supposed to be strong, a “gever” which goes against the idea of working on middos, going for help etc. 2) Going for help is easier said than done. Men in general balk at the idea, as being the “man” of the house who makes decisions and this is looked upon as a weakness. The woman has to literally drag him into it which in itself is a bad thing for the marriage and creates resentment. 3) Many women down deep admire a strong kind of man (maybe they themselves came from a weak kind of father) and then find they can’t get along with them. And yes men and women are very different. So when the husband doesn’t listen to the wife’s conversation, she goes to her friends; then the husband complains that she’s talking to the ladies too much but what is she supposed to do? He’s not interested in shaitels, house, kids or her “feelings” but talking creates communication which is so important. Also in the frum community everything is separate which is good because who wants everybody mixing) but it’s a joke to say you’re going to a simcha together – it’s more important to have a friend to sit next to at the simchah than going to it with your husband(and possibly taking people with you in the car destroying the little bit of privacy you could have.) 4) The commitment is scary; before you have all the excitement and dreamy stuff then after you have the nitty gritty like Dr. Morris Mandel once said marriage is made in heaven but the work is right down here on earth. Also children don’t really see parents working things out maybe it’s better if it’s sometimes done in front of the kids so they don’t think it’s some kind of magic and there really is work going on.

  43. Some of the previous comments make some fine points. However, at the end of the day, making that monumental decision – getting married – like every other decision we all make in our lives, boils down to a simple formula: you have to do your hishtadlus, and then you have to have bitachon.

    Ah, but what is the proper amount of histhadlus and what is the proper amount of bitachon?

    When it comes to parnassah we see some people deem it necessary to work very hard and do more hishtadlus and some people feel it is appropriate to do less hishtadlus, allowing more time and energy to pursue more spiritual goals. If there were a simple “right” answer to this question, life would be much simpler for all of us. But Hashem put us on this world to figure that out for ourselves.

    So some may insist that you increase your histadlus by doing comprehesive research and dating for many months and and so on. But just as working extremely hard is no guarantee to making a lot of money, all the the histhadlus in the world with respect to shiduchim will not guarantee a happy marriage.

    But that is not to say that hishtadlus is futile. We are not supposed to rely on nissim. Just as one should not expect money to fall from the sky in order to make a living, one should certainly do some amount of histhadlus when choosing a life partner.

    And no matter how much histhadlus one ultimately does, that person should strive to inculcate a steadfast bitachon in Hashem.

    The bottom line is that, no matter what anybody else tells you, there is no “right” answer to what the proper amount of hishtadlus is. Ask twenty Rabbis and you might get twenty answers. Look in the talmud or in pirkei avos and you will get multiple and diverse teachings. Ask YW and you will get over 30 different comments.

    That is why you are here. You must decide for yourself. You have to do your hishtadlus and leave the rest to bitachon in Hashem. And whether one lives happily ever after or heaven forbid things down’t work out as planned, we must remember that gam zu litovah.

  44. The #1 most important thing in a marriage is good middos, which each spouse can acquire and refine by learning mussar, even doing so together for a few minutes per day.

    In a close #2, is communication. Communication is key in business, and even more so in a marriage. You and your spouse should always be on the same page. This allows many stupidities (and issues of importance) to be dealt with right away and prevents them from spiraling way out of control and ending in, G-d forbid, divorce.

    Of course, a positive attitude and hakaras hatov to your spouse are very helpful, too.

    Much hatzlacha to everyone already married in having a long, happy and fulfilling marriage, to everyone “in the parsha” in marrying their zivug, and then having a long, happy and fulfilling marriage.

  45. OF course, it’s important to check out the guys/girls that you are foinf out with, to make sure they are BAALEI MIDDOS TOVOS, and are healthy minded people.
    Yet, once you are married, I’m seeing from B”H good experiences in my own marriage, the key is to give, give and give 100%. If one is selfish in a marriage, it can’t work. When your spouse sees that you are in it for him/her, he/she will want to reciprocate and will in turn be a harmonious couple. There is no limit how much one can do for one’s spouse. I also find that every little thing that is done for him/her is magnified – appreciated much more in a marriage relationship.

  46. Most young women are caught up in the marriage craze since early childhood and cannot resist the pressure of their parents and friends to get married at an early age. Since they are segregated from young men all their lives they come into the parsha without any first hand experience and unprepared for a relationship with a man. Why do we expect our children to be compassionate and loving spouses when we provide them with no training as to how to interact with the opposite sex? If we continue to be machmir on the minglng of boys and girls before marriage then marriage becomes pot luck, some succeed and some don’t. Is that the future that we have to look forward to?

  47. The main thing to look out for in a shidduch is middos tovos and selfless personality.
    Once one is married the main key for success in marriage is to give, give, and give 100%. Every ounce of giving in a marriage is magnified and appreciated more than in a regular relationship, even if you don’t see it right away. And of course the bottom line is to daven. Never take for granted that things are going smoothly. Thank Hashem for it and keep on working on that marriage. A marriage that is not constantly worked on goes down. But the work pays off!

  48. #39 and #40 Very well said.

    Many people today want to marry Mr. or Miss Perfect. They don’t want to acknowledge that people are human beings with human frailties. These may include a host of issues, and it’s our job as a married couple to help each other to work on our weaknesses and strenghten each other. It’s not a “what’s in it for me, live happily ever after” world.

    #45 though going for help is easier said than done, when a couple is having marriage problems, their willingness to get help and to help each other is often the clincher that will save the marriage.

    Also, when one spouse has an obvious issue (for example, a mental health issue) the other spouse will sometimes blame all the problems on that spouse, without acknowledging their own need to change. Some will never give the marriage a viable chance.

    I speak from the deep pain, as a relative of a lovely young girl who suffered a breakdown after her marriage to a charming, charismatic, and controlling young man. Because she is sick, he does not acknowledge his role that has brought out her depression and other problems. He is unsupportive, verbally and emotionally abusive, and manipulative – and what do you want from him, poor guy, as his wife is nuts. She can go for all the help in the world, but as long as he refuses to join her and tackle his weaknesses, the marriage is going no place. Moreover, he views himself as “poor me” for not having a stable and healthy wife to do his bidding.

    Dear letter writer, look for someone who is willing to grow, not someone who views himself as Mr it. Be willing to work on your own middos as well, and together you will be zocheh to build a bayis ne’eman b’yisroel.

  49. Sorry for not being so sympathetic but this is not so legit. Why don’t we write letters that we are scared to walk the the streets because yenem got attacked or scared for parnassah or scared of being robbed or scared of getting hit by a car. This is life have bitachon and remember tzaar is also bashert not just simcha.

  50. #7- VERY WELL PUT!
    i would like to add that our dating system doesn’t really allow us to get to know the person as much as we would like to. therefore, alot is left in the hands of H-shem. being a young single, i cringe every time i hear of a divorce r”l. but we need to do our best, and H-shem will do the rest!

  51. Divorce is part of Jewish life, hence Maseches Gittin. When couples that are TOO young marry after TOO short a time, with personal interactions that are TOO limited and have children TOO soon, and they are TOO ties to the in-laws financially and emotionally, and they are TOO reluctant to seek professional help – you have a recipe for divorce. By the way – there are a multitude of unhappy marriages that never get to divorce.

  52. I don’t have personal access to credible data on the current divorce rates in the frum community as compared to a generation ago.

    If, however, it is higher today than it was then, I can only make the same comment I’ve made regarding the increasingly difficult shidduch scene. An that is:

    Why do we think that our current system is better than the one that was so successful a generation ago? Why have we been so eager to fix something that wasn’t broken?

    Everyone is scratching their heads trying to figure out why the “Kollel now and forever” generation is having more trouble making shidduchim than their parents. Similarly, this thread is wondering why a generation stressing more structured shidduchim and less dating is experiencing more divorces.

    I don’t claim to know with certainty what all the cause and effect relationships are. One thing, though, seems clear.

    If the prior generation that sent the overwhelming majority of it’s yungerleit to work was having an easier time making shidduchim, then we need need to carfeully consider if moving away from that has casued more harm than good.

    Similarly if the prior generation that allowed for a little more time, breathing room, and casualnees (all within the constraints of Halacha) in getting to know your propsective zivug resulted in the wonderfully successful generation of parents who are now in their 50s and 60s, maybe we need to carefully consider if what we had then was better than what we have now.

    It’s interesting how in virtually every aspect of Jewish history (and not just in the Mesorah of Torah)we subscribe to the notion of Niskatnu Hadoros, with the notable exception that with regard to frumkeit in America we assume that things only get better and frummer. Of course it’s true that the Torah community is better established and that there are more yeshiovos and people learning in them than ever before. However, the prior generation operated under the eyes of Rav Moshe zt”l, Rav Aharon at”z, Rav Yaakov zt”l, and Rav Henkin, zt”l. Maybe its practices deserve a second look.

  53. Interesting how people don’t bother reading the article, but instead talk about the Chasidish system or post-marriage resolution.

    This is about pre-engagement assistance, people.

    One more thing I forget to mention in #7 is “the best bochur” syndrome.

    Unless your father is the Rosh Yeshiva or works for him you’re not going to get the Best Bochur. The Rosh Yeshiva keeps those for himself and his close friends.

    What you may be getting is the best bochur in the Yeshiva building when nobody else is there. 🙁

    And if you’re being set up with the Rosh Yeshiva’s son – or other important person’s child – and your family isn’t all that choshuv then BEWARE! This spells Trouble!

    You can be 100% sure this is a ploy to marry off a problem kid; abusive, lazy or whatever.

    Sure we all agree you need to daven, but your hishtadlus is to use your heart, brain and every other trick in the book to discover who you’re being set up with.

    Don’t trust the shadchan; the want their non-refundable $1000. (Hey! Here’s an idea – asking for a refund if the marriage ends in divorce.)

    Don’t trust the Rabonim on this: they will never admit anybody in their Yeshiva is less than The Best. Listen carefully to what they say – and what they DON’T say. Probe. ask why he didn’t take him for his daughter.

    Meet the fellow numerous times and get your parents (or other married adults) to meet him before you decide.

    Do varied activities. It’s easy to behave in a hotel lounge. Try walks, zoos, museums; how does he behave waiting in line, when being bumped or when his feet hurt.

    And Daven. Daven for ideas.

    Kol Tuv

    – Danny from #7

  54. #56 – what ever happened to bechirat chufshi? According to your way of thinking, if Hashem wants you to be happy then you’ll be happy, if not, not. Is that what they teach you in Seminary? No wonder we are seeing more divorces in the Yeshivish world.

  55. #61- No i meant that although we think we’re happy and everything is nice and rosy, being that out system doesnt allow us to get to know the opposite gender as much as we would want to, we need to have faith in H-shem and hope and pray that everything will work out fine. True, this whole world is bechirat chufshi. But there is only so much that we can rely on ourselves. I also think that the answer is maturity. Being that you are a godol wanna be, you should believe in bechirat chufshi yet know that G-d runs this world.

  56. 58, things have changed. We have seen many chashuve, wonderful matches from earlier doros,. where there was a high or higher degree of mingling. For the most part, though, the boys, and society in general were raised to be gentlemen. It was in the air to a degree it isn’t today. Mingling too early (vs. well in to the twenties) is not a good idea.

  57. After reading through all 61 comments I do not see any mention of one of the leading causes of divorce in the frum world (as in the rest of the world). Believe it or not affairs (whether it is emotional or physical) and similar betrayal is unfortunately too common in our world too!! I personally know of numerous such situations where some ended in divorce and some have been lucky to have worked through it although leaving a dent in their marriage. This is more common today than ever before because of the ease and anonymous means provided via the internet. This is a topic that people do not like to talk about and therefore there are not enough outlets of support for spouses suffering through this. All the books and shiurim on Shalom Bayis do not discuss this. The Rabonim and Therapists have been dealing with many such cases but until it gets to the point where the suspecting spouse consults outside help it is very often too late. This is a major problem that needs to be addressed on our community.

  58. I can totally understand your concern.

    A couple of points:
    1. As someone said above, there are plenty of people staying in unhappy marriages – that’s not a good thing either
    2. My husband is a therapist and he often says that if people spent as much time planning the marriage as they do planning the wedding, they would be a lot better off.

    I think the bottom line is to be 100% honest with yourself. Don’t marry a kollel guy just because you feel like that is the right thing to do (for example). If you and the person you want to marry are honest with yourselves and each other and realize that marriage is work, not a ride off into the sunset, you’ll be a lot better off

    Go out with the person until you feel that it is right. If you are not 100% sure, wait! My mother-in-law knows someone who got married for the first time at age 65! (G-d willing you will marry a LOT younger, but she is very happy.)

    Also, girls tend to be “fixers”. They see that the boy is (fill in whatever the problem is here) and think that they can marry him, be patient and a good wife and he will change. Won’t happen.

    The best piece of advice that I got was that I should marry someone who (whom?) I like for who they are now AND for they could be. If you like them now and they change – you’ll be miserable. If you don’t like them now but see that they could be the gadol hador, and they don’t, you will be miserable.

    Be positive, honest, logical and sensible and daven a lot. Don’t be afraid to seek counseling before and/or after you get married.

    May Hashem grant you a wonderful marriage.

  59. In a nutshell:-
    The difference between “united” and “untied” is where you put the “I”. If you go in with an attitude of whats in it for me then… Push the “I” away and look what you can do for the spouse then eventually it will work out. (And dont keep looking over your shoulder to make sure that the spouse is doing the same!! He/she will if you honestly and persistently keep it up.)
    I am married for about 15 years with TG a big family. Yes, there were times that I felt like running away, or even committing suicide. Yes, I cried at times and davenned for a yeshua in any form. But I persisted and kept going and although there are still harder and easier times, the above advice has paid off.
    I dont believe the people who say they have a wonderfully happy married life, everyone has difficulties and no two people are the same. Some people argue more and some less but it just means that one side is doing the lion’s share of vittur and often that side is fuming inside and wishing to divorce! I challenge those “happy” people to ask their spouses if they are really happy and what they would like to see improvements in their marriage. You will be shocked by their answers (if they are still not too intimidated by your domination to answer honestly).
    Racoma Shain writes in one of her books how surprised she was in her later years when characteristics of her husband that used to frustrate her years back, now she cherished them. I havent quite reached that level yet but I feel I’m on the way and I certainly dont feel threatened by them anymore.
    All the best and be ready to work!

  60. after 67 comments what can i add? but i will.
    ask the bochur if he has a rebbe. does he listen to him and seek his advice. a rebbe is such a great asset, that somehow does not go appreciate enough today. he can also save a marriage that it doesn’t get near the cliff.

  61. i have 2 girls in my grade that at 21 were divorced and both have kids and now they r living w there parents—–1 of the husbands didnt even care enough to find out what the girl had a boy or girl(they got divorced be4 they knew)

  62. Tzippi,

    I think you missed my point. I’m not talking about comparing today to the quaint stories you hear about how frum teenagers mingled in your grandparents’ day. I’m talking about the simple luxury of the 2 – 3 months of dating that were common in the 60’s and 70’s, one generation ago. That seems to have worked very well. I see no reason for that not to work in the current generation as well.

    Moroever, let me get this straight. You’re saying the reason this generation needs tighter controls over it’s dating habits is because they are not as gentlemanly as prior generations were.

    If I beleived that – which I don’t – that would be pretty sad. It would mean that our decades of cultivating a more extensive yeshivah educational system than possibly at any other time in history, has completely failed in its primary goal of producing “mentschen”.

    I do not accept that.

    There is no reason on earth that we can’t have a young boy and girl go out 10 or 15 times if need be – and in a variety of environemnts not just staring at each other accross a table – before getting engaged. I’m not saying it should be required. I’m just saying we should accomodate it when it’s appropriate. This was considered perfectly normal just a few short years ago.

  63. firstly, letterwriter- your not alone there are many singles out there who are seriously afraid to get married due to the increasing divorce rate in our circles…seems like each crisis feeds off the other-divorce crisis affects shidduch crisis & vice versa.

    Also how about the crisis of the way the divorce proceedings are handled ? okay if a couple ultimately chooses to get divorced why does it have to become an all out inhumane war ?!

  64. It was quite interesting reading a lot of these comments.

    To the letter writer–PLEASE–seek a mentor who knows/will get to know you very well. It is crucial in this day and age to have someone who is respected in your eyes, someone you TRUST–(not a bunch of anonymous commentators myself included)– who can guide you, give you the chizuk you need, the hadracha you need…someone who understands your background, hashkafos, and the home you want to build. Seek that person out and ask for PERSONAL guidance.

    May HKB”H give you the siyata dishmaya, menuchas hanefesh, yishuv hada’as, and the proper mentor–and may you not be petrified in the parsha anymore…may you also be zoche to find your zivug b’karov and build a binyan adei ad.

    p.s. as long as you are reading this, please know– the Torah’s prescription for a Torah marriage is special, kadosh, and will bring out the best in husband and wife–as well as immeasurable fulfillment–learn what that prescription is, and never stop learning it….

  65. Once again an important topic to discuss has been hijacked by a few commenters who lay the blame of this issue on the shoulders of Kollel yungeleit.

    As someone in the field, I can tell you that although divorces in the Kollel community are increasing, it does not match the increase in the working community. This is a simple fact which can be verified with a little research.

    The working environment creates spiritual dangers for the men and women, which can lead to disastrous results.

    Can the no-matter-what-blame-the-the-kollel-lifestyle trolls please stop?

    Remember, Kollel Yungeleit are our future Rabbanim, Rabbeim, Maggidei Shiurim, etc. Automatically blaming them over and over will only come around to haunt us one day.

  66. Wow!! What a treasurehouse of comments!!! So many people have said so many pearls of wisdom and guidance!! What can I add?!?

    Divorce, is a scary thing for all of us. For those going through it as well as any of their aquaintances. Yet Baruch Hashem, look around at so many happy families. They exist and there are many!! All families work hard at it and have their moments. True the divorce rate is high- but so is the rate of car accidents and many other traumatic situations. In relation to the normal and untraumatic, Baruch Hashem it is a minority. Though, dear letter writer, I realize that doesnt disintigrate your fears.

    Follow the advice you see hear from many wise people. Speak to Rabbanim and teachers as well as mentors. Speak openly with your parents as well and I am sure they will be happy to also discuss with you about how hard they worked to build a beautiful home.
    Many poeple focused here on midos tovos. Mentschelchkeit makes a man- yet you need the refinement of Torah together with it. When they come hand in hand they produce beautiful results and you will be happy.
    You will of course always have to work hard to keep your bayis the type of place you want it to be! PLease, be honest with yourself. What is it that you need and that you have to offer the other party. I once discussed with somebody about some girls “suffering” as they wait longer for their zivug and the conversation turned to how lucky their husbands will be if they use that opportunity to better themselves as people. A 27 year old relative of mine that recently got married, has a husband that I can tell you first hand is the luckiest man! He married a girl that spent the past ten years bettering herself with all her Koiach all in mind that she was going to be the best she can be so she can be ready to be there for her husband. I watched her become almost unhuman as she enjoyed giving of her wholeself for the world (especially immediate family!)
    Which leads me to repeat the same thing tens of others said already! Be giving!! YOu love the more you give. You will see one day… and never stop. Always be a giver. Obviously you will need some sanity time and that you will have to see for your personal needs.

    Lastly, aside from anyother problems, I see that most fights and misunderstandings happen from LACK OF COMMUNICATION!!! We live in a society that doesnt know how to communicate. Everything is short hand txt msg assuming that the reciever knows which letters to fill in!! I recently had someone text me about their “bf” I coudnt figure out what they meant for the life of me! so I asked and they told me it was “best friend.” How should I know that??? Well yeah I guess its in context but that is just the problem!!!
    Everyone assumes that the other knows exactly what they meant but that leads to miscommunication and if not fixed it leads to disaster. This is in all relationships. Parent child, hub and wife, friends, hanhala/teacher student, employer employee, etc.

    Rabbossai we need to learn communication skills! We need to teach it in Yeshivas and Bais Yaakovs. We need to learn how to get along. Just check out the ppl on the road in NY… oy vey looking for a parking space!! The other day I was turning around to get into a space and another guy waited for me to turn and then slipped into my spot! Initial reaction… what a chutzpa!!! I rolled down my window and about to give a piece of my mind, and then I thought and said, I’m sure you didnt realize I wanted it. ENjoy it. I think he appreciated my response. Its being mevater and commmunicating.

    Well wnough said… Wishing you and all hatzlacha in finding your zivug and may you be boineh a bayis neeman biyisrael Adei Ad with the shechin between you at all times. And may you be able to work on your bayis so much that your shalom bayis will be an eample for all o learn from!!!

  67. Bythe way for all those that say dating in the 60s and 70s was any better… I hate to break it but half of the divorcees I know are from that age group! yup!

    As for the dating more or less, in some cases it will make a difference and some it wont. Many chasidishe ppl have not stam marriages and they met how long? and many litvish have also dated alot or a little and its all different. Each case is its own matzav and go according to your aitzah from daas Toirah.

  68. to #74, I understand that this is upsetting to you but many people here come from that lifestyle so comments will reflect that lifestyle.

    I think though that there is a difference between a person learning all day and a BEN TORAH. A Ben Torah acts in every way according to the dictates of the Torah. Someone learning the whole day may be doing so just by default. A BEN TORAH is much less likely to have problems in marriage since he will act according to the derech hayosher of Torah and consult in rabbonim every step in the way. A BEN TORAH can even work part day or all day, it does not change the fact that he is living his life only with the Torah and ratzon Hashem in mind.

  69. A lot of this could be avoided if people told the truth when it comes to Shidduchim. If only people would know the real Halachos of Shmiras Halashon. If people will not bash others giving references for them/child/relative/friend. The truth is the truth. and if we all tell the truth these problems could be avoided.

  70. Firstly, alot of divorces happen because many young couples feel pressure to make a decision faster than they are ready to. I personally know of several young women who might never have entered into disastrous marriages if they had taken but another month to decide. Also, although the letter writer rightly understands that marriage is more work than fairytale (Petrified, there is no need to be scared- that you understand this concept will be to your advantage!), unfortunately, many others really don’t get it. In this day and age, even though many wonderful, yosher families have no tv, goyishe values have still managed to penetrate our children, causing some unrealistic expectations. It is crucial that couples not only learn halachos before marriage, but also hashkafos and proper advice.
    Another related problem bears mentioning. The children of broken homes have a problem with their own shidduchim. A child of divorced parents myself, I can attest to the pain of being looked down on as somehow contagious, or inferior, because of my parents’ mistakes. B”H, I had no problem w/ shidduchim (my husband was the first guy I met with), but I have quite a few friends who had trouble because nobody wanted to redt a girl from a broken home. And although I found my bashert easily, I had many problems with my in-laws, who viewed their son’s choice as inferior. I understood when they wanted to be sure that I psychologically sound- but once that was ascertained, there was no excuse for thier behavior. They were cold throughout the engagement, and not-so-subtly tried to convince my husband to back out; they treated my parents as though they were terrible poshim, even though both of them had been happily remarried for years. Even after the wedding, they were very cold, until we bore their first grandchild. Even then, they did not fully trust me until we had surpassed the 5 year mark and were still happily married.
    Ever since watching my parents’ marriage crumble when I was but 5 years old, I had been motivated to never allow that to happen with my own family. My mother told me how much work goes into a marriage; she did not need to tell me about the consequences of failure, because I knew them painfully well. I carry these painful memories with me, and whenever I am discouraged, I remember how much I love my husband and children and would never, ever want to hurt them the way I was hurt. Hashem sent me to grow up in a broken family; if there is but one tikkun for myself and my parents, it is to build a stable, loving home. So please don’t look down on children of divorced families! We too are worth something!

  71. TVT, I think we’re on the same page. I thought you were referring to a degree of mingling that won’t work now and did work earlier last century. I definitely agree couples should take as long as they need, but also accept the real possibility that it can go quicker than 2 -3 months.

    The tighter controls weren’t referring to a couple dating, within, as you put it, halachic guidelines, but increasing opportunities for mingling for younger singles, which I thought you might be alluding too. Sorry about that.

  72. Frumyid1

    I believe I’m one of the trolls to whom you were referring in comment #74.

    I would certainly defer to your expertise as someone who is in the field. Morover, I really don’t think that the commentors your are criticizing are saying what you think they are saying.

    Speaking for myself, I of course recognize that Kollelim play a critical role in the production of future “Rabbanim, Rabbeim, Maggidei Shiurim, etc.”


    It is this one-size-fits-all hashkafa, and the implcit second-class status of a boy who wants to work, that I and others object to.

    The concept of Kollel is obvioulsy a good idea. The notion that it is for everyone is almost assuredly not a good idea.

    This was understood one short generation ago, and I am not aware of that generation having had any significant difficulty proudcing rabaninm, rebeim, poskim, maggidei shiur, choshuva baalei batim, Torah imbued homes, happy healthy marriages, askanim, or any of the inumerable institutions of Torah and Chesed that we now enjoy.

    I simply question why a generation that was so seemingly succesful seems so convinced that it must radically alter its approach by adopting an attitude in which the overwhelming majority of boys shun education and work and by teaching girls that the overwhelming majority of them should marry such boys.

    I truly find it baffeling. What are the 50-60 year olds so ashamed of that they feel that their children can’t be raised in a similar manner?

    I have my theories, but that’s a different subject.

  73. Regarding pre-marital guidance, I have heard some very nice things about the Shalom Workshop (which I have seen advertised, right here on YeshivaWorld). There are options for those that want to shore up their marriage skills, BEFORE the fact.

    Wishing much hatzlacha to all.

  74. To #38: That was an important entry.
    I’d like to add that when therapy starts helping, the meds are often phased out.

    Do you think a boy/girl in the above mentioned situation can look for a mainstream shidduch, or are they more limited?

    We’d appreciate your opinion.

  75. 1. Make sure your spouse’s family is on the same page as your spouse, meaning they are happy with your spouse’s choice, and they are ready to accept you for who you are, what you stand for etc, don’t think it’s enough that your spouse’s seems compatible, the family needs to be compatible also. If your spouse expresses early on (while dating) that one of their parents are problematic, this must raise a red flag, you must research the issue at length, don’t ignore it thinking “hey if he\she realizes that it wont be a issue.
    2. Every marriage needs guidance even for trivial issues, make sure you have proper torahdikkeh guidance.
    3. If chas veshalom something goes wrong and there is talk about divorce, make sure to choose a rabbi that wont state a opinion without fully meeting both sides and hearing them out 1000%. Sadly today there are people that consider themselves rabbis and they state their opinion without meeting the other side.