web analytics
November 22, 2014 / 29 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Should Newlyweds Hold Off Having Children?


Kupfer-Cheryl

I know that just the title of this article is going to cause an uproar in some circles, and I know that some people might be aghast at how I can even ask that question. To some it is obviously halachically unacceptable to postpone starting a family. After all, the Jewish people are exhorted to pru urevu – to be fruitful and multiply. So, let me say at the onset, this is something every engaged couple should discuss with their rav. Getting a heter – even for a few months- just might be a lifesaver.

What do I mean by a lifesaver? A friend of mine who dabbles in making shidduchim told me how she went to pick up a prescription for her ailing father. The pharmacist, knowing that she is involved in setting people up, mentioned, after taking a phone call, how he gets so many inquiries from parents wanting to know whether the person being redd to their child was on any type of medication. “Of course I can’t tell them,” he said, “it’s illegal for me to divulge any information, but you would be surprised at how many young people are taking medication.”

For me, that ironically, was a positive statement. It means that these young men and women (and their families) recognize that they have a problem and are taking anti-depressants, anti-anxiety, or anti psychotic drugs to help stabilize themselves.

But I wondered how many people in the “shidduch parsha” aren’t taking medication, but desperately need to. How many are able to “put on a good act” and fool members of the community and those setting them up? How many have very serious mental health or even physical issues, but are able to hide them? How many teachers, rebbes, neighbors, etc. actually know that the girl or boy has personal issues, but are not honest with the “out of towners” seeking information?

I think we all know of situations where a decision was made NOT to “shter” the shidduch and be honest about certain issues the other party or his/her family may have – in the hope that marriage would straighten them out. How many young lives have been ruined because people deliberately held off giving important information? Parents can do all the “checking” in the world but if everyone who knows the “truth” is tight-lipped, especially those whose opinions would be considered reliable – like teachers or rebbeim, then it is all for naught, and their child will “arein fahllen” [a Yiddish term that means will fall in over her/his head, kind of like tumbling into quicksand.]

Let me clarify that obviously there are halachos of lashon hara to consider when it comes to giving information regarding a potential shidduch. But I wonder how many people take the time to study the halachos or speak to a rav to understand what they can or should say, so the innocent party doesn’t fall into a situation that could have been avoided.

Nobody really knows what the person they are marrying is like until after the fact. Even if both parties are nice, “normal” people they might come to the conclusion after several months together that they made a huge mistake. A 19-year-old girl with very little life experience marrying an equally “clueless” 22-year-old boy may realize too late that they are very wrong for each other.

In either situation, whether the person realizes he/she married a person who is not mentally well, or just someone not suited to them, getting divorced might be an unfortunate but necessary option – one however that can get very complicated if there are babies in the picture.

I have met many divorced men and women, and I am always taken aback when I hear they were married for 20 or 30 + years before they ended their marriage. I usually ask them if the marriage was good but somehow soured after many years. Many tell me they realized early on that they made a huge mistake, but since the wife had gotten pregnant right away they stayed miserably married until their youngest was grown.

I couldn’t help but think how tragic that was for the couple involved – trapped for decades with a spouse they couldn’t stand. Even worse, their children had grown up in a dysfunctional home and now had a skewed view of what marriage was, or had emotional issues from growing up in a home lacking shalom bayis where the parents fought or openly disliked each other. How unfair to these children, innocent casualties of their parents’ inability to get out of a bad marriage when they could have. They are the collateral damage.

The situation is much more horrific for those hapless young men and women who are married to a toxic person – someone physically or verbally abusive, who constantly makes their spouse feel inadequate or mercilessly lays a guilt trip on him/her no matter what they do; someone very controlling, inflexible, socially inept, or with addictions like gambling, drugs etc. Getting free from these monsters is usually very difficult – but if there are children in the picture – then severing ties can be very difficult. The two bad options available can be very costly in every sense of the word- emotionally, financially, and physically: a nasty divorce or remaining trapped in a nightmarish “union.”

I truly feel that the first year of marriage is a time to “test the matrimonial waters,” when a young couple can really get to know each other and assess if they are compatible or not; if they can -with a mutual effort – work out their “differences” (which are inevitable since no two people are identical in the way they think and do things) or if they made an honest mistake and amicably go their separate ways – no strings attached.

If, as the case may be, a newlywed ended up with someone who is “impossible” to live with due to some kind of insurmountable emotional or mental dysfunction – then they can emancipate themselves from this untenable marriage and get on with their lives.

Until both parties are confident that their true zivug was next to them under the chuppah, waiting a year, or even six months, before trying to conceive, might be the best things they can do for themselves and their future family.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Should Newlyweds Hold Off Having Children?”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Yeshiva Beit Orot
2 Yeshiva Students Injured in Friday Night Terrorist Attack
Latest Sections Stories
Kupfer-112114

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

Astaire-112114-Horse

There were many French Jews who jumped at the chance to shed their ancient identity and assimilate.

L to R: Sheldon Adelson, Shawn Evenhaim, Haim Saban

As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”

South-Florida-logo

Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]

The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.

Recently, Fort Lauderdale has been the focus of international news, and it has not been about the wonderful weather.

Rabbi Sacks held the position of chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years until September 2013.

The event included a dvar Torah by student Pesach Bixon, an overview of courses, information about student life and a student panel that answered frequently asked questions from a student perspective.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

“Grandpa,” I wondered, as the swing began to slow down, “why are there numbers on your arm?”

So the real question is, “How can we, as hosts, make sure our guest beds are comfortable?” Because your guests will never say anything.

It was a land of opportunity, a place where someone who wasn’t afraid of a little hard work, or the challenges of adapting to a different climate and culture, could prosper.

Rule #1: A wife should never accompany her husband to hang out with his buddies at a fantasy football draft. Unless beer and cigars are her thing, that is.

There are many people today with very little training who put out shingles and proclaim themselves to be marital coaches, shalom bayis helpers, advisers etc.

The two World Series combatants, the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants, were Wild Card teams (meaning they didn’t win their respective divisions) that got hot at the right time.

More Articles from Cheryl Kupfer
Kupfer-112114

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

Kupfer-092614-Books

Not knowing any better, I assumed that Molly and her mother must be voracious readers.

Unpleasant happenings are quickly discarded if they do not affect us directly.

I have always insisted that everything that happens to anyone or anything is min Shamayim.

It is so hurtful to heighten people’s sense of inadequacy and guilt in a matzav that is already horrendous and difficult to bear.

Make no mistake: in the wrong hands cars are weapons of mass destruction.

Where once divorce in heimische communities was relatively uncommon, nowadays every family has a son, daughter, sibling cousin who is divorced – sometimes twice or even three times!

Many go about the business of living frum, observant lives, but they are only going through the motions.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/on-our-own/should-newlyweds-hold-off-having-children/2009/10/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: