web analytics
April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Should Newlyweds Hold Off Having Children?


Kupfer-Cheryl

Share Button

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.

Share Button

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.

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

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Unit 9900 is an intelligence unit that utilizes the unique capabilities of soldiers on the autism spectrum.
Autism in the IDF: Uniquely Talented Soldiers
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Baim-041814-Piggy

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

More Articles from Cheryl Kupfer
Kupfer-032814

A young lady in her early 20’s, “Sarah” was redt to “Shlomie” a boy from her home town who learned in an out-of-town yeshiva. The families know each other well, which in today’s shidduch scene is a big plus – since it was therefore unlikely the kids would “fall in” due to misinformation and misinterpretations.

Kupfer-031414

I came to the conclusion a long time ago that I have to do what is right for me – as long as it’s “ halachically kosher” and doesn’t negatively impact on others – and not worry too much about what others think.

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and that is precisely what almost always happens in situations where a reference knew someone had serious but hidden emotional issues, but did not reveal the information to the person making inquiries.

Time never stood still for anyone – why would I be the exception? In my hubris, I thought that somehow I would live forever – and I suspect we all have secretly felt that way, even though we know it’s a fantasy.

One can argue that forgetting something on a regular basis is a sign of advancing age and it’s time to for a neurological evaluation, but based on the number of young people who need to replace a lost smart phone (too bad it’s not smart enough to warn its owner that that they have become separated – or is there an app for that too?), I safely can say that losing “stuff” cuts across the generations.

For quite a few days in late December, Toronto was transformed into a breathtaking – literally and figuratively – frigid winter wonderland, where every twig, leaf, car door, and outdoor wire and cable was totally encased in ice. When the sun shone the landscape was blindingly brilliant as if billions of diamonds had been glued to everything the eye could see.

Outside is a winter-white wonderland replete with dazzling trees, wires, and sidewalks seemingly wrapped in glittery silver foil. It’s quite lovely to look at, which is about all I can do since I’m stuck indoors. Icicle-laden tree branches are bent and hunch-backed by the frozen heaviness of their popsicle-like burden, and the voices squawking from the battery-operated transistor radio I am listening to are warning people not to go out since walkways and roads are extremely slippery, and there is real danger from falling trees.

The necessity of speaking up when you “have a hunch” applies even more when it comes to shidduchim. One little girl did just that – she said something – and I was fortunate enough to be in town for the very joyful, lively wedding that resulted from her speaking up.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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: