Chillul Tefila Bifarhesia, as well as halachicly challenged verbiage and dress, are external manifestations of a critical lack of personal yiras shomayim which has lethal consequences.
When one loses a spouse, it sometimes does not take very long for people to play matchmaker. “Only a stone should be alone.” Is a phrase often bandied about as widowed well spouses are encouraged to start dating again. Many in this situation relish their time to themselves, which has been an elusive dream for so long and are not ready to start the process. Some however, would like to remarry, and helpful friends begin to look for a shidduch for them.
What people tend to sometimes forget is that matching up adults for a second marriage needs to be done differently than for younger people just beginning the dating process. Care giving may have changed what a person is seeking in a mate in a way that is incomprehensible to those who have not been through it. Most adults wanting to remarry know what they are seeking in a partner. It is absurd to leave them out or not involve them in the process, and treating them as if they were 18.
A good friend of Miriam* invited her for a Shabbos dinner because she wanted her to meet a widowed relative, I’ll call him Harold*. She felt that the two had a lot in common and what better way to meet than over Friday night dinner with lots of family and friends in attendance. Miriam, now in her mid-50s, had started dating about six months after her husband passed away. She had nursed her husband for many years through his chronic illness, mourned his passing and now she felt that she was ready to move on.
As hoped, the couple hit it off. They went for coffee, to lectures, exchanged e-mails and phone conversations. It was during this “getting to know you” process that Miriam discovered that Harold was 15 years older than she was. He looked much younger and she had never thought to ask his age. Miriam stopped the process immediately. “I could not go through those years of care giving again,” she said. “And if I marry someone that age, chances are that I will.”
Miriam’s friend tried to convince her that Harold was in good health. But Miriam’s husband had been in excellent health until he became ill. Then her friend tried to sell her on the fact that a few or hopefully many good years would be worth it. But her friend had never been a caregiver. She had never experienced the years of sleepless nights and painful days that caring for another who is chronically ill involves.
Miriam was not willing to take the chance. She preferred to be alone than to marry someone of an age where illness can be just around the corner. Her friend could not understand and refused to “set her up” with anyone after that.
At a bar mitzvah celebration, Janice*, age 50, was sitting with friends when a gentleman came over to say hello to a mutual acquaintance. Discovering he was single, Janice’s friend immediately sized him up with Janice in mind and started to collect information about him. Though they appeared compatible initially and alike in many areas, her friend decided that though he was religious, he was a ba’al teshuvah and not appropriate for Janice. And so without saying a word to Janice, she dismissed him as a potential shidduch.
Meanwhile, another woman at the table had the same idea and also came to the same conclusion. This woman however, decided not to make decisions for other adults and asked Janice if she would be interested in meeting this man. To her surprise, Janice was very much interested. They have been married now for many happy years.
Adults, looking toward a second marriage, approach shidduchim very differently than they did when they were young. They may be looking for things that people who are still married cannot understand. Well spouses bring their history to a potential second marriage, and that history colors what risks they will be willing to take and what experiences they choose to avoid.
Their priorities have changed from the last time they dated and may not even be recognized by those closest to them; even those closest to them may be totally unaware of these changes. Deciding who is an appropriate match, based on what you think they need and want, instead of what they know they need and want, is foolish. As adults, they need to be asked and involved, and not have decisions made for them.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author:
You must log in to post a comment.
Nearly half a million of them fought in Red Army uniforms, under communist slogans but with a personal vengeance that was solely the result of Jewish experience. More than the “Greatest Generation,” they were the living superheroes hidden in plain sight.
It’s all over.
The orchestra is still, the lights are dimmed. Your simcha outfits hang in your closet, silent witnesses to a time you will treasure in your mind and heart forever.
After noticing that you can’t log into your computer, your pulse quickens as you are called into your supervisor’s office. S/he has some bad news. You are being laid off. You have 15 minutes to clean out your desk and surrender your cell phone before security escorts you out of the building. Job termination, especially in the corporate world, can be heartless.
I have always had a problem with the Omer. Doing the mitzvah of counting the Omer was of course pretty easy. Remembering to start the second evening of Passover and remembering to stop the day before Shavous took a little concentration but somehow I always managed. No, for me the nagging problem was always why was I doing this in the first place, other than the fact it was a biblical (according to the Rambam) commandment.
With the semi-mourning period of Sefira behind us, and the festival of Shavuot as well (as evidenced by the tightness of our clothing due to over-indulging in irresistible versions of cheesecake that is an integral component of celebrating our receipt of the Torah), our community can look forward to participating in joyous engagement parties and weddings.
Dear Dr. Yael:
Do you really believe that the Internet is the reason why the divorce rate is so high among young couples? This may be so in some cases, but what about the fact that many singles are pressured to get married at a young age despite not having any idea what they are looking for in a mate? And add to that the fact that many are pressured to make a decision about marriage after dating for a very short period of time.
From the moment they stand under the chuppah, newlyweds have two years to enjoy the special bliss that new love brings. This new finding, reported by the New York Times, is based on a study undertaken by American and European researchers. 1,761 people who got married and stayed married over 15 years were followed. The research shows that after two years the couples moved into a more companionable state in their relationships.
Shel Silverstein’s 1974 poem “Where The Sidewalk Ends” is intended to paint a magical picture of a world of peace and serenity far away from the “black and dark streets.” At the time, perhaps the end of the sidewalk was a place that was “measured and slow.” Today, however, for many parents, where the sidewalk ends can feel like a scary place.
The next chapter of the award-winning novel.
Florida is famous for sparkling water. We have the beautiful Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico surrounding our coast. We have bays, lakes, canals and, of course, an incredible abundance of swimming pools in homes, resorts, apartment complexes and city parks.
The buzz is back as Camp Gan Israel Florida Overnight gears up for another fantastic summer, CGI Florida style. What makes CGI Florida so different from all the other overnight camps? It’s all in the details.
Leah Katz, a TeenZone camper at Oorah’s TheZone summer camp and an 11th grader at Midwood High School, read her winning essay about how TheZone changed her views on Judaism at the Jewish Heritage Awards Ceremony held at Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes’s office in April. The purpose of the Jewish Heritage Essay Contest is to acquaint public school students with Jewish history and customs and to help foster a deeper understanding of Jewish culture. The contest is open to students of all ethnic and religious backgrounds. Leah’s essay is reproduced in full below.
Moshe Sharett, the head of the Jewish Agency’s Political Department, visited Egypt in 1945. In Cairo he met a most remarkable young woman, a beautiful journalist who was the darling of Egyptian high society – from high-ranking military brass, to culture icons and Muslim sheikhs, to the court of King Faruk.
The two proceeded to talk about everyday things and surprisingly her mother-in-law did not find anything else to criticize. This occurred a few more times, with my client changing the topic every time by complimenting her mother-in-law or mentioning something positive about her.
When one is blind one learns to use Braille to read. When one cannot walk, a wheelchair gives mobility. Sign language allows a mute person to speak and ocular implants assist in hearing when one is deaf. These are all compensatory strategies that help a person function despite his disability. But compensatory strategies are not just for physical problems. Understanding our psychological weaknesses and setting up our lives to ensure that we are not tempted to repeat our past mistakes, is as necessary as any aid to the disabled.
Well spouses have often discovered that their friends and relatives, despite their closeness to the situation, often don’t realize the tremendous emotional impact living with chronic illness has on the family. With the best intentions, suggestions, ideas and criticism are offered, based on the non-experience of those with healthy families. Even when the good intentioned get a taste of the difficulties, it is sometimes not enough for them to then identify and understand what the family of the chronically ill must face on a constant basis.
Over the past two weeks I have shared letters from a therapist and a well spouse. Both of the letters gave personal insights into the process of losing hope, how we react when that happens and some ways of coping when test scores, diagnosis and just simple repetitive behavior indicate that change for the better is impossible.
I’ve read your last few articles on psycho-neurological testing (Oct.8-22) with interest. As a therapist who has counseled couples dealing with chronic illness, I’d like to give you another perspective.
Your articles on the Neuro-Psychological Testing were right on (October 8-22). My husband underwent testing twice and your articles explained it things exactly the way they were. Besides the test, we also tried therapy.
Very often when we can’t face our big hurts or big loses we focus on the little ones. We can discuss those. We can cry over the small loses, be angry at the smaller hurts even though it may look trite and sound ridiculous to others.
Over the last two weeks we have been discussing one way in which well spouses can determine whether behavior displayed by their ill partners is caused by their illness or is a way they have chosen to act. We have focused on Psycho-Neurological testing, what it can tell us, as well as its pros and cons.
Last week I discussed a question that haunts many well spouses: not knowing if the difficult and often inappropriate behavior frequently displayed by their partners are caused by the disease and therefore not-controllable, or if the behavior is a choice the spouse makes and can therefore be changed. This doubt can be the source of much frustration and many marital disagreements. One way of alleviating this doubt is by having a psycho- neurological work up done. But that path is not so simple.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/shidduchim-and-the-former-well-spouse/2009/03/25/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online:
No related posts.