Dear Dr. Yael,
We just married off our son, and he is a learning boy. Our new machatonim promised to share in the support of this couple and now decided not to honor their promise. They are also hurting us by the way they speak to us. The Rabbonim feel that we should support completely to preserve the couple’s shalom bayis. My husband is very angry and the girl at this point does not know the situation. We are financially able to support, but we feel tricked and hurt by their dishonesty. We cannot talk to these people right now because of how upset we are. We feel that they are into looking good for others, but then they don’t follow through. I am not writing to you for an answer, but I am asking you to print this letter to see if other readers can share their experiences and how they handled such a situation. I want this couple to have a great marriage, and I worry that this will affect them.
Dear A Reader,
I am impressed that you are both listening to daas Torah and by your commitment to the happiness of this couple. Parents sometimes destroy their children’s marriages over an issue like this. I understand the pain that you and your husband are feeling since you entered into this situation with honesty and openness, and you feel cheated. However, there is another way to look at this. Yes, it was wrong of your machatonim to backtrack on something they said that they would do. It is also wrong that they are not treating you with kindness and coming to you in a nice way to explain why it is not possible for them to keep their word. They are probably very embarrassed that they cannot follow through with what they offered, and thus are being defensive and unkind. I cannot say for certain, but it does make sense that they are only speaking to you in a not nice way because they feel uncomfortable and know that they are wrong. Changing your perspective about their behavior may help you and your husband feel less angry.
Psychologically, you can try to approach them in a calm manner to discuss what happened, but I am not sure that this will be helpful and it may just escalate the issue. I think it would be more effective for you to look at this difficult situation in a different way. Hashem gives money, and if we spend it correctly, he will give us more. In life we get challenged with many tests. This is a huge one. No one would fault you for being upset at your machatonim, but you have an opportunity here to rise way above what is expected of you. Additionally, if you are able to shield the couple, you are giving them the best chance for a good marriage. Hatzlacha in dealing with this situation and in the zechus of what you are doing, Hashem should grant you and the new couple health, happiness, parnassah, and success in all areas of life! If any readers can give some ideas or support in this situation, I welcome your letters.
Dear Dr. Yael,
I am an older single girl , not so old in the real world, but in our world it is tough. I lead a very productive life. I work in a job where I help many children learn more effectively. I have a graduate degree. I also do a lot of chessed, and I am able to travel with friends and have a great time. I want to get married and I try very hard, but I am also trying to make the best of what Hashem has given me at this time. I am very bothered by all of these columns that make singles look like such a nebach. Most of us are keeping busy and trying to be productive. Most of us truly want to get married and build a bayit neeman b’Yisroel. I wish people would stop telling me to stop being picky. I am not picky. I give many situations a chance. Many boys are not willing to commit.
I appreciate your columns, and I remember when I was younger reading a column of yours about this situation, but I just thought it was ridiculous. Now, unfortunately, I am one of those singles who gets all the brochos said in a depressed tone of “Im Yirtzeh Hashem by you.” Please set us singles up. Please don’t feel sorry for us. We are productive people who try to accomplish a lot with our time. I wish they would stop writing these critical articles about singles. It is so hard.
A Productive Single
Dear Productive Single,
The older single situation is one of the challenges of our generation. It is worse than it was ten years ago. There is more pigeonholing, more focus on pictures and resumes, and not enough focus on the true middos of the person. I am asking you personally to be proud of what you are doing in your productive work and all the chessed that you are doing. Try to enjoy your life. It is admirable that you travel and that you are trying to make the best of a challenging situation. You will get married, have children, iy”H soon, so try to truly enjoy your life now. Once you have children, vacations are never the same.
To my dear readers, please try to set up singles as much as possible and never make them feel uncomfortable. They are struggling enough in their situation. If you give them a brocha, give it in a cheerful tone or maybe skip the brocha unless you are in a special position to give one (I.e., a chosson/kallah, your Hebrew birthday, someone embarrassed you and you didn’t answer, etc.). Please do not ask singles intrusive questions and do not say hurtful remarks.
Thank you for bringing this issue into the forefront. The only way to help anyone struggling to find their shidduch is to set them up! Hatzlacha in your journey and may you find your zivug soon!