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Forget the shidduch crisis, what about the ridiculously short marriage crisis?

Not sure what’s going on but in the last year I have known over half a dozen people my age that have gotten divorced and a majority of them were married less than a year. I wouldn’t call it a crisis, because I have no idea how many people are having the same experiences, but if I know this many young folks calling it quits, that means everyone reading this also knows a few, and I am wondering if the shidduch crisis is causing people to rush into marriages because they are scared they won’t find anyone else.

I know at least three people that have gotten divorced over religious differences. All of them were directly due to the girl wanting to be more religious than the husband. One of them was advised multiple times by myself not to go through with the marriage because his newly found religiosity was bound to diminish over time and he should wait until he was sure about his ideals, in the end he didn’t want to go to shul every day and everything collapsed from there. (If there weren’t other reasons to end the marriage – I think religious differences can be worked out some of the time)

I have noticed that many marriages are entered into, so the girls image improves. I know of several “bad girls” that got married to rich guys, put on a sheitle and all of their sins were forgotten, those marriages scare me – I have seen three girls that were 18 years old and fresh out of high school go through with such arrangements (one shotgun style) and I do hope they last.

Then on the other end, there have been a whole bunch of guys, off the derech types that still associate with their old yeshiva friends and one day they decide to become frum again and all of the sudden they are married – and it seems divorced pretty quickly based on what some friend’s have been telling me.

To me, dating is very complex – once you enter into a relationship of marriage quality, things like finances, family and religion should be discussed in detail before any sort of marriage could be arranged. Although, I agree that love and strong emotional, physical and spiritual attraction is necessary – it seems that many people I talk to are sheepish about discussing very intimate and personal issues with the people they are thinking of getting married to.

It is understandable that many frum people think some issues are untznius, but when you think of the consequences, it seems like all issues should be discussed. Unlike some people, I don’t think that young frum Jews are thinking of “trying out” marriage with the option of divorce – if they are, it’s really a terrible way of thinking.

I have met couples that didn’t know that their spouse snored, was allergic to peanuts or had a third nipple before they wed and these issues along with things like credit card debt, bipolar disorder and even fetishes (such as a woman wanting to wear teffilin) should be discussed prior to marriage.

{ 87 comments… add one }
  • wolfman January 20, 2010, 1:20 AM

    “fetishes (such as a woman wanting to wear teffilin)”

    You’re obviously either using fetish in the sense of “sacred” or in the sense of a strange sexual practice involving holy leather straps (c.f. the poem of Yonah Wallach here: http://www.fresh.co.il/vBulletin/showthread.php?t=311940). You’re too wordly to think that women who wear tefillin for sincere reasons are experiencing a fetish (at least, no more than men who do so for sincere reasons, since the line between fetish and sacredness is fine indeed).

    Your overall point is good, though — it’s why I will only teach niddah classes to couples together, in order to make sure that they can discuss sexual issues openly with each other.

    • Heshy Fried January 20, 2010, 1:01 PM

      Actually the women wearing tefilin was supposed to be a joke about orthodox feminism – but you obviously took that one the wrong way.

  • s(b.) January 20, 2010, 2:10 AM

    Yeah, there’s a ton that should be discussed before marriage. You could totally make a site on questions to ask/things to discuss before marriage without trying too hard. It might help some people, too.

    • MadMaxInJerusalem January 24, 2010, 2:34 PM

      That sounds like Calm Kallahs…

  • sh'lomo' January 20, 2010, 2:17 AM

    ……….third nipple? : O That’s not possible…is it?!

    • eyekanspel January 20, 2010, 6:30 AM

      Apparently Carrie Underwood had one, but she had it removed. I don’t think anyone would have a problem with her, even with a third nipple.

      • snibril January 20, 2010, 6:33 AM

        And Chandler from ‘Friends’ of course… 🙂

        • tesyaa January 20, 2010, 10:21 AM

          And Anne Boleyn.

          • Rabba bar bar Chana January 20, 2010, 12:17 PM

            And the fake one on the fortuneteller in “Mallrats”

            • Heshy Fried January 20, 2010, 1:01 PM

              Mall rats is still one of my faves

              • lawschooldrunk January 24, 2010, 1:12 PM

                I want my punisher war journal comic book back…

          • London January 20, 2010, 1:18 PM

            Anne Boleyn had a sixth finger on one hand, not a third nipple.

            • Ora February 15, 2011, 12:10 PM

              Actually, she had both, as well as a “large wen” (mole) on her neck.

              Clever girl that she was, she camouflaged these “flaws” with “pretty fashions” she introduced to the English Court.

              These “flaws” came in handy when she was later accused of sorcery and witchcraft (for which, amongst other untrue charges, she was executed in 1536).

      • Anonymous January 20, 2010, 11:05 AM

        Most people have an extra nipple and just don’t know it because it isn’t full formed (it just looks like a mole or a freckle). It’s called a supernumery nipple :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_nipple

        (see the pictures- they just look like moles)

        Also, most historians agree that Anne Boleyn didn’t have an extra breast, but rather it was just slander.

  • G*3 January 20, 2010, 2:28 AM

    > I have met couples that didnt know that their spouse snored, was allergic to peanuts or had a third nipple before they wed

    How would they know? In yeshivish circles, even liberal yeshivish, one does not sleep (literally or figuratively) with one’s girlfriend or even fiance. And you certainly don’t see her naked.

    Unless you have a list of very specific questions, this isn’t the kind of stuff you’re likely to find out during a short courtship/engagment unless it happens to come up in conversation. And how often do people discuss third nipples?

    That’s the point, though, isn’t it? There isn’t enough time to find out all of your potential partner’s quirks before commiting to them for the rest of your life. Still, I haven’t seen any evidence that a longer dating period leads to more succesful marriages.

    There have been studies that show couples who get married in their thirties have a higher sucess rate than those married in their twenties, but given that the current shidduch crises is almost wholly caused by the social demand that everyone get married by their mid-twenties, I don’t see the frum world encouraging people to wait.

    • Anonymous January 20, 2010, 7:01 PM

      The Gemara talks about having someone who is loyal to the guy (mother/sister etc.) check for these kid of things…

  • Anonymous January 20, 2010, 2:37 AM

    I just noticed something funny about the order of the tags on the sidebar: “Rabbi sex shabbos”. Which is funny because it says in the Mishna “???? ?????? ????? ???? ??? ???? ???”.

  • Danny shine January 20, 2010, 6:13 AM

    thought you guys may like these vids.. feedback would be good http://www.youtube.com/user/frumkeit

    • MadMaxInJerusalem January 25, 2010, 3:19 AM

      Danny shine:

      Here’s some feedback: With all due respect to these anonymous “gadolim”, I think there attitude is completely wrong. Suppressing legitimate Halachich inquiries and discussion of issues related to Tashmish is probably a big source of problems in frum marriages these days. In addition, people taking on Tashmish related Chumrot which are intended only for *real* Chasidim and *real* Talmidim Chachamim is probably another source of marital problems. It seems like allot of Ashkanazim have taken on a very puritan Xtian attitude towards tashmish.

  • Batya January 20, 2010, 7:13 AM

    Heshie, excellent post and I do think it’s a crises when young couples are married and divorced in less than a year.

    Easy divorce doesn’t help and marriage isn’t to solve problems, like aliyah won’t fix a bad marriage.

    Few marriages are perfect, but most people know that divorce isn’t a panacea either.

    Good luck my young friend.

  • Raizy January 20, 2010, 8:04 AM

    Parents, rebbes, and seminary teachers need to stop pushing kids to get married before they are ready. The amount of pressure that adults put on their children and students is ridiculous. The adults need to step back and allow their kids time to get to know each other and to make their own choices. Who and when to marry is a huge decision and it shouldn’t be rushed.

    • Anonymous January 20, 2010, 11:05 AM


  • Lisa January 20, 2010, 9:23 AM

    The dating world is definitely causing short marriages – but not in the way addressed. Couples could discuss their intricate religious issues for months before marriage and it would not make a difference years down the road, as husbands and wives both have the option of changing their minds about things over time. What IS important to look for in a potential spouse is still the same thing today as it was before the world embraced shidduch dating. Look at the personality — if they are someone who is flexible, giving, loyal, and respectful, you will always be happy. Unfortunately, the shidduch world has encouraged singles to look too strongly at other religious externals instead of these critical personality elements on which long-term, happy marriages are built.

    • Abbi January 20, 2010, 10:39 AM

      Lisa- you are absolutely right especially this sentence: “if they are someone who is flexible, giving, loyal, and respectful, you will always be happy. “

      • DrumIntellect January 20, 2010, 11:00 AM

        If only one side is flexible it will not work out.

  • DrumIntellect January 20, 2010, 10:25 AM

    I wish you wouldn’t call divorce a tragedy or a crisis. For some marriage, divorce is a happy occasion.

    I agree that too often people “rush” into marriages without really knowing about their dates. Removing parental and societal pressure to marry immediately may help, but I remain skeptical that it’s such an “easy” fix.

    The problem isn’t divorce. The problem is marriage.

    • tesyaa January 20, 2010, 10:50 AM

      Definitely less of a traumatic event if there are no children. If there are children who will be affected to some degree for the rest of their lives, it could be viewed as a tragedy (especially if there is an abusive parent or severe custody issues).

      • DrumIntellect January 20, 2010, 11:01 AM

        If a parent is abusive to either the spouse (male or female!) or to the children, divorce is even more of a happy event.

        • tesyaa January 20, 2010, 11:21 AM

          Except that the parent may still be a part of the child’s life. I’m sorry, have you heard any divorce horror stories lately? The courts often believe the parent who spends the most on a lawyer, or who lies the best – even if there’s abuse involved. B”h a million times I know this only secondhand.

          • DrumIntellect January 20, 2010, 11:41 AM

            “Still a part of the child’s life” is still better then the alternative. I’m sorry but I’ve heard many divorce horror stories. Have you heard any marital horror stories lately? I have firsthand knowledge.

            (I agree about the corrupt Judicial system that often gives custody to the mother despite the facts in the case and a history of abuse.)

  • Arielle January 20, 2010, 10:53 AM

    Wow, what a bummer. I’m a 2nd time Baal Teshuva woman who just made Aliyah (Baruch Hashem and, YAY ME!!). Trust me, it took blood, sweat, and many tears and years to get here, and there will be NO WAY on my end that I screw up a True Shidduch. I know that it will take (once, of course, we are “there”) the utmost honesty and trust to make it work, before we ever even touch hands. May my fellow young- and- younger as of yet unmarried Yidden understand this!!! You have Everything to lose by not being completely HONEST, and on the flip side, you have the World to Gain… Amen, for me, my Brothers, and my Sisters!

  • Anonymous January 20, 2010, 11:13 AM

    How about living together for a year or two before getting married. My husband and I did it … yeah we did take some heat for it and some “friends” stopped talking to us. But some of our real friends thought it was cool (and maybe they were a bit jealous) and all gave us credit for being forthright and not sneaking around to grab overnights or weekends together.

    BTW, we are going on 10 years of marrigae and have two kids and we couldn’t be happier.

    • Heshy Fried January 20, 2010, 1:17 PM

      I have been meeting more a more religious people (yes you can argue they are not religious) that have lived together and even had children before marrying.

  • Realistically Religious January 20, 2010, 11:22 AM

    For starters, the shidduch crisis may attribute to the short marriage crisis. People observing their friends going through a nightmarish marriage thus ensuing a divorce may be a little more hesitant to get married. You can’t blame them if this problem is pervasive. I agree with Heshy and most of the commentators on the plateau. Adult need to learn how to make responsible choices and their parents, mentors must learn to to respect their decisions and not force them to do things out of their comfort zone. Parental interference may be detrimental to a relationship/marriage. People who enlist in things that are beyond their maturity level can also be damaging. I think courtships may need to be extended longer prior to engagement. How could an 18 – 20 year old decide he/she is ready to get married after 8 dates? Short courtships are more understandable to older singles. Mind you each method is not fool proof ( for I know people who dated for 5 years before they married. Sadly, their first year of marriage concluded with a divorce. Either the other party was in denial prior to the divorce of that person was desperate for love and attention and basically overlooked other impending factors). Poor communication may not bode well in a marriage either. Shadchamin need to get their priorities straight and not work with people who just want to play around and score some points either. Its not fair for the other person to be going out with someone who has no interest in cultivating a relationship that may just want a free dinner/ ride or wants to keep record on how many people he/she has gone out with. I understand the vitality of background checking but should the usage of plastic wear on shabbos warrant the cancellation of a potential match or to the extremity of a marriage? People seem so hung over the superficialities and the nonsensical aspects in dating that they seem to dismiss issues of major concern such as mental health, behavioral, character etc. Your references good give you a good word because either they are not aware of your dark side or they are not so sure how to mention your character flaw in a diplomatic way without blowing your suggested match. People need to deviate from their principles and philosophical believes and apply a little logic and practicality in their thinking and actions. Especially in this case. Its ideal to date and marry young but it may not be realistic if that young person is not mature enough to fathom a serious relationship. I think its worth it to be single a little longer than rush yourself into a marriage only to find out that you have been poorly matched with your spouse. Most people don’t want to spend their first couple years of their marriage in counseling. It doesn’t mean you won’t have issues but there should be a strategic and wholesome way to resolve them. I read a similar article on this topic and some people suggest newly married couples should use birth control for that reason in case their marriage fails G-d forbid. If there are kids involved, it may make the situation more complicated. I don’t know whats your position on this but I believe there is some logic to it but I don’t fully agree with it. Matrimony is a big adjustment and I understand why couples might want to get to know each other and get used to living with each other before jumping the gun. Marriages should not come with a free trial though. When you both agreed to marry each other, you need to mutually live up to the end of your deal to ensure yourselves a happy and a healthy marriage. You can’t try a spouse out the same way you try out a software program out. If you both have that mentality then I suggest you don’t get married to each other. Rather live together instead ( not that most Orthodox people do but you get my point).

  • Phil January 20, 2010, 11:39 AM

    These quickie divorces are usually then end to quickie shidduch dating. That’s what happens when two people don’t take the time to date past the love at first site thing. I would suggest at least one year of dating, my wife and I met young and dated for nearly 4 years.

    In many cases, quick divorces are a blessing, after all, you wouldn’t want to people that can’t each other to be forced to raise a family together and spend the rest of their lives with each other. If the couple was immature when they married, they matured quickly enough to call it quits before it’s too late.

    As for the reasons some people get divorced, many seem trivial and silly to me. How do you divorce a guy because he stopped going to shul or because they decided not to eat Chalav Yisrael?

    I have an older friend in his 70’s, he was married very briefly once in his life. This guy was a die hard fisherman in his younger days. As he was a travelling salesman, he would stop the car every once in a while to fish off the side of the road.

    One one occasion, he took his new bride along. He climbed down the bank, hooked the biggest walleye of his life and screamed for his wife to bring the net. She refused. He lost the fish. They got divorced. He never got married again. Funniest divorce story I ever heard.

    • Heshy Fried January 20, 2010, 1:33 PM

      It shows a point about having passions and hobbies in common – I have argued for it before and will continue to do so – if you don’t have passions in common, you’l end up like the people in the John Denver song – where he’s an outdoors nut and she’s a JAP.

      • Aussie Oliver Shalom January 21, 2010, 11:54 PM

        G’day Hesh, I think I know the song you mean “Castles in the Air”, but it’s by Don McLean.

        A big problem is when people are desperate to make a shidduch for others. The common thing I hear is “They’ve got so much in common: He’s single, and she’s single! What more could they want?”

        Then you’ve got the others who are getting married because that’s what everyone else in their circle is doing, and they don’t want to be an outsider by staying single.

    • AMR January 20, 2010, 1:40 PM

      a new twist on, “The one that got away!”

    • yankie January 26, 2010, 4:27 AM

      phil, you are the shit. keep the laughs coming.

  • Between2worlds January 20, 2010, 12:01 PM

    I think that marriage is about communication and of course attraction – when marriages are arranges and people are pressurized into them these things are often pushed aside for fear of parents’ opinions and/or peer pressure. Without these things a marriage cannot work and it won’t – numerous individuals in frum marriages are having affairs to fulfill their emotional and sexual needs. It is so important that these issues are address by those giving Kallah and chosson lessons to enable couples to connect physically. This is so integral and is pushed under the carpet by many, but rabbis have a responsibility to address this current crisis to prevent the dishonesty, disloyalty and sin that is occurring in all frum communities

  • FrumGer January 20, 2010, 12:06 PM

    as corny as it sounds, Rabbi Shmuley’s Books such as Kosher Sex, really give good insights to this. I love Shmuley period, especially his debates, but he knows whats up, and he is very practical and real. but his books go into great lengths on why this is occuring.

    it all has to do with the failure to meet pre-concieved expections. see this secular society has really infitrated into the frum world, i am sure the people heshy is talking about are not the “no tv” type of yidden, which like the rest of our culture has been taken on some level by modern ideals. some of these ideals are following

    instant gratification (selfishness)
    unrealistic romantic understanding of love
    unattainable physical desires

    lets face it our culture is whats to blame, not the shidduch crisis. people that have never met before can get married and have a strong marriage. this dating around and marrying for love has produced no more solid results and actually the stats are worse. people marry the ones they say they want and they are still unhappy. its selfishness that kills marriages. i mean you have got to be some kind of selfish to divorce someone over the things that people are these days. and after the 1st marriage the stats for divorce get higher with subsequent marriages.

    the idea of – “I just fell out of love” is bullshit. there is no such thing as falling in love. love is not an emotion it has nothing looks, it is a commitment a decision that you have to basically renew everyday. you have to decide to love someone. but in this hyper physical hyper emotional society we all think its just about a feeling, its not.

    you want passion, create it.
    you want looks, get over yourself your not so great yourself.
    you want money, stop being materialistic

    no one should have to diclose if they have a 3rd nipple or not or if they snore, those are not reasons to stop a marriage. if they are then that person is some kind self centered and shallow.

    another problem is that in this age the so called perfect women or man is in your face, so now people won’t be with someone if they don’t have the perfect toes, or this or that. men are bombarded with women on tv and ads, that have had surgery to give them perfect everything. we know what a perfect breast is, or nose, what good legs look like, a nice behind… its everywhere. women are on such a tight rope, they are so insecure even subtly if not overtly. its sad, the masogynistic tv world has tantalized the american male and undermined the american women, to the point that everyone would rather have tv personality over a real person.

    also these women he is talking about wanted a divorce because their men where not as religious as they are. well that’s a conundrum isn’t it because halachically a women cannot give a get or initiate one unless there is strenious circumstances in which she would go to the Rabbi and he would either help them work it out or he would try to persuade the man to give her a get (only under extreme circumstances) that is the frum way, that is why frumkeit have always had lower divorce rates then the rest. because the only difference between a couple that is married and one that is divorced is the married couple said sorry one more time. these women obviously where not as relgious as they thought they were, because that is not a viable reason for a halachcally correct get.

    there is so much delusion it seems because people actually think there are perfect people out there for them, the beshert we talk about, does not mean that you won’t fight. it does not mean you won’t fight big time, it means you form a bond with another to reunited yourself. the bond is not based in looks or the acceptiance of certain idiosyncracies the other might have.

    you do not both have to love the outdoors.
    you do not both have to do everything together.
    you do not have to agree everything.

    My wife, i had to chase down, she would have nothing to do with me, finally she gave in after much pursuit, we did not have much in common, we are opposites really, but i wanted her, and i did not give up. we got married, there was no butterflys before hand, we were not this love dovey couple, we did not kiss or anything till the wedding night. now married three and 1/2 years, been through a lot, but to me we are a solid a couple as any, because we understand, that the “g” word is not a real option. just had a wonderful baby, and will have more. it just takes work. and selflessness

    people get divorced because they are superficial, they are narcassistic, selfish, and flat out because they watch too many romantic movies or porn. ( same result- different avenues, one for the man the one for the women) it all adds up to unfulfilled expectations.

    also divorce is so easy and socially exceptable now so marriages that stayed together 30 years ago, just opt to get out of it. which is a bad thing not a good thing. STAY TOGETHER. misery or happiness has more to do with you then with the other person.

    • Xvi January 20, 2010, 1:31 PM

      I simply cannot agree with this post. People’s expectations have changed because the world has grown up. We dont live in shtetls anymore where the highest form of entertainment is cow-chasing and the only people we meet our entire lives are those who live within a four mile radius of our homes. The world has gotten smaller, people have gotten more connected ad expectations of personal relationships have rightly expanded. No one said anything about the perfect mate here. They were saying, that in a world where people know what can and cant be had, there is no reason to commit to someone you dont know, who may be the antithesis of who you are and what you want. Marriage is not a job. Its a choice made between two consenting adults who believe that their being together is significantly better than their being apart. This is not a lesser form of marriage compared to the 14th century business decision you are describing.
      The form of relationship you are describing could not possibly motivate a person in this day and age. Why would anyone prematurely commit to a second full-time job when they know that there are interesting people that they can meet and choose from?
      Of course, thats not to say that people dont need to work at a marriage. However much common-ground two people may have there will always be differences of opinion and desire. There is absolutely a need to compromise and sacrifice when you want to form a productive bond with another human being. But why doom marriages from the start? Let people take the time to make sure that this is actually the person thy want to be with.

    • Anonymous January 20, 2010, 6:59 PM

      Your post reminded me of this article.
      Great job!

    • MadMaxInJerusalem January 25, 2010, 3:26 AM

      I would definitely second the recommendation of the Kosher Sex book. Very realistic book with good advice. Not every chapter of the book will be relevant to everyone, but it’s useful info none the less.

  • Sergey Kadinsky January 20, 2010, 12:29 PM
  • Between2worlds January 20, 2010, 12:50 PM

    I think that marriage is about communication and of course attraction – when marriages are arranged and people are pressurized into them – these needs are pushed aside for fear of parents’ opinions and peer pressure. Without these things a marriage will cannot work and it won’t – numerous individuals in frum marriages are having affairs to fulfil their emotional and sexual needs. It is so important that these issues are addressed by kallah and chosson lessons to enable couples to connect physically. The couples themselves have also got to be honest about their needs. This is so integral to a marriage and is pushed under the carpet by many. Rabbis have a responsibility to address this current crisis to prevent the current trent for dishonesty, disloyalty and sin that is occuring across many of the ultra and modern orthodox communities.

  • Between2worlds January 20, 2010, 1:01 PM

    sorry about the triple post had computer trouble

  • Avrumy January 20, 2010, 1:18 PM

    A small number of these quickie marriages are due to the fact that some guys, either on their own or with rabbinical input, get married knowing full well they are attracted to men. Then they find out that marriage does not make the gay “go away”.
    The tragedy is on the unsuspecting woman.

  • E. January 20, 2010, 1:54 PM

    Honesty- it’s a lost art.

  • TAXIDERMIST January 20, 2010, 4:10 PM

    Hate to break it to you guys, but my friend’s husband BEAT HER! Yes, a divorce is a tragedy, but HE DIDN’T BEAT HER UP ON DATES. They agreed on Hashkofo. His references spoke his praises, but HE NEVER BEAT THEM UP, EITHER.

    Some guys are charming, witty and funny, but give them a wife, AND THEY BEAT THE CRAP OUT OF THEM!

  • OPINIONATED January 20, 2010, 4:13 PM

    All premarital discussions about wants and needs does not detract from the fact that MOST MEN ARE JERKS and MARRY FOR A PUNCHING BAG, NOT A DRESS SIZE.

    • yankie January 26, 2010, 5:08 AM

      yeah. You’re probably some fat ugly bitch that wreaks of bad body odor and was very controlling.

  • Elise January 20, 2010, 7:17 PM

    Being an old married woman I have to put in my two-cents. People change over time. What you are at 20 is not what you are at 30 or 40…the trick to a good and healthy marriage is to make sure that you grow together and respect each other. The problem becomes when one spouse thinks they know everything and have the right to control the other person. People are entitled to their own personhood. Begin with that and join together two souls. Then keep growing and evolving as your life expands. Then you will have a long marriage.

    Personally I think the religious issue is like any other issue. You can either figure out how it evolves in your marriage to better both partners or you can use it as an excuse for divorce. You can’t tell someone else what their relationship with God should be.Now that’s chutzpah.

  • FrumGer January 20, 2010, 7:55 PM

    Taxidermist- What the hell are you talking about? Abuse is a reason to get a get… where did that comment even come from??

    Opinionated- you got problems and i recommend therepy, you cant project what happened to either you or a friend/ family with the rest of the world. i think i only know one man that has ever hit his wife or a women, he denys it and really i could see her lying about it… she is crazy! but maybe he did, i am saying that because most men, are not out there hitting there wife.

    XVI- you say we have become more connected, ya right! just because you can update your facebook, and can find your lost friend on myspace, i doubt we are more so called “connected” you can have hundreds of people to talk to and not actually talk to any of them. the english language is only 50% of what it was $100 years ago, the age of texting and quicky emails, people don’t communicate. you say we are better of because we don’t live in steitls, Pah! I say bring the steitls back! it is a fact that a steitl worked as an extended family everyone is involved with each other, people actually talked to their neighbor. the steitl you say was backwood, and unevolved, no way….
    Marriage on any level is a 2nd and 3rd fulltime job. marriage IS WORK. a succeful Marriage is ALOT of work! Marriage back in the 14th century was a business contract- a way unite different families together, that was no less sucessful then now when we so called marry for love. Bottom line it is a toss up. because the person you date is not the person you marry.

    Dating is a big ol fake act, you know what is and not out there? you don’t know anybody really, you do not know someone until you have lived with them. we have evloved?? right..- but the divorce rate is 50%, nationally , it less in the frum comunity ( thanks G-d) but still higher than it used to be. that has to do with the society we live in period.

    you can keep looking on the other side of the fence and telling yourself it is greener. i choose to be happy, to settle and love someone. she isn’t perfect, but neither am I… there are better looking, funnier, smarter women out there that i have “more in common with” but what does that have to do with me? I just have realized all that drek is just an illusion, because those people fart and burp, they yell, they have ticks that drive you nuts, you just don’t see it because you don’t know who they are. the person you see its a lie- they play the hypocrite.

    To all that say its because everyone is pressured to get married too soon. Nope. that is just a poor assumtion, case in point, statistically if you get divorced, the odds of getting divorced again almost triples. if what you say is true, then the people the 2nd time around, would be older, smarter, have more expirience, etc. the people that get divorces get more divorces, to me that speaks volumes, it lets you know that it has to do with you, and the decisions you make every day.

    Bottom line
    you can be 20 and be mature and selfless, and you can be 50 and immature and selfish. It has to do with you.

    My wife is a beautiful women that 2 days a just gave me a beautiful daughter our first, i love her greatly as she is my beshert, of whom i respect and honor. but i had no idea who she was until we got married, we have changed both so much, i am not the same she is not the same. at one time i could say we were pressured to get married, but it was a good thing. because we (the controlers of the decisions in our lives) We made it a success, we choose to love eachother, thought we fight, or argue. though we get on eachothers nerves. that is being human, and you have the power to make your mariage a success, you have the power to weather the storm. it takes work but it does work.

    • Michaltastik January 22, 2010, 2:26 AM

      I live in a neighborhood where the men are extra sexist and hit their women and children. When I moved here and here from the Americans, I thought it was animostiy against the foreigners. Then I started hearing from the foreigners.. even a teacher who said the kids come to school with bruises all the time.

  • conservative scifi January 20, 2010, 10:38 PM


    I’m sad you experienced such a horrible marriage, whether your own or your parents. As FrumGer notes, most spouses do not abuse each other. You might benefit from a domestic violence support group or a licensed psychologist, who could help you work through these issues. While I know intellectually that abusers exist, as someone in middle age with many in-laws and married friends, I’ve never seen even the slightest hint of abuse (ie, bruised face, limping, etc.). My inexperience does not negate your pain, but does suggest that abuse is not necessarily the common condition of marriage.

  • duddes02 January 21, 2010, 10:11 AM

    I”m and oddity being 24 and unmarried AND I have been dating someone for a long time. I have countless divorced friends who surprsingly still believe in shidduch dating and are pretty much ready to jump right back into marriage.

    Marriage is more than a wedding- the relationship is much more important.

    Apparently hardly anyone in Copenhagen, Denmark gets married before having babies..etc. Turns out the Copenhagen citizens are the happiest in the world. (The happiness is attributed to alot of factors-jobs, diets,..etc but relationships, not marriage, is key there)

  • Hmm January 21, 2010, 10:26 AM

    I hate to dwell on such a dreary topic, but I think there needs to be some awareness about how much Domestic Violence contributes to the high divorce rates in the Jewish community. I think that DV is more common than most people like to agknowledge, even in ultra-religious circles. According to this article (http://www.jewishannarbor.org/page.aspx?id=14971) and many DV experts, DV occurs in Jewish families at about the same rate as it does in families of other religions – about 15-25%. Contrary to popular belief, Socio-economic class and religiousity do not affect the statistics at all. Additionally, many Jewish women suffer solely from extreme psychological and financial abuse at the hands of their husbands which is more difficult to define, so is widely unreported.

    Where the Jewish community differs (similar to other insular, ultra- religious, ultra- conservative communities) is that was and is so much shame in admitting abuse in a traditional Jewish family that women would deny it and hide it or accept it and never considered divorce as an option. With the more recent institution of Jewish DV Clinics, therapists, political groups, and general awareness in the Jewish Community, women have been empowered to take action and leave men who mistreat them, physically, emotionally, financial or otherwise. That must account for at least a portion of the rise in divorce over the past couple years.

    • DrumIntellect January 21, 2010, 3:38 PM

      As important as it is to raise awareness for women not to “put up” with Domestic Violence, it is equally important (if not more) to raise awareness for men not to “put up” with Domestic Violence.
      Too many men are abused daily by their “special” someone. They don’t report it or take any action because they think it’s part of marriage (or relationships) and it’s acceptable.
      No one has the right to abuse you. Regardless of the perpetrator or whether it’s physical, verbal, emotional, or financial; it’s abuse and it’s wrong.

      • Hmmm January 21, 2010, 10:44 PM

        I partly agree with you, Drum. It’s true that both men and women sometimes resort controlling behavior and behave uncompassionately to their partners, and noone should tolerate that sort of treatment from an intimate partner. Still, this does not detract from the fact men are physical stronger then women and that women, being the childbearers are thrown into an already vulnerable position when the couple decides to have children. Victims of domestic homicide are disporpotionately female (http://www.silentwitness.net/sub/violences.htm). About 1/3 of all female victims of homicide are killed by an intimate partner, where only %3 percent of male victims of homicide are killed by an intimate partner. My point is not to downplay the plight of male victims of DV, but to point out that this is a predominantly an issue which affects women.

        Furthermore, a man does not need to even resort to physical violence in order to frighten his wife. Merely yelling, towering, or slamming doors is sufficient to terrify the weaker partner into submission. By contrast, when women are violent towards men, sure it may be annoying or amusing, but rarely is it frightening or dangerous.

        There’s a double standard, it’s true, but DV against women is just more heinous than the other way around.

        • DrumIntellect January 23, 2010, 7:04 PM


          “Still, this does not detract from the fact men are physical stronger then women”
          This is not always true.

          “women, being the childbearers are thrown into an already vulnerable position when the couple decides to have children.”
          I don’t understand what point you are trying to make. In my personal, and admittedly, completely unscientific, experience, women are the partner that wants to be pregnant and have a child.

          “Victims of domestic homicide are disporpotionately female”
          I don’t think you can determine that statement to be true because men are not trained to recognize when they are being abused. Even when a man is abused, he is unlikely to report it because of stigma and because people will not take it seriously.

          “My point is not to downplay the plight of male victims of DV, but to point out that this is a predominantly an issue which affects women.”
          I don’t think you have established that to be true. Nor do I think you can establish that to be true.

          “Furthermore, a man does not need to even resort to physical violence in order to frighten his wife. Merely yelling, towering, or slamming doors is sufficient”
          This is true both ways.

          “By contrast, when women are violent towards men, sure it may be annoying or amusing, but rarely is it frightening or dangerous.”
          I was basically with you until this sentence, because I’m in favor of all victims (male and female) getting the help and support that they need. This sentence undermines all the sentences you wrote before because you find men being abused to be “annoying or amusing”. I don’t find abuse to be annoying or amusing.

  • Phil January 21, 2010, 10:31 AM


    People in Copenhagen are happy because of Carlsberg 😉

  • FrumGer January 21, 2010, 11:55 AM

    define happiness…..

    humans- who are not instintfully monogomous, could be considered happy to bed multiple partners, having one partner has by in large caused the majority of human domestic unhappiness…. “so to speak”…because we do not naturally want to be monogomous. but what our cravings are and what we are supposed to be doing via Torah, or other belief system, are two different things. in other words the lusts and desires of our animalisic side or our yezter hora, can feel fulfilling, but they are an illlusion.
    Denmark has one of the largest populations of atheists and agnostic, they are certainly not very religious. so why would they gety married? Marriage is a religious ceremony! they have little mamzer kids because they do not believe in G-d… if that makesyou happier fine, they can have it. Goyisher people that are G-dless and live their lives at their own whim and leisure I do not respect, or have any desire to take life tips from..

  • abandoning eden January 21, 2010, 3:58 PM

    i know a non-frum jewish friend currently going the same thing (married last June, separated officially in December and now filing for divorce). In my friend’s case, he didn’t disclose to his wife that he was on anti-depressants until about 2 weeks before the wedding- and she ended up freakin out about it (overreaction IMO) and decided all trust was gone in the relationship or something. Anyways, they had been dating for 3 years and lived together for 2 years before they got married, so it’s not like they were rushing into it- he just was stupid (or afraid? And maybe rightly so if that was her reaction?) and didn’t tell her. Also she’s pretty jappy so I can see why having a less than perfect husband might freak her out.

    I guess the moral of the story is to be completely honest when you are dating (maybe not the first few dates, but before getting engaged) because the truth will always come out in the end, and if it’s a deal breaker for the other person it’s better to know about it before getting married than after. Also, people need to be discussing long term goals and compatibility of those goals with potential spouses, and a lot of young people getting married either don’t know to do that, or don’t realize just how important it can be to have a lasting marriage.

    Then of course there are people who get married for the sake of getting married and having a big wedding, which is a major status symbol (especially among frum people), and after the thrill of the wedding wears off they realize they have to actually live with their spouse.

    • Only ONE thing matters January 21, 2010, 6:52 PM

      You should know that it all boils down to one thing:

      If the sex is good, there will be no divorce, no matter how bad anything else is.

      That is a fact.

      It all comes down to sex.

      • HORNY24/7 January 26, 2010, 5:41 AM


      • gittel October 16, 2011, 2:43 PM

        agree, with that!

      • gittel October 16, 2011, 2:52 PM

        married on the young side, i totally feel that i settled , attraction wise , relationship wise and just emotionally… now in my late 20’s i am paying the price big time. there is no affection , no intimacy… the very thing i wanted so badly and rushed into marriage for, in the end now i have no interest anymore in the hub. so ladies and gents , take your time, be wise, you have your entire life ahead of you… you can be married to the man or woman of your dreams for the next 40 – 50 years . so what if you get married at 29 or 32…. it will be worth it ! Now i could be married for sixty years, but to someone i feel i settled for… is that worth it? my emotional pain and regret is paralyzing…. Be Careful…. SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE!!!!

        • MadMaxInJerusalem October 16, 2011, 11:44 PM

          If you’re really miserable and you’ve done everything you can to try and create attraction and peace in your home then maybe you should divorce. But the thing to remember is that as a woman you have allot of power to direct the nature of the relationship and while some things can be hopeless, in many cases the man will follow where the woman leads, whether it’s in religion, emotion or the bedroom.

  • Why divorce happens January 21, 2010, 5:41 PM

    A woman goes into a marriage expecting the man will change…. but he doesn’t

    A man goes into a marriage expecting that the woman won’t change…. but she does.

    Any questions?

    • Michaltastik January 22, 2010, 2:31 AM

      My mother always told me, “you think that will happen, you’ll get him perfect and someoene will steal him from you.”

      • yankie January 26, 2010, 5:49 AM

        “My mama always told me life is like a box of chocolate; ya never know what you’re gonna get”

    • yankie January 26, 2010, 5:44 AM

      you made my week. you’re a genious.

  • FrumGer January 21, 2010, 8:40 PM

    why divorce happens– Nice one..

  • FrumGer January 21, 2010, 10:52 PM

    hmmm- what hell is financial abuse??

    • Michaltastik January 22, 2010, 2:35 AM

      Unnaturally high control over money… stealing out of the partner’s purse… wallet…

      • Sergey Kadinsky January 22, 2010, 7:58 AM

        It’s when the poorer spouse asks for mediation, but the richer spouse’s family insists on getting a lawyer, and dragging out the process.

        • hmm January 23, 2010, 9:49 PM

          When one partner holds full control over the families money in his/her own name and regulates the others spending, cuts up spouse’s credit cards, cuts off partners health insurance, limits partners use of the family car, makes all major financial decisions without consulting partner, leaving partner with so little cash that it impacts his/her quality of life– or using any of these behaviors as retaliation or in order to manipulate one’s spouse into complying with demands.

  • isabel January 22, 2010, 12:30 AM

    Couples just have to discuss issues before they even think about marriage. It’s something so sacred, and it shouldn’t be abused. I know people who have had arranged marriages and even they take it seriously.

  • Anonymous January 22, 2010, 11:17 AM

    the super chasidim with arranged marriges have the lowest divorce rate. simply brcause roles are very defined and they both know going in that it will take lots hard work and elbow greas e to grow into eachother . . .

  • marty January 22, 2010, 12:35 PM

    maybe if all the gay frum guys didnt feel forced to get married there would be some less divorce too..

  • Shades of Grey January 24, 2010, 2:06 AM

    I worry about the snoring thing. I don’t think I’d get divorced over it, though. I’ve had room-mates that snore, and it can really get to the point of night after night of sleep (even with earplugs). I guess you can ask potential shidduch candidates’ room-mates about it.

  • frum single female January 24, 2010, 9:24 PM

    i have to agree that there is a divorce crisis among twenty-somethings. in my apartment bldg alone i can thing of at least five such cases . im not saying that these couples should not have divorced, but i think that there is a problem in the way couples are being pushed into marriage, or their view of marriage or their naivity or all or none of the above. i dont know why this is happening , but it isnt a good thing and i think that the divorce crisis is much more serious than the so called shidduch crisis.

  • Batsheva February 1, 2010, 2:30 PM

    Divorce should not be taken lightly. Most people feel pain at getting one. So I think it behooves us to judge those that have to make that painful decision. Those that I know that have gotten divorced, did so because that was their only option. Separation could not be avoided. Most of the time one or both people are in a lot of pain. Most of the time, no one knows what truly goes on behind closed doors. Please be supportive of all Klal Yisroel and dont shun anyone.

    • gittel October 16, 2011, 2:53 PM

      so true!

  • jose August 28, 2010, 12:49 PM

    i dont really agree with what you are saying how could you think like that?

  • Tzillah March 29, 2011, 9:45 AM

    My husband and I were young when we got together, just 14, and married young as well. We have always been good partners despite our religious differences. He’s an atheist with a Jewish father, and I converted to Judaism well after we married. The only time it really comes up is during Passover when he insists that he needs bread to survive and I insist that he can live without it.

    Most problems can be worked through, and in our 15 years together we have had to put in a lot of work, but if a marriage isn’t meant to be, it isn’t meant to be. Most of the people, in both of our families, are divorced and I don’t think most of them would have chosen that painful path if they knew it was coming. Less pressure to marry young (in any community, including frum folks) might help people find the right mate, rather than the right-now mate.

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