Friday, January 18, 2008

The Shidduch System: Introducing Aidel Knaidel

What do you do when your parents exert an undue influence on your shidduch life? What do you do when your father wants to have complete control over who you date and marry?

I don't know. Baruch HaShem, that's not my problem. However, it is Aidel Knaidel's problem.

Aidel is a nineteen year old Bais Ya'akov girl, newly-minted from seminary, shined and polished for the shidduch dating scene. However, it seems she has a problem. Her father refuses to let her date anyone she chooses and only approves of choices that he makes or that his friends suggest. Unfortunately, all of them either reject her out of hand or are completely unsuitable for her (by her own estimation).

As she writes:

He only says yes to the boys that he picks out, or that his friend's suggest. And those mostly say no to me, or are completely not shaiich.

I just have no idea what to do. My mother agrees with me on this issue, but we cannot change his mind. He is adamant. And I am at a loss. Of course I have not gone out yet. At this rate, I will not.

And there is another thing. There is one particular boy, who he really wants me to go out with. I probably will end up, for his sake. But I feel like I am being forced into an arranged marriage. Marry him, or do not marry anyone at all. Marry him, or be a disappointment for the rest of your life.

I never knew what it feels like to be a disappointment to one's parents. Now I think I do know. And it kills me.

Aidel,

I feel your pain, I really do. From your posts, you sound like an intelligent, thoughtful person (although the fact that you link to Frumteens scares me). However, IMHO, if you are in a situation where you your parents have a veto power over whom you date, then my guess would be that you are not yet ready for marriage. Remember, *you* are the one getting married, not your father. *You* are the one who has to spend the rest of your life with the man you go under the chuppah with, not your father. You have to recognize that fact. Of course, you can turn to your father for advice on dating and marriage, and you certainly should consider shidduchim proposed by your parents, but recognize the difference between asking for advice and counsel and ceding complete control. It's *your* life, not your father's.

And don't give in to the pressure to get married earlier. You have to get married when it's right for you... not when everyone else thinks it's right for you. For some girls, it can be when they are eighteen, for others, it may not be until later. You're not a nebach if you're still unmarried at 21; don't let anyone else tell you otherwise. Again, it's *your* life, not theirs. *You* have to live with the consequences of your actions, not them. You, yourself, state in the above-referenced post that you are not ready for marriage. You're "dying to get married" and you don't even know why! Don't give in just because your parents, friends or "society" puts pressure on you. You do it when it's right for you -- whether it's tomorrow, next year, five years from now or even later.

I wish you much hatzlacha in your dating career.

The Wolf

2 comments:

Shira Salamone said...

" . . . if he says yes to a boy, I do not have a choice."

I haven't commented on this young lady's post because I don't know quite how to address her directly, but it seems to me that her father is treating her as if she were his personal slave. If you can think of a good way for me to express that thought to her without either frightening her or causing offense, I'd appreciate hearing it.

james dean said...

Ah, another happy divorce waiting to happen.