Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Very Sad Shidduch Story

From the Yeshiva World News Coffeeroom:

Estherh wrote:

I run a chassidish shidduch group. We have 2 girls and one boy on our list that are close to thirty.(not from the same family 3 different cases) No suggestions made are ever good enough for their parents.

What's really sad is not the fact that no potential groom/bride is ever good enough for the parents (well, that is sad... but not the saddest part of this). The really sad part is that these singles who are approaching thirty are still giving their parents veto power over whom they can or cannot date.

Yes, perhaps I just don't understand the cultural system of chassidim that allows for this sort of thing. But if that's the case, I'm curious... at what point do the "kids" get emancipated? Does a fifty year old single still have to ask her father if she can date a guy?

The Wolf

9 comments:

Larry Lennhoff said...

My (non-chassidic) German grandmother held that there was a life long special relationship between a mother and her oldest son. Even after he got married she felt she had first call on his attentions. Dealing with this cultural difference took my parents and my grandmother several years to negotiate.

In some Spanish households the tradition is that the youngest girl does not marry before both her parents die. She is expected to care for them until then, and to be compensated for this by the estate and if necessary by her other siblings.

In Rome, the paterfamilias (eldest male of the family) literally had the power of life and death over the other members of the family, or so I've been told.

Avi Bitterman said...

Question: Were these 30ish year old people financially stable? Or would their parents be the ones paying for the wedding and stuff?

Garnel Ironheart said...

In some Italian families one kid gets picked to be the caregiver for the parents until they die. By then the kid is around 45-55 years old and there's no chance of getting married. It's so sad.

Can't speak about bosy but I don't think that in these cultures the girls ever get a say in who they want to marry. One of my rebbe's daughters was 32 when she finally found someone good enough for her mother. The hardest part was watching 4 of her younger sisters get married and start popping out babies while she was still single.

Ahavah Gayle said...

If they're still living at home and/or require me to still support them (i.e. they don't have a real job) then no matter how old they are I would say I have veto power over *some* parts of their lives regarding financial issues. I would probably not include choosing a spouse amoung these - but if the person was really totally unsuitable), I would be hesitant to continue providing financial support.

Anonymous said...

Be careful Ahava. They get to pick your nursing home.

ProfK said...

Sorry Anonymous, the kids don't get to pick the nursing home. We have both living wills and "real" legal wills and we have made the decisions, far in advance, as to where we will go and how it will be paid for. We learned this from our own parents. Any "adults" who leave important matters like this to chance (and to their children) deserve what they might get.

Anonymous said...

ProfK: You are assuming that the nursing home you want will have beds when you need them. It doesn't always work that way. The only way to be sure you get the placement you want is to buy into an assisted living facility that also has a nursing home and the contract guarantees a placement.
I hope you never need a nursing home, but I'm sure everyone in a nursing home never thought they would end up their.
Anyhow, you missed the point of my remark which was in response to the mother who wanted to exert control over her daughter even as an adult. The point was to remind her that someday she might have to rely on her adult children, and that "even if you are an adult, if you live in my house or get money from me I can control you" attitude may come back to haunt her.

SephardiLady said...

I know a very successful single (mid-30's) with both smicha and advanced degrees who does not go out without parental approval. The entire thing is tragic as no one is good enough. I did tell him I thought he was old enough to take the bull by the horns.

Shira Salamone said...

I, too, think it's strange that a person who's consider old enough to marry is consider too young to choose his/her own spouse. At what point, if any, is a person living in such a community considered an adult capable of making major life decision for him/herself?

I'm trying to decide whether or not to blog about shidduch dating, since it's rather outside my bailiwick as a Conservative Jew. My own post, should I choose to write it, will look at shidduch dating from a different angle: Since a shidduch date is, basically, one in which someone else recommends a person that the dater has never laid eyes on, and the dater takes his/her chances, how much different and/or better is a shidduch date than a good old-fashioned blind date?