The Matzav Shmoooze: The Shidduch Crisis and 29 Divorces

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shidduch-infoDear readers,

I recently heard a radio program that interviewed the noted therapist, Mrs. Yael Respler. She was asked if the shidduch crisis is as bad as people make it out to be. Her answer was terrifying. Not only are there thousands of boys and girls of marriagable age not married, but in the city of Lakewood alone, she said, their were 29 divorces this past year. The reason she gave for such a huge number was that people who are getting married are doing so for the wrong reasons. It is either for money, looks or yichus, and has nothing to do with compatability.

I would like to add that I think some of these failed marriages were done out of desperation by parents who can’t deal with the pressures of shidduchim, especially if they have a few children lined up in a row. They then take the first person who says yes to them. This is the sad reality.

And the reality will continue until things change drastically. We are headed in a dangerous direction.

A Concerned Yid

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The Matzav Shmoooze is a regular feature on Matzav.com that allows all readers to share a thought or analysis, long or short, one sentence or several paragraphs long, on any topic, for readers to mull over and comment on. Email submissions to editor@matzav.com.

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62 COMMENTS

  1. maybe another reason, the chinuch we give our children is a very positive one. and parents rebbis schools are runing around the children and when you have two positive get together it makes a negative.a child must hear the word No.

  2. Totally agree. A shidduch can’t be forced and therefore, guys especially, stay away from pushy shadchanim. There are too many divorces and broken engagements that could have been avoided if there wasn’t the pressure to marry right now and to fit a square peg in a round hole.
    Also, having the right hadracha is a very important ingredient that often gets left out and causes these issues.

  3. Hakodush Boruch Hu Is ????? ?????? and who are we to say our opinion why things don’t work out, ??”? if its bashert it can be any of the above and if its not, it doesn’t matter who it is.
    Your point is valid but not that it determines the facts.

  4. Its not from brilliancy that this issue is being discussed, rather out of boredom, leave the running of the world up to Hashem, and wat ever will be, will be
    From your transcript I understand that you’re neither rich or too much of a meyuchas, so sir don’t worry,…. G-d will run his world as he has done for the past 5772 years. And let us all mind our own business. And as I understand why you are mentioning Lakewood over other cities is due to the fact that the percentages equals a higher number, but its still the same percent elsewhere.

  5. Ah, and what about parents? What about the fact that they have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to support their married children? Is THAT normal?

  6. Until the Hamon Am stops referring to unmarried girls as “girls” and not as the more dignified term of “young woman”, the problems will continue. (I have read in such laughable heimishe papers referring to 27 year old “girls” who are not married)

    What we have is a profound lack of respect for these women, as we are treating them as some sort of a commodity. So its no wonder we force them into inappropriate marriages. DR. Respler (she is a DR. by the way) is 100% correct. Not to mention the entire Shiddush system is corrupt and only exacerbates the problem. Kudos to Chanaya Weissman.

    The problem is in the attitude, and that is where it begins. Until the communal attitude is given this needed adjustment – expect the problem to get worse.

  7. People don’t marry people and get divorced because of the Shidduch crises.
    What happened to Hakodosh Boruch Hu being part of the picture?
    There may be a crises.
    But HAshem’s hand still guides Shidduchim, and it is correct to believe that the person one married was one’s Bashert.
    I understand everyone’s concern for the Shidduch Crises, although it is a slight lack of Bitachon, but this goes just too far.
    THere will always be those that marry for the wrong reasons.
    We can’t blame divorces on the Shidduch Crises, we can only daven that we marry the right Zivug, and that we have a Sholom Bayis, with a home that is a Binyan Adai Ad.

  8. You THINK you know why these marriages failed? Do you know or not? You throw us some arbitrary explanation when you really have no idea.

    Besides, it is stupid and misleading to quote 29 divorces without saying how many marriages there are. A hundred? A thousand? Ten thousand? Partial statistics are for fools.

  9. Some of them are pushed into marriage. Then they wake up a couple months later and realize they are not goiing anywhere in their lives.

  10. TO ALL: This is definitely an important issue which needs to be dealt with; what do you suggest we do? (Everyone, please add in your opinions and suggestions.

  11. The more people rush to get married, ignore the blinking ‘red light’ warning signals, and try to avoid becoming a bogus statistic, the more girls will become mambers of the divorce statistic.

    Don’t settle for garbage!

  12. Its so obvious, that the whole dating business needs to stop, there was no such thing as dating by us Yidden up until 60 years ago when the communities in Chutz L’Aretz started following the goyish mentality of dating.

  13. There is no shidduch crisis!
    There is a BRAIN CRISIS!!!
    Ever get involved in shiduchim?
    The people out there are pure crazy
    Almost every girl or boy has such a specific list of what they are looking for that it makes you think maybe they don’t want to get
    Married after all.
    Example : I want a boy who learns all day BUT not do yeshivah or he learns all day but also loves to eat snack at a Cafe
    With his wife Sunday ??? ??????
    Example #2 a boy that doesn’t learn in yeshiva but always has a Seder with him
    Huh?!?? That does not exist otherwise he would be in yeshiva !!!
    Or crazy examples like he should be making a Ron of money but not into money?
    Or “. Why can’t she have a Prada bag and be as grim as Rebbetzin kanievsky”?
    I can go on and on about all the crazy things the boys the girls and parents demand. It’s no shock that these people don’t get married.
    For the girls and boys that don’t get “red” shiddichim it’s because you don’t fit anyone’s crazy mold .
    As for divorce oh yeah maybe be a little more mentshlich all around you won’t have such a problem

  14. Another major reason for divorce is the people who hide information when asked. I would venture to say, that most of the divorces happen because one side hid from the other side something detrimental. And many times they are told to hide these flaws with permission from their daas Torah.
    And I am speaking from experience.
    I have formulated a Question which all should ask, do you know anything which you were told not to say unless specifically asked? This way I hope to get the truth but if somebody hides something it’s up the friends or rebeim to notify the parents.

  15. People want out of a marriage too fast. They aren’t ready to commit themselves to a life with another person. The youth of today are self centered and care for themselves more and their perception of happiness than trying to make a marriage work. There should be mandatory premarital counseling in every girl’s and boy’s high schools, yeshivas and seminaries.

  16. I know too many good young men in yeshiva who dont get red shidduchim please bec anyways nobody has a decent solution for the girls,lets try to red more shidduchim to the boys witch will cause in more girls getting married.HUH.

  17. I feel that a large problem is that our society neglects to teach our children independence and responsibility. Marriage is by definition taking on responsibility as a unit for a couples’ future. A couple grows together when they have to make decisions together that will impact their future. When such decisions are relegated to parents out of necessity (as the parents are providing the support) or out of a lack of readiness on the part of the couple to make responsible and mature decisions, the marriage is liable to fail.

  18. Im a divorcee after 3 years of gehennom
    I dont believe for a second that people want out of marraige too fast as each is a case by case. We are definiately living in a weaker generation. 29 divorce is 29 too many O send my condolences to the families.

  19. how many more are unhappy but stay together because they do not want to be divorced? To all those who are saying this is not true because everything is bashert, we have the concept of derech hateva and Hashem makes most things happen al pi derech hateva, so we too have to work with teva. If someone says I will not try to do anything because everything is in the hands of Hashem so whatever is supposed to come to me will, very rarely will anything happen. We are not on that madrega and we have to work to make things happen. We have to have emunah that what happens then is what is bashert. We are supposed to try. When our idea of trying becomes distorted such as what is going on in shidduchim then the results cam also be distorted. Maybe we are ignoring what Hashem means to be bashert in favor of what we would like to be bashert.

  20. Yes, Hashem runs the world…no question. However, have you considered the possibility that Hashem created this shidduch crisis (because anyone who wants to stick their head in the sand and say there isn’t one is dilusional). People are always shouting when some tragedy occurs..”do teshuva, make changes in yourself!” Well, people….. it is time to look at this shidduch crisis and realize that we are pushing out children to date too early, and parents, and girls especially, are so relieved to be “done” with the dating scene, they marry just anyone.

  21. Any solution, or just criticism? Anyone grasping for straws to attack the Torah world?

    The reason there are so many divorces is not due to a lack of compatibility. The Torah does not justify “lack-of-compatibility” as a reason for divorce.

    The reason for the rise in divorces is the assumption people have that they’re deservent of whatever gratification they desire. If they aren’t getting it out of their marriage (because they aren’t selflessly investing into their marriage) they opt for divorce. Then their true colors come into full bloom in how they proceed with the divorce. It’s selfishness, nothing else.

    http://www.shemayisrael.com/jewishobserver/archives/june/interview.htm

  22. There are so many girls who are looking for good, sincere learning boys without all these hakpados!!! I know girls who got married to their first boy- not until the age of 22! This was not due to pickiness- she’s a great girl who did not have boys being redt to her! Her only choice was to sit and wait- and BH when one did come it was the right one! I know way too many who are just sitting and waiting- without being picky abt money or yichus!

  23. With all due respect to mrs respler but her answer is mayb the cause of one percent of divorces, in my proffesional opinion a lot of divorces are caused by low tolerance and bad middos.

  24. To no. 6, the Tachlis is, that you just don’t put any pair of pants together with just any skirt, and certainly not for the reasons above. A great but unfortunate article, and oy vay, how true it is, especially about the pushy shadchonim. To no. 21 how true it is they get that HETER from Daas Torah.
    May all of us be Zoche to find the right and proper shiduchim for all of children in Klal Yiroel, and in the Zchus of people being honest about the information that the give or receive, you will see, more shiduchim being done, and less divorces happening.

  25. The points in this article are valid and should be taken seriously. However, #22 is also right at least as far as some of the divorces. Do you think all marriages in the past were so great? I know that the couples of the war generation, my parents and their peers, were not in such happy marriages, but they stuck it out. I’m not saying anyone should suffer and that sometimes divorce isn’t warrented. I just think that some spoiled kids want out as soon as there’s any problem.
    What I don’t understand is why the rabboinim let such divorces go through instead of counseling the couple.

  26. if we dont nip this in the bud we’ll have more people divorced than married, just like in the outside velt. with terroristic consequences

  27. Very sad. Who knows if these numbers are true or maybe it is more and maybe less.
    In any event, there is no shidduch crises, there exists more than ever a MIDOS CRISES.
    The word beshert means what the RSO has decreed not what we perceive to be good.

  28. I fully agree with the “Shadchan” above. The problem is that the boys/girls today have “low tolerance” (read that spoiled, self-centered, and the es-kumpt-mich syndrom)and bad middos (read that as ga’avah). But the parents are to blame equally for mixing in, and their ga’avah problems (“they won’t tell me what to do”!) – instead of loking whats best for the couple.
    Sure there other reasons too – but this represents the lions share.
    Plus the fact that if many of these husbands would go to work, instead of lazing around in kolel and forcing the wife to travel to NYC to work (while he is still lazing in bed and davening in Satmar at 10-11 – there would also be less divorces. “Habatola meivi lidei shimoom!

  29. Money (or the lack of it) is the cause of most divorces today. Sure it is Hashem that makes shiduchim but we were also told NOT to mess with the process that he created. We did not listen. For the love of money we (everyone – this includes the parents, schools, etc.) turned the entire “system” upside down. WE created the crisis because we thought we could do better. Everyone makes a little money and everyone is happy. Well, we were wrong and instead of admitting it and undoing (simple reverse) we are now listening to the same people that caused this mess for ideas on how to get us out of it. Babbling on and on about age gaps, freezers, and other narishkeit. We really are a bunch of idiots and our children have to pay the price.

  30. Only after the “excitement” of the (too short)engagement and the circus-like chasuna do they realize that the entire relationship is based on make-believe. And that’s the problem in a nutshell.

  31. lets get one point clear. if we truly are striving to act as hashem wants us to, then we look at shidduchim and lifes challenges differently

  32. I have been involved in many cases…. I can tell you that a huge problem is that, unlike the boys (who have a rosh yeshiva), the girls have no-one to guide them. They end up getting advise from foolish ppl including other depressed and broken women and they drive their lives down the tubes. NEBACH!!

    May the rebono shel olam have mercy on his holy nation!!!

  33. This is NASI’s fault. they encourage allot of shallowness by saying the whole thing is the age gap and they create a sense of desperation.

  34. ATTENTION PARENTS: STOP RUINING YOUR MARRIED SON OR DAUGHTERS LIFE WITH DAMAGING REMARKS ABOUT THEIR SPOUSE . ITS KILLING US !!!

    signd
    YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER IN LAW

  35. Why is it assumed that these divorces were all due to bad matches, brought about by the shidduch “crises”???

    People get divorced due to being IMMATURE.
    People get divorced due to being CARELESS.
    People get divorced due to being SPOILED.
    People get divorced due to needing a change of scenery, like you might chose to change jobs.
    People get divorced due to comparing their spouse to others, who outwardly appear to be better. “He only buys me cupcakes on my birthday, not 7 layer ziegelman cakes like my father, brother in law, uncle, and my friends husbands! A Shandah!!”

    .

    …And some people actually get divorced for legitimate reasons, such as Domestic Abuse, horribly meddling parents, and real incompatibility.

    People forget that marriage is something to work on and achieve happiness through…not something to dump the moment you just get in the mood.

  36. Young people today statistically have the best marriages of any generation. They also make the best spouses,communicate more honestly than ever,try to get married for the right reasons, and get out of marriages when they are not happy. To all of you under 35, don’t let all this criticism get to you- you’re doing great!

  37. Like some others mentioned, the Divorce Crisis is a result of today’s society throw-away culture. If everything isn’t peachy-keen and perfect, too many opt for divorce.

  38. Hmmmmm… according to Onlysimchas (I know, not exactly a valid/reliable source of info), there were 214 engagements in Lakewood this year (search “engagements” in “Lakewood, NJ” from “1/1/11 – 1/11/11). Of course, there were more than that… These are only the engagements that made it onto onlysimchas, and G-d knows some ppl have lives too busy to care…

    29/214=.13, or a 13% divorce rate. Now, given the above lack of reliability, we can assume the divorce rate is actually much lower than that…

    Is that really a crisis? It doesn’t say anywhere that the 29 divorces where of newlyweds… Maybe there were 29 divorces among 10,000 married couples of various ages?

    This is fear mongering and idiotic. What correlation do the “thousands” of singles have to the “29” divorces? 29/1000s = a verrrrry low number… Someone clearly isn’t thinking.

    Shame on you, Matzav, for allowing this “schmooze” to jump on the crisis bandwagon. I hope you have the nerve to publish this post.

  39. The problem is our modern lifestyle. I bet good money that 99% of the divorced couples have the latest cellphones, computers, luxury cars, clothes etc. The final 1% is the result of a sad case of mental illness exposed after marriage. The Rabbonim need to get involved. Yeshivos need more Moshgichim.

  40. I think the divorce crisis is the result of the mishigas that only exists in America. Where you DATE. In Eretz Yisroel, Europe and every where else in the Charedi world you dont date. Parents do thorough investigations, and then the girl and boy meet 4 or 5 times. It’s bafflling to think of the responses shadchunim get from their suggested shiduchim. ”oh I just didnt feel that click” ”oh I’m not sure what I dislike about her I’m still trying to work it out” these are responses shadchunim recieve after 3 months of DATING. Is this normal? Is this a Torahdigi lifestyle? And the American boys shun the Europeans and Israelis for making such ”quick” decisions. You fools, your messing around and hurting a bas yisroel or a boy is a grave sin. She’s/He’s not for you, drop it after the third meeting! This need for clicking and feeling a thousand percent comfortable after 3 months is a fallacy- a joke! No wonder shiduchim can’t materialise when this is all one big joke! Lets get serious about this and shadchunim should make ultimatums 4 meetings and thats it. Parents should of course do months of research prior to that!

  41. Ever wondered why there’s no major ”Shiduch/ divorce crisis” in Europe and Eretz Yisroel and in the chasidishi velt? This Dating business doesn’t exist! A 20-23 year old can’t make decisions even if she/he’s big and mature and already met the boy/girl for 3 months already. Because parents have a much better understanding of whats involved in life. Their ultimate decision and after 4 or 5 meetings hence thorough research by the parents is way more responsible and long lasting. I thing the lack of this in America is to blame for the ”crisis”! The biggest proof is that in Europe and Eretz the ”crisis” is noway near as prevelent as it is in the U.S.A. amongst the Charedim.

  42. I think the divorce crisis is the result of the mishigas that only exists in America. Where you DATE. In Eretz Yisroel, Europe and every where else in the Charedi world you dont date. Parents do thorough investigations, and then the girl and boy meet 4 or 5 times. It’s bafflling to think of the responses shadchunim get from their suggested shiduchim. ”oh I just didnt feel that click” ”oh I’m not sure what I dislike about her I’m still trying to work it out” these are responses shadchunim recieve after 3 months of DATING. Is this normal? Is this a Torahdigi lifestyle? And the American boys shun the Europeans and Israelis for making such ”quick” decisions. You fools, your messing around and hurting a bas yisroel or a boy is a grave sin. She’s/He’s not for you, drop it after the third meeting! This need for clicking and feeling a thousand percent comfortable after 3 months is a fallacy- a joke! No wonder shiduchim can’t materialise when this is all one big joke! Lets get serious about this and shadchunim should make ultimatums 4 meetings and thats it. Parents should of course do months of research prior to that!

  43. #54: firstly, do you know how many engagements went up and then came off of Only Simchas because they were broken? Only Simchas deletes engagements if they don’t follow through. Secondly, there were definitely more than 29 divorces. The point is not the numbers. The point is that now I don’t ask people when their wedding is because I’m afraid it didn’t go through. The point is that at the age of 21 I have 2 friends that are divorced already. What has happened to commitment and maturity?????

  44. As the situation has reached beyond a Crisis

    Situation with regard to all spectrems and age-

    levels of our society; Why is there not an

    effort to allocate a unit of one of our

    organizations to deal with presenting

    possible solutions to this

    crisis???

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