A Reader Writes: A Shidduch Dilemma – Should I Continue?

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head-in-handsDear Editor,

I have a serious shidduch quandary and since it appears that Matzav.com is the central place for shidduch-related discussions, I will present my problem, in brief, here. Any words of advice are appreciated.

I have dated a girl twice. So far, everything has gone well. I have no problems and I am willing – and even eager – to continue dating. But something has surfaced that has thrown me and my parents for a loop.

We have discovered that in a previous shidduch for a different daughter, the prospective mechutan had promised a certain amount of monetary support for a certain number of years. How much and for how long is not important at all. What is important is that within the first year, the mechutan reneged. He simply stopped giving what he had promised. (It does not appear to be because of financial reasons.) Whether his original promise was just a ploy to get his daughter married or not is not clear. We have confirmed this information 100%.

So, dear Matzav readers, we are confused. We approached the shadchan and shared our concerns, but she says that he is a man of his word. In fact, though we didn’t ask about money, we were told through the shadchan that he would be giving x amount for x number of years should our shidduch come to fruition. The shadchan swears up and down that this is what he has promised and that this is what he will give, notwithstanding whatever we may have heard about a previous commitment to a different child that wasn’t kept.

Now, understand that our dilemma is not about whether we will get a certain amount of money. The issue here is not about money. My parents are okay financially, and though it is customary for the girl’s father to provide some form of support during the first few years of marriage, my parents could probably step in and do that if it was ever really necessary.

The issue here is the trustworthiness of this potential father-in-law of mine. I need to know that I can trust and respect him. But how can I respect someone who either can’t keep his word or will say things to get what he needs –  in this case, getting his previous daughter married?

On the other hand, perhaps I don’t really know what went on, though I have gotten the information from a brother of the son-in-law who was left hanging out to dry – reliable, factual information that was clearly letoeles for a number of reasons.

So, again, this is not a money issue or me and my parents asking for an oath of thousands of dollars per month, plus a house, a car, a yacht, and who knows what. It comes down to the emes, the honesty, the trustworthiness of the girl’s father.

We are in a quandary because the girl is super, from a fantastic family, and the father has an excellent reputation. But he has this blemish that we are aware of. How can I look at a man who doesn’t keep his word? Or am I to be dan lekaf zechus despite hearing 100% reliable information otherwise?

Any suggestions or guidance would be appreciated.

Confused From Flatbush


  1. “We are in a quandary because the girl is super, from a fantastic family, and the father has an excellent reputation. But he has this blemish that we are aware of. ” thats a contradiction. If she is a SUPER girl then you marry her without financial considerations. The girl is key. You are not marrying the father! Now you will say that the girls is affected by such a father, then she is not SUPER. If she is a “SUPER” girl then who cares about money. I wasn’t looking for money when I got married. My parents were broke. I learnt for three years in Kollel boruch hashem with mesirus nefesh. The girl is key not the money.

  2. If its confirmed that he renegged on his prior commitment for no reason, then get out of the shidduch.
    Like you correctly said, he is making promisses to you to get his daughter engaged.

    If he backs out once your married, then even if you dont need the money, there will still be a severe damper on your marriage, especially gievn that its in its early stages.

    You will feel hurt and betrayed and lied to, and his daughter will feel inferior , and it will cause strain on the marriage.

    So do your due diligence and verify what happened, and if it turns out that the potentioal father in law did this without good reason, or had planned to do it all along , then stay away.

    And get in touch with me.

    You sound like a nice guy, and I have a huge stash of good girls for you. No problem.

  3. cont… when it comes to money you cant believe what you hear. Also a competent shadchan can get to the bottom of the story

  4. If you like the girl and she is amazing call the Shadchan and tell him you are only willing to marry her if the parents will give NO support. You will be better off that way.

  5. and never asked for any support nor did I get any. I am way happier than all my friends who got support and their in-laws opinion on everything in their life.

  6. Sorry to be a skeptic, but anyone who believes a word of the paragraph that begins “Now, understand that our dilemma is not about whether we will get a certain amount of money…” is hopelessly naive. It’s always about the money, especially when people fall all over themselves saying “it’s not about the money.”
    Yaakov Avinu got involved with father-in-law who was less than trustworthy, and how did that work out for him? The Shivtei ‘Kah.’

  7. Maybe the schadchan is the one who is over stating the amounts and situstion. Some shadchonim are known to do this

  8. Have the shadchan ask directly.
    When someone renages on a promise, financial or not, there should be an explanation. This will damper your relationship with the father in law and will affect your marriage adversely.

  9. This is an issue you should be discussing with your Rov in private! You shouldn’t be airing your dirty laundry in public.

  10. for your dignity you should be assured thay you will get a normal nadan its not something started in america but way before you dont need to be a bargain for someone

  11. He WOULD Get a part time job. but if he did, then the GIRLS side will drop the shidduch. also he might need a part time job ON TOP OF WHAT HER FATHER IS GIVING. Why are we in such denial.

  12. I agree to post #2. This is a shayla for Da’as Torah, not for the opnions of Da’as ba’al habayis hepech da’as Torah

  13. The key phrase in this whole post is “It does not APPEAR to be for financial reasons.” Not everything appears as it is. It can, in fact, be that this is precisely the reason he reneged – because he really doesn’t have the money.

    Rav Chaim Brisker says on the posuk “Hanosein imrei shefer” – Many pledge but do not actually give. One who gives, his original verbal commitment is beautiful.

    I would judge him favorably and say that he would love to keep his word and fulfill his pledge; however, due to our tumultuous state of the economy, he, like many others have simply had their investments take a nosedive and simply can’t pay.

    May the Ribono Shel Olam grant you Siyata D’Shmaya with making the right decision and may find your zivug hagon b’karov mamesh.

  14. Pretend she is a yesoma, and look at whatever money you get as a favor, and budget it as extra, because it will disappear any day.

  15. You should most probably stop dating her. It doesn’t sound like you are ready to get married. You should get married when you are able to support a wife. Then you can find the best girl available even if she doesn’t come from money. If all that you are basing the shidduch is on money then it is doomed to fail.

  16. Support creates can many problems. A. parents not keeping promises. B. Parents not supporting enough. C. One side demanding more than the other side can afford because they are ‘ balabatish’. D. Parents being controlling. E. Girls not getting jobs. F. Boys being dependant. G. One side having less say in the Simcha proceedings. H. Wife thinking she has something over the husband because her parents support. I . Parents suddenly ending support leaving the kid with no education , job experience , and a few kids. J. I think you get my point. support is a good thing for a very select few. Both when it comes to couples and parents. Why are most couples needing support? Because A guy who doesnt need support. ie has a job will get turned down most of the time. It is a long discussion how many guys are cut out for learning , but for starters , suffice it to say that 20 percent of guys in yeshiva, put on tefillin today in the afternoon. If you think im lying. ask a working guy. he will verify it. Ask a learning guy , he will lie and say 5 percent to protect his image. Ask an honest learning guy and he will probably up the percentage. I just have a conservative number.

  17. “Loshon Hara – Lamed hei
    Straight to Gehinnom the easy way.”

    That’s what the kids used to chant.

    You’re accepting what could be loshon hara – and what could be motzei shem ra. So why are you so concerned about emes?

    Have you tried asking the girl’s father? Perhaps he could give you a more reliable answer than all those others. Frankly, if I were the girl’s father I would tell you to get lost. You don’t seem to have too much common sense.

    Unless, of course, this article is a blind, and the real purpose is to provoke a discussion, which you have in fact done.

  18. Of course he should be discussing this in a public forum! Let the world know how ridiculous the system of support is! Unless you give money up front its not worth it.

  19. if the girl is really a super girl – i would tell you to continue – this is a definite chisaron – but it is not unheard of – that someone had to promise money for a shidduch and then backed out – it’s not nice, it’s not yashrus, but i would not call him an evil conniving person – it could be the pressure of doing a shidduch that made him be optimistic about what he could giv- it could be he said he will try to give- it could be he wanted to give but didn’t realize that it would be too hard – it’s sad but many people have their own ‘justifiable’ point of what yashrus really is – JUST BE AWARE – read the fine print – you can’t really really trust his word – so you won’t depend on him – keep your eyes open, and if the shidduch is still good – and there are many many factors, then go ahead and good luck!

  20. By posting your dilemna online, it doesn’t seem like you are the type of person who sits and learns all day. You are from the ‘minority’ of learning guys living off the fat of the land. My suggestion to you is to get a job and stop whining. If you were a real serious guy, or for that matter the other son-in-law, i doubt he would of stopped the support.

  21. This problem could only come to be because the other son-in-law expected to be supported. Do you really think this is justified?

    In my opinion, you should not marry as long as you are not able to support a family.
    However, if you say “no, I prefer to get married early, my parents would by for my studies anyway”, so be it, but than they should pay, not your parents in law.

    So I think that this problem shows a seriously twisted mentality on your part. I would not worry too much about the father-in-law to be. Just do not accept money from him right from the start, and you will not be disappointed.

  22. I was fairly quiet lately. Since last time I spoke midwestener and others bashed me. Get Ready because I will say something much more radical. 20 percent of frum jews are currently suffering from some type of depression or anxiety disorder. For those of you who dont relate to it. depression kind of mitigates your responseablity for your actions. depression is not just that your very sad. its much more than that .look it up. If a depressed person beats up someone half to death.he may be less guilty than a non depressed person missing a minyan. In hashems eyes. There is a higher incidents of huge aveiros (use your imagination )going on in our community then previously Clearly it is a result of this depression. The main cause of this depression has to do with the system of learning(?) and support. Essentially the majority of people who knowingly participate in the system are worse in hashems eyes than the father, father in law, boy , girl, that does heinious sins as a result of being a victim of the system. Today there is much awareness about how damaging the system is. So no one can pretend they dont know. this goes for seminary teachers, girls, their familys. and yes, boys who dont have the strength to get up and do what their supposed to do.

  23. Another question.

    You’ve dated this girl TWICE.

    How do you know she’s super? How do you know the two of you are even compatible?

    It does sound as if you are a little worried about the support. Why? You said your own family will take care of it if necessary. Are you worried that if you don’t get the amount you think you’re “worth” that you’re being cheated?

    If I were this girl I would dump you now. No third date, just “Good-bye – hope you find someone ‘good enough’ for you.”

  24. Do, Do Not, Do, Do Not, Do, Do Not, Do Do, Do Not Do Not, Do marry the girl if she is as great as you describe, Do not take even a red cent from your future Shver.

    Incidentally why is a Shver called a Shver and a son-in-law a Aidem? After you get married you come to your Shver and you say, “You promised this and that where is it”? Your Shver answers “Aidem Tayare, do you have Aidem”? The Aidem answers “No I have no Aidem, however Shver that you did not promise it to me”!

  25. if ur crazy enough to post ur “shaileh” on the internet, then its invey hagefen vinvey hagefen! go for it! mazal tov

  26. When I left yeshiva i thought I would be able to deal with the nesyonos of leaving yeshiva better than wasting my time in yeshiva. I was wrong. In yeshiva you have people with you dealing with the same issues. My advice to you is stay in yeshiva. The girls really rather a guy who is pretending then a working boy. trust me. I know.

  27. Let us believe this is not about money but as the poster says, about trust. One of my kids married a super spouse, who we love dearly and whose parents made various promises, not all connected to money. Even before the chassene they stared playing up. I asked my Rov what to do and followed his darchei shalom advice. The other side clearly took that as a sign of weakness as they started doing more things they said they would not and not doing things they said they would. Again I was advised, and took the advice, to go bedarchei shalom and not personally rock the boat but to try and get someone else, who we know the other side respected, to intervene. It worked up to a very minor point. Now after they are married the other side have failed to live up to the financial obligations they voluntarily accepted. B”H our kids have enough to live on but the feelings of betrayal that they both, husband and wife, have are placing strains on the marriage. We were warned before the shidduch that these were people whose emes point was movable but we discounted it and/or got hooked on the ‘it’s the girl that counts’ idea. However family is very important in our frum circles. My advice to you is not to go further with this shidduch until and unless you sort this out. That may mean understanding that there are no financial promises as you say this is not a money issue. If there are no promises there are none to break. If there are other issues, as there were with us, not related to money, then in a sense you have a more serious problem and my advice is to walk away now unless you get very satisfactory answers to what happenned in the last shidduch.

  28. Yitzchok Swartz, i like your reply.

    when one has such a sofek, one goes to a comptent rabbi and ask him

    i was at rabbi david abuchatira with a friend on thursday, his yougest daughter was offered a shiduch where he had to pay 155 and the other party was in hard times and offered only 25K
    the rav to go ahead, the sheafa will come from u.
    with amuna u will do just fine

  29. Hey I am honest. I will give you nothing. Being that money is not an issue and my daughter is truly an amazing girl, you have Alle Maalos by me. Great Girl, Honesty, and money from your parents.

  30. What does get a job have to do with anything all you people have a chip on your shoulder and yes this boy has a valid piont he siad point clear he doesnt need the girls money his parents can help him if nessary -or he can get a job if he chooses to but he is worried about the father being dishonest -Not only can a peson be dishonest with money lots of things happen in life he can be dishonest with other things maybe thats what he is trying to bring out and yes the girl needs her parents support i do not monetary and her husbands supoort means sholom bais isnt only between husband and wife it can be among the whole greater mishpacha if you dont have the greatest relationship with you inlaws or parents yes you can still live but going into something that has worning lights is something you should speak to a rav about just think clearly and no one try to pin thier own agenda here that wasnt the point everyone should be matzlich in all that they do!!!

  31. Here’s my solution that will also help the AGE GAP: Marry a girl a few years OLDER than you (wow! what a novel idea!!). She will already have a degree, maybe even have 100K saved up, and the maturity to take on the achrayus of a husband in learning!!

  32. Yashir koach to all the posters. This is a constructive discussion. People are thoughtful and speaking to the point and there is very little name-calling or coarseness.

    Let’s have other talk-backs follow the same pattern.

  33. If you are talking about support, presumably you are in yeshiva and familiar with the concept of daas Torah. Why are you asking strangers instead of speaking to one of your rebbeim?



  35. Ladies and gentleman the system is broken and must be fixed. I come from a generation where it was expected that the maaired couple would be able to support themselves and not rely on the parents. When are we going to get out of the “support” mindset? I understand that in Europe the Kallah’s side “supported” the young couple; by having them live in the same house with them for a number of years. This system of having parents support the young couple while still paying schar limud for their youner children is BANKRUPTING many families. It is time to say ENOUGH.

  36. Rachel R,

    You wrote “Frankly, if I were the girl’s father I would tell you to get lost. You don’t seem to have too much common sense.”

    Nasty, no?

    Is this what you call “thoughtful..very little name-calling or coarseness”?

    I least we can enjoy the comic relief :).

  37. I love these comments. Agent Emes says you sound like a nice guy- and nice enough to find you a stash of good girls, while Rachel R had much less complimenting words.
    My question to both of you (A.E. and R.R.) how can either of you size up a person from just one question? There is a whole lot more to the story either way.
    I get a kick out of people who complain about shidduchim and then they get letters back trying to red them other shidduchim- how can you tell anything about the person from one letter? On the other hand, how can you condemn someone from just a letter either?
    let’s be realistic and not just go by our gut emotions.
    As to the letter writer- please ask a rav- as you can see- the people here have opposing thoughts and you won’t get a truthful response with so few details you are providing. There has to be a lot more to the story and you won’t find it here!

  38. my guess is, the father-in-law is a difficult, and strong-minded, make sure his daughter accepts that, because chances are you’re not going to get along with him.

  39. My father in law did that to us (reneged on promised support of 5 years) because he got angry at my parents for reasons too long to detail here, and I myself did not see eye to eye with him on a number of issues (how to use my money, for one). However, he supports my wife’s brother just beautifully, and has been doing so for 6 years now. So … that might be the case scenario by your potential, too. Find out why he stopped giving money and if those reasons would apply to you. It’s not always a matter of honesty, but sometimes a matter of policy. Although what my father in law did to us is unforgivable, he was not motivated by dishonesty, rather by self-dictated, immutable principles, which is how he lives his whole life.

    Good luck

  40. To Social Worker’s View:
    I am sorry for coming on strongly to you. Let me say that you are right- there are flaws in this system.
    I have one daughter who married a kollel boy and one who refuses to marry anyone resembling a kollel boy.
    I will not force her to do so and will work around what she wants.
    No one said that every girl has to marry someone who is learning and if a boy feels threatened by that, he should speak to a proper rav for proper hadracha. Let him earn a good living and make time for learning each day- even if it’s something like Daf Yomi- doesn’t have to be a huge seder.
    There are unfortunately many frum Jews suffering from depression/anxiety- some of the most special people in all types of communities across the world- ranging from rich to poor, yeshivish to modern, young and old,… You can’t only blame it on the learning gap- it comes from all sorts of reasons. Probably, mostly from the stressful competitive lives that we live. Although the non Jewish general public seem to suffer too, so you cannot put it only on one reason.

  41. a- ask ur rav, this is something personal,
    b- how embarrassing if ur “father n law” reads this and knows its an article about his daughter, hell spread your name like fire.
    c- for those of u who r saying get a job – u obviously shouldnt be commenting on things that u dont understand, kollel, is another level

  42. This entire debate is disgusting. I notice how everything on this post is about money and I want to throw up just reading some of these stupid postings.

    The mishna berurah clearly states that anyone who gets married for the money and when money is the top of the list then they will have a miserable marriage and have no mazel. This is clearly written in the mishna berrurha and not something wher eone can say the chofetz chaim did not teach us the right way or chas vsholom made a mistake! Why is that people do not ask a competant rav when asking a persoanl shailoh? How stupid can one get to come ont to an internet blog and ask laymen their opinion? If your toilet is stuck you call a plumber and you don’t go on the internet to get 60 opinions and where 98% of the time the answers have no torah values or truths. You mention money and all this non sense and talk about what you want in a father in law. Your not marrying your father in law. Your looking for a wife where you can both grow as human beings and go the torahdike way. Lavon had a wonderful son inlaw. Terach had a wonderful son in law. Yitzchok Avinu had a brother at risk and still managed to get married. There is som much to learn from Chumash and there is nothing new under the sun. You have a question you ask a rav. Most people think they know better than the totah and do not listen to oour gedolim who have answered these issues thousands of time. If you listen tot he gedolim you will have siyata dishmaya and if you don’t then good luck because you will have a miserable life ahead of you!

  43. It is clear that this “dilemma” is hypothetical and not about a real shidduch situation. Anyone with an ounce of sechel would realize in a minute that airing something like this in public will get back to the girl and her family and put an end to the shidduch as this would be a public humiliation for them. If it were real, of course the young man would ask a Rav or some other trusted mentor rather than writing to Matzav.com as this is obviously NOT a question for the court of public opinion. This is just testing the tzibbur to see its reaction and many of us flunked the test.

  44. As the writer of the above letter, I feel it my duty to state that the situation I described is very real.

    To those who worry about the girl’s family reading it and things like that, I assure you that I have written the letter, with the appropriate minor adjustments to ensure that there is no way that should be a concern or that they will figure it out.

    But these adjustments do not change the nature of the situation in which I find myself.

    And as for those readers who say it is about money, you are simply making a false assertion. It is, as some commenters smartly noted, about the integrity of the person involved.

    And as for knowing that a girl is “super” after two dates, obviously, that statement was made after extensive weeks of research. In addition, two dates can give an astute person a good idea of what a person is like.

    Thank you.

  45. I agree with Dovid and others who wrote that this is not a place to be asking questions like this, that has to be asked in the privacy of your Rav/Rosh Yeshivah and not a public internet forum. Another idea is to find out who his Rav is and go talk to him and see what he says.

    Also this discussion is here to stay in the world wide web, at any time your “potential” shver or future wife (if its this girl) might stumble across this discussion adn will realize that its them your talking about and then things will get really ugly for you then.

  46. AG, I would assume you’d realize the pic was put up there by Matzav and has nothing to do with the boy who posted the question!

  47. 43, that is so wrong on so many levels.
    – the girl may be paying off 100k in student loans
    – the girl may have a degree but be such a dynamic teacher that she got it in education – we need good teachers! – and it would take another decade or two to save that much
    – Are we raising the boys to be worth the 100k the girl worked so hard for?

    I welcome any additions to this list.

  48. Dear Hmm.

    If I thought this were a real letter, I would have been a little milder.

    I really think that it’s a put-up job. Someone has written it to point out a common scenario in shidduchim and wants to highlight it and provoke a discussion. He/she has succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

    It’s really useful to get all these opinions out in the open and stated plainly. I have younger friends with daughters (and sons) in shidduchim, and it hurts me to see them hurt as they try to help their children. The situation has gotten really crazy compared to what it was thirty years ago. It’s become a major threat to the frum community and the sanity of parents and kids alike.

  49. Forget about money and yichus for a moment. Ask yourself this question. Do you like her. Do you only want to be with her? If the answer is yes you don’t have to be a Vilan Goen to make a decision


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