Friday, July 01, 2005

What to reveal to shidduchim?

When do we reveal things to our shidduchim, our potential life partners? This is not a practical relevant question for me right now, being on my shidduch sabbatical/hibernation. We all have skeletons in our closet, of differing shapes, sizes and stages of decay.

How many of you have done things that you could never reveal to your spouse/future spouse? I don't know if I have, it would depend on who she is. I think many people would expect all skeletons and dirty laundry to be revealed pre-engagement, unless you are looking for a wham bam thank you mam, meet in the living room while the parents arrange the wedding in the other room relationship.

This is just a bunch of stupid moaning because some people have serious issues to worry about, such as whether they mention mental illness in the family, an inability to have children or a previous abortion, degenerative diseases or suchlike.

Back to sleep.



At 7/01/2005 4:16 AM, Blogger kishmech said...

Sweet dreams. :-D

At 7/01/2005 5:01 AM, Blogger Shoshana said...

I think, when it is the right person, they will be able to hear your revelations without running away screaming. I think the relationship you have with your eventual spouse can't be built on lies - but you don't necessarily have to reveal the nitty-gritty details of every episode of your past either. The details are not that important - it is building an honest, open relationship that is.

At 7/01/2005 5:24 AM, Blogger Karl said...

The question arises every time for me too - example: blogging. I wouldn’t want it to remain a secret, but what/when to reveal. There are some things that you wouldn’t do now but has made you a better person. You should not deny what good you have got out of the bad.
As for telling her, you shouldn’t deny anything, but there needs to be tact as to when and how things are told. I don't think fudging the issue of background in the beginning of a relationship is a problem. But major issues (illnesses etc) also need to told with tact.

At 7/01/2005 6:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you can date long enough to be friends with her, thats when you tell that kind of stuff.

At 7/01/2005 6:38 AM, Blogger HaJew said...

Wow. A real and good question. A rabbi of mine told me there's no reason to reveal everything. Sometimes the revealing does hurt. Sometimes it is for the best. Someone revealed to me that they were bipolar. This really affected them (duh). And it was a big deal to me.

At 7/01/2005 7:05 AM, Blogger ghetto said...

club bathroom fling now that sounds interesting!!!! in all seriousness you must never lie by you dont have to tell every truth either, it can be more damaging then hiding the trust i.e shmerelle berel tells him naive wife of 2 weeks that he used to butt F^&^ in yeshiva and is attracted to little boy!! i swear this is true they are now well and truely divorced ,he flew of in to the sunset leaving her with a housefull of kids!!
i think you need to be honest to a degree ie. i had relationships before i met you , no numbers names or locates..
now back to the club bathroom incident!!!
have a gr8 shabbos

At 7/01/2005 9:03 AM, Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

Kish, thanks they were!

Shosh, I hope so, but the kind of girl I want now is not the kind of girl I was hanging around with then.

Karl, keep it secret - share things with us!

Anon, these are things I don't tell my friends. If it gets serious, I'd hope that I would be friends with her, otherwise it wouldn't get that far.

HaJew, are there things you should hide forever?

Ghetto, scary story. But what if you tell her and she says she wants to know more?


At 7/01/2005 9:18 AM, Blogger Karl said...

I had more to say but it deserved its own post - check it out.
Have a good Shabbos.

At 7/01/2005 9:57 AM, Blogger ghetto said...

TRK like i said NO dates, names , locations as long as you tell her that you acted foolishly!!( got to get her on ur side) and regret it youve moved on .. if it still bothers her believe me shes not the one for you rehashing it and telling her details will only make more trouble and one day she will throw it back in ur face. she needs to love you for who u are now and you are who u are now cause of your past!! ( is that logical)

At 7/01/2005 1:13 PM, Blogger survivor said...

First things first, TRK, great post. The question of how much to reveal is a real dilemma for many in the frum dating world.

Like Hajew, I was also advised by a Rabbi to be discrete about certain parts of my past. He's a really wise fella, so I have always listened. BUT, I've been on dates where I feel like I'm hiding way too much. It's a yucky feeling.

At 7/01/2005 3:06 PM, Blogger brianna said...

It depends what stage of the game you're at - and what kind of girl you want to marry. If you want an uptight, straight laced yeshivish girl, she'll freak as soon as the reference to a club comes up.

I personally would want a guy i'd be dating to feel like he can tell me anything. But I suspect that not all girls are like that. You shouldn't have to feel like you're hiding things to impress her, though. That doesn't make for a healthy, lasting relationship.

Even with the most open minded girl, though, don't tell her anything you'd be disgusted with her telling you.

At 7/02/2005 3:38 PM, Blogger mousetrap84 said...

why why why do rabbis tell people to obfuscate ( great word!)??? firstly i really believe that teshuva means taking your mistakes and building on them - even our so called "bad" deeds have positive aspects,and they are often some of the most accurate reflections of who we are. Secondly, why would you want a relationship with someone who couldn't connect to that aspect of you? or who couldn't accept that part of you. Thirdly, how is that a relationship- a relationship built on a persona you are acting out because its someone you want to be. be yourself. find a girl you connect to and who connects to you. all of you.
p.s. this does not mean it should be the opening line of a first date " hey my name is x and let me tell you about this crazy time i had once ..." i'm talking about when you have already developed a relationship

At 7/02/2005 4:11 PM, Blogger Karl said...

Mousetrap - I did that once and we got on quite well!

At 7/03/2005 12:29 AM, Blogger ClooJew said...

mousetrap, I don't think anyone tells you to obfuscate, lulei demistafina, once a relationship is underway. The point is that you don't have to begin a date with your worst foot forward.

At the same time, there may be things better left unsaid altogether...

At 7/03/2005 3:15 AM, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

TRK: HaTzofeh has a whole article on this topic, this past shabbat. (It quoted a new Technumin article). While the article dealt with much more heavy issues than making out with a girlfriend's sister -- it still was a very serious and interesting read.

At 7/04/2005 8:31 AM, Anonymous zsj said...


Baggage is never a bad thing- the longer we stay single, the more we accumulate. What matters is how you pack it. Not everything needs to be shared, and hopefully you;ll have 40 yrs pg to impart every anecdote. But the stuff you feel is a big deal, that it defines who you are as a person NOW, that needs to be shared.

You have to also ask yourself how you'd like her to respond: Do you want to shock? How would you feel if she then comes out with stories in return which you would have preferred she'd "obfuscated"? Do you want the pureasthedrivensnow tzadeket or do you want a female TRK?


At 7/10/2005 6:38 AM, Blogger BasTorah said...

Mouse: If you do something that you know will be frowned upon by others, why will you share it? If you know you did something wrong...why mess up a chance with that person? People are entitled to have secrets. Everyone actually has secrets. What is the point to share everything if you know it will ruin things? If no one asks, do you need to offer information?

At 7/10/2005 6:55 AM, Blogger Meyer said...

I know of a family whose daughter broke off her engagament because her chatan did "bentch" in a restaurant. (maybe the bread was m'zoinois)


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