Irony, Some?

This past Shabbos I had the amusing opportunity of watching a group of divorced single mothers try to marry off a group of single women.

(Yes, it was Shabbos meal of all the local nebachs.)

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12 thoughts on “Irony, Some?

  1. MB – I think reading it that way is a bit unfair to the women in question.

    Perhaps there is some irony, but one also has to think there may be more to this than meets the eye.

    Having gotten married and divorced, one would hope these women would have learned something from the tumultuous experience.

    I would tend to think that they have an insider’s view on what NOT to do when picking a spouse, as I am willing to believe that they did something like rush the courtship, ignore a red flag, got caught in a controlling/abusive relationship, or were sold a bill of goods on paper that was the facade to disguise a rotten/problematic core.

    They may not be married now because it is difficult to get remarried with children, or have decided to focus on their children to the exclusion of themselves, or whatever other reason there is.

    I think such individuals, with or without kids, could give rather sage experience-based advice to those still dating about how to avoid making the tragic mistake that they did. Akin to speaking with a friend who had a broken engagement, whose unfortunate experience should be used to learn from to avoid a similar outcome in one’s own dating/marriage life.

    I think women (and men) who got divorced should speak out on the subject, for the betterment of those to get married in the future.

  2. “I am willing to believe that they did something like rush the courtship, ignore a red flag, got caught in a controlling/abusive relationship, or were sold a bill of goods on paper that was the facade to disguise a rotten/problematic core.”

    Or they may have had a healthy courtship/relationship and later life circumstances unfortunately led to divorce. Friends of my parents married for 30ish years recently divorced (amicably, according to them) because they had moved to Israel a little while before before and she wanted to stay and he didn’t.

    In which case they can certainly still give good advice, of course. But not everyone who gets divorced is a romantic screwup, is what I’m saying.

    PS the ad I got below this post was from Alzheimer’s Association: “Know the early warning signs of Alzheimers.” Nebach indeed…

  3. “I am willing to believe that they did something like rush the courtship, ignore a red flag, got caught in a controlling/abusive relationship, or were sold a bill of goods on paper that was the facade to disguise a rotten/problematic core.”

    Or possibly, it wasn’t the guy who was at fault at all, maybe he was sold a bill of goods, or ignored the red flags etc.

    That said, divorce is not normally one sided, so before taking “sage” advice, make sure they went to a therapist and worked through whatever issues there were/are.

    There are cases when it is completely one sided, and they are terribly unfortunate.

  4. Shira – not agreeing about living in Israel IS a red flag. Just like someone who would want to only live in New York, and their potential spouse is an out of towner who can’t stand it – they shouldn’t get married. Someone with “one foot on the plane” should never marry someone who is merely tepid or resistant/against aliyah.

    Tzafnas Paneach – I don’t disagree with you, and the very same thing can happen to a guy – and I know of a couple where that happened.

    The stuff I mentioned about ignoring red flags etc – does not necessarily mean someone is specifically at fault. I’m not referring to a guy or girl having problems per se, although it certainly can. Ignoring big ideological differences, life goals, clash of personalities, etc can also make a marriage dysfunction – hence irreconcilable differences. Both partners may be good people, but they simply cannot have a healthy, functional marriage together.

    I’d rather be dan lekaf zechus that may have been the problem with these women, but one never knows – since each case is unique.

  5. Fair point, but 2 counterpoints:
    -Making aliya after decades of marriage (maybe that wasn’t clear from my initial comment) is hardly ‘having one foot on the plane.’
    -Even the most idealistic of people might try to make a go if it in Israel and find they can’t. (I say this as a proud olah living in Israel for 12 years with no intention of leaving.)

    Not every problem that arises in marriage is something that could have been foreseen beforehand.

  6. I agree with virtually everything SoG said on this one. People who have experienced divorce are perfectly good advisers on the topic of things to look out for, be wary of, etc. That isn’t to say that they aren’t the one’s at fault for the divorce happening in the first place, but the more perspectives a single person receives, the more educated they are in making decisions. Some of what they’ll hear is garbage that needs to be filtered out and some of it will be very solid advice.

    That being said, “Not every problem that arises in marriage is something that could have been foreseen beforehand.” is 100% true. People change and priorities change. Sometimes each partner’s changes work in sync and sometimes they diverge. But the newly-married couple must be in sync for their to be a chance that as they each change and become a not newly-married couple.

  7. “Sometimes each partner’s changes work in sync and sometimes they diverge. But the newly-married couple must be in sync for their to be a chance that as they each change and become a not newly-married couple.”

    I’m not 100% sold on this idea, especially because it’s true that people’s wants, needs, beliefs, and ideologies can change over time (though it tends to be fairly stable). I think it is precisely HOW those differences are dealt with that makes the big difference. Are those differences discussions or arguments? Is neither side “willing to give” but stubbornly asserting their point? How much are the partners listening, engaging the issues, and attending to the feelings and importance they each place on it?

    Most arguments in relationships and marriage have recurring themes. Successful marriages are not the ones where two people are perfectly in sync all the time, but ones where the couple out of sync is able to tolerate, handle, and manage it. The important part is returning to their connection afterwards.

    I think that’s the skill and art that couples need to learn in order to be successful and stay happily together.

  8. Bad4:
    Further to the comments above, was the group of divorcees perdominanly composed of women who had had very short marriages (five years or less), or those who had been married, for, say, twenty years or more? The perspectives of these two groups are likely to very different, as is the quality of advice given.

  9. I’m divorced and I think there is nothing wrong with those women trying to set others up. I try to think of my single friends all the time. I hope people would do the same for me.

  10. Very ironic.
    I don’t know that I’d want a divorcee to set me up. On the other hand, there’s nothing *wrong* with a divorcee trying to find a match for someone else . . .

  11. Divorcee trying to set someone up? No problem.
    Divorcee trying to give marital advice? Sketchy.
    2X Divorcee telling you how to treat your spouse? Laughable.

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