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Author Topic: Baalas teshuva - how do I explain...
life123

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Post Baalas teshuva - how do I explain...
on: October 13, 2013, 2:09 PM

I just started learning with a very new baalas teshuva... and she went away for Shabbos, and came back with a shidduch for me 😮 ... she emailed me

I was thinking of him for you he is 21. Comes from a divorced home was raised by an amazing mother who went off the path but he brought himself back to it. Great middos and is studying OT right now. Bright blue eyes and dark hair very cute style and cute boy. Very very cute and very like affectionate I could tell. Very big giver.

So I emailed her back

I don't know if you've heard about the idea of kollel, but when I get married I'm looking to lead that kind of lifestyle, where I will support my husband in full time learning for at least the first years of marriage. It's not such an easy concept to grasp if you haven't heard about it for many years. I guess I could explain it by saying that a girl who marries a boy who wants to learn long term is supporting him while he earns a doctorate in talmudic studies... He comes into the marriage with the equivalent of a BA in Talmud, and then if they can make it work its like he gets a Masters degree by learning another 2 years, if they can manage financially for 5 years on one salary its like a phd, and after that its like the husband is studying for a post-doctorate... Except that the learning isn't done for letters after the name or prestige, but to become holier, know more Torah, and be closer to HaShem. That's my dream.

I figured it wasn't worth even mentioning that a 19 year old like myself isn't interested in a divorced boy, that this would be enough... then she emailed me back -

Thank you for explaining that to me. That is how my mother and father essentially live now but they also integrate the modern world - my dad learns every day but not as much as you just explained. And my stepmom earns the parnasah.

From what I saw about Raphy he was ridiculously devoted to learning. So much that he had the Chumash on the table all shabbos basically. Anyway I'll tell you more on the phone. He's very special and he wasn't sure about OT. It is clear that he is dreaming of learning from what I understood about him... So I'm sure meeting a girl who shares that similar dream would be music to his ears.. Again just my speculation... And he feels ready to marry, I did ask him. I'm going to find out more info about him.

Which reminded me that her parents are divorced... she comes from a broken home... so now I can't explain to her that I'm not interested in a boy from a broken home just now... especially a broken home like this... how can I explain in a way that won't hurt her feelings?

dschecht13

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Post Re: Baalas teshuva - how do I explain...
on: October 13, 2013, 2:39 PM

Wait, why? Whats wrong with this particular broken home. He sounds like someone who saw what life has to offer, and still chose Torah. I think that in order to say no, you first have to look into it a little bit and find out if you really have different values. As an older single I can tell you, that we rarely get what we dream of. I am not saying go out with the boy. But what I am saying is that if you want to have a real reason to say no that you can explain, at least look into the facts. Just an idea

life123

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Post Re: Baalas teshuva - how do I explain...
on: October 13, 2013, 2:51 PM

First of all, my parents would never let. My mother has a friend whose parents are divorced, and she herself is divorced. Also, the fact that his mother (who raised him herself) isn't frum means he has very little solid family backing. Also, he is 21, which means he is basically a very young baal teshuva. I'm all for young marriages, but not unless there is a history of solid learning and family life.

dschecht13

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Post Re: Baalas teshuva - how do I explain...
on: October 13, 2013, 3:36 PM

One last thought. Just because someone's parents got divorced does not mean that they too will get divorced. and yes he was raised by someone who is not frum. That does not mean that he didn't start on the path earlier then 3 years ago. It could be that he started in high school. What i am trying to say is do not make assumptions without checking the facts. if in fact he has only just become frum then you have a very valid reason for saying no.

life123

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Post Re: Baalas teshuva - how do I explain...
on: October 13, 2013, 3:40 PM

I answered her with this -

I have to tell you, though, while I'm all for young marriages (and in my circles, 21 is young for a guy), I don't think it's a good idea unless there is a strong, solid history of family life and learning. So if I'm still single in a few years, and he is 24, learning in a chabura (study group) with a good circle of friends, has a mentor (a religious fatherly figure whom he goes to to talk about things) and some families he is close with, and is settled, I'd hear more about it. But a person so young and with a weak family background needs more time to adjust and settle down if he is planning on being a long-term learner, even if he is the most wonderful person in the world. I can tell you for sure my parents wouldn't let me date a guy like that yet. I doubt they'd even like me to date anyone under 22.

chaykie

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Post Re: Baalas teshuva - how do I explain...
on: October 13, 2013, 3:49 PM

wow. i hear what your concern is, but i think this boy has a lot of maalos that cannot be ignored. First of all, the fact that his mother went "OTD" and he came back to being frum- he saw both sides. he knew what not being frum meant, and he knew what it meant to be frum, a ben Torah...and he chose the Torah way of life. No one forced him. and he seems very thought out, responsible, with a plan- and he is so dedicated to the Torah at the same time. Sounds ideal to me 🙂

chaykie

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Post Re: Baalas teshuva - how do I explain...
on: October 13, 2013, 6:50 PM

i mean, as long as everything else you find out abt him (if you decide to look into him) is fine, then why not?

life123

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Post Re: Baalas teshuva - how do I explain...
on: October 13, 2013, 7:45 PM

See the text I quoted above for my answer to that.

dazzleme21

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Post Re: Baalas teshuva - how do I explain...
on: October 13, 2013, 9:34 PM

so maybe he might be good for someone else on this website ???

dazzleme21

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Post Re: Baalas teshuva - how do I explain...
on: October 13, 2013, 9:34 PM

anyone who commented who dont understand why you want to say no maybe he is for them??

life123

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Post Re: Baalas teshuva - how do I explain...
on: October 13, 2013, 9:44 PM

I actually thought of a friend who might be good... but I don't think this guy sounds ready to date...maybe in a few months when he has either started school or settled into a yeshiva

dschecht13

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Post Re: Baalas teshuva - how do I explain...
on: October 14, 2013, 3:07 AM

Its not that we don't understand- all we where trying to say is before jumping the gun, do a little research.

bibliophil-
e02

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Post Re: Baalas teshuva - how do I explain...
on: November 21, 2013, 5:32 PM

1) "Divorced boy"??? His parents are divorced, not HIM!! It doesn't have to be a defining factor of his identity!!!

2) "Broken home"? "Weak family background"? "Very little solid family backing"? Excuse me but what do those things even mean?? All you know is that his parents are divorced. You don't know the background. It could be a very amicable divorce. They could be very loving parents. There are plenty of couples out there unhappily married who stay married "for the children's sake" but really make their kids miserable by screaming at each other all the time. You never know.

3) "My parents would never let" Do you give your parents ultimate veto power? I have never done that.

4) It is for sure worth a try if everything else checks out.

life123

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Post Re: Baalas teshuva - how do I explain...
on: November 22, 2013, 10:24 AM

1-2) Someone from a divorced home (raised by a not-frum single mother) does not see a regular family relationship between spouses. Not saying I would never agree to someone whose parents are divorced but only if there was either therapy or a remarriage or a family he is close with to help him see that relationship - and that didn't exist here.
3) yes I give my parents veto power so long as they explain to me why and I reasonably understand. If one has reasonable parents there is no reason NOT to give them veto power.
4) sure its worth a try if I didn't know that in this kind of relationship I would have the upper hand in every area - strong family, stronger yiddishkeit, stronger desire to support someone in kollel, stronger finances because I'm IY'H getting a job and he would still be in college even if I gave up kollel.

bibliophil-
e02

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Post Re: Baalas teshuva - how do I explain...
on: November 23, 2013, 3:23 PM

1) If he comes from a family that is not frum, what do you think he does for shabbos? How could he NOT have a close relationship with another family? Similarly, it's very unusual for children of divorced parents NOT to go through therapy.

Also, you still should not call someone like this a "divorced boy". It does not define him. It's like when people refer to me as an "orphan" because my father passed away. It's very hurtful, not to mention inaccurate. There are so many aspects to this boy's personality and you keep fixating on the one thing that he actually can't control.

2) You didn't actually answer this.

3) It doesn't matter how "reasonable" your parents are. At some point everybody needs to acknowledge that you are an adult. Think of it this way-- do your parents currently have veto power over anything else in your life? Will they have veto power over anything once you are married? If not, why should this be any different? Of course you should take their advice very seriously. But they need to respect your judgment, and when there is disagreement they need to trust you. We're talking about one date here. It's not like you're getting engaged to someone they don't like.

4) The "upper hand"? Really??

"strong family" See #2.

"stronger yiddishkeit" How do you know? Many baalei teshuva actually have stronger yiddishkeit because it's something they chose.

"stronger desire to support someone in kollel" This actually makes no sense...

"stronger finances" This is a problem? Many, many families are structured this way nowadays.

Whomever you marry, he will be stronger than you in some areas and you will be stronger than him in some areas. Hopefully you will balance each other out well. There is no boy out there, no matter how pathetic you may think he is, who is not stronger than you in something. Likewise the opposite. But the important thing is that you have a committed and respectful relationship. It's not a contest. My father was a baal teshuvah and my mother, who is FFB, helped him learn Hebrew. One of her friends said to her, "I don't know, [my mother's name], I think the guy is supposed to know more than the girl..." Who says? Why does that have to be the case? He was stronger than her in other areas and it worked great.

life123

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Post Re: Baalas teshuva - how do I explain...
on: November 23, 2013, 7:14 PM

I have answers for you, but I don't like arguing in public forum, and I see you are very emotionally involved in this. I will PM you instead.

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