thinkingbygirl: Your argument is indeed an indictment of the kollel system--that is, of people wanting to stay in kollel long term. But it is just that and no more.
Feigy123, I'm not sure I understand what you mean. My point was just basically, as dancer90 wrote, that boys are being indoctrinated with the attitude that they are "worth" a certain amount of money. They are learning, and thus they are entitled to full support from their in-laws. Obviously this attitude isn't true in all cases, but it's a growing problem. I also went further to suggest that it's an issue when young couples expect their parents to pay their bills. This generation has this sense of entitlement, learning boys more so because their rebbeim are telling them to ask for money.
You can argue against that system; you might be right that it is not appropriate for a couple to want to learn and be supported by others. But that is not the relevant question, since in our scenario the girl also wants to learn long term and is being unrealistic. At least the boy thinks money grows on in-laws; the girl thinks it grows on trees.
Saying that the boy's parents should chip in is a strawman; we're talking about a situation where they either don't want to or don't have the ability to.
I wasn't arguing against the system; I think it's a beautiful thing for a boy to stay in learning for as long as possible, as long as he is really accomplishing and growing in his learning. He just isn't doing himself or anyone else any favors if he's bench-warming. In fact, if we lived in an ideal world, most guys would and should stay in learning indefinitely. Not only is it his chiyuv and a tremendous mitzvah that holds up the world, it can do tremendous things for him, his family, and klal yisroel. Since our world is a far cry from utopia, there becomes an issue when the couple is unrealistic about the "possible" in "as long as possible." Expecting Tatty to make it happen for them, because "that's just how things are done," is wrong. Thinking money grows on trees or on the in-laws isn't the problem, it's more about guys thinking that their learning can be used as a bargaining tool to secure money.
Where do you get that girls are being unrealistic more than boys are? It's admirable for a girl to want to support her husband in long-term learning. If her parents can't support, maybe his can help, or if neither can, then she needs to have a really good job, or you know what, they will figure out how to make it happen. Hashem is the One Who holds the key to parnossa!
Essentially, the problem here is when a boy won't go out with a girl because she can't agree to full support. The issue is the mindset that he's entitled to money. Whether it's to go out to eat every night, lease a new luxury car every few months, or just paying everyday bills, when did shidduchim become about the money rather than the girl's middos, personality, etc.? That is really what this thread is all about.
I know it happens, it isn't a figment of our imaginations. I've heard horror stories (and at least one of them first hand from the girl it happened to) how the couple was ready to get engaged and her parents couldn't agree to the amount of money per month he and his parents were asking for. And personally, it's happened a few times that the boy has asked for full support. One time the boy's mother told the shadchan that she only lets her son go out with girls whose parents promise an apartment in E"Y (mind you, they themselves were very wealthy so it wasn't like they just wanted to make sure their son would be okay). In another situation, the boy's side told the shadchan, "well we looked into her and we're very interested, but we just want to make sure they agree to give x amount a month because he wants to learn for awhile." It's more the attitude than anything that bothers me. Yes, we understand living costs money, and your parents (both sets I assume) don't want their kids and grandkids to starve, but don't expect, especially don't expect the girl's side to cough it all up.
It's disturbing that it has become a business deal.
thinkingby recommends that you just leave kollel when you have a large family and cannot afford it. I recommend trying prospectively to marry someone that you will be able to stay in kollel even then.
I was saying that you need to be realistic, not milk Mommy and Tatty for money if they are paying triple mortgages and taking out more and more loans to make your dream come true. There is a certain responsibility you have as an adult. You have your own family, you need to figure out your own finances. It's great if your parents and in-laws can help, but don't expect it! Also, how can you ever be sure that you are "marrying someone that will let you stay in kollel even as your family grows?" Money comes and money goes. You never have a guarantee that you will be able to rely on Tatty l'olmei ad. Be realistic and be responsible. Don't think you're worth money and that it's your kallah's achryus to support you.