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#1 jew



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Posted 12 July 2012 - 08:21 PM

How do you know if you are ready for marriage? what are the criteria for marriage?
please answer the criteria for a boy and a girl

#2 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 18 July 2012 - 01:52 PM

Well it is well known that responsibility is a major factor - you need to be able to handle the responsibility of running a home.

Also well known: You need sufficiently developed Midos and the maturity to be able to live long-term with a spouse and children.

What's not so well known, is that you must be reasonably certain that you are not going to "change" anymore, such that the future "you" would need a different type of spouse than does the current "you".

You are expected to grow, but there is a difference between changing and growing. Too often, people change personality traits, desires, general outlook on life, or frumkeit, to the point where the spouse they married before they changed isn't such a great match for them anymore. I cannot tell you how often, in my >25 years as a rav, I have seen this happen many times. And when it happens, it is a disaster.

So if you are still in those "seeking" stages, where you may not have found the direction you are looking for in life or Yiddishkeit, you are not yet ready. To be sure, one never knows if he will develop, some time later in life, the desire for such change, even if perviously they thought they would not. It happens. But we can do the best we can, and if you know that you are still in that stage in life where you have not comfortable that you have found your permanent lifestyle, either socially, emotionally, religiously, or in any way that could later incompatibilize (there should be such a word) you and your spouse, hold off getting married until you do.

And don't rely on your spouse changing with you. The worst thing is when two such people get married, thinking that they will "find themselves" together. There is no guarantee that your spouse will change in the same direction or at the same time you do. A couple with two unstable people is even less likely to remain compatible than a couple with one unstable person.

The above applies to both boys and girls.

#3 cheers!



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Posted 20 July 2012 - 11:46 AM

R' Shapiro,

I really appreciated what you said about the searching/changing stage. I was trying to explain that concept to someone the other day and you put it very clearly. Thank you.

However, what happens when someone continues to be in that stage well into their upper 20s, or perhaps later than that? Some people's personalities tend to be in constant movement, and don't really appear to have the ability to commit to a certain way of life for an extended period of time. Are those people destinced to remain single forever? Should they seek others with similar personalities, or would that be a recipe for disaster? Is this personality, in and of itself, a character flaw that needs to be worked on, or can it be viewed as who they are, and should we just appreciate them for their creativity/spontaneity?

#4 Rabbi Shapiro

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Posted 20 July 2012 - 12:18 PM

It is something that needs to be worked on.

Creativity and spontaneity are not a contradiction to stability. And it is stability that we are talking about here. And maturity. There could be rare exceptions where a person cannot find his lifestyle, and if he or she wants they can try to get married, but I cannot see myself advising anyone to marry such a person. Instability is as much a danger in a marriage as other things that would repel a potential spouse.