Tag Archives: marriage

From the Mailbag:

Dear HaDassah,

In one month and one week I will be turning 38. I’ve never been married and so far there are no prospects. I’m getting to the point where I have to accept the fact that meeting my soul mate might not be in the cards for me. Worse, I am trying to come to terms with the fact that I may never be a mother. I love my friends and family, but it’s getting harder and harder to see their facebook posts and tweets about their kids, or pregnancies. I love them and I love their kids. My nieces and nephew are like my own. But they’re not.

I’ve explored other options such as insemination by donor. My mother is very against it, and she said so using the strongest language, I don’t know if I’m strong enough to really do this completely on my own. I can’t explain the pain I feel. Every time I get my period I mourn for a potential child I have just lost. Yes, I know it’s my “biological clock,” but it’s more than that, I resent my friends and family who do have kids, I’m getting to the point where I try avoid social and family events.

In addition to the birth of my nephew, in the course of one week among my cousins there were 7 births. I should be happy, but all I am is sad. Sad because I probably will never experience pregnancy and the joy of childbirth and the “nachas” of my own children. It kills me that I feel this resentment towards others when they’ve done nothing wrong.

Being single, especially being of a more “advanced” age, I’m treated like a second-class citizen. I don’t know if people realize how much it hurts. And it isn’t just about not getting married. In fact, I can handle the fact that I might not ever get married, but that I may never be a mother, that’s just devastating.

“Chava”

This letter tugged at my heart. I feel Chava’s pain. What can we tell her to help soothe her soul? How can we make her feel included and not shunned? How can we help her with her pain? What options are available to a religious woman whose fertility is ticking away and is not yet married? Can we religiously endorse Donor Insemination and provide a support system for our sisters who decide to take this route?

I am so curious to know how you feel after reading this letter, and how you would counsel Chava, or even what you would do in her place.

WWYD – Shidduchim / Marriage

Shamelessly taken off a messageboard:

A kallah [bride] asked me to post this and solicit your opinions.

The kallah is in her late 20s, and smoked 1/2 a pack a day from age 13 until just a few weeks ago. Does she have to tell the chosson [groom]? She thinks he might have noticed, but they have never discussed it.

(p.s. There is no “warning signs” to be seen here. She just wants to do the right thing. )

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The Awesomeness of the Mundane

I have been in NY since late Thursday night. I am hanging out with my KoD for a little while and getting the house in order for the influx of the kids this summer. The kids are in Montreal with their dad for a little bit.

I am going to be here for a little while, and knowing that I don’t need to rush back to Canada is a great feeling, but not one that I am used to.

I am sure that after a while I may start to take being here for granted, but for now I am loving every minute that I get to spend with the KoD. Whether it is walking him to shul for mincha after dinner, or preparing his coffee in the morning, waiting for him in the driveway as he comes home from work. I am enjoying all the cleaning and laundry and cooking and shopping – because it is for US, and that is such a heady feeling.

As you read the other day, we went to a wedding, together – I am truly appreciative that we had that opportunity. It was awesome to introduce the KoD to my friends – and to use his real name, instead of “the KoD”. I was so proud to be there with him, and even when I was chatting with the bride and keeping her company, just looking across the hall and seeing my husband filled my heart up to bursting. Dancing with him later on…..well, that was just the icing on the cake….

Yesterday morning I was rearranging the kitchen so that it worked better for me. It took me the best part of 3 hours, but I was apparently singing the whole time with a huge grin on my face. Is this really me, do I enjoy housework this much??!!

This month we will have been married for sixteen months, and I feel like we are just starting our Shana Rishona, our first year. I fall more in love with him every single day – and I know that is going to continue!!

Yesterday I ran some errands. The young teller at the bank asked me if Mr KoD was my husband. I said sure. She smiled and told me that he is a great guy. I grinned back and said “I know, thanks”. Walking to mincha last night, one of our neighbours drove past us, and slowed down, and said out of his window “now that’s a sight to see – makes me so happy to see you guys walking together”.

Being with the KoD just fills me with absolute joy. I cherish every moment of it.

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What a wedding!!

The young couple

The KoD and I just returned from an awesome wedding. @kvetchingeditor and @schnit tied the knot today in phenomenal style. It was a warm atmosphere, with so much love in the room. There were many bloggers and tweeters present, some meeting each other for the first time in real life.

It was quite a feat, tweeting and taking pictures and experiencing all that was happening – but it seemed many of us were able to do it, and do it well.

Me and My KoD at the wedding

Before the Chuppah, I was honoured to have a moment with the bride to share my bracha with her. It was a truly emotional moment – for much of the last month we were not sure if due to my immigration issues whether I would be able to make it to the wedding or not, so that made it doubly special.

We have all been to weddings where, even though we are happy to be part of the simcha, it hasn’t really touched our soul. Not so with this wedding. The joy in the room was palpable. This bride and groom have touched the lives of all those present, and many more that didn’t make it there – and they had the wedding they truly deserved. It was an honour and a privilege to be part of this phenomenal occasion.

Mazel Tov Dear Friends!!

(If any of you tweet, search for the hashtag of #Tuvivah)

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Marriage Tips

My girlfriend @kvetchingeditor and her man are getting married very very soon. It is not known at this point whether I will be able to be there with them to celebrate this auspicious occasion with them. (Darn immigration paperwork!)

I wanted to ask you, my dear opinionated readers, if you wanted to share your tips here for a happy marriage. They can be fun, serious or just plain goofy – let’s hear it all.

My Tip – no matter how much of a feminist you think you are, sometimes you just have to let your man be the MAN, know what I’m sayin’??

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Full disclosure with kids

In this day and age it seems as if no one has any secrets any more. Facebook and twitter and blogs and texting – well, some people use the internet to record every waking moment, every thought, every event. With some of the new applications out there, you can even update your location with maps and everything. (I briefly signed up to foursquare. I deleted the app from my Blackberry yesterday. Not for me).

Some of my friends have their kids as Facebook friends. I don’t allow my children to have Facebook accounts, so I am not worried that they will read something on my page I don’t want them to see. In fact, I won’t add a friend’s kid unless they are over 18 and I know them well.

Our kids are used to knowing everything real time. But how much is too much information? We sit down and talk to our children about the dangers of drugs and smoking. It has to be an honest conversation if we want them to really understand the consequences of certain types of behaviour. But then again, if you were a pot-head as a teen – and your child / teen asks you if you ever inhaled – do you tell them the truth? Perhaps a sanitized version? Perhaps the truth with a huge disclaimer along the lines of “we didn’t realize back then what consequences it could have had, and now I regret it”?

I have told my kids that smoking is bad for them. They know their grandfather smoked a heck of a lot and died at a young age. They also know that if I ever caught them smoking they would be in trouble. “It isn’t the cigarettes that would kill us, Ima would kill us first”. But it’s totally hypocritical of me. As a 17 year old starting college I smoked. Silk Cuts to be precise. For 3 months. I tried hard but I couldn’t get addicted. Thank God!! If the kids ask me if I ever smoked do I tell them the truth? That I did it to fit it with all the other students who were puffing away? That it did nothing for me except make my clothes and breath smell? Or do I lie and say I never smoked? I try so hard to be honest and open with my children – but where do you draw the line?

How about disclosing a previous marriage? Do kids need to know about that? Sometimes people have had a “starter marriage” – first marriage, totally wrong for each other, lasted all of 10 seconds, everyone moved on to bigger and better things, leaving just a tiny little blip on the horizon. Do children of the subsequent marriage have a right to know about the first one? Is it any of their business? Is it a part of what makes them who they are, or is it not necessary to their life? I have a couple of friends who had babies in their teens as unwed mothers and gave them up for adoption, moved on with their lives, got married, had more kids – when do those kids need to know about their mother’s story? Never? What if that child comes looking for his / her biological parent?

As the children get older the boundaries seem to blur a little – their maturity level makes them more understanding and trustworthy. They can handle uncomfortable truths. But does that mean we need to share all those family secrets that we have been withholding up until now? How much is too much?

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WWYD – friendly hugs

(from a reader)

I had an interesting email exchange recently with a reader, and this WWYD came out of it. This reader is a religious woman, Modern Orthodox with a bit of a right wing twist. She and her husband are friends with a couple who share more or less the same values. These couples have been friends for so long that they are like family. When they meet there are hugs all around. Let’s not get into the whole halachic implications of it all, but that’s what they do. Wife hugs wife, wife hugs other husband. Nothing sexual, just a friendly hello hug.

Lately, this reader tells me, the other wife’s hugs seem to make her (the reader’s) husband uncomfortable. He feels she is overdoing it a little bit and it is no longer just the friendly hug hello.

My friend does not know how she should deal with this. This is a close friendship that she doesn’t want to spoil at all. Her husband says she needs to speak to the wife privately and tell her to just stop with the hugging, and that they all need to cease and desist with the hug hello. (I am just thinking, in Quebec we have the double cheek kiss that means the same as a hug – now THAT I could see being uncomfortable). The reader thinks her husband needs to have a word with the other husband, so he can talk to his wife in the right way so she won’t get offended.

WWYD??

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Heinous or Harmless – marital possessions

This stems from an interesting discussion I had with the KoD last night. We started off talking about my numerous crystal serving platters that I unearthed during yesterday’s marathon declutterfication. Most of them I probably received as wedding presents first time around, and have never really been used or seen the light of day. We were discussing whether I needed to bring them with me when we move, or if they should be passed on to someone who will use them. (I said bring, he said pass. (OK I actually mentioned I should hold onto them because please God soon in a few years we will be making Sheva Brachot for the kids….)).

So this got us thinking. When folks get divorced, do most throw out or get rid off EVERYTHING that they shared together, do they buy all new stuff, do they keep some things and not others. What worked for you?

My point was, that generally, the wife / mother gets to stay in the marital home with the children (even if, like me, they eventually have to move). In order for the kids to have some familiarity and comfort at a tough time, I am of the opinion that the mother should more or less keep everything – at least dishes and stuff like that. The one that leaves is the one that usually has to buy everything new.

I immediately got rid of our beds and the linens and everything like that that I associated with the togetherness of being married. But that’s where I stopped. I still have the dishes we used, the candlesticks I got as a wedding present (I don’t use them any more), the challah board, the dining room set and the sofas etc. My Shabbat dishes are gorgeous, but I used them during my first marriage – is it cruel and unusual punishment to use them in my new marriage? (Do you know how much one pays for a Noritake place setting these days??!!)

Is it heinous to hold onto this stuff, especially going into a new marriage, or is it harmless, and ridiculous to expect someone to make a totally clean slate and get rid of everything they owned during their marriage?

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WWYD – clothes that drive you crazy

Having had brothers, being married, and being in the process of raising four boys I know a thing or two about males and their clothing habits. Most males I should say.

For example: If it isn’t IN the hamper they might pick it up off the floor and wear it again. If it was only in the hamper for one night it doesn’t count and can still be worn. Of course these all are subject to the sniff test.  Haven’t seen the sniff test make something be put back in the laundry yet.

That bothers me, but with patience and education (read “nagging”) I am finally getting somewhere with my progeny.

What frustrates my girlfriends and me more is the wearing of clothes that should have been consigned to the rubbish a long time ago. You know, those boxers that are holes held together with a wish and a prayer and that are so worn even using them as dusters is no use. The jeans that are so faded and frayed and reminiscent of the owner’s misspent youth that don’t really do him any justice. The Hawaiian shirt that he will wear out of the house and totally embarrass you with – nothing is louder than dancing hula girls all over your man’s upper torso. The shirts that have stains on them that can be identified. The lucky socks that can never be washed. The tee shirt he wore when the Canadiens last won the Stanley Cup…The list goes on.

Are you the kind of spouse that will throw this stuff away behind your partner’s back, or will you allow him the honour? Do you give ultimatums? Will you allow him to hold a ceremony in memory of the clothes you are making him burn? Will buying him new clothes lessen his hold on the old and worn? How do you break these men / boys of these worn clothes wearing habits? Or do you just put up with it – it’s the price you pay being married to Mr Right?

(Disclaimer – this isn’t about the KoD, he dresses well and conservatively and doesn’t resemble anyone in this post. Although he does have one shirt that I cannot stand….but that’s personal taste, not that it’s worn and holey. It isn’t, sadly.)

(Additional Disclaimer – I have written this post about men, but I am sure there are some women out there who are equally afflicted. Hard to believe….)

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Honesty about food costs

I shouldn’t be surprised by folk any more. Yet I am.

A friend of mine had updated her Facebook status yesterday about how gosh darned expensive kosher for Passover food is. A friend of hers responded with a question – whether she would share that information with her husband, or keep the amount spent to herself.

Why on earth would anyone keep secret the amount of money spent on food? It’s not like she went out and bought 17 pairs of shoes. That might be something that she would need to hide (although hiding any info from a spouse is big no-no in my book).

This is food for Passover and her husband, any Jewish husband, knows that it costs an arm and a leg, and maybe another arm besides. IMHO anyone that believes they need to hide this cost from their spouse needs to seriously take a look at the honesty in their marriage.

Do you keep ANY secrets from your spouse?

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