I am married, boruch Hashem, but after having been in shidduchim for a while, I’m still somewhat traumatized from the whole process. I can’t seem to shake the feeling of resentment toward our community. Why is shidduchim so humiliating? From being told that you are on someone’s waiting list, to going months without knowing when you will date next, to running to shadchanim and then never hearing from them again, I am left with a very bitter taste and wondering why our community is not doing more.
In but a few sentences, not only have you very accurately and succinctly laid out what it feels like for many young women who go through the shidduch system of our day, you have also successfully identified some of the most difficult areas of the process. The reality is, that the young men in shidduchim do have the upper hand in most respects, and as a result, for many young women, going through the shidduch system is a demoralizing experience. Even for those young women who get married fairly quickly, the process itself can be arduous and unpleasant. This is not to say that every young woman feels this way, but you are certainly far from being alone.
Whatever the reason for this unfortunate reality, it has clearly had a profound impact on you. An impact so profound, that even after finding yourself happily married, boruch Hashem, you are having trouble shaking the trauma of the humiliating experience you went through.
As far as your personal experience is concerned, I would highly recommend meeting with a social worker or therapist and devoting the necessary time and effort to emotionally process your experience. You need to figure out why it is still troubling you and what you can do to move past it. It seems possible that in your case this is something that may not heal with time, and I worry that the more you let it fester, the worse it may get.
It might take a number of sessions, and it might require some out-of-pocket expenses, but it will be well worth the time and money to restore your sense of self-esteem, reestablish a positive connection with the greater Jewish community – towards whom you presently have feelings of resentment – and to rebuild your overall sense of inner peace. If you are not sure where to turn, ask your Rav, or principal to recommend someone to you that specializes in this area.
Regarding the Klal aspect, there are, in fact, numerous askanim and organizations who are devoting tremendous resources, time and energies to help resolve this very problem. Whether it be addressing the imbalances, teaching singles how to better interact with shadchanim and how to properly research a shidduch, or working on bettering the actual process itself, there are many oskei b’tzarchei tzibur who are working tirelessly to make things less difficult for singles in the shidduch parsha.
Effecting change on such an extensive scale takes time, a lot of time, and I can appreciate that when looking at it from the outside it may not be easy to see all that is being done. However, please know that there are those in the community at large who are truly working b’lev v’nefesh to help ameliorate the many difficulties that daters experience, particularly single women, in going through the shidduch system.
It is my tefilah that Hashem gives you the strength and ability to move past your personal experiences, and that he is m’vorach the efforts of all those who are trying to make shidduchim a more efficient, and less painful experience, for all involved.