One of the most unfortunate lines that I keep hearing from parents of boys and girls alike is, “We can’t wait to be out of shidduchim,” or, “I feel such a load off my shoulders in between my children who are dating.” Is there any way to spin the process into a lighter, more positive experience for all as we remind ourselves daily that it is a brocha to have dating children and iy”H bring them to the chupah, instead of an overwhelming burdensome parsha?
Having had the opportunity to speak with a fair amount of families in shidduchim over the years, I have found that that while the sentiment conveyed in the narrative presented is far from uncommon, it is certainly not universal. And as would be expected with respect to any human experience that will touch a vast array of people, it will produce a diversity of mindsets and sensations, and individuals will also pass through it with varying degrees of difficulty. Such is the nature of life and living, and what would be truly unfortunate would be denying our fellow Jews their right to express themselves authentically.
Furthermore, when it comes to undergoing hardship, as shidduchim is for a great many people (after all, zivugim are described as kasheh k’Krias YamSuf, not as k’eilu toam taam shel Gan Eden or mei’ein Olam Haba), different people will latch onto different behaviors and attitudes in order to achieve catharsis, support, or solidarity, or simply to maintain their sanity, until such time as their assorted sufferings and misfortunes reach a satisfactory dénouement. For some, proffering a purely positive point of view, accompanied by the stolid suppression of verbally acknowledging any sort of discomfort, is what will get them through their trials and tribulations. For others, perceiving the pain as being painful indeed, and naming it exactly as it is discerned, is what will sustain them amid the storm. The former is not inherently indicative of escapism or revisionism, the latter is not categorically suggestive of pessimism or cynicism, and I do not believe that either one fundamentally testifies to a larger or lesser measure of underlying emunah and bitachon in HaKadosh Baruch Hu.
Thus, what we have here is no failure to communicate properly, as voicing and transmitting one’s legitimate burdens is not necessarily a display of indecorous negativity, disenfranchisement, or remonstration. These are merely alternate paths of internal and external dialogue through shared troubles. As such, each person should be fully permitted, without judgement, to emote and to asseverate – honestly and accurately – what they are thinking and feeling, so that they can maintain their health and peace of mind whilst enduring adversity.
May the Tomeich Temimim hear all of Klal Yisroel’s sorrows, and may He provide us with His eternal salvation and succor on the very day we call out to Him.