Friday, January 7, 2011

Yes or no?

Among the emails that piled up in my inbox, was a message from a young lady who was debating a marriage proposal. He seems like a good man, she writes, but she does not feel affection towards him, and is also concerned about his bad temper. What should she do?

I've only been married three years, not an expert on marriage by all means - but here is part of what I wrote back.


Of course, only you can make the decision on whether or not you should marry the young man in question. I can only tell you my attitude on the whole matter of courtship and marriage, based on my own experience and observations.

I'm not exactly sure what you mean by not feeling affection towards your suitor, among other reasons because I don't know how long you have known each other. If it hasn't been very long, it might be that you need a chance to get to know each other better and see how your feelings develop. Of course, you should not marry someone who repulses you, or someone with whom you feel deeply uncomfortable. But my attitude is that, if in the initial stages of courtship there is no clear-cut reason for a definite "no", you can go on and continue getting to know each other, until your feelings are clearer to you. Don't miss out on someone who might be right for you, just because there isn't a lot excitement in the beginning.

Personally, I can tell you I didn't feel that famous "spark" when I first saw my husband, and now, three years and two children later, I'm much more deeply in love with him than on the day we were married. I think it's much better than when there are deep feelings of mutual attraction in the beginning, which fade away when the couple begins living together (which is the case in many marriages in Western countries).

If I have one bit of advice to give, it is this: do make it clear with yourself whether your long-term goals and hopes for the future are compatible (I mean big things like children, lifestyle, children's education, handling finances, dynamics in marriage, and more).

As for him having a bad temper, again, it's a bit difficult for me to know what exactly you mean by it, since I don't know you or him. It might be a harmless and innocent character trait, or a fault you can live with, or a red flag which points to a potentially abusive husband. Some people get angry easily, but the question is, how well does he control his anger? Is he rude and insulting? If you feel unsafe around him, it is surely a no-go. If you just wish he took things easy, perhaps it can be negotiated.

I suggest that you have a honest conversation with him about things you like about him vs. things that make you doubt your future together, and see his reaction. See how seriously he takes your words, and whether he shows willingness to change (and more importantly, sees true need to change) in matters that concern you. However, I also wouldn't advise to marry someone while hoping he will change dramatically. If you absolutely can't live with the way he is now, it's better to say no straight away and save yourself potential heartbreak.

On a deeper level, I believe G-d is the Master Matchmaker and leads us to our true matches. So if we do the sensible thing while regarding a potential match, and most of all, pray about it, we can be confident that the path we walk is good and right.


Gothelittle Rose said...

If you are concerned about his temper during the courting period, run run run in the opposite direction.

With the exception of a very few extraordinary individuals, this is as good as his temper is going to get without Divine intervention, and you absolutely cannot rely on that unless you're already married to the guy.

When I was dating, I knew I would never marry a guy whose temper bothered me.

Analytical Adam said...

If a woman is more focused on is man going to be abusive I don't feel by the way a woman should be dating or can have a relationship with God either since they want God to answer to them not the other way around.

The God of Israel I if you real Leviticus chapter 26 God promises Domestic Violence if we don't follow the torah. Which is very relevant because this is why most feminist hate the bible as God is not this gentle God always.

He "seems" like a good man. As a Jewish man I have dated women that are always focusing well the men shouldn't be this the man shouldn't be that. They seem to have no need for a man and really want a man to fit their agenda that some man in the government or so called religious man supports.

Analytical Adam said...

Also Mrs. Anna. How come the torah no where says "thall shall not beat your wife" It does say you shouldn't be jealous of another man's wife.

Again, I don't ask this just to be cute. In the Jewish idea blog they were talking about a man who became conservative yet still dislikes Jews despite this and he thinks the God of Israel is just not with it because not once does God say not to beat up your wife. He can't understand why.

I will say that according to the web site RADAR respecting accuracy in domestic abuse reporting which feels the feminist have hijacked the issue of abuse and overall both genders have those that believe they can use physical force that can seriously hurt the other to get their way it found that among American Jews women were much more likely engage in this kind of behavior then Jewish men 7% to 1%. This was double the rate of women from Christian denominations according to RADAR.

Analytical Adam said...

Lastly I don't think our problems praying to God is gong to solve them. Women should want men that work and have responsibility in the first place. Which is another thing. Men that have responsibilities do make better husbands and if they do get upset (which there is a time to be upset is the God is slow to anger which we should imitate) it usually is for a good reason.
There is a story in the United States of a women Terry Schiavo who so called husband didn't take care of her when she became ill and wanted her to die and according to some it was him that get her into this state. But I was reading a book on it and he was a man that only looked to work to make a quick buck but didn't have any sense of working hard and being stable and working to support a wife. Many women today don't want men that work because they hate the God of Israel and the role God gave men. Of course men that have no responsibilities and think they are "entitled" to respect are going to end up very bad husbands. Although women that marry men like this usually have their own "entitlement" issues and don't want to respect men in any way and feel because they were born a woman that entitles them to respect.
So the most important thing is to find a man that works and not wants to support a family in a moral way and be the primary breadwinner to the best of his ability which is hard today with the EEOC here in the United States that are always looking to make sure that enough women and minorities are represented and don't really care the reasons why as you are guilty until proven innocent.

Elle said...

He's got a bad temper that concerns her, plus she feels nothing...and you're encouraging her to go for it? Seriously? Wow.

I know you probably won't have the guts to post my comment and defend encouraging this situation, but that's your weakness, not mine.

Tracy's corner said...

You gave wonderful advice.

Lady Anne said...

Maybe I'm missing something? If this young lady doesn't particularly like this man, and he has problems controlling his temper, why on earth is she even giving his proposal a moment's consideration? And Anna, you are absolutely correct - don't marry somebody thinking they will change later. They may, but only for the worse. Most folks are on their best behavior during courtship, so if this fellow has anger management problems now, once he thinks he's "safe" it's going to escalate.

Lynn said...

If a lady has to ask anyone else's advice about whom she is considering marrying then perhaps she already has the answer? No.

Kimberly said...

I would NEVER encourage a woman to marry a man who's temper she was concerned about. It almost always with very few exceptions leads to abuse either emotional or physical. My best friend's husband had temper issues, and he ended up hitting her early in their marriage, not to mention spending 3 years destroying her self esteem.

Just because God wants us to marry does NOT mean we have to make exceptions for our spouse. No. Marriage is the MOST important decision in mortality and should be made as wisely as possible. A bad temper is a huge red flag.

Anonymous said...

I so agree with the other's post. If he has a bad temper or if your have any doubts run, believe me I know. I married a man that I knew not to marry and like the Word says you reap what you sow. The Word of God tells us what to look for in a mate and also tells us not to be unequally yoked. I would pray about it and ask the Lord for wisdom. Wait on God and don't pick your spouse let the Lord do it for you. If you become impatient and don't wait on the Lord you will live a life of grief and regret, and always remember you can never go back and undo whats been done. Wishing you the best.

Anonymous said...

So, according to some commenters here the guy has no chance a marrying the girl cause he has bad temper? I just wonder then, are men with bad temper destined to be single? People, think about what you're saying. Obviously, there must be something to this man for the girl to bother and e-mail asking in regards to him. Since when bad temper is an incurable disease that destines men to sinlge life.

Anonymous said...

I have been married going on 39 years now...and love to read what you share here. Those above are so right...if you see temper, RUN, RUN, RUN and don't stop!!!

I did not see that much of that with my hubby, but a little. Red lights about problems are usually tiny little ones...but oh so important. I have lived through some awfully hard years with him and only the last 5 have been good really. I was physically afraid a few times and told him never to repeat those actions or I would leave for good. It is only as he has become immersed in the TORAH path these last 5 years that life has become good. It is too long to wait and it will have repercussions on your children and you will live with that the rest of your life. Why not wait for someone with NO RED LIGHTS showing??

CappuccinoLife said...

It might be helpful to define "bad temper". Are we talking a man who gets grumpy sometimes, or a man who yells, screams, calls names, hits things, hits people, throws things, kicks dogs, and the like??? Or a man who is perpetually miserable and spends most of his time in an ill-temper, even without being abusive?

"So, according to some commenters here the guy has no chance a marrying the girl cause he has bad temper? I just wonder then, are men with bad temper destined to be single? "
Probably not.

Some poor thing will probably come along and hope to change him, or else be willing to live with his ugly temper thinking the good will outweigh the bad. It baffles me, but huge numbers of women willingly sign up for a life with angry, bad-tempered, abusive men.

In all seriousness, I would never encourage a young woman to consider marriage with a man who has an *ongoing issue with anger/bad temper*. Unless she's willign to live with anger/bad temper and possibly abuse for the rest of her life.

If it is an issue at all, much less an issue that makes her concerned, then he does not have his temper under control, and is not (yet) someone I'd consider "good husband material".

If a man is concerned about his temper getting in the way of finding a wife, the solution is not to guilt a woman into marrying him and putting up with it. He needs to make the changes he needs to make, and get his temper under control. That's his responsibility and nobody else's. If he chooses not to, and thus destroys relationships or prevents them from even starting, that's a natural consequence of his lack of self-control.

Lena said...

My husband has a bad temper on occasion, and so do I for that manner. So does it mean we should never had married? But no we love each other, and the love grew stronger the more years we lived together. Through tempers, through tears, through many issues we had to resolve we came to a better place, to a better understanding of what it means to love each other, and to love God. What is a person looking for in a marriage anyway? Wake up this is life we are talking about, it will have tough moments, but if you stand strong you can overcome all.

Anonymous said...

I hope the young woman who wrote for your advice will read these comments. If they are courting, and there is no "spark"- either they haven't known each other long enough or they do know each other well but aren't compatible. If they don't know one another well and she already knows he has a temper-- and presumably he's trying his best to keep it under wraps because that's what you do in the early stage of a relationship-- then RUN! And yes, Analytical Adam, if a guy can't keep his temper under control then he should stay single until he can get it together. If he can't or won't figure out what is causing him to lose his temper, then he should remain single. No one, man woman or child should be forced to put up with someone who can be first described as "having a bad temper". This young woman is fortunate that she hasn't developed strong feelings for this man so it will be easier to say no and move on. And next time you are courting/dating/whatever look for someone who, in all situations, is able to keep his cool.