Adar I 5765 – Sharing Family Information in Shidduchim

5 Adar 1 5765
Sharing Family Information in Shidduchim

Dear Chana,

Thank you so much for this wonderful website. It gives me much chizuk. I appreciate your time.

A non-hereditary health disorder is present in my family.
My question is: When is it appropriate to inform the boys I date? On the one hand, I want to be open and forthright, and show him that it’s ok. On the other hand, I want him to give me a chance (I can’t say I’d want to date someone in my situation) and also, it is obviously an emotional issue, which I don’t think is appropriate for the first or second dates.

Is it ok to leave it for the third or fourth date, after which I know we have an interest in each other without him feeling like he’s being pulled into a situation that he wouldn’t have wanted to be in? Or is it better to let him know the first or second date, but not go into detail, but if the shidduch isn’t shayach anyway, why bring it up? I don’t like bringing up the subject, once someone knows I have no problem talking about it, but I don’t like telling people, I feel bad telling them “not-such-good news.”

Any hadracha would be most appreciated.

Thank you.
Name and Seminary withheld upon request


Dear JemSem Reader,

Your family must be quite exceptional indeed because they have been chosen twice over to take care of very special Neshamos. As nice as it is to know this hashkafically, it must still be quite a nisayon, and could be an issue for shidduchim, even though you said it is not genetic which I suppose you mean that it is not hereditary.

The real answer to your question needs to come through Da’as Torah. It is a Sha’ayala. In Shidduchim every case is individual and unique and does very much need the input of a Rav.

I can however mention how it works in a general fashion. Most of the time there are 2 possibilities of how the Rabbanim handle the many issues that are involved in peoples’ lives, such as an illness or former illness of the dating person, an illness in the family, family difficulties [divorce, hardships, problems], and personal and delicate topics. Either they say that the particular thing should be told to the prospective party initially, before the couple meets [during the checking out time] or that the matter should be brought up around the 4th date. This would be for the reason that you said, in order to be given a chance, and let the guy get to know you a bit, [give wonderful you a boosted start -in light of the difficult circumstance] but would be before a very strong emotional connection would have taken root. As to how they figure out in which case to do what – well, that we will leave to the Rav and work on our Emunas Chachamim.

So take your question to the Rav and follow the derech that he maps out for you. I have seen amazing things in shidduchim- how situations ended up working out unbelievably smoothly [when it didn’t seem possible that they could have, given the magnitude of the issue] all because the advice of a Rav was followed exactly. I think there is real Siyata Dishmaiya that one receives when one listens to the Rabbanim, for they are so to speak the ‘mouthpiece’ of Hashem.

It is also crucially important to remember that Hashem already has your bashert set aside for you, and the family situation that you find yourself in will be just fine with this guy, he’ll be able to accept it, see the incident in a positive light and marry you! It is yet another chance to work on your Bitachon and relationship with the Ribbono Shel Olam.

With Warm Wishes,