1 Iyar 5765
If My Husband Will Be in Chinuch Will I Miss Out on Being a Full Time Mom?
I really enjoy reading your articles, and I wanted to ask you a question.
I’ve always been the type of person that things seemed to come easy for me. Like I used to hear people talking about how hard it is not to get angry, and I thought that B’H it’s not such a nisayon for me. I rarely ever got angry, and I seemed like I was really just doing everything right. I seemed like I was exactly what everyone’s striving to be, except I didn’t have to work hard to get to that point. Does that sound good? Yes, I thought it also was. But at the same time, I almost felt like, why does it take people a lifetime to reach perfection, I seem to be doing things right already. I didn’t feel like I was better than people, I just thought that I had an easier time doing the right thing.
The problem was that I wasn’t happy. And B’H I realized after going to therapy that the problem was that I was trying too hard to do everything right. I wanted to make everyone happy. But that doesn’t work. Why? Because I wasn’t making myself happy. I realized that just like everyone else I have my strenghts and weeknesses. And I was only not getting angry because I wasn’t allowing myself to feel angry. I was supressing my emotions to the point where I didn’t even realize that I actually had them. I was even starting to lose my energy because I was trying so hard to do everything right and holding so many feelings inside that it was affecting my health. Now I’m working hard in therapy(and it’s not easy) to express the feelings I’ve been keeping inside for so long. I\’ so happy that I ‘m doing this now… before marriage so I can work things through and be able to discover who I really am when I’m not trying to please everyone. So B’H that’s working out well. Except that now there’s something that’s making me nervous. I always wanted a boy who was very into learning, and I wanted someone who was a true eved Hashem. I still want someone like that, but now I’m wondering, do I want someone like that because it’s something that people think is a good thing? Or is it what I really want? So much of my life was spent trying to please other people. I don’t want to do that anymore. I want to do what’s best for me and try to be the best person that I can be. But how can I know? And I’m the type of person who likes nice things, and I also want to be able to stay at home with my children and give them everything! I could. Realistically speaking, if my husband is learning or in chinuch for a long period of time, then I might not have the luxury of staying at home and having nice things. But at the same time it’s always been my dream to have a true Torah home and marry a Talmid Chacham who is reaching his potential.
I’ve been in Shidduchim for a reasonable amount of time, and I’ve been going out with boys who are very into learning. Many of them seemed like really good boys, and I know I want someone who wants to learn for at least around 5 years. But I’m wondering if I should be going out with people who want to go into Chinuch. That has always been my dream but I don’t want to end up taking my husband away from learning or chinuch because I don’t want to live on less. What should I do?? Thanks for your help!
Name and Seminary withheld upon request
Dear JemSem Reader
1st of all – I want to commend you for going into therapy when you realized that you might have some things to iron out. Many people may become aware that they can use some help in sorting out some problems, but to actually do something actively to help themselves – well, that, they may never get around to. It sounds like you were able to do some intense work on yourself and that you discovered alot about who you are and the way you were handling things. From what you wrote, you seem to be quite in touch with yourself now.
Which leads us to your question about marrying a longer term learner / chinuch person. You have to get to the roots of it. Is this truly something that you want deep inside yourself or is it because others have told you it is a great thing. Being that you have learned that much of your former actions were done to please others, to the point that you were supressing your own emotions, you need to see where this desire is really coming from. Some soul searching time on your part is what is needed now. Granted the life and shape of a household where the husband is learning or in chinuch is different than when the husband is working and being kovai’ah ittim. They can both be upstanding Emesdik homes, the thrust in each can be serving Hashem, but exactly the same, they are not. So what exactly is it that you envision for yourself and your future household? I would think that it would be benificial for you to talk to a Rabbi or teacher/ role model that you feel knows you and understands where you are coming from. Not that they should make the decision for you, but just talking it through, discussing the pros and cons etc. – can help you clarify what exactly it is that you want.
I also do not feel that it is such a cut and dry issue that if someone is learning for several years or eventually goes the chinuch route, that the family will be living in dire poverty. There are many many factors to all of this and each situation is basically quite individual. Sometimes family members from one or both sides are very willing to help for a time. Perhaps you will have a wonderful job, which may be part time and you will be able to be at home with your kids a considerable amount. Perhaps the Kollel that your husband is in will pay a handsome stipend per month. Maybe you and your husband will sign up with one of the wonderful chinuch/ kiruv training programs that actually pay you to take classes! Plus, chinuch today means lots of things, lots of possibilities with varied pay scales. Also you need to realize that the ultimate future is truly in the Hand of Hashem. As we said, you need to define what it is that you want and make sure to go out with boys that want the same things and whose focus is in the same place as yours. As always, we make the hishtadlus and Hashem runs the show. If you go with the guy who is learning – how long it will really be for – what will come up in life for both of you and what opportunities he will have afterwards are all not in our control. I know situations on both sides. That both parties wanted some learning for a medium amount of time and as they take things year to year – things fall into place – and lo and behold they have arrived in the ‘long term learning’ category. Where as others who wanted long term learning, things came up in varied ways, with health, life situations etc, and they weren’t able to learn for nearly as long as they had originally envisioned. The main thing is [in this area] for you and your spouse to be on the same page as far as your direction and goals. The rest will be Ratzon Hashem.
I hope this sheds some light upon some of what’s involved with your question.
With Warmest Wishes,