Friday, March 20, 2009

Bad News is Everywhere

"Bad news is everywhere, shut my eyes, shut my ears and mouth; cause I know there's a better day coming blowing in from the North and the South." 
-Moshav Band

It's a terrible truth that bad things are everywhere. It was news of one of these bad things that made me question, as I tend to do, the the frum community's practice of marrying of their children when they're extremely young. 

The "news" was of a very young married girl who suffered a miscarriage. A horrible thing to happen under any circumstances, but when I heard of this particular case (not that it was the first that I'd heard) I found myself thinking about how horrible it was for this girl, who really is still a child herself, to have suffered such a tragedy. I asked myself, "Why are parents so eager to throw their children into the 'real world' by marrying them off so young? Yes, the wedding is a great simcha and it's a wonderful thing to celebrate, but what about after the wedding? Once married, these young children cannot be protected from the evils of the world anymore."

With bad news being everywhere, yesterday I heard another piece of "news" that broke my heart. Without going into details, a young girl in the frum community got married and almost immediately found out that her new husband was not who she thought he was. They are now discussing divorce.

This girl is still practically a child yet she is already faced with a failing marriage. She, who was sheltered in the frum community all her life, has been intimately exposed to a person and a situation that she could have been protected from if her parents had just let her have a few more years to grow up. Maybe if she'd had a little more life experience she would have been able to recognize the signs in the man who is now her husband, and the marriage could have been prevented. 

Her wedding was a great and joyous occasion, and as long as it was all lace and chocolate decadence everything was wonderful, but the "honeymoon" ended all too soon, and now the wedding is being seen as a tragedy for this girl who now has to deal with things that no child should have to deal with. 

In some frum communities there is, "a better day coming, blowing in from the North and the South," where getting married a little later (at 22, or 23 - young, huh?) is becoming more acceptable, but there are still so many communities that run to marry off their children in their teens. 

Parents, I'm begging you to look ahead for your child and consider that maybe they need to be eased into real life, instead of thrown into it abruptly with marriage. A beautiful wedding, while wonderful, is not enough to ease that transition. Children need a chance to grow up a little bit before they are married off and are immediately expected to act like adults. Think past the simcha of the engagement and the wedding (no, I'm not talking about grandchildren) and consider whether your child could use a little more time as a child before they have to start having children of their own. 


  1. I do not agree that young people, by definition are unready for real life.

    In fact, I think the extended childhood promoted by our society is not very natural at all.

  2. Kisarita -

    I'm speaking, specifically, about young people in the frum world who have been sheltered from the real world all their life.

  3. Just for clarity's sake, I was Amen to your post, not to Kisarita's comment. When I said, "Amen", her comment wasn't displayed yet!

  4. by sheltered do you mean sheltered from the outside world, or sheltered from having to deal with any form of hardship and responsibility?


  5. I 100% disagree with this post. Young marriages are not the problem, the people are the problem. A girl who isn't ready to get married at 19 isn't being forced by anyone. It is society who is putting pressure on her, yes, but if that is expected of her, she should make the effort to be ready for it. And most people are. There are people who are ready to get married at 19, and there are people who are only ready at 25. While 19 is young, it's not a baby. Marriage matures you up pretty quick.

    And a miscarriage and early divorce, while both awful situations, might not have been better handled by a girl a couple years older, even, if she was newly married. A newly married girl is a newly married girl, and everyone needs time to adjust to new changes in their lives. They would have been hardships had the girl been 25.

    Hey, I got married when I was 20. I had friends get married at 18, some now that we're 23. And while the 23 year olds are arguable "more mature" than I was when I got married, something like a miscarriage and divorce would shake them up just as much as it would have shaken me up.

  6. Anonymous,

    You won't agree with me because you aren't objective enough to see it, but you sound very much like the young people I was referring to in this post. Extremely naive and unaware of the benefits of learning self-awareness before being thrown out into the world.

    You think that, "Marriage matures you up pretty quick," and that that makes it okay for a 19 year old to get married so young? Are you kidding me? That's like saying we should throw 9 year olds into boot camp because it'll make them grow up faster: it just might work, but it also might be abusive.

    You don't use marriage to "mature a person up." That's just cruel.

    And, yes, a miscarriage or a divorce will shake up anyone, regardless of age, but why the heck would you want to make a person barely out of high school suffer something like that when they're just starting their life? So many divorces could have been prevented if one of the couple had the life experience necessary to see the "red flags" that 19 year olds easily miss because of the sheltered lives they've lived in the frum community.