6 Tishrei 5781 / Thursday, September 24, 2020 | Torah Reading: Ha'azinu
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Don’t Settle for Less    

Don’t Settle for Less

How do you know when compromise is necessary to find a spouse, and when to never settle for less? Plus, an important fool proof trick to see if he’s the real deal…


Continued from Part 1 – Is He Good Enough? 



Now, we need to deal with your comment: "He is not perfect, but he is good enough." On good character traits - we don't compromise! Personality quirks - yes, but not character traits (middot). Whatever you're seeing while dating someone - you're seeing the best of them. After marriage - you see the worst! 


For instance, a guy with an anger problem - if he can't handle the restaurant taking too long to serve the food, what about his wife, in the privacy of his home? Magnify his anger times 100, and tell me if you want to be on the receiving end of that?  


If the guy is a dictator, and wants everything his way - how is he going to deal when his kids touch things without permission or worse? Or his wife has her own opinion? These bad character traits ruin a marriage. A woman cannot, and should not, live with them! 


I also saw this while dating. I said no to a number of guys because of personality issues, generally discovered while doing research and before I actually went out with the guy. The craziest real story of all of them - before I moved to Israel, one guy even flew to my local Rabbi to try to force him to force me to date him, because HIS RABBI said we should date! I had already said no, because my research contact said, "He likes having things his way..." If that’s the best that his reference could say, you know it’s 100 times worse in real life. My local Rabbi said to this guy, “What do you think, you can stick her on a hand truck and wheel her to the chuppah because your Rabbi says so?!” 


Remember this rule from Rabbi Avigdor Miller zt"l - you have to amplify everything someone says when doing research. People always want to put the prospective spouse in the best possible light. If they say something not good - it means it’s 60% or more worse than how they say it! After all, they feel a responsibility telling you… And if they are totally neutral, yeah, he's a nice guy... run! If they are over the top excited about how amazing he is, so then subtract 60% of the excitement, and maybe there is something left to look into. Obviously this rule runs for guys looking at a prospective wife too! 


Another example. When I dated my husband, I saw that he was ALWAYS late. I mean, who shows up 40 minutes late to a date? He was lucky I hadn't given up already and gone home! The one and only time he was ever on time in almost 10 years was the first date. So, as I prepared to get engaged, it was a real question! On this, my amazing advisor the Melitzer Rebbetzin, she should live and be well, said - "It's your choice. Can you handle it?"  


On this I could choose, because it is a real weakness, but it is a personality quirk, not an inherent, absolute, 100% always a problem. I tell you - I would have thought even harder if I knew how difficult this lack of schedule and timing was and how it would influence our life together! But still I would make the same choice - because he is a good guy, with a good heart, with good character traits, who is holy and guards his holiness, and prays to be better every day. Very flawed, drives me INSANE – but nevertheless good. 


Second, you need to check yourself extremely carefully to make sure that you are not compromising on yourself, for whatever reason. Maybe you think you don’t deserve better, or that you don’t think you’ll find better. Again – on character traits, we don’t compromise! Every woman deserves an amazing, holy, good man who will be good to her.  


Remember my iron-clad rule – you don’t want to get married. You want to get married to the right one. Marrying because you want to get married, you can manage with this one, compromising on YOURSELF – only means a marriage which is hell. And I mean worse hell than Hell itself!  


Unimaginable pain and suffering, which often ends in divorce, which is more like the real Hell only because now the unending suffering is much worse, but at least it will be over eventually… that is, if you don’t have kids. Repeat to yourself over and over – I don’t want that!  


I don’t want to give in on the slightest iota of what I deserve as an incredible, holy woman and daughter of G-d! I want marriage that is Heaven on Earth, with a man who also wants to serve Hashem, be holy, have holy children, and have emuna! 


One last note - give The Garden of Emuna and The Garden of Peace to this guy! It is an amazing creep-weeder, and it works 100%. You only want a guy who loves those books, and is learning and working on them!  


This is how it works: Rabbi Arush said that he asked Hashem to help him understand why some men love The Garden of Peace, while others refuse to continue past the first chapter or give one of a million excuses why it doesn’t apply to them. The answer he understood was that people who have some holiness in them, recognize the holiness in the books, and are drawn to it. But the men sunk in sexual lust don’t want to read anything that tells them that they have to change their ways… 


Need I tell you that sexual lust is fertile breeding ground for all bad character traits? Besides, lust means that the guy is a taker. He is only interested in his own pleasure. Can you expect such a guy to see past external beauty or appreciate his wife’s personality? He only wants something between a mannequin and a fantasy… Absolutely repulsive, really. Someone with personal holiness is a giver, because real love is GIVING. I personally experienced this on both sides and I won’t go into details but being married to a taker is, I repeat, absolute Hell on earth. 


So, buy the books all together, for you and him. Tell him that you are reading your books, and these are his. You want a successful, happy marriage - which means that you need to learn how to do that. What, you need lessons to drive a car, but to get married, you're supposed to know automatically? To succeed in anything, you need to learn the ropes! All the more so, the most important thing you'll ever do in life - get married and build a Jewish home! So, you want him to read his books too, and tell you what he thinks. 


Then, pray, pray and pray some more for guidance and signs from Hashem, and read your books - and let’s see what he does. G-d willing, everything will get clarified quickly! 


Continued in Part 3 Will He Change? 



Rachel Avrahami grew up in Los Angeles, CA, USA in a far off valley where she was one of only a handful of Jews in a public high school of thousands. She found Hashem in the urban jungle of university. Rachel was privileged to read one of the first copies of The Garden of Emuna in English, and the rest, as they say, is history. She made Aliyah and immediately began working at Breslev Israel.  

Rachel is now the Editor of Breslev Israel's English website. She welcomes questions, comments, articles, and personal stories to her email: rachel.avrahami@breslev.co.il. 



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