Recently a friend of mine was telling me how her parents are always trying to find reasons why she’s not married yet and giving her advice on what she should do in order to get married. “Did you try talking to this shadchan?” Other friends’ parents always seem to be telling them how they need to get married, or making side comments implying that they hope their children will get married very, very soon.
What kind of message are these parents giving to their kids? Is marriage the most important thing in life? I understand that they want their children to get married, all parents want that. But is it urgent for them to be married as soon as possible, right away? Is it more important for them to be married than to be happy? These friends have enough pressure on them to get married, when there are people younger than us getting engaged and married and having babies left and right, and they don’t need the added pressure from their parents, who they want to please.
It’s as though it doesn’t matter if they are the top of their class and become a doctor; if they are not married, the parent isn’t fully satisfied. This is unreasonable because marriage isn’t in our control; it’s up to Hashem as to when we will find the right person. Wouldn’t these friends be married if it was up to them? Of course. It’s not that they don’t want to get married. They are putting in effort and doing the best they can. It’s not their fault that they aren’t married. The only thing that happens when parents pressure their children to get married, is the children become resentful and more frustrated about dating, which is hard enough as it is, unless you are lucky to find the person right away. Unfortunately, that is not the case most of the time.
Thank G-d, my parents are great when it comes to dating. Of course they want me to get married, like all parents, but they make sure to tell me and emphasize that the most important thing to them is that I’m happy. If I don’t get married for a while then the only reason this would upset them is if I’m upset about it. Whenever my friends express frustration about their parents, it reminds me how thankful I have to be for my parents.