There are no rules in Shiduchim. Part 5

by Devora Krasnianski, founder of Adai Ad Institute

What to do when you consistently get “it’s not shayach”?   There are several things that might be happening:

  • Your single might be described inaccurately and so the suggestions are off base, so they indeed are not shayach. It might be worthwhile to touch base with the shadchanim who are looking out for your single and re-describe your single. Or better yet, your single should speak to the shadchan directly so she can get a better sense of who they are.


  • The references might be describing your single inaccurately. It might be worthwhile to have someone call the references and see what they are saying.  You may have to change the references or update the references on the resume.


  • Your single may have changed or worked on middos in the recent past, and the ‘old version of the person’ still comes up in the research. You might ask the few references to mention that. “If you call people from his past, you may hear that he is full of himself. He really worked in that area; he is a real team player and really takes in others’ perspectives.”


  • There may be something in the family or about the single that others do not feel they would want in a spouse for their single. There’s nothing you can do about that. This is your single’s nisayon in life. It’s hard, but this is where emunah really comes in.  Keep smiling, do not despair. The shiduch is out there.
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There are no rules in Shiduchim. Part 4

by Devora Krasnianski, founder of Adai Ad Institute

What to do when you receive a “it’s not shayach”?

  • Take a deep breath and be grateful that your single did not spend more time and energy dating someone who is not shayach.


  • Be grateful that you didn’t expend more energy doing more research.


  • If no explanation was given, don’t poke around for one. See above about why people don’t share their reasons.


  • Move on. The shiduch is out there. No point in expending any energy on trying to make someone want to pursue the shiduch.


  • Don’t take the ‘its not shayach’ personally. There are many many more people who are not shayach for your single than are.  You may have been hoping that this would be the ‘one’ and you might feel frustrated or upset that you must continue your search. Don’t let that emotion take over and make you sensitive and take things personally.


  • Sometimes, it just might be that other family is busy looking into something else and the timing isn’t right, so they don’t give it any thought and throw out a ‘it’s not shayach’, or ‘not now’. Ideally, this information would be shared with the shadchan and relayed to you. However, in reality it often is not. So, you can come back at a later point to the family through the same shadchan or someone else and have the suggestion brought up again.
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There are no rules in Shiduchim. Part 3

by Devora Krasnianski, founder of Adai Ad Institute

How to tell the shadchan that you do not want to pursue the suggestion?  Again, there are several things to consider.

  • You don’t have to say much – if you don’t want to. You can simply say, “We’ve heard nice things. We simply don’t think it is shayach.” Or “We’ve heard wonderful things, we don’t think it is a good fit.” You don’t have to explain further.  At best, do not use the phrase, “I just don’t see it.”


  • If you are working with a shadchan who has been looking out for shiduch ideas, it would be helpful to give an explanation of why you think it is not shayach. In this way, you can help them narrow their criteria; make it easier for them to help you.  “My daughter really wants someone who loves to be around people and have friends over.”, “My son needs someone who is strong and independent and can take care of the family when he is away on business.”


  • Another reason why it is important to share with the shadchan: Perhaps there is something that you found out that she didn’t know about the person. If you share that information, it will make her work easier.  She will not be suggesting that person to people who are not shayach. “We understood from you that he was still learning full time, we heard that he is working full time and barely has a shiur once a week.”


  • Lastly, sometimes, you might hear things that are not accurate. If you mention what you have heard to the shadchan, she can help clarify misunderstandings.


  • So why is it that people don’t share the reasons? Sometimes, it is that the shadchan will minimize or dismiss those concerns. So they’d just rather not share anything.  In that case, you can simply tell the shadchan, “I really appreciate your insights. Nonetheless, this isn’t something we want to pursue or discuss at this point. Thank you.”  Others may not share because they fear the shadchan will think less of them and prefer not to share. “We can’t get past her way of dressing.” Or they don’t think the shadchan will understand the rationale. “I can’t get my son to go out with her because he disliked her brother in camp 7 years ago.”  Or they simply have a gut feeling that just can’t be explained.


  • Bottom line, when should I say “not shayach” and when should I give a reason?
  1. It depends on the shadchan. Is it a random person, or someone who really is trying to help you find shiduch?
  2. Your personality. How forthcoming you generally are.
  3. What the reason is.
  4. If you feel confident / trust the shadchan won’t share the negatives that you say, for example, “I don’t like the family”.
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There are no rules in Shiduchim. Part 2

by Devora Krasnianski, founder of Adai Ad Institute

If you have an idea for a shiduch, who should you approach first – the family or advocate of the young man or woman? It depends.  There are some points to consider.

  • If you are closer or friendly with one side, you may know if it is better to approach the other family first and see if they are interested before bringing it up to your friend, or the other way.


  • You might tell both sides that it is just a suggestion and that they can each make 1-2 calls in the next day or so to see if it something they would like to pursue. Then touch base with both to see if they are interested in pursuing further. If they both are satisfied with what they found out during these first calls, they can do more research if they’d like and proceed from there. However, if one side is not interested in pursuing further, it is important to let the other family know that, in a tactful and gentle way.  In this way, neither side has expended too much energy in the research.


  • Some feel that is best to approach the family of the young man first. The thought is that they don’t want the young woman or her family to know that someone has investigated and is saying ‘no’; they are concerned about sensitive feelings.


  • Different families have different preferences if they’d like to be approached first or second, and at what point in the process. Ideally, you’d ask them what they’d like.  (Personally, our family doesn’t mind if others research about us and our children; we don’t want to research about others until the other family feels that there really may be something to talk about.)


  • To the family or advocate: If someone reaches out to you about a shiduch, you can tell them your preference. “Please come to us, once the other side has done some research first and thinks this might be a good idea.”, “We prefer that you approach us first before sharing about our child to others.”, “We think it is best to tell both sides at the same time and then we touch base with you if we think it is something we would like to pursue further.”
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There are no rules in Shiduchim. Part 1

by Devora Krasnianski, founder of Adai Ad Institute

“This whole shiduchim part of my life is so frustrating and stressful, I wish there was a manual of how to navigate through it.” “Indeed, what are the protocols; wouldn’t it be great if those were written and shared with all?”

Though it may be easier to have a clear set of guidelines, there really are no rules when it comes to shiduchim. OK, there are just a few which I’ll mention soon. Every potential shiduch is unique – in so many ways that it would be difficult to state explicitly the way they should be done.

Some rules:

  • Take care of Dor Yesharim matching before even the first date. Your shadchan will probably ask both families for the information and share with both. If the shadchan doesn’t ask for it, you can offer the info to her/him.
  •  Be menchlich. Thank the shadchan for their efforts. If they have put time to helping you, some kind words or a small gift can really go a long way.
  • Be honest and forthcoming. When you don’t share all pertinent information, it just wastes the shadchan’s time when she makes suggestions to those who aren’t applicable for your single.
  • Communicate closely with the shachan while a shiduch is in process. Do not make the shadchan chase you.
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The Gentle Art of In Law Relationships

Deitsch.InLaws (5)“You don’t just marry your spouse, you marry the family.” For many this is a blessing. For others, the in-laws can be a point of contention. There’s an art to creating healthy and loving relationships with your in-laws (or at the very least, tolerable relationships).

Studies have shown that in-law relations are a key determinant of marital happiness, and sometimes a factor in divorces. Mother-in-law jokes aside, It is worthwhile to have a healthy relationship with your in-laws. After all, they are your spouse’s parents and your children’s grandparents; they genuinely love the people you love. And they’re going to be in your life forever. You don’t have to love them, but be kind and loving, and find ways to be at peace. All will be happier for it.

On Monday, November 13 2017 8:45PM Eastern, listen in as Devora Krasnianski of Adai Ad talks with Basya Deitsch, a noted relationship coach about this delicate relationship via a conference call The Gentle Art of In Law Relationships. This call will focus on what the children-in-law might do to foster a relationship with their parents-in-law. Basya will share important mindsets and tips for diffusing situations and building peaceful relationships.

Call in info
To join, call 641-552-9123. Access code: 256965
You can send in your questions anonymously before, during and after the call to

This call is brought to the community by Crown Heights Jewish Community Council, Adai Ad and Shalom Taskforce. It is part of a series of workshops and education organized by the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council under a grant by the New York City Council Domestic Violence Initiative awarded by Council Member Matthieu Eugene.

Check Adai Ad’s website for upcoming calls and events at or recordings of past events at

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Do spouses have to share everything?


by Devora Krasnianski, founder of Adai Ad Institute
based on a conversation with Dr. Elka Pinson

Q:  I am asking this on behalf of my friend. She is annoyed that her husband tells her he is going out for a drive to relax and ends up at his friend’s house playing video games. He does this often. She claims, “We should be telling each other everything. Why won’t he just tell me that he is going to his friends; why does he lie to me?”

A: There is so much said, and perhaps even more unsaid in these few short words.  Therefore, I’ll talk about the topic of privacy and secrecy in marriage in general, and then add a few words to address what I read here in these words.

Should spouses tell each other everything?  In one word, no. While one spouse may be more comfortable disclosing than the other, she or he should not expect to hear every thought, action, urge or memory of their partner. We need different degrees of solitude to re-charge, regulate stress and nurture a sense of self – be it a solitary hobby or reading the paper alone.

In other words, some privacy.

In a trusting relationship, we have neither the need to check each other’s phone, emails, mail or daily moves, nor the obligation to disclose all. That is privacy.

And then there is secrecy. The distinction between privacy and secrecy is very important.  Privacy becomes secrecy when there is conscious motivation to keep something unknown, hidden or unseen from one’s partner—something that directly impacts that person and the bond shared, often something that can harm the relationship.

Secrets can be motivated by betrayal, shame, fear, or anger. Secrets disqualify intimacy because they prevent authenticity. When someone is holding a secret, a part of them is not available for connection.


Is it privacy or secrecy?

Having private conversations with others without your spouse knowing all the details. Privacy. Healthy.

Having a secret conversation with someone of the opposite gender. Secrecy. Not healthy.

Not sharing how you spent every last penny. Privacy.  Healthy.

Not sharing that you gambled away over ten thousand dollars.  Secrecy. Not healthy.

One way to discern if it privacy or secrecy is to determine if the information is harmful to the marriage relationship – gambling, clandestine friendships are detrimental to a marriage. That is secrecy and not fair to your spouse or to your marriage.


So why does the husband in the above question lie to his wife? It is hard to tell with so few details. Here are some possibilities.

Perhaps, his wife’s asking him where he is going triggers memories of his overbearing mom always needing to know where he is. And he feels that as an adult he should not have to get permission or report his comings and goings. It’s really not about his wife at all; it’s more about his sense of independence.

Or, it might be that his wife would not agree to his hanging out with the boys, so he prefers to say a little ‘white lie’.  She is OK with him being out of the house to unwind, just not being with the friends. So he thinks, “What’s the difference where I am if I am not home, I’ll just tell her that I’m going out alone and I’ll ‘end up’ at my friends.”  What is happening here is that he is lying to avoid a conflict. Again, it is not secrecy or privacy; it’s conflict avoidance.

Another possibility, is that she is annoyed at herself for not being more assertive about spending time with friends and unwinding outside of the house. Instead of recognizing that, she gets bothered by his going out to friends and her complaint is really about that.

Maybe it is the way he grew up. He never had to tell anyone where he is going; he loved the spontaneity of just ending up somewhere.  He isn’t withholding from her; he simply doesn’t know where he will end up going and then doesn’t call to let her know.  It’s not secrecy or lying; it’s more about what he is used to doing. But, if it affects the family schedule, or he is not around for the family – then it does impact the marriage, and he should be sharing his comings and goings. If he doesn’t, there are communication problems.

Is it OK for her to ask him to tell her where he is going and what he did and who was there and and and …?

She has every right to be curious.  She must also recognize that no one has the right to another’s thoughts and personal information.  Even if they are married. Everyone has the right to privacy. As long as it does not impact the marriage.  Of course, he could share if he thinks it will enhance their relationship, but he is entitled to privacy.

It might be worthwhile to view it like this: Start with the premise that you will know nothing unless your spouse chooses to share; be OK with that.  When both ‘own the information’ ie: the marriage, finances, children, the details should be shared and discussed.  Of course, this feels natural when both spouses have a healthy sense of self and deep trust in each other.  They are secure in who they are as individuals and in their marriage.

So what is reasonable to expect to know about each other and to ask?  It should be on a ‘need to know basis’. Think: What about that information is important for you to know?  What is the point of knowing? What about that information is important for your spouse to know?  What is the point of telling?

Lastly, if you are withholding information, think about why you are not telling. Is it a power struggle?  Do you not feel safe to share; do you feel that you will be judged, ridiculed? Are you trying to avoid a conflict? Are you afraid your spouse won’t allow it?  While it may not be in the category of secret, it still isn’t healthy. Examine the underlying dynamic and work through it.

Trust is key in marriage; and trust is not needing to know everything about each other, and being OK with that.

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