Rav Avigdor Miller on Fear of Marriage
Q: Why are some people afraid of marriage?
Everybody should be afraid of marriage; but that doesn’t mean you don’t get married. Marriage is like life – life should be feared more than marriage. Life is full of risks; as soon as you walk out in the street, you have to know that you’re immediately surrounded by lunatics; by criminals and fools. It’s only by being very careful not to get involved with anybody on the street that you can survive. Be polite to everyone. If somebody says something, don’t pay any attention. If something happens, try to pass by as quickly as you can; don’t hang around! You must steer your way in the street to avoid the many pitfalls.
And yet, even though it’s dangerous, still you go out into the street. You have to go. Marriage is less dangerous than the street. Of course when you’re married you must guard your tongue. Of course, you must be patient. Of course, you have to adjust yourself to another person. So you have to steer your way in marriage to avoid the pitfalls just like you do in the street.
You know, people think that the main problem of marriage is marrying the right party. It’s not! Of course, you have to try to marry with the right one but the main problem in marriage is being the right one.
And that’s made up of two parts. One part is preparing for it. You have to learn how to be mentch before you’re married. So it means you’ll marry when you’re 99 years old?! No, you have to learn how to be a mentch as early as possible. And you’ll have to learn on the job too!
A mentch also means that you have to work! You have to learn how to work, how to support a family. Or you have to be a learner. But just to be a nothing, you don’t deserve a wife and you don’t deserve a life either. To live in this world, you have to do something.
Now, when a man postpones marriage because of fear, he’s making a major error! Because time is passing by and the older he gets the less suited he is for marriage because he becomes more fixed in his ways, in his bachelor habits, and it’ll be more and more difficult for him to adjust. When you’re young and pliable, then it’s easier for you to change yourself in order to fit into the pattern of marriage.
And therefore, to be afraid of marriage is natural, but it should never deter somebody from doing what his duty is.
TAPE # 596