My wife and I were the happiest couple. We grew up in the same community and our shidduch was pushed by our mutual friends. So, we got married. After our child was born, her mood and personality underwent drastic changes and she started getting angry at me for no reason. I proactively did everything I could to support her and our baby, but she threw me under the bus every time. I suspect she came down with postpartum depression.

For a while, I overlooked her erratic outbursts and responded to her klalos in my usual soft-spoken manner. But then I had enough. When she declined my requests for couples’ therapy from the best professionals to save our marriage, I brought her to beis din and gave her the get right away.

My family is furious at me for having “disposed” of my marriage rather than briefly separating and “letting things play out” either for reconciliation or a better deal in the divorce, but I feared that prolonging the matter would result in increased risk of me being written off as a “get refuser.” (I will refrain from mentioning the responses of her parents.) There are still outstanding issues to be solved of which I am willing to give her everything she wants, but at least she has her get.

I am now desperate to move on and get remarried, but my mother’s friends (who dabble in shidduchim) are giving me a hard time, as well as several shadchanim for not having a shidduch résumé as I strongly feel this is invasive and useless.

Many of my still-single never-married friends who use résumés have complained that they have no idea who is receiving their personal information. Their follow ups with shadchanim are often met with pleas to daven, while their references are bombarded at all hours of the night with calls from strangers claiming to be inquiring parties.

When my ex-wife and I were newlyweds, we considered becoming shadchanim to help these friends, but we backed out of this endeavor when more established shadchanim ordered us to be creepily non-transparent with the singles.

As I have since reverted to being among those single men, I am afraid to write up a résumé because I fear it will end up in WhatsApp groups where my ex-wife or her supporters are group members. Nevertheless, even when I gave the longtime rebbetzin of my shul a lengthy bio as well as the phone numbers of all rebbeim, dayanim, and therapists involved in my divorce case, she told me that the rebbetzins and shadchanim she networks with all felt that her personal “Rebbetzin notes” are not enough and that I need a résumé. Why is that?

As a single divorced father and a Kohen in my 20s, what can I do to get back on my feet?


I am known for being somewhat of an antagonist about the shidduch résumé nonsense that has become the number one blocker of shidduchim in our midst. From the very beginning, I warned parents of singles, singles, and other shadchanim that this trend would create a situation where shidduchim will be reduced, and instead of helping to increase the numbers of Bnei Yisrael, we will, G-d forbid, see less families being established. My words fell on deaf ears; still I prayed that I would be wrong, yet sadly I was not.

What we are seeing an increase of are more ladies and their established shidduch clubs of aspiring shadchanim acting as seasoned professionals, and unsuspecting singles look to them as their salvation. The shidduch résumé is now like a never-ending pandemic for which there is no cure. It is here to stay. The only thing that anyone seeking a shidduch can do is go around it. In other words, to find a shidduch without the help of the types of people you referenced in your query.

However, based on what you have disclosed, it sounds like your main issue has more to do with the unfortunate circumstances of your fractured marriage and subsequent divorce. In most cases within the frum community, divorced men whose marriage ended due to their ex-wife having been diagnosed with a mental health issue receive much support from shadchanim or anyone who dabbles in shidduchim. I believe you are being hindered in moving on with your life specifically as a result of the reason why you got divorced in the first place. You in fact stated that even your parents are furious with you for “disposing” of your marriage. Whether you should or shouldn’t have stayed longer in trying to work things out does not matter, and not for anyone who has no intimate familiarity with the situation to comment. The fact is that you are now divorced, and as a kohen cannot ever contemplate reconciling with your ex-wife. You don’t say anywhere that she contested the divorce. According to your account, she accepted the get, and you now have the right to move on with your life.

The last place anyone in your situation should ever go is to try to find a shidduch anywhere your ex-wife’s family, friends, and supporters are to be found. I am certain they verbally did everything they could to ensure that no decent young lady would ever go near you. These WhatsApp groups have become the “klalah” in the Jewish community, where anyone can make themselves out to be a shadchan and join these groups, because all that is required is to post a résumé that in many cases they see in a different group, and voila, singles flock to them like they are saviors. What I am writing here is just the tip of the iceberg about the corruption of the shidduch system and the exploitation of unsuspecting singles.

I don’t know where you live, but have you searched for a shidduch outside your area? Have you tried dating apps that do not require the assistance of a middleman to get a date? Have you tried the types of singles’ events that do not involve shadchanim? You need to get yourself out there in places where you do not risk the possibility that your information will land in some social media group. I will also caution you to stay away from newly-formed groups where the administrators find members by scouting out other singles’ events.

You need to reinvent yourself, so to speak. You are still very young and that will work to your benefit. I believe that you will find your zivug sheini, but to do that you must make the right decision. Early in your letter you stated that your marriage to your ex-wife was “pushed” by mutual family friends, so you got married. That is very telling that your heart was not fully in it, or that you saw red flags even before you married her. I am not a mental health professional and therefore cannot offer any comments about postpartum depression and whether there is a way of knowing if someone can be susceptible to it, but deep down you did not want to marry your ex-wife. I must add that when I speak to divorced people about their former marriages, more than 75% have shared with me that they had a gnawing feeling about marrying their spouse, either while they were dating or as they got close to the wedding. No man or woman should ever get married if they need convincing, and no person should ever take it upon themselves to convince anyone to remain in a relationship they feel is not right for them for whatever reason. Not only is it likely to create a future disaster, it is also not fair to the other party who is really into the relationship.

I find it perturbing when you state that you “suspect she came down with postpartum depression.” Meaning that as far as you were concerned, she had never been formally diagnosed. Moreover, the fact that she refused counseling leads me to suspect that there might have been mental health issues that were never disclosed to you, and with your needing to be pushed into marrying her, you clearly felt that something was wrong.

I am certain that as soon as you start looking in the right places to find a second chance with somebody else, you will not experience the rejections you have been getting thus far. My concern is that when you find somebody with whom you feel compatibility, that you recognize red flags, and most importantly, that you heed internal warnings. A healthy person should seem confident, without too much ego, as in an exaggerated sense of self, be positive about life, and capable of sticking to a daily routine, whether that means school or work.

It can sometimes be challenging to uncover when someone has a serious mental health issue, unless it is serious enough to be obvious, because there are many people who are great at concealing the truth. There is nothing wrong with inquiring about someone’s physical and emotional health when you are dating them. Most people would not have a problem or feel it is invasive when they know that the person asking is seriously marriage-minded. Before you do that, make any young lady you date feel comfortable about sharing that information with you, by going first and disclosing aspects of your life.

You will want to make sure that the woman is a good person who treats others kindly, and is considerate of their feelings. She will take (some) responsibility for things that do not go her way, is not a drama queen, and is the type of person that has no difficulty in apologizing in a respectable manner when it is called for. A healthy individual is a good communicator, can compromise, and is not a “my way or the highway” type of person. If you find yourself in a relationship with somebody where you are always the one to give in, that’s a huge red flag. In conclusion, follow the old gut feeling: If it doesn’t feel right, it’s not right. n


Baila Sebrow is president of Neshoma Advocates, communications and recruitment liaison for Sovri-Beth Israel, executive director of Teach Our Children, and a shadchanis and shidduch consultant. Baila also produces and hosts The Definitive Rap podcast for,, Israel News Talk Radio, and WNEW FM 102.7 FM HD3, listenline & She can be reached at


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