The great problem for an increasing number of people is how to get married. There are many shadchonim. There are many programs for singles. But, as one of the experienced leaders of these groups told me, people are not marrying after a divorce, and many are divorced. The divorces cause such pain, such a drain of finances and energy and great struggles and hate, that getting married is a challenge that is not being used as much as we would like.
The Talmud and the Code of Laws tell us that marriage is something to be done at a young age. Then people are ready for it, but as they age, something changes, and it is harder to marry. But those of us who believe in the Torah as taught in the Talmud, know that marriage at a young age is the way to go.
My mentor Rabbi Dr. Shmuel Toledano of Israel, was a major Kabbalist. The senior Kabbalist in the world wrote about him that surely Ruach HaKodesh (the Holy Spirit) possessed him to write his many books, usually very deep and lengthy books going into the words of the Vilna Gaon on Kabbala. Once I was visiting him, and I told him that I want a blessing for my children that they marry well and soon. I insisted that he sit down, while I mentioned each of my ten children, and he responded.
The first child was my oldest daughter. He heard her name and immediately blessed her. She married a major Torah scholar at the age of seventeen. Next was my son. Rabbi Toledano paused a bit before he answered. This son married into a prominent Torah family, but it took a bit longer.
When I heard the pause for my son, I thought, well, it won't be as fast as I would like, but I am going to try my best to make it fast. At any rate, things worked out nicely, Baruch HaShem.
A major master of helping people with their troubled marriages is Mort Fertel, author of Marriage Fitness. He is not a professional therapist, but thought through his own program, which seems to be much different than general therapeutic thought. He maintains that if you want a marriage based on love, you are making a mistake. People change as they get older and the love declines. What you should do, is to marry not out of love, but with commitment. That is, you see someone that you know has the proper traits you desire, but you have no special love for her. Marry her committed to the marriage, and the love will come of its own and last, says Mort. His rule is, “Love does not last, but commitment creates lasting love.”
In Yeshiva there was a fellow who was getting older but not getting married. I went over to him and asked him if he knew the phrase "hefsed merubo." Of course, he knew it. It meant "A great loss." That is, sometimes when there is a great loss a person has to do something that would ordinarily not be done. I asked him, "If you had married a few years ago, by now you would probably have children. Isn't that a great loss?" Not long after, he married.
If we find somebody with the right attitudes that we respect, and agree to commit to the marriage, there is hope that the children born will not be "hefsed merubo" but living and happy children who smile because of the commitment of their parents.