I am in my late 30s and not doing so well financially (but that’s absolutely about to change having come in contact with your teachings).
I am currently with a lady who is 5 years older than myself and doing pretty well for herself. Should I for financial security settle down with her even though I am not totally confident when I am with her in public, or leave her and take my chances?
While we take great pride in our books, CDs and DVDs and our many other resources and we are elated about the many thousands whom they have benefitted, we’re afraid that we have to question your assumption that they will help you. We are not sure you are ready for them.
We say this because your letter reveals a very unmasculine passivity. One can be in his late 30s and go bald without having done anything to have caused that to happen. You can be in your late 30s and be less agile than you were at 18 even if you eat healthily and exercise. You don’t get close to 40 “not doing so well financially” without having taken some wrong steps in the past and having failed to take some very necessary right ones. Our resources, we feel, are superb but they are not magical elixirs— in order to be effective, and they can be stunningly effective, they need commitment, hard work and willingness to significantly change. Are you ready for that? Think seriously; are you really ready for that?
If you are even thinking of marrying a woman in the hope of her providing you with financial security then we ask you to consider that perhaps there has been a little role reversal going on in this relationship? We ask you to consider whether, at this point, you have the backbone for really hard work. Marriages between younger men and older women are, of course, not automatically doomed, but five years is quite a difference and we detect a desire on your part to be taken care of rather than to be her provider and protector. How can you expect her to respect you when you confess to a lack of confidence when you are with her? What exactly are you offering her? What do you bring to the table? That is both a legitimate and an important question.
While it flies in the face of today’s dreadfully defective cultural norms, we would like to remind you that a woman brings herself to a relationship. And her grateful man, in turn, brings his performance, his power, and his productivity. She gives herself to her man. He gives her the world. Every dating website survey confirms ancient Jewish wisdom that women seek ambitious doers. They are right to do so. While the whiny boys of our culture decry women as ‘gold-diggers’ and worse, real men recognize that women galvanize their drive. This is why other than in a few outlying cases, married men vastly outperform their single brethren.
You ask whether we think you should leave her and take your chances. Those words you used strongly suggest that you view her as your lifeline to security. Not good. We certainly don’t suggest leaving her and “taking your chances.” What we do suggest is breaking off the relationship and allowing her to find a man with something to offer her. We suggest that you throw yourself into rebuilding yourself from the ground up physically, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. The very good news is that you wrote to us, indicating that you are well aware that something in your life is off. Reaching out for help is a wonderful first step You know that you are at a turning point and that you really can have many productive and successful years ahead of you. We suggest you avoid thinking of involving a woman in your life until you see concrete proof that you are on your way to being a new man. You can do this—go ahead and seize the opportunity.
Give it your all,
Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin