WWYD – Shidduchim / Marriage

Shamelessly taken off a messageboard:

A kallah [bride] asked me to post this and solicit your opinions.

The kallah is in her late 20s, and smoked 1/2 a pack a day from age 13 until just a few weeks ago. Does she have to tell the chosson [groom]? She thinks he might have noticed, but they have never discussed it.

(p.s. There is no “warning signs” to be seen here. She just wants to do the right thing. )

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  1. mrsmelissasg says:

    I say: YES!
    a) Its just an honesty thing.
    b) There is a good chance that with that much history it may affect her health.
    c) Many long time smokers are still drawn to smoking in times of hardships and they need the support of the person closest to them to not make that their outlet.

  2. lady lock and load says:

    I don’t think she HAS to tell him. Certainly if he asks she should be honest. It may work to her benefit if she tells him though, so he can be supportive to her in breaking this habit.

  3. Baila says:

    My husband was a non-smoker when we met. He had quit about six months beforehand. He told me he had been smoker and I’m glad he did bec. yes, at the first sign of a stressful situation, he started smoking again. Had he not told me about his smoking I think I would have felt very betrayed and angry. As it is I was upset that he had started smoking.

    I am glad to say that he is currently a non-smoker again. With G-d’s help, it will stay that way, but I know that this could change. Being a smoker is like being an alcoholic–you are always “recovering” or are doing it. I think she definitely needs to put the cards on the table.

  4. Chanief says:

    As a former smoker, and I never even smoked as heavily or for as long as the person in question, I know that one of the first things I want when I am stressed is a cigarette. I agree that him knowing this would help support her continuing a smoke free lifestyle.

    I agree with those who say that she should tell him. If he likes her enough to want to marry her it won’t make that much of a difference, but he has a right to know.

    My goodness, if she is going to MARRY him, shouldn’t she be open and honest with him?!?! I REALLY don’t get the concept of hiding things in the shidduch process, and I hear about things like this ALL the time!!! It annoys me to no end – shouldn’t someone have the right to know everything about the person they are marrying?!?!

    • tesyaa says:

      hear hear!

    • Mark says:

      Chanief – I REALLY don’t get the concept of hiding things in the shidduch process

      What don’t you get? It’s fear. Fear of not getting a shidduch, fear of not getting a “good” shidduch, fear of not being accepted, fear of affecting siblings shidduch prospects, etc.

      • Chanief says:

        Oh, I understand all of that, but think about it – shouldn’t the chosson know who he is marrying (and vice versa?) I understand all of the fears but it is sooooooo wrong and completely unfair to a spouse who ends up with something other than what he or she expected when they married.

        • HSaboMilner says:

          one would think they would need to have this information, but sometimes its just about landing the right shidduch. the problems, ah, the problems won’t be so bad, because with a ring on your finger you’ll have to work it out…..


          • Chanief says:

            Right because, of course, the ring itself is magic and makes everything all rainbows and unicorns… (thanks for the laugh!)

          • HSaboMilner says:

            rainbows have an end, and unicorns have a pointy thing that hurts….so those aren’t so amazing, you know….altho the pot of gold does help ;)

          • DaveK says:

            She should definitely tell him. Keeping secrets creates a barrier to complete openness and trust which in turn can damage the budding relationship. Long term, who knows what can happen.

            and HSM, Rainbows have gold at the end so that is not as bad as the pointy unicorn thingy!

  5. batya from NJ says:

    i agree with all the posters who say that she should be honest with him & “fess up”. wouldn’t she want him to be honest with her if the situation were reversed & he was the smoker? as the saying goes, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander & if she wants him to be upfront & honest in the relationship, then she owes him the same courtesy & if he isn’t interested b/c of that info & wants to break up the relationship then so be it b/c maybe he isn’t her bashert after all…i have no patience for ppl. who knowingly go into marriage with too many skeletons in their closets & quite frankly this is a big one & as was said earlier it may affect her health down the road & he just has a right to know!!!

  6. Yossi Ginzberg says:

    Honesty is always best, but just FYI: I was told by Dr. Alvin Tierstein (Head of Mt Sinai Pulmonary at the time)that if one quits smoking before age 40, within 5 years their lungs are as if they had never smoked. Obviously, this is not permission to smoke, nor does it guarantee that nothing will happen within the 5 years.

  7. mrsjessica says:

    There’s also the fear of changed opinion, not just fear of losing the shidduch, etc. There are lots of negative stereotypes about teenagers who smoke – they were the bad kids in high school, at least where I was, or even just the “lower class” kids. Don’t get me wrong, there were lots of them, but it was really looked down on in my group of friends.

    However. Given that she did start smoking at 13, it’s probably best to tell him, since there are probably stories and things that go with it, and would probably give him a better idea of who she was growing up, and as other posters mentioned, that she might need help dealing with stress in the future.

  8. Hadass Eviatar says:

    I agree that she should tell him and ask for support in staying smoke-free. “A few weeks” isn’t very long and preparing for a wedding can be VERY stressful.

  9. fille says:

    Didn’t he SMELL it????

    If she is ready to quit, kol hakavod to her…

  10. sheldan says:


    And if this costs her a shidduch, he isn’t worth it. I totally understand where Mark is coming from, but sadly such considerations don’t surprise me. :-(

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