Mishmeres HaSholom: Ask the Rav

Q: A few days after I suggested a shidduch to a friend, the mother of the girl called me. She told me that while she was checking out the boy, she heard out that it was the second marriage for his parents. She said she was annoyed with me that I hadn’t mentioned this to begin with. The woman added that because of the constructive purpose involved, while inquiring about shidduchim everything should be put out on the table, and there is no problem of lashon hara. I was surprised at her words because I didn’t think I should inform people of this detail in advance. The mother’s first marriage had ended very quickly, many years earlier. Since then she went on to raise a beautiful family. Why would I have to bring up the issue now?

In any case, I wanted to ask about the future — does one really have to share this type of information when it comes to shidduchim?

A: I gather from your question that the children are from their parents’ second marriage. It therefore seems that there is no reason to share this information with the prospective families as this would not be considered necessary information about the boy’s family, and certainly not of the bachur.

On the other hand, if the suggested boy is from the mother’s first marriage and he is living with a step-parent, then it is possible that one should inform the other side of this, because it could affect the boy and his future. It would not constitute lashon hara because of the toeles involved, and because it is more likely to be public knowledge, and other reasons.