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There are several sources which say that our spouse is predetermined from when/before we are born. I remember hearing a Rav say once that there are many people who we could be equally happy with as our spouse, and to choose someone and focus on making it the right choice after, which seems to contradict this.

I have noticed that the idea of a bashert often seems to be used quite negatively - e.g. a single person may think "is this my bashert?" and be perhaps too restrictive in their parameters for who they consider for a suitable spouse. Similarly, I think that in marriage, some people think "is this my bashert or did I marry the wrong person?"

I wonder if this is not what is meant be the idea of a bashert though and we are missing the point, and that accounts for the idea that we could be equally happy with many people. I suspect that the point is that we should try to think of our spouse as "this is the person who Hashem has decided should be my spouse" and that it should be something that strengthens our marriages, not weakens them. Obviously, this only works to a point and I'm not talking about assuming that in an abusive marriage or where a couple are clearly such a bad match that continuing the marriage is clearly a bad idea.

Practically, I suppose that the point is that we should not assume we know who our bashert is until we are engaged, and from then on to assume it is the person who we are engaged/married to.

Is this an idea that anyone has come across before? Is there a source for it? Are there any alternative ways to look at the concept that I haven't covered?

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    Could you please edit to rephrase this more clearly as a question, perhaps along the lines of "are there sources that indicate how we should emotionally relate to the concept of bashert with respect to actual relationships?" As it is, this reads as a statement with a question mark bolted onto the end.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Dec 8, 2023 at 13:37
  • @IsaacMoses That's not really the question - I'm looking to find out if there is a source for this idea, or that it is even the "correct" meaning. I'm not really sure what the problem is? Commented Dec 8, 2023 at 13:40
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    It's better. Thanks.
    – Isaac Moses
    Commented Dec 8, 2023 at 14:24
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    The above will work if we agree that Hashem won't let us marry anyone who is not our bashert. Therefore it really doesn't matter too much who we marry and we can focus on sensible things. Once those sensible things are in place, we propose, and if Hashem lets the ring go on the finger, then that's 100% confirmation that this is bashert. This is a widespread understanding of bashert.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Commented Dec 8, 2023 at 15:21
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    @RabbiKaii I think there is also a widespread misunderstanding of it! Commented Dec 9, 2023 at 18:24

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