This was how it was supposed to work in theory. And in the USA in NY that was how things were. The best guys got offers from the Rosh Yeshiva himself. Lesser guys were offered shiduchim from lesser status people.
And how marriage was, it's obligations and responsibilities, was all spelling out in excruciating detail.
In fact it really was humanly impossible to prepare for marriage. You simply could not go through Kidushin, Ketubot, Nida with the Tosphot, Rif, Rambam, Tur, Shulchan Aruch. Maybe superman could have but no normal person could. I had a great advantage that someone in Torah DeDaat had written a short book with the basic information with some easy Lumdut. So you could get a basic idea of the arguments between the Shach and Taz without having to go through the whole third volume of the Shulchan Aruch By Joseph Karo.
The general amount of dating was six dates before a decision was reached. These were often planned for Motzai Shabat [the night after Shabat.]
Why is this relevant? Because today few people have any idea of what marriage is.
Along with this was the understanding the wife would work during the first year and the husband would continue learning Torah for at least a few years. In theory this was supposed to go on forever but in NY guys often began to work about five or ten years after marriage. The main idea was based on the will of the wife. She was in theory a girl who respected Torah and thus would want her husband to learn Torah as she made ends meet with the kollel check and he own work and support from both sets of parents.
So far I am trying not to let any value judgments get in the way. I just want to explain the system. You don't have to agree with it. You just have to understand the mechanics.
This is all just marriage 1.01. Nothing new here.
My purpose in writing this concerns the next step. What went wrong? This next step is really why I began this essay. But now I want to take a break and think about what went haywire?
After some thought I have to say the problems began when the Stra Achra [dark side =the cult that the Gra signed the excommunication on ] go in the door. Instead of the basic meme of Torah idol worship was placed at the center. That took the focus off of God and the Law of God