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Teaching Your Husband

Be smart. Build your husband, don't deflate him.

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Visitor Comments: 29

(29) Anonymous, June 5, 2007 12:39 PM

Do you realize what you said?

Your comment at the end was "He's got to hear it from someone else". You basically just said- don't bother communicating, have someone else communicate for you. And not only communicate, tell him his faults. How does that inflate instead of deflate? That in my opinion is desctructive to a relationship no constructive

(28) AB, April 18, 2007 4:51 PM

Gift Giving - How thoughtful

My advice as far as gift giving is the following. Always tell your spouse "how very thoughtful of you" never ever tell your spouse "you shouldn't have" because they won't. Aside from that, do let your spouse know ahead of time that a birthday, anniversary or Yom Tov is coming up and if you would really like something special, do not leave things up to the imagination nor expect a spouse to be a mindreader. In addition if you tell a spouse, please feel free to return or exchange it, don't get offended if they return it or exchange it. Once again they are not mindreaders and they can't figure out if you meant that or not.

Know your spouse, if he/she says feel free to return or exchange it, don't do it unless you know 1,000 percent that they won't be offended, because if they get offended, that is the last gift you will ever get. In addition, I don't believe many spouses, husbands and/or wives equally, would be very happy being told through the grapevine that you didn't like thier gift. Not only would they be offended they would feel embarrassed and humiliated. You should learn how to speak up straight with your spouse or know how to accept a gift graciously whether you like it or not if your spouse would be offended. If that is the case, learn how to let your spouse know what you would like as a gift. Leave notes, fold things down in the magazine, tell your children to tell your spouse beforehand and not afterward. Learn to set it up early on so there won't be any dissappointment later. Also keep in mind that sometimes it is a financial decision, so don't be dissapointed if you had your heart set on diamonds but all that was affordable this year was silver. But that dissappointment can also be avoided by discussing beforehand what your budget is for gifts and saving up for something big for a 10th, 20th or 25th Anniversary, or a 25, 30th or 40th Birthday.

And if you are the spouse who is doing the buying, don't pretend you didn't get the hints. Be alert, pay attention and listen to understand. There is no excuse for ignorance and negligence. If you don't know what to get your spouse you can always ask either your spouse, your children or your in-laws.

(27) Anonymous, March 2, 2007 10:45 AM

I don't know what she was thinking?

Truthfully I don't know what she was thinking giving women this advise, don't know where she got it from, which genius advised her. I assure you most women are mature & hopefully would not follow her ways.


I was reading your reply, & I must say found it quite interesting (1st & 2nd).
In total agreement with you.


Loved what you wrote, maybe you should give lessons to certain types of women...?


I think I will stick to Chofetz Chaim's sefer on gossip.

With best wishes to everyone for a Purim Sameach!

(26) Anonymous, February 20, 2007 7:10 PM

Reply to Lev, 2/19/07 @ 5:55 pm

It's understanding as a guy you're offended with Lori's approach about teaching husbands. Immature & selfish way to treat the person you (hopefully) really love. Also, it sounded like none of Yaakov's presents were to her liking, she got sick of all his presents. Just goes to prove that her approach of going through the back door does not work. It's time to approach directly.

(25) Lev, February 19, 2007 5:55 PM

Response to Annie H. Sandy and Anonymous

Thank you for your understanding, "anonymous." And I appreciate your critical candor, Sandy. I hope sincerely that you receive my comments below the way they are intended, in the spirit of open and respectful meshing of minds.

My earlier comments likening husbands to G-ds were as metaphorical as they were deliberately provocative, driving Sandy to characterize them as sacrilegious. My intent was not to offend Lori, Sandy or other readers of Aish. Nor do I claim to know "the Torah way", to use Sandy 's words. But I do believe that Lori's recent advice on "Teaching husbands" raised important issues that I wanted to address, humbly, from my own perspective.

Lori's advice treated lightly a complex dilemma: how serious a problem does a woman have to face in her marriage to seek advice and constructive involvement from outside the mishpacha.

Personally, I hope that no wife would violate the private sanctity of her marriage over her husband's choice of a food processor, a water filter or any other household appliance. Readers convinced by Lori's advice should consider its logical conclusion: What would happen if you decided to enlist the help of friends, family and community to rectify every minor instance of your husband's thoughtlessness? Would you tell your mother to tell your husband to show you more attention? Would you tell your mother-in-law to tell her son to bring his wife flowers at least once a week? All these requests seem reasonable, but why not approach your husband, nicely and directly?

Granted, when you face a serious problem in your marriage, and you have exhausted the potential of direct communication, then you owe it to yourself, your husband, your family and your community to seek advice, whether it comes from a friend, a relative, a rabbi or a therapist. If the problem threatens your marriage, let nothing hold you back. When you see no hope, look for hope where you have not yet looked. Tell your friend. Get your Rabbi's advice. When the problem is serious, take serious measures.

But this hardly describes Lori's recent conundrum. She simply received a needed food processor as a gift. Her husband Yacov is not an alcoholic. Nor is he abusive. Just a good husband trying his best to please his wife. Yet, talking to Yacov proved too tough a challenge for Lori. She just couldn't find a way to share with Yacov directly the message that she conveyed to him indirectly. What made Lori think that the message would "deflate" Yacov less if it came from Ephraim? Does Ephraim have an especially gentle touch?

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