Teaching Your Husband

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

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?

(24) Anonymous, February 18, 2007 7:36 AM

To Sandy,

Maybe Lev is not affiliated & does not follow Torah ways?

...And, if I understood correctly, Lev did not mean husbands are G-d, he just brought a Mashal/Nimshal to explain his point.

HUMILITY, actually has a very big place in Jewish marriage. It's the quality of being humble, having a modest opinion of one's own rank... it's essential in any marriage, jewish or non-jewish.
Humility is not reminiscent of subjugation, absolutely not. You don't fully understand what HUMILITY is all about according to Jewish teachings.

I am not going to second such a comment, that husband is G-d, but I don't think that's what he meant. Read it again.

(23) Sandy, February 17, 2007 6:16 PM

To Lev


You write nicely, but the attitude expressed is not the Torah way. Judaism expects that a marriage between husband and wife feel like the finding of a lost treasure- two halves of a whole that were finally united. On BOTH sides- both husband and wife is the other half to each.

Men certainly need respect (women too, but love is higher on the list for women, and vice versa for men- both are important for each, though), but HUMILITY? That has no place in a Jewish marriage.

A husband and wife should feel ONE with one another- as deeply as one soul. Humility is reminiscent of subjugation- the opposite of how the Torah views marriage.

I agree with your sentiment that ANY gift should elicit gratitude- from both husband and wife. Gratitude that they are in a loving relationship, even if the gifts aren't perfect. That doesn't preclude honest communication if the desire for a particular gift is important- a spouse should be happy to find out which particular gift will make his or her spouse most happy. It's certainly not a necessity, for those who care more about what the gift represents than the gift itself. Both attitudes are legitimate.

Please remember, Lev, and anyone who seconds his comment:

Husbands are NOT G-d- what a sacrilegious thing to say!! Husbands and wives do the WILL of G-d, yes. Try to live a life according to G-d's laws and ethics, yes. Please don't get confused, or exaggerate to make a point- it crosses the line here.

The Jewish marriage is beautiful indeed. It is the ultimate setting for true self expression of one's soul.

(22) dina, February 17, 2007 4:27 PM



(21) Shulamit, February 15, 2007 5:48 PM

not sure i agree

Gift-giving is a sensitive matter for women, and men rarely seem to realize that until after a learning curve of mishaps. Open communication, in a kind, gentle and/or humorous way, is the best option. I did not agree with Lori's advice. It seemed like loshan hara, and also immature to consult with others rather than directly with your husband. However, whatever works for someone's marriage (as it obviously did for Lori's) is a good thing!

(20) Anonymous, February 15, 2007 1:41 PM

don't agree with using husband as example or ...

I think it is a great idea to build up anybody, however I think one needs to be very careful about sharing one's private life with even so called close friends. Most people aren't as discreet as we would like them to be and I am sure that most husbands would be horrified if they knew that they were being discussed. Of course,those marriages in a critical situation need a professional. As, to using your husband as an example. I understand that personal stories work best but I think that I would have preferred hearing about an anon. husband of an anon. wife!

(19) Annie H., February 15, 2007 1:32 PM

comment to Lev

I liked & understand what you wrote, it's really deep, but "your husband is you G-d"??? that's a bit exaggerating.

(18) Nechama Retting, February 15, 2007 12:08 PM


You just gotta love Lori! She knows just what to say! If you haven't read her book on Gossip, go buy it now!!

(17) Anne, February 15, 2007 11:34 AM

Thank you, Lori

I am convinced that HaShem gave us the challenging relationship between Husband and Wife in order to learn from each other and as one of most important paths to Him. Lori gives us the tools to do just that. My husband got me a battery for my car as a gift for Valentine's Day. I needed that gift too but my husband knew better because we have been married 27 years. He winked mischievously and looked at my expression and then presented me with the most beautiful vase of exquisite red roses . Best of all he said "I love you" in a way that I could feel the depth of his love. It was not the flowers or the gifts he so often gets me now but it was that he makes me feel like his Queen. He makes me feel beautiful and worthy. He gives me the added inspiration to be the best I can be. I hope and strive to do the same for him . Our years together have not always been easy but we have learned to hear each other so much better. And we are still learning. Each stage in life brings new travails; each stage brings new depth to our understanding and our love for each other. I pray for the wisdom to continue to strengthen our relationship.
Great job, on the video Lori I for one have experienced that good communication and being willing to teach each other is a key to a better relationship. Now, we need another one explaining why we need certain attitudes and certain types of gifts from our husband

(16) Rachel J., February 15, 2007 8:50 AM

Husbands don't need to be taught!

Husbands need our respect, understanding, acceptance & love. That is what will elevate a husband/man. Let's not make our husbands the house idiots, who just don't understand how to make us happy, let's be mature & caring wives & teach ourselves to appreciate the presents that come from our husbands. Behind every great man stands a great woman; Dear ladies, please, do not look for ways to make him a better husband but to make us great wives.

P.S. I thank all those who submitted comments to my previous comment.

(15) rachel, February 14, 2007 6:21 PM

great advice

Regardless of the other comments posted, I loved Lori's advice. The first year I was married I told my husband exactly what I wanted for my birthday months in advance. He got it for me, and ever since, I get the best birthday presents ever. I didn't wait for him to guess what I wanted. I told him plain and simple as to avoid any bad situations.

(14) Sharyl, February 14, 2007 3:49 PM

Married to a King

Well, today is Valentine's Day and I am almost positive my husband will not think of it. In fact I will be disappointed if he does because my life with him is my gift. He reminds me of the male Cardinal bird I saw just outside our back door this morning. The bird flew up close to the window, much closer than all the other birds have been willing to come and he picked up a cracker with sesame seeds on it (the kind he really seems to like) and he flew away. Well guess what! A few minutes later I saw the female Cardinal nestled under a tree with that cracker. She looked so sweet and happy. Her mate had provided for her.
That reminded me of my strong husband, who goes out every day to a job he is not really fond of, on a knee that needs surgery but he doesn't want to take the chance due to passed complications and his care for his family. And every day he comes home with a smile on his face.
Respecting my man, who follows Hashem, the True Teacher.

(13) Lev, February 13, 2007 1:08 PM

Your husband is your G-d

As Israel is betrothed to G-d, women are betrothed to their husbands. When Israel receives G-d's loving-kindness, the nation is elevated. When it turns away from G-d's Grace, Israel is diminished. A woman, too, should receive her husband's gifts – with gratitude and humility – whether they come in the form of loving care or a food processor. If you demean the gift, you demean your husband and yourself. You should only try to change your husband – or "teach" him, as you say – the same way you change the mind of God: only with prayer and your acceptance of His ultimate Will.

If you treat your husband as your G-d, he will treat you as his world, as his beloved bride

(12) A. Deutch, February 13, 2007 11:13 AM

question to Rachel J.

If you know of other unmarried women who share your view on respecting a man, please contact me. Would really appreciate it. Unfortunately women today are too involved on satisfying their own needs & wants.

(11) Anonymous, February 13, 2007 11:03 AM

loved R.J.'s comment

wish there were more women like yourself who understand what it means to respect a husband. A lot of women can learn from you on this topic.

(10) Jack, February 13, 2007 10:49 AM

Right on!!!!!!!

totally agree w/ Rachel J.
Couldn't have said it better myself.

(9) Rachel J., February 12, 2007 8:42 PM

Respect your husband!!!!!!

I am not sure about your advice on this one; in my humble opinion I think it's insulting, & in a way betraying not to mention disrespectful to all men & husbands to go to his/her friend's mishpacha or the Rabbi or the rest of the neighborhood to satisfie the wishes of his wife. We have to respect our husbands, make him the most important person, try very hard not to ask him to do cleaning around the house(which is btw a real deflator, even if they say they don't mind, you should mind for your husband to wash the kitchen floor), even if it means getting a cleaning lady for extra hrs., it's the best $ you'll ever spend, treat them like a King, not concentrate on teaching him, a woman must nurse the relationship with her husband (not talk behind his back to smne. else) and he will go out of his way to make his wife happy and treat her like a Queen! I am sure Lori P. is a great wife & teacher but I disagree with using husband's mistakes with the whole world, even if it is for the sake of teaching others. How about a certain couple... & leave your husbands honor/kovod alone. We women are smart, we have the power to make it or break it.


Rachel J.

(8) Anonymous, February 12, 2007 7:02 AM

Lori, I wish I knew this before my last fight with my husband which has made a major gap in our marriage. But it;s never too late. Now I know.

(7) Mike, February 12, 2007 3:23 AM

Lori is busy LOSHING her husband to a collegues wife!! She should learn the laws of the Chofetz Chaim! She is also thinkng of her OWN needs. Males are not stupid - they built this world! Was the car she drives designed & built by a female? Or the house she lives in? Or her food processor? Why doesn't she just say "Honey, I'd like some jewelery for my birthday or a new dress for Yom Tov? Is that so difficult? There seems to be a lack of communication in her marriage. What doe she get HIM for his birthday?
Happily Married.

(6) Kelly Woo, February 12, 2007 1:30 AM

Every Week!

Could we see a video of you every week? I really enjoy your stories and advise. Thank you.

(5) veronica, February 11, 2007 4:26 PM


Isnt this lovely?

(4) Chaya, February 11, 2007 1:43 PM

Great Start

Great start for simple things. Now what do you do for big things? The back door won't work if he isn't listening! No matter what his friends and the Rabbi said he didn't hear! He did learn to bring home flowers at Shabbat by seeing the Rabbi did for his wife every week. I would love to see something on salting his oats.>^,,^<

(3) yaakov herber, February 11, 2007 12:53 PM

teaching your husband

I watched your video, and have to say that i usually love what you have to say, especially the story about your grandmother and the wagon. In my case if someone mentioned to me that i did something wrong regarding my wife, I would be terrible insulted. #1 that my wife couldn't find the right way to tell me herself and # 2 that she told someone else about my mistake. I would be better served if she found a way to communicate to me her feelings in a nice way.

thank you,

Yaakov Herber

(2) amy, February 11, 2007 12:42 PM

why use such a sneaky way?

I think it is better to be upfront before hand. Take your husband to stores you like before hand and show him what you like. That way he has a choice but knows what will make you happy. I do the same with him. We both are hard to shop for and it is easier just to ask each other bdforehand what the other wants.

(1) Anonymous, February 11, 2007 11:34 AM

How do you teach a husband to just do the basics, like provide for his family?


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