10 Tishrei 5781 / Monday, September 28, 2020 | Torah Reading: Ha'azinu
 
dot  Add to favorites   dot  Set as homepage  
 
   
    Create an account    |    Sign in
  
    My Account     Orders History     Help
 
 
  My Country:  
  United States   
 
   Language:  
  English   
 
   My Currency:  
  US Dollar   
 
   
Home Page Torah Portion Spirituality and Faith Foundations of Judaism Inspirational Stories Family & Daily Life Holidays and Fast Days Israel and Society
   Dating     Marital Harmony     Good Income     Children and Education             
 
  More  
 
 
 
Marital Harmony  
 
HomeFamily & Daily LifeMarital HarmonyThe Big Obstacle - Part 1
 
  Advanced Search
   Articles
 
   Search
 
            
 

The Big Obstacle - Part 1    

The Big Obstacle - Part 1



Are you a baal teshuva with an uncooperative spouse? Tricky situation, isn’t it? Amazing advice in this sneak preview of The Garden of Peace.

 



One Sided Teshuva, Part 1
 
Even when a husband wants to grow in his religious observance and his wife stands in his way, peace in the home comes first, for it’s the husband’s first obligation. In such a situation, he should actually do everything he can to show her more love and improve the relationship in every way. If he keeps the peace and lives happily with his wife, she’ll be open to his influence. Through prayer, patience and respectful discussion, he’ll be able to make spiritual progress and uplift her as well.
 
No matter how inspired he may be, and however excited he is to pass on his inspiration to his wife, he must be careful to keep the peace. The husband must avoid commenting to her about anything that she may be doing that’s not in line with the law and refrain from trying to force his opinions onto her. He should even be willing to concede some of his ambitions for the meanwhile for the sake of peace with her.
 
Even if he has to concede some goals for a long time, he must be patient. This long way will end up being the shortest way to a life of happiness and peace. The short way of forcing the other person to immediately accept one’s views, ends ups as a long way that never leads to a happy ending.
 
In the course of the years that I’ve been working with domestic peace I’ve seen this clearly hundreds of times. Here’s one case:
 
A student who had been getting stronger and stronger in Torah and mitzvot approached me with a strange request: “Dear Rabbi, bless me that I should get divorced from my wife!”
 
I knew him well, and knew that he had a good wife. I was shocked and asked him – “Why? What for? What great fault have you found in your wife?”
 
He answered me, “Look Rabbi, I’ve become very strong and want to live an Orthodox life in every way, and my wife just doesn’t understand me at all. She doesn’t want to change and doesn’t commit herself to religion law. We argue constantly. For example, I am trying to educate the children in the ways of the Torah and she doesn’t support this. I want her to go to Torah lectures, and she doesn’t agree to. In short – however I try to strengthen her, it doesn’t work. She is an obstacle in my progress, in the way I want to serve Hashem. I don’t see any option except to divorce her and pray that I will find a wife whose wishes and ambitions are the same as mine.”
 
I asked him, “My son, do you have emuna?”
 
“Of course,” he replied.
 
“So if you have emuna, why should you divorce your wife? Emuna is prayer – every day pray for ten minutes and ask Hashem to instill in your wife’s heart the desire to comply with your way and be a help for you. In the meanwhile, don’t make any comments to her and don’t try to influence her in any way. Just show her a happy face and act lovingly with her, and I promise you that in a short time she will get stronger all by herself and will even outshine you in the service of Hashem.”
 
He replied, “But dear Rabbi, she just doesn’t want to repent, she just wants this material world. A woman should follow her husband! She’s simply not my true wife, otherwise she would be getting stronger with me.”
 
I said to him, “In my opinion, you’re being impatient. You must believe that all the obstacles that you have are from Heaven, to make you pray for each gain in spirituality. It’s Heaven that’s restricting you, so that you make gradual growth and not go too far too quickly. You think that your wife is obstructing you? Hashem is the one obstructing you for your own good, so that you should achieve each step of growth through lots of prayer and progress slowly in stages. The progress may be slow, but it will be healthy. Whatever we attain without prayers and without proper preparation is very damaging.”
 
“Our Sages said, ‘When a man’s ways please Hashem, even his enemies make peace with him,’ whereas ‘his enemies’ refers to his wife. You say that you are a man of faith? Then believe that if Hashem wants you to attain something, He will give it to you, and no-one in the world can stop you. You think that your wife is your obstacle, but the truth is that you don’t yet have the spiritual preparation to live the way you want to. You need more work. Our Sages say ( Avot 2:4) ‘Nullify your will before His will, so that He will nullify the will of others before yours.’ If you truly nullified yourself to Hashem’s will, He would nullify your wife’s will to yours, for this is an explicit rule of nature as expressed in the Mishna. It’s forbidden for you to think that your wife is holding you back, because there is no such thing that someone – apart from Hashem – that can hold you back, since there is nothing but Him.”
 
I tried to speak to his heart in this way, but he wasn’t interested. He wanted to blaze ahead and lead an orthodox life with an orthodox wife. In his mind, there was no chance that his wife would ever repent. He began the divorce proceedings.
 
I was greatly distressed by this and tried once more to stop him from taking this hasty step. I pleaded with him, “Isn’t it a pity to lose such a good wife? You’ve built a home together and have been through a lot together. You have children together. All in all she’s a good woman who doesn’t stop you from doing what you want. She doesn’t interfere in your life. You learn, pray, visit the graves of righteous men, and so on. Your only problem is that she isn’t getting stronger, that your path doesn’t inspire her. In that case, pray for her! Surely you should be grateful to her for all the good she has done for you and love her for it. You should pray that your path should inspire her too, and this will also have an effect on your children, that they will also be inspired also.” He didn’t want to listen.
 
I thought in my heart, “This man is entirely selfish. He just wants to fulfill his own wishes and desires and doesn’t care at all about his wife and children. I’m sure that one day he will pay for his arrogance.”
 
I tried one more time to influence him, “At least think about the children, they will be greatly hurt if you get a divorce, and you’ll lose them completely. For them it’s a terrible insult that you’re divorcing their mother and going to marry another woman. Listen to me: instead of praying for a divorce and finding a wife who fits your new agenda, pray for your wife and children, and give lavish her with love. Don’t get divorced in any circumstances. It may seem to you that you are conceding on things, but in reality you will merit much more if you accept Hashem’s providence and keep the peace.”
 
He wanted a divorce, and nothing else.
   
To be continued.




New Comment    New Comment
   See More Articles By Rabbi Shalom Arush
   Read more about Marital Harmony


Part - 1 of - 5          Next    Next
See All Parts of One-Sided Teshuva


Top of article    Top of article       Email This Article    Email This Article          Share to Facebook       Print version    Print version


 Join the distribution list Join the distribution list
 
 
  
If you would like to receive other related articles or Breslev.co.il features via e-mail, please enter your e-mail address here:

   

 Related Articles Related Articles
 
 

 
The Good Listener               When Nothing Changes               Married to the Slob
 
 The Good Listener  When Nothing Changes  Married to the Slob


  0 Talkbacks for this article     

Add Your CommentAdd Your Comment    Add Your Comment    

 
 
  
In Honor of:    In Memory of:
  
 
Like What You Read?
 
Help Breslev Israel spread the light of Rebbe Nachman
across the globe, and be a partner in making a better world.
 
Click here to support Breslev.co.il
  
 
 
 Products of the Day Products of the Day
 
 
 
 
Back  1 2 3  Next
 
 
 
 
  •  
     
  •  
     
  •  
     
  •  
     
  •  
     
 
Back  1 2 3  Next
 
 
 Most talked about Most talked about
 
 
 
 
Up  1 2 3  Down
 
 
 Most read Most read
 
 
 
 
Up  1 2 3  Down
 
 
 Facebook Facebook
 
 
 
 Mailing List Mailing List
 
 
 
Subscribe Here:   
 
   
 

 
 



  
 
 
open toolbar