11 Cheshvan 5781 / Thursday, October 29, 2020 | Torah Reading: Lech Lecha
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The Workaholic Husband

Her husband is constantly going on business trips and not rushing home. When he is home, he just yells at her and the kids they don’t appreciate him enough…


I’ve been married for almost 10 years and my husband is totally neglecting me and the kids recently. He is so wrapped up in his business that we stopped being his priority. He is always busy, leaves for business trips constantly and does not rush to get home. I’ve tried to talk to him but he thinks it’s just me and that I don’t appreciate everything he does. He just switches the blame without addressing any of my concerns. He is very short tempered, everything sets him off. He screams at me and the kids all the time and then blames us for always not thinking. I am so lost. Is it my fault? Should I not express my frustrations and just keep quiet (which is what I think he wants me to do)? Please help! 


AB, Philadelphia, USA 




Your situation is really not easy! I am glad you emailed me 


First off, if you do not already have to books, you want to start reading The Garden of Emuna and Women’s Wisdom – The Garden of Peace for Women. You also want to get The Garden of Peace for Men for your husband. These last 2 books are THE handbooks for a wonderful, happy marriage, which has saved thousands of marriages already and enhanced many more. I cannot hope to give you in a short email all the critical information you need, which is already in these books. You can buy them at a local Jewish bookstore, or from our webstore using the embedded links. These are real workbooks – to read, work on, and pray about and they will certainly give you loads of encouragement and ideas, both for yourself, your marriage and your children. 


Next, the most important thing right now is emuna – to simply believe in God. God is all powerful, and He is in charge even of human beings. God is also your Heavenly Father – and a daddy never does anything bad to his daughter and grandkids! Now, that doesn’t mean that the situation isn’t nasty – it is. Nor does it mean that you should ignore it altogether. It means that God loves you, and sent you this serious marital problem for some purpose which is ultimately good for you, even though right now in the middle of the test, you cannot hope to know what it is. That’s emuna. Emuna kicks in where the mind kicks out. I don’t understand at all – but I am choosing anyway to believe that it’s from God, and therefore, GOOD. Not good in the way it looks in physicality, but good for me in some spiritual way that I cannot understand right now, but I believe exists. 


As I mentioned – just because it is ultimately good, does not mean that you become your husband’s floor mat. No way! But, we need to be very wise about how we deal with this situation, because it sounds like it is a loaded powder keg – and not only is your life hanging in the balance, but so are your children’s.  


The key lies in recognizing that this is a wake-up call from Hashem – like a loving father who sometimes has to pat the back of a daughter who isn’t recognizing his presence, or has moved far away. Your husband is just a stick in Hashem’s hand. God can turn his heart at a whim, can send him someone to say something to give him pause, or just make him wake up to his mistake on his own. But until you deal with what message God is trying to give you, then your husband might not turn around. 


So, now we come to the real question – what is God trying to tell me? Honestly, I can’t tell you! But I CAN tell you that the way to find out – is simply to ask God yourself! You need to make time to be alone and simply speak to God in your own words, the way that you might speak to your flesh and blood father or best friend. You can find a treasure house of articles on personal prayer by clicking here. It’s amazing how you get feedback from God during and after these sessions – but you really do. Obviously not in voices coming from the sky! But in ideas that suddenly come to mind (that’s the most common for me personally), situations that change, conversations I have with others that give me the advice I need, etc.  


However, I would be lax if I didn’t tell you about Rabbi Arush’s winning formula to cancel suffering like this. It’s called The Chok Todah – The Law of Thank You. Click on the link for all the information about how to do it. Rabbi Arush promises: The law really works! Just like water puts out fire, so this formula is very powerful to stop your suffering. Your topic will obviously be your husband – Thank you God, for how much I am suffering from my husband not being home. God, I don’t know at all why you are doing this to me, but I believe it’s for the best. Thank you that because of this problem, I am starting to learn about emuna. Thank you that because of this problem, I am starting to speak to You in my own words, and create a relationship with You, which is the purpose of my creation in the first place.  


My husband’s heart is in Your hands – and so am I. I know you’ll take care of me and the kids no matter what. You’ve always been there for me, even if I didn’t see or recognize it. Thank you. I know You are here for me now. Thank you!  


Something like that (I am just guessing with the words obviously) for 15 minutes. It goes much faster than you realize! Then you say Psalm 100 – 8 times straight. You do that every day and see how your life will change with Hashem’s help! 


To read more about how emuna can turn everything around for the good, and how to grasp saying thank you even for things that are outright terrible in real time – I recommend reading the articles Say Thank You for Abuse?! and Gas Station Salvation. Take another moment if you can to peruse some of the other articles in the Inspirational Stories category – they re-inspire me every time I read them! 


Try these tools for a little while, let’s say a week or two, and see what happens. Hopefully you won’t even have to wait that long. In the meantime, make a list of 10 things that are good about him, and try to compliment him on them during the time that he is home. Plus, try to say 10 thank you’s to him while he is home as well, including thank you for working so hard to support us during Corona! You’d be amazed how much such small gestures change the entire atmosphere in the home. You could also try writing him a letter.  


The truth is, that it’s the very little things that make or break a marriage. I am NOT saying that this situation is your fault – but really, it doesn’t matter who is at fault. At that matters is trying to improve the situation. The worst he can do is not care anyway – it certainly won’t hurt. Whatever you can do, try to take the pain and bring it directly to God in personal prayer, but be only positive towards your husband right now, or at least, neutral. When a rubber band is pulled tight, it springs far in the other direction. We need to give him as much relaxed space as possible to want to put himself back into the marriage – no one ever changed because of complaints or criticism, however justified. Don’t be right – be wise! And really pray that he will read his book – because if he will read and work on what is taught there, it will solve all your problems, even far past working too much and ignoring you! 


Note that these tools deal with the spiritual problems that lie at the root of this situation. Most marital advice is just band-aids – at best. But this advice has been proven to actually fix and change the situation – because you’re dealing with the real problems, not the symptoms. 



Rachel Avrahami grew up in Los Angeles, CA, USA in a far off valley where she was one of only a handful of Jews in a public high school of thousands. She found Hashem in the urban jungle of university. Rachel was privileged to read one of the first copies of The Garden of Emuna in English, and the rest, as they say, is history. She made Aliyah and immediately began working at Breslev Israel.  

Rachel is now the Editor of Breslev Israel's English website. She welcomes questions, comments, articles, and personal stories to her email: rachel.avrahami@breslev.co.il. 


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