22 Av 5781 / Saturday, July 31, 2021 | Torah Reading: Eikev
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Who Me? Everything's Ok!    

Who Me? Everything's Ok!

Normally, an ejected or forcibly separated husband fails to accept his predicament with emuna, for if he would have applied emuna to his life...


Last week, we learned that a separation is like a six-alarm fire; if it's not extinguished, then the marriage and the family burn, Heaven forbid. We also learned how the three principles of emuna are the key to dealing with this dangerous crisis.
* * *
Normally, an ejected or forcibly separated husband fails to accept his predicament with emuna, for if he would have applied emuna to his life, he wouldn't have been ejected in the first place. Since he lacked emuna – life's most important asset and tool - he failed to heed the subtle hints that were sent his way for a long time previously.
At first, HaShem sends gentle, subtle messages. When a person fails to understand, react, and arouse himself from his spiritual slumber, then HaShem must resort to stronger, more blatant messages like marital strife or in extreme cases, ejecting a person from his home. If an ejected husband honestly reviews his past, he'll see how HaShem reprimanded him all along by way of each one of his wife's reprimands.
When a husband realizes that HaShem speaks to him by way of the wife, then he doesn't argue with her. On the contrary, he bends an ear in effort to understand the Divine message that is clothed within the wife's complaints. A husband with emuna never reaches a point that his wife wants him out of the house.
The insensitive and unreceptive husband that had always ignored or dismissed his wife's complaints will also have a hard time accepting the role of an ejected husband with proper faith.
Who, Me? Everything's OK!
Sometimes a husband sincerely feels that he's behaving fine at home, contributing his part to the family and acting responsibly. He therefore can't fathom why his wife is so peeved with him. One should know – it doesn't matter what you think of yourself; what your wife thinks of you is what counts! A husband's task is to please his wife and to keep her happy.
Imagine that a mechanic claims to have done a superb repair job on the engine of a customer's car. He proudly informs the customer of the new parts installed and of the efforts he invested in fixing the engine. The customer pays the bill, gets in the car, turns on the switch, but the car is dead as a doornail! What good is the mechanic's testimony of new parts and dedicated efforts when the engine doesn't function? Reality shows that the engine hasn't been repaired.
Sometimes the doctors boast that the operation was a success, yet the patient dies. Who needs that kind of success?
A husband shouldn't blame a wife for her own unhappiness. With HaShem's Divine Providence, a wife's lack of contentment usually indicates that her husband needs to repair something. If he loses patience with her or upsets her, he'll only make his own situation worse.
Lack of Emuna – The Only Difficulty
Without emuna, the ejected husband becomes ensnared in negative emotions. At one extreme, he might blame his wife for all his troubles and thirst for revenge. At the other extreme, he might be suffering from homesickness and a broken heart. All of a sudden, he loves and longs for what he previously took for granted – his wife, his children, and his home. Almost all the time, he feels miserable, shattered, and humiliated. If he would have had emuna, he'd realize that his current predicament is a blessing in disguise; that is, if he's smart enough to extinguish the fire.
Here's the test - if he really does love his wife and children, he'll seize the opportunity to put out the fire of dissent and to repair the relationship. He'll take stock in himself, and resolve not to hurt her in the future. On the contrary, he'll commit to respect her, to listen to her, not to criticize her, and to do his utmost to make her happy.
A father that truly loves his children does his best to prevent a breakup of the family unit, for a broken home is devastating for a child's emotional development, confidence, self-image, and future chances of success. Emuna helps a person rise above the limitations of egotism, selfishness, and short-term gratification. With emuna, a person realizes that HaShem has entrusted him or her with the delicate and precious deposit of children, who need to the love and security of a unified family environment to develop healthfully in mind, body, and spirit.
To be continued…
Disqualifier: This series is designed as food for thought and to provide practical guidelines for emotionally healthy people who are either married or contemplating marriage. It is not a substitute for the professional help required in situations of extreme emotional impairments and/or disturbances.

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