Marriage- The Foundations
5 September 2016 Marriage
The Foundations begin with you. Your relationships with others depends on you. A person has to be prepared for marriage.
The man has to be prepared and so does the woman. Every marriage can work if the couple is trained. Every couple needs to
be introduced and educated. This is done through serious study with a Rav or mentor where practical advice is transmitted.
Through this they learn to deal with today’s spoiled individuals, stressed and fast paced world and other negative influences of the
world. The training begins now.
The man has to work. A man who is learning in Kollel must still know he’s still in charge of supporting the family. It’s
in the kesubah; it’s his responsibility. He must be capable. The man must work on acquiring skills that will help in parnassa.
This is a serious thought. A good marriage depends on it. Without this stability, the man is creating a relationship without a
foundation. The wife’s instability will come out through yelling, nagging and insecurity. It is destructive. (However, Kollel
marriage is a unique bond that is very successful. There are thousands and thousands of these couples who hold up the world
with their Torah and who generate the Gedolim, Rabbis and leaders of the generation.) No matter who is working, the
husband must be cognizant of his responsibility and, as a team, they can be successful in parnassah matters. Their relationship is
special.) Then there’s learning. I can tell you stories where a man learns regularly, seriously and well and thereafter he has a good
relationship with his wife. Why? Because he feels good deep inside, and his Torah ideas are lived and listened to. The less
learning and more shallow his learning, the weaker the relationship. His learning is the building block of the house. It’s
the protection. It’s the Torah philosophy of life. It’s service of Hashem.
Then the third major quality a man needs is getting along with others. Getting along depends on what goes on in the mind.
Being prepared is important. Many times you know when a difficult situation might arise. Most issues and incidents repeat
themselves. The first reaction is relax yourself. Rest, eat or listen to a tape before the encounter. Secondly think what will happen
in the future. Be patient. Don’t respond! Be calm. Thirdly, create a positive attitude and situation as you walk in. Say hello
softly, take out a broom, and help with dinner and homework. Say encouraging words. Let mean and irresponsible words pass
by. Understand that other people have hard days and have their own issues. Don’t take words personally. Create. Fourthy, if
pressured, respond again with calm words and say the opposite from how you feel. React in a positive fashion. Validate to ease
the tension. Thereafter, you are on your way to get along with others. This has to be a major goal. Keep repeating, “I must get
along with others.” “I must get along with my wife.” No one wins a fight. When you win, you lose.
Therefore a man should work, learn and get along with his wife. Just don’t fight. Come in the house with shalom on
your mind. Immediately, say yes and get to work. Frustrating moments usually stem back to a fault in you, so be tolerant and
patient, and have a Rav to discuss these feelings and workings with your mate.
Even before you work on yourself, make sure you, your husband and your family have a Rav or a Rebbe. Your husband
has to understand that he’s accountable to a Rav. You also have to understand that you are responsible to a Rav. This is for
everybody’s benefit; plus as time goes along, you and your husband will have a Torah way of life and the need to call the
Rav will lessen. This is a prerequisite. (If this is not a reality, so he should have a yeshiva, shul and eventually a Rebbe who will
be there in your marriage.) Secondly, a woman has to know that she’s dealing with a “man”. When a woman gets married, she immediately feels she
has four arms and four legs. They are a team. A man doesn’t understand this. To him, he feels he’s being told what to do. It hurts his ego. This is real. So a lady has to be sensitive to this until the man understands that this is part of life and his job is to be part of this new team. She needs patience, to compliment him
when he succeeds, to encourage him when he’s tired and down, and just plain care for him. She shouldn’t expect much in the
beginning. Thirdly, a man involved in the world has to sometimes develop a hard quality. Sometimes it has a sting. However, the
woman can conquer this. The wife can get what she wants with honey, a nice meal, a sweet voice, and by giving him honor. The man will eventually
be superman because of her. Her job is to get along too. No one wins a fight. Even when you think you told him 100 times and he still forgets, just understand that he just forgets or has bad habits. Plus call the Rav to give him advice here. Eventually, she’ll see improvement. The contact with the Rav is crucial. But she must constantly look at her husband’s strengths and never forget the good there is in him. This will give him the strength to listen and do.
By Rabbi Bentzion Griper