Monday, May 24, 2010


Okay, so I went to shul and cried to Hashem.  I asked him why I can't get a normal job, and why I can't have a normal relationship with my wife, and why can't we think along the same lines, etc.  I finished davening, packed my stuff, and was heading home.  Before I left my wife said she'd look up plans about taking a trip either to NJ or Connecticut because there are a bunch of things to do there that my mom would enjoy doing.

As I walked out, one of the rabbis stopped me and reminded me about the whole wrapping-our-son-in-a-tallis-and-taking-him-to-cheder thing.  I planned on attending minyan in the morning at 8am to discuss this with them, but after the whole fight with my wife, I forgot about this and showed up to shul after minyan ended and I pretty much davened alone.  I'm glad that I was flagged down and reminded about this by the Rabbi before I left.  He told me that Lubavichers don't lick the honey off of an Aleph-Bais, but instead, they use a laminated enlarged version of the first page of the Tanya.  "Cute," I thought.  They allowed me to borrow one to take home so that I'll have one with me when I bring my son to cheder the following day.

I came home feeling pretty good about myself and ready to spend the day with my wife, mom, and kids.  When I got home, nothing was done, nobody was ready to leave.  My wife was in her pissy mood, and when I asked her if she looked up places to stay or things to do, she said she didn't because she was taking care of our kids.  I brushed off the insinuation that me being at minyan left her alone with the kids and thus I wasn't doing my part of the parenting.  I put the laminated Tanya page on the bookshelf in full view hoping that my wife would notice it and be appreciative that I took care of this because a few days beforehand, she accused me of not knowing what I was doing with regard to the upsherin.  I wanted to let her know that I was on top of it all, just as I *WAS* on top of everything that had to be done the day before, even though she accused me of ignorance about that topic as well.

I half hoped that my wife would have taken the initiative to take my son to fix his haircut as we spoke about this morning before the fight broke out, but apparently she had no intention of doing so.  I joined her in the privacy of our own room and asked her if she had any response to anything I said earlier that day, because I didn't feel like driving to Connecticut if we didn't resolve our bad feelings from earlier that day.  She said that there was nothing to say and that she flatly disagreed with pretty much everything I said and that she thought I was a moron and that I didn't know what I was talking about.  She understood that everything I said was a criticism of her, and that I just went on and on about how I was upset about the haircut.


At this point, I didn't know what to do.  Obviously I wasn't going to go on a day trip if my wife and I didn't resolve such an important argument as we had this morning.  When I told her this, she said, "I have absolutely no interest in going around with you or showing your mom a good time.  Don't think that you're doing ANYTHING for me by taking me us out today."  I was so saddened at hearing this because I was so sure she wanted to go do everything we planned, and *I* WAS THE KIND ONE THAT I WAS TAKING OFF FROM MY LAW OFFICE FORMATION EFFORTS TO SPEND TIME WITH THE FAMILY, AND I WAS ACTUALLY A BIT UPSET DURING DAVENING THAT MY WIFE DIDN'T CONSIDER THE IMPORTANCE OF ME WORKING TODAY AND INSTEAD ONLY WAS INTERESTED IN HER TRIP TO CONNECTICUT.

So now I just spent the past two hours shut in our bedroom with the laptop battery about to run out.  I feel sad, and I feel alone.  My wife is not interested in my feelings, and she is not interested in hearing anything I have to say about the upbringing of our family.  She has completely ignored me since I came back, and I'm about to burst into tears because I don't know what to do.  Do I pull her aside and have my mom watch the kids while I make nice to her?  Do I talk to my mom and get words of wisdom and advice on what to do? Do I call my rabbi who will only tell me that I'm right, but that I have to give in to keep shalom bayis?

I feel like the whole situation is helpless, and that I don't have anywhere to turn.  I really feel that this has been a breakdown of communication, and that we really need to see a marriage counselor.  I feel so violated and hurt.  I have never been more floored by today at her uncaring and cavalier attitude towards our marriage or our relationship.  I've always given her the benefit of the doubt, but there is no excuse here, no way to explain her way out of this one.  She simply doesn't care. :(  What do I do?


Anonymous said...

You are hurting...She is hurting...
You guys definitely need counseling.

This is a very very sad state of affairs. You guys are so wrapped up in goyishe haircuts, peyos and licking honey off the Tanya yet you have no clue about basic respect. I'd much rather my child have no peyos, a goyishe haircut and a loving relationship with my spouse so that we can live a life of respect and caring toward one another and the children can grow up and see first hand what a Jewish marriage should look like.

Rae Macklyn said...

This whole thing (outlined in your recent posts) sounds like a huge disaster...I am very much in agreement with what Anonymous above stated: you need to quit diddling with what I will refer to as the "superficial details of devoutness" and focus more on fostering and maintaining actual loving relationships with your family; especially with children in the mix (and I'm really hoping that you don't have more until you get things sorted out), it is incredibly unfair to them to be raised in an environment of such degradation, disrespect and chaos.

Ahuva said...

Anonymous is full of wisdom and good sense it seems. I would suggest reading that comment several times.

You said: "Do I call my rabbi who will only tell me that I'm right, but that I have to give in to keep shalom bayis?" LISTEN TO YOUR RABBI AND LET IT GO. Shalom bayis is a lot more important than a haircut.

I read once about a rabbi whose wife didn't cover her hair (back when it was less common than it is now). When he was asked why he taught that a woman should cover her hair even though his own wife did not, he just smiled and said "You try to make your wife do something that she doesn't want to do."

Keep your eyes on what is important. A goyishe haircut IS NOT IMPORTANT.

If I were you, I'd ask your mother to watch the children and go make up with your wife.

The core of the problem is that you don't feel respected-- but demanding respect will never earn you any. I would concentrate first on the finances of the home-- and area which you both clearly view as the man's responsibility. Let the care and feeding of the children be her responsibility-- and that includes much more than changing dirty diapers. Do NOT let your children get turned into a battleground; let her have her way.

Anonymous said...


bdl247 said...

Baruch Hashem,
You need to man up. This is ridiculous, you are so wrapped up in the details of being a Frum that you forgot about your responsiblities as a man with a family. So what if your son has a goy haircut, you need to stop worrying about this stuff and worry about how your going to support your family. Stop being so darn sensitive, man up, and go and get yours. You speak of these non frum as if they are beneath you and as if they are the problem when the reality is that you are the one with the problem. Why dont you worry less about the non frum and worry more about how your going to feed your family.
Baruch hashem.

Anonymous said...

Question to ponder:

Why do you guys send your babies to "SCHOOL" when they are BABIES? You complain of lack of money, your wife CHOOSES to STAY HOME and NOT WORK FOR AN INCOME, yet it seems you are sending BABIES to "School" when it is really a DAY CARE! Your wife has help with cleaning yet cannot handle taking care of the BABIES you both brought into this world.

Please address this issue for your readers. We are curious as to how you both justify having NO MONEY yet believe in maids and daycare with a capable, loving mother right there at home.

The above reader says "MAN UP" how about "WOMAN UP" as well?

Zoe Strickman said...

I'm going to reply to your comment with its own posting. I'm writing it up now as we speak. :) -Z