The Full Cooperation of Both Partners

.. The relationship between [the] two people [who have married] must be consistently good and stable, harmonious and sincere, which directly affects the general atmosphere in the home.

.. Clearly, in order to attain such a relationship, the fullest cooperation is required on the part of both partners, and each should be willing to give it freely; that is to say, each should give it because there is a desire to give it, rather than doing so only out of a sense of compulsion.1

(From a letter of the Rebbe, written in the year 5732)

Make Sure to Set Aside Time for Your Spouse

The Rebbe’s long-time secretary, Rabbi Nissen Mindel, of blessed memory, once related the following:

While the Rebbe was recuperating from his heart attack in 5738, one of his doctors inquired into the Rebbe’s daily schedule.

Among the things the Rebbe told the doctor was, that when he arrives home, he takes time to sit with the Rebbetzin over a cup of tea and converse.

“Upon your daily arrival home, I would recommend that you act in a similar manner,” the Rebbe advised the hard-working doctor.

(As related in a Teshurah)

“Love of Fellow Jew” Should Be Particularly Extended
To Those Who Are Near and Dear: One’s Spouse

.. In conclusion, I would like to add that particular attention has been given lately to Mivtza Ahavas Yisrael, the Campaign for Love of a Fellow Jew, among the mivtza’im that have been stressed in the last few years.

Love of a Fellow Jew is inclusive of each and every Jew, even the Jew who is most distant. How much more so should this love extend to someone so close and dear [as one’s spouse].

I trust and pray that each of you, and the two of you together, will exert every effort in the above direction [of Ahavas Yisrael and Shalom Bayis]. Moreover, that you will do so with true joy and gladness of heart. ....

(From a letter of the Rebbe)

All Marriages Require Understanding of the
Inevitable Need for Adjustment and Compatibility

.. Marriage in general, even between two persons of similar background, entails a certain risk as to their compatibility and how smoothly they will eventually adjust to each other.

Even if the two had been acquainted for some time, it is no sure criterion as to what the relationship will be when the acquaintance is turned into a marriage, where the two will be thrown together under one roof for 24 hours in the day, day after day, and week after week, etc. ...

(From a letter of the Rebbe, dated Erev Sukkos, 5727)

Don’t Be Oversensitive — Don’t Fear Taking
the First Step to Improve the Relationship

.. In most instances, the cause of such a situation [viz., the degradation of a relationship between two individuals,] is that one person is under the impression that there is a diminution of sentiment on the part of the other person towards him.

That individual further thinks that it would belittle his honor if he were the one to take the first step; particularly, when he finds no fault within himself for the degradation in the relationship.

However, in almost all instances, this [seeming distance between the two individuals] is but a figment of one’s imagination — which almost immediately becomes obvious as soon as steps are taken to bring about a greater degree of intimacy.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XV, p. 222)

Do Not Accentuate the Negative Qualities Of Your Spouse

Until after the arrival of Mashiach,there exists no individual who can possibly be perfect — devoid of all flaws. Thus, beyond a shadow of doubt, just as the one person is flawed, so too is the other.

Just as we have no desire to have our own flaws revealed and pointed out, so too should we not emphasize and magnify the faults of others.

If the above holds true with regard to all Jews, how much more so with regard to husband and wife.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. V, p. 61)

“True Perfection Belongs Only to G‑d

Following up on your previous correspondence, I am writing these lines to express the hope that the relationship between you and your husband has improved considerably, thereby making your marriage serve as a home for the Divine Presence, in keeping with the saying of our Sages, “When a husband and wife are meritorious, the Divine Presence dwells in their midst.”2

All the more so, since both of you have merited success in the education of Jewish children, regarding all of whom G‑d says, “You are children unto G‑d, your G‑d.”3

It is therefore easy to envision the great merit that both you and your husband have, in that G‑d has entrusted to you the chinuch (the training and education) of His children and has blessed with success your efforts to implant into their hearts love and fear of G‑d.

In light of this, each of you should regard it as a special blessing to have found a mate worthy of G‑d’s blessing for hatzlacha.

Even if it appears that the other party falls short of perfection, and even if this view is not wholly imaginary, it should be remembered that true perfection belongs only to G‑d.

Indeed, the very fact that we have all been commanded to go from strength to greater strength in all matters of goodness and holiness shows that there is no perfection in human beings, for obviously the previous level is imperfect by comparison with the next and higher level.

Moreover, insofar as humans are concerned, perfection itself is relative, in that different people excel in different areas.

Thus, our Sages speak of one category of Jews as Torah-learners, and of another category of Jews as mitzvah-doers. Clearly, our Sages are speaking here with regard to excelling in a particular arena, for [regarding Torah study and mitzvah observance in general,] every Jew is expected to be both a Torah-learner and a mitzvah-doer.

Hence, the difference between the two categories is a difference of excellence in each area; that is to say, in the first category excellence is to be found in their Torah scholarship, while in the other category this excellence finds expression in the fulfillment of the mitzvos.

It is surely unnecessary for me to elaborate for you on the above. I only want to emphasize that the greater the harmony, mutual respect and devotion of a husband and wife — especially where both are shomrei-Torah and mitzvos — the greater is the measure of G‑d’s blessings for both of them in all their needs.

This includes reward in kind — to be blessed with healthy offspring of your own, to bring them up to a life of Torah, chuppah and good deeds, in fulfillment of your hearts’ desires for good.

(From a letter of the Rebbe, written in the year 5726)