Problems of Shalom Bayis Soon After the Wedding

To each of them sheyichyu:1

All the problematic matters about which you write occur very often in the early days of many marriages (until the newly married couple gets used to and comfortable with each other). These problems then diminish until they completely cease to exist, as long as both parties make a good faith effort [to work out their problems].

Moreover — and this is of greatest import: All the above difficulties are absolutely incomparable to the vital importance of Shalom Bayis, for as our Sages instruct us, “When a husband and wife are meritorious, the Divine Presence dwells in their midst.”2

When you will contemplate and act in accordance with the above, you will surely see an immediate improvement in the situation — and it will continue to improve and become better, and together you will merit many long and goodly days and years.

In order to hasten the improvement of the situation and to make it easier, etc., it would be advisable that in addition to your talking and working it out between yourselves, you should also choose someone from your family or a rabbi who is a friend of the two of you (or possibly to use all of the above), and they should together with you discuss and deliberate where you should live, the details about the manner of earning a living, etc.

(From a response of the Rebbe, printed in Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XXIV, p. 466)

Husband and Wife Adjust to Each Other
Through Making Allowances for the Other

.. On the question of how to achieve an easier adjustment in the family life of husband and wife: Firstly, it should be remembered that it indeed occurs very frequently that such an adjustment is required, inasmuch as there are two people involved [in a marriage, individuals] who come from two different families, etc.

It should also be remembered that there is no such thing as human perfection and that one person must make allowances for the other, in the same way that one expects the other to make such allowances.

(From a letter of the Rebbe, written in the year 5733)

Problems of Shalom Bayis During the First Few Years of Marriage

I am in receipt of your letter in which you write about the situation in your household with regard to Shalom Bayis.

Experience teaches us that when problems of Shalom Bayis arise during the first few years of marriage, the best way to mutually resolve the problem and attain a state of peace — for many long years together, to the mutual satisfaction and contentment of both parties — is by not being overly attentive and sensitive to issues that cause disagreement. Surely, the matter in dispute is but a temporary issue; the less attention paid to it the better.

At the same time, each of you should place emphasis on those goodly matters concerning which you are in mutual harmony and agreement. The more you act in the above manner, the quicker the Shalom Bayis matter will resolve itself and straighten out.

It is self-understood that I on my part will try to do what I can — in an appropriately tactful manner — to help ameliorate the situation. However, I do hope that you, on your part, will act in accordance to that which I wrote above.

In addition to the above, there is the well-known verse,3 “As water mirrors the face to the face” [i.e., just as the nature of water is to reflect an image], “so does the heart of man to man” [i.e., so, too, is it in man’s nature to mirror the emotion of another]. This is particularly true regarding the mirrored and reflective emotions of husband and wife.

Moreover, our Sages tell us that, “a woman’s tears flow relatively easily,”4 [i.e., they have a more sensitive nature]. Thus, your demeanor and your comportment with regard to your wife should be mild-mannered, agreeable and pleasant.

May G‑d grant you success, so that in the immediate future you are able to notify me about a mutual change for the better. May you both together raise your son sheyichye to Torah, chuppah and good deeds.

(Igros Kodesh, Vol. XIV, p. 62)

Do Not Allow Potential Future Problems
To Affect Present Shalom Bayis

.. Your concern that you and your wife have dissimilar opinions regarding the education of your children is something that will first come to play after the two of you will be blessed with children and they will reach school age — a matter that will take place many years from now.

Until then, it is an absolute verity that [at that time] each of you will form opinions that are quite different from the opinions that you presently hold. Additionally, it is unquestionable that the arrival of children brings about a great deal of closeness between their parents.

One cannot know beforehand the substance of the change [in opinion and attitude towards the child’s education,] as well as the great degree of nearness [that will ensue in the future, especially through becoming parents to children].

According to our faith, we are to have immense hope that all the above [positive transformations] will transpire in ample measure.

In terms of actual practice and conduct, you should see to it that the two of you reconcile, and may you witness the fulfillment of G‑d’s blessing that your marriage be an “eternal edifice.”

In conclusion — it is patently clear that there is to be a strengthening and enhancement of your Shalom Bayis, inasmuch as each and every Jew is to strengthen and enhance those aspects that he shares in common with all other Jews. How much more so with regard to husband and wife.

[Follow these positive steps,] rather than delving and concentrating on those matters where the two of you do not see eye-to-eye — regarding something that may come to pass after many years.

(From a letter of the Rebbe, printed in Likkutei Sichos, Vol. XXIV, p. 467)