Shalom Bayis needs more than just giving in.
Being mevater is a beautiful ideal, one for which every Jew can and should strive. Marriage would be a non-stop battle if we insisted on always getting our way. Indeed, couples who can graciously and sincerely concede to the other’s needs possess a master key to harmony.
However, vatranus — or more accurately, a superficial simulation of this trait — can also mask and sometimes trigger deep and profound problems in a marriage.
Is your go-to strategy of giving in producing negative or dangerous side-effects in your marriage? Ask yourself some questions:
- Do you feel controlled by your spouse?
- Are there many things you refrain from saying to your spouse for fear of his/her reaction?
- Do you feel that you give and give and get very little in return?
- Would your spouse be surprised to find out what you really feel and think?
- Are you unable to enjoy life and feel good about yourself when your spouse is down on you?
- Are you unable to enjoy life and feel good about yourself when your spouse is down on you
For most couples, and virtually all couples that are unhappy, giving in simply does not cover every area of conflict.
Only an angel can constantly acquiesce without feeling defeated.
Fortunately, tools exist that can enable you to establish yourself as a separate individual whose hands are on the controls of your own emotional life. You can exist and thrive as a couple, even in a state of disagreement, even in a state of conflict, even when one of you is occasionally unhappy with the other. You and Me Equals We is about those tools and how to use them.
To have a happy, healthy marriage, you don’t have to be an angel. But you do have to be you.
It is clear that this book is the fruit of much labor, effort, and profound thought. The author understands and knows how to plumb the depths of people’s traits, and recognizes the powers and properties of the soul. For years he has helped many people with sage advice, and with Hashem’s help, he has been successful.
Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky, ROSH YESHIVA, TALMUDICAL YESHIVA OF PHILADELPHIA