What Women with Lifelong Romance Believe: A Jewish Perspective

A Christian, a Muslim, a Jew and an Atheist walk into a blog…it sounds like the beginning of a joke, right?

It’s actually my introduction to my new occasional blog series; What Women with Lifelong Romance Believe. It turns out the urge to control or improve your husband––along with the tendency to become disrespectful and forget why you married the guy in the first place––is universal to women of all faiths and no faith. I get emails from women all over the world who write about their experience of transforming their marriages—what it was like and how they did things differently. I so admire these women and find such inspiration in their stories. I’m pleased to present the first installment here, from a Jewish woman in Israel who prefers to remain anonymous. In the coming weeks I’ll share with you the stories from Christian, Muslim and non-religious women as well.

I am 44 yrs old and I live in Jerusalem, Israel. I was recommended to read your book by the wife of a Rabbi over the Jewish holiday of Passover and I obtained it from overseas. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but I can’t tell you what a difference it has made in my life. It feels like getting the answer to a riddle that has vexed me my whole life.

I married almost eight years ago and although I married a wonderful guy and our marriage was essentially sound, I was carrying around so much chronic guilt and remorse from subtly rejecting my husband’s perspective and views as well as helplessness and frustration from not being able to get him to adopt my (superior) way of doing things. I feel relieved from the most painful burden of both his problems and my self-rebuke.

I started therapy about six months ago to try to understand why I felt so chronically lousy about myself and then I read your book, cleaned up my act around my husband (your method is wonderful for restoring healthy boundaries between a husband and a wife) and I just quit therapy. I feel great!! My husband is coming home to the front door singing as he used to when we were first married; I feel lighter than ever and we are indeed relating with far less tension and much more affection.  I realize what my domain is in marriage (myself!) and I am reaching out to other women to share your wonderful message. I am telling everyone I meet to buy your book.

I don’t know if you realize it, but you have done a great service to the traditional Jewish world. You have put into print the classic principles of Jewish marriage according to our sacred Bible and all its commentaries. This material is vaguely described in modern Jewish handbooks for creating “shalom bayis” (domestic peace) but you have made the guidelines explicit, practical, eminently accessible and you have communicated them with humor, compassion, and a courageous willingness to bare your own history and chart your own growth. I really, really salute you and I hope your book takes off in the biggest way.

I have a beautiful dream of my living room and countless living rooms in the land of Israel filled with women sharing their successes as we build up our husbands and the fathers of our children, our families and our nation. I hope the same goes for every other nation and people on earth.