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Hashkafa Shiur Summary
Shalom Bayis Pointers

by Rav Simcha Klein

>Printable Version available here<

Affection & Attention

  • A husband1 is obligated to love and respect his wife2.
  • The foundation of this love is not merely the natural attraction of the opposite gender, rather it is the bond and affinity of shared mission, goals, and accomplishments, reinforced by deep feelings of hakaras hatov for all that one’s wife does for him3.
  • A person should invest4 great time5, money6, and energy7 to make his wife feel loved and cherished at every opportunity.

Appreciation & Praise

  • A man should learn how to become an expert in expressing appreciation, gratitude, and praise8.
  • Specificity enhances praise. Learn to notice9 everything your wife does for you especially the seemingly small things10. Mention and highlight all the details.
  • Women are not mind readers, all good feelings you have towards her should be verbalized11.
  • It is extremely wise for a person to minimize the expectations he has of his wife. This will lead to an enhanced sense of hakaros hatov for what she does do and will decrease any disappointment for what she does not do12.

Criticism & Insult

  • Every person should realize that the deepest desire of a woman is to find favor or charm in her husband’s eyes13. Therefore, even a well intended criticism on his part can be devastating to her, particularly in areas she takes pride in.
  • When it is absolutely imperative to offer criticism to her it should be sandwiched between strong praise and compliments.
  • A person should be exceedingly careful14 not to insult his wife15 in any way16 (verbally or otherwise).

Spiritual Suggestions

  • One should always daven for the health and strength of his relationship with his wife17.
  • Daily kivias itim is a great segulah for shalom bayis18.
  • The seforim19 categorize the institution of marriage20 as “a laboratory for character perfection”21. Internalizing this truth can help a person deal with and accept difficult situations.
  • Adherence to the minutia of the halochos of taharas hamishpocha including all Harchokos22 can be segulah for bracha in the marriage.

1. According to Rav Chaim Vital z”l, the barometer of a man’s relationship with Hashem is his relationship with his wife.
2. Yevamos (62,b), and Mishneh Torah (Ishus 15:19).
3. From the words of the Steipler Gaon z”l in a letter printed in קונט’ וידעת כי שלום אהלך by Rav Chaim Freidlander z”l.
4. Although it can take time, once a wife is absolutely confident and secure in her husband’s love and and respect for her she will do amazing things for him.
5. Women bond emotionally through conversation. The time spent every day in conversation even on seemingly inconsequential topics is vital for the relationship
6. See Chulin (84b) and Mishneh Torah (Ishus 15:19).
7. The following are two suggestions mentioned by the Chazon Ish z”l: Whenever you leave the house inform your wife where you are going. When you come home always share some of the events of your day (that are of potential interest to her).
8. Expand your vocabulary in this area beyond the basic “thank you”. Learn how to express your deep appreciation and gratitude for what she does for you in a variety of ways.
9. It might be wise to compile a detailed list of everything your wife does for you and review it from time to time.
10. Such as the laundry and all the other myriad of details and aspects of housekeeping and childrearing.
11. Study the different character traits that you admire in her and articulate it to her. Make it your business to constantly build her up, see Rashi on Sanhedren (20b).
12. See Yevamos (63a) for an amazing illustration of this in the minimal expectations Rav Chiya had towards hiswife.
13. See letter of Chazon Ish z”l printed in קונט’ וידעת כי שלום אהלך by Rav Chaim Freidlander z”l.
14. Women don’t forget easily and it can take a long time to repair the damage caused by harsh and hurtful words; see Nidah (31b).
15. Bava Metziah (29a).
16. Due to the unique relationship that a wife has to her husband, she is far more sensitive to his negative remarks than to another person’s negative remarks; see Maharal (Nesivos Olam chelek 2).
17. See letter of Chazon Ish z”l printed in קונט’ וידעת כי שלום אהלך by Rav Chaim Freidlander z”l.
18. A wife will undoubtedly respect her husband more if he displays the fortitude and discipline needed to maintain a daily learning seder, thereby leading to enhanced shalom bayis. (Unless the wife perceives her husband’s haste to run to the bais medrash as an excuse to avoid being at home.)
19. Rav Don Segal Shlita quoted in Shalom Bohalecha.
20. A crucial point in the laboratory experience of marriage is Friday afternoon, which can be a time of tension and stress when people easily lose their patience and tempers flare. See Lev Eliyahu (p. 274) for chizuk on this issue.
21. According to the Vilna Gaon z”l (Even Shlaima) character perfection is the very reason why we are here in this world.
22. Heard personally from Gedolim.