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Appreciating Our Wives

GYE Corp. Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Someone complained on the forum that his wife has little interest in being with him, and this makes it much harder to stay clean. "Kedusha" responds:

Imagine a husband named Reuven, whose wife, r"l, falls into a coma for months, with little hope of recovery. The poor fellow is all alone. Every minute of his day is taken up by needing to earn a living, do everything necessary to run the household, care for his six young children and, of course, make sure his wife is being properly cared for.

One day he hears of a specialist, who has unusual success in bringing people out of comas, where conventional medicine has given up hope. By pulling every string he can, Reuven finally gets an appointment with this specialist. After reviewing the case, the specialist tells Reuven the following: "Your wife's case is actually pretty straightforward; I think there's an excellent chance that she can be brought out of the coma and will be, basically, back to normal."

"That's wonderful!" responds Reuven. But, then hesitating (because he doesn't want to appear ungrateful), Reuven asks "What do you mean that she will be basically back to normal? In what way will she not return to normal?"

The specialist responds, "She'll be the same capable wife that you described. Whatever she used to do, she'll be able to do again, whether running the household, caring for the children, or holding an outside job. Her personality will be the same, and your overall relationship will be what it was. You need to understand, though, that the coma has taken a certain toll on your wife, and she won't have the same interest in being with you anymore. Whereas in the past, you noted that she would happily agree to be with you twice per week, from now on, she's likely to only agree to once per week, and not very happily. Keep in mind that this will not be her fault, but caused by what she's been through - so don't take it personally. Oh, and there's one more thing. She may overreact sometimes - such as saying 'I hate you!' when she really means 'I'm annoyed at you right now.' Keep in mind that husbands have been putting up with this type of thing from time immemorial - I know that I do. Do you want to proceed?"

Reuven responds: "I'd be foolish not to proceed. Right now, I'm a living widower. For the first time, I truly appreciate all that my wife did for me and the children as long as she was able to - the same things that currently overwhelm me. Not to sound selfish, but I very much miss our sexual relationship, which, obviously, is non-existent right now. What you're telling me is that I'll have my wife back in every respect, except that our physical relationship will never be what it once was, and that she'll sometimes overreact. Those things don't bend me out of shape, because, right now, our physical relationship is non-existent and my wife doesn't say a word to me, good or bad, so what you describe is actually a tremendous improvement!"

Need I state the nimshal? Our wives do so much for us - where would we be without them, other than totally lost? Let's say they don't provide it as often as (or the way) we would like it, and they may overreact sometimes. We may be somewhat at fault, having harmed our relationship by what we've put our wives through, and maybe we can help improve things. However, let's assume that we can't improve the situation. Imagine, c"v, losing everything, the way Reuven did, and then having it all restored to the way things are now. Doesn't that make our current situation far easier to deal with?