Dear Dr. Yael,
I was going through some personal papers recently, and I came upon my ketuvah from my former marriage. It was in the style of artwork that one hung upon the wall like a picture. In his Pesach book, Rabbi Blumenkrantz, zt”l mentioned that one should check a ketuvah over at least once a year, before Pesach for example. That is not something I had ever done. But now I did. And I noticed a number of mistakes.
I consulted with a rav who told me that it is possible that the problems in my marriage stemmed from bad mazal as a result of the mistakes in the ketuvah.
This is why I am writing to you. Please advise your readers that a ketuvah should always be checked over before use at a wedding and, as Rabbi Blumenkrantz suggested, once a year to be sure that no mistakes have developed.
Thank you for sharing this important information with us! It’s integral to always check mezuzos and your kesuvah to make sure that there are no mistakes or missing letters!
Dear Dr. Yael,
I have been married for several years and I recently realized that my wife and I generally fight about the same things again and again. For instance, I am a very flexible person and can roll with the punches. My wife, on the other hand, is more rigid and likes to follow a schedule. Thus, most of our disputes are about me wanting her to be more flexible and her wanting me to keep to her schedule. I find that we both want things “our way,” even if it means that we continue our fight. Why is marriage about “who is right”? I know that I contribute to this as well, but if our true goal is to “get along,” then why do I often feel like it is more of a competition? Dr. Yael, please help me understand why this is so.
A Confused Husband
Dear Confused Husband,
Your situation is a very common one, as many couples fight about the same things over and over. It is something most couples are unaware of; however, if they would pay attention to their arguments, they would find that for the most part they are variations on the same theme. In addition, your observation that both partners seem to vie to “be right” is very keen. Most people don’t realize this is happenings as they are too wrapped up in their desire to be right.
There is a concept called Ta’avas Hanitzachon – the need to win – which is extremely strong and difficult to overcome. With this need comes stubbornness and a strong sense of personal ego. That makes an individual more willing to continue fighting than be the first to give in. I’ve heard many people say that it is “a matter of pride.”
My response is always, “Is that pride more important than having a loving and harmonious marriage?” While most of my clients agree that a solid marriage is more important than their pride, this feeling generally lasts only until the next argument. Granted, it is challenging to put your ego in check and give into someone when you think you are right, or even recognize when you are wrong. However, when an individual “wins” the argument and has the last word, he or she may temporarily feel good, but in the long run when a couple is at odds with each other, neither one is happy. At the end of the day, if you cannot overcome your taavas hanitzachon, you may have won the battle, but you will lose the war.Dr. Yael Respler