This letter was sent to the ‘Letters to the Editor’ and then forwarded to me.
I read the Life Chronicles column (Dec. 18, 2020), about a young bride who is lonely and miserable in her marriage. I disagreed with Mrs. Bluth’s response. It was totally insensitive and belittling. The logical thing to do is to validate her unhappiness, instead of telling her she is hormonal. That is an insult. The husband is NOT being a mensch. He is being a jerk. As the supportive wife, she uprooted herself from her home, her life, her family, her friends and everything else she knew, to another town. What does she get for it in return? She is lonely and unable to discuss her marital troubles with her parents.
The husband needs to recognize that his wife is number ONE. I am not saying he should play hooky on the job, but he needs to balance it right and be smart about it. Ignoring her and shooing her away is degrading to the wife. Are her emotional needs being met? Is he making her feel valuable and worthy? Tell her “Honey, I am sorry that I am not giving you the time right now, but I will make it up to you when I am done with work for the day.” What he needs to do is acknowledge her frustrations and come up with a solution. Make a schedule for the two of them to have quality time together. A lunch break, a 15 minute work break or a dinner date, etc. Make fun activities together when he is not working. You get the idea.
I would suggest to the wife that while her husband is working, she find other things to keep herself busy and productive. Go shopping, take care of the home, bake challahs, meet new people, volunteer, or continue to look for work. Enjoy the pregnancy and prepare for the baby. I wish you lots of nachas and happiness.
Debbie in Brooklyn
Dear Debbie in Brooklyn,
Excuse me a moment while I remove the dagger from my back. In my defense, I have always encouraged the readership to write in and critique my responses, but rarely have I ever been accused of giving unfair advice or being gender biased, which your letter clearly implies. It leads me to wonder whether you are going through marital issues of your own which may have led you to misconstrue my response to the young wife. Had you approached it with a clearer eye you would have seen that I responded to the young wife and addressed every aspect that she was upset with in her letter.
I pointed out clearly that she chose this young man who came with great references, overriding the concerns of her parents, and was quite happy the first several months of her marriage.
Noting also that Covid-19 has resulted in huge changes and emotional turmoil, her displeasure and sadness, in great part, also played a role in her unhappiness. I cautioned her not to give up on the marriage unless their was physical, mental or emotional abuse involved that would have prompted me to encourage her to leave and end the marriage. However, this was clearly not the case from her letter. Hence my bringing to her attention that much of her emotional quandary may also be due to her hormonal changes due to pregnancy were a possible (probable) reason for much of her emotional distress. This was in no way putting her down or belittling her, or as you insinuate, blaming her for all the marital discord.
I invite you to re-read both her letter and my reply, but this time, looking through an impartial loop, and see if you still feel the same way. I appreciate your letter, just as I always welcome the input and critique of the readership. I thank you and look forward to hearing from you in the future in a more favorable light.