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Ask Shifra

Something Different... Answering questions and making curious observations (online) since 2005.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Shalom Bayit - the rollerskating edition

Q. What's a man's idea of "Shalom Bayit"?

A. A wife who works, takes care of the children, keeps the house sparkling, and has a delicious homecooked meal waiting for him, so that when he strolls through the door at night all he needs to do is smile and say "Shalom Bayit!"

That's just a little joke... but shalom bayit (or Sholom Bayis if you prefer) is no laughing matter.
Maintaning a peaceful home requires dedication, compromise, and (quite often in my house) a sense of humor.

Here's a Shalom Bayit question from my friend Mirty:

Dear Shifra,
Right now, I'm in a quandary of mixed-up feelings because I came home from work exhausted. My husband wanted to go roller-skating. (I am not making that up. Could I make that up?) I told him to go by himself, though I was picturing women skating after him. How would he escape? But he didn't want to go without me. I wanted to stay in, and so we did, but now I feel like a party-pooper. And selfish. Sigh. This happens a lot because I really treasure my time at home. I love putzing around the house -- watering the plants, doing laundry, cleaning. He likes to go out and do fun things - Roller skating! Hiking! Music! Dinner!

I know, I ain't right.


Dear Mirty,

See, this is what you get for marrying a fun and exciting man ;-)
Seriously though, what adults rollerskate during the week? or Ummm at all....

Anyway...Whenever I meet a couple that is too much alike (similar personalities, same hobbies, same carreers, same likes and dislikes) I find it a little disconcerting. Sure it's great to be with someone you can share things with but who wants to me married to a clone of themselves? That's pretty boring and maybe a little narcissitic too. How are you supposed to grow and develop as a human being if you have surrounded yourself exclusively with people who are just like you? So good for you Mirty, for marrying someone who challenges your day to day life and has the potential to broaden your horizons!

I do, however, understand your situation quite well. I'm rather a homebody myself, I like reading, blogging, getting things in order etc... but even I often find that when I am forced from the house by family or friends I usually have a pretty good time. Since my nature is not very spontantious I find I fair better when activities are planned in advance so that I have time to prepare myself mentally. Maybe you can establish a regular "date night" that way you can be sure to conserve your energy at work (or get to bed early the night before) and have a good time without feeling to tired too enjoy yourself. On the flip side maybe your husband can also come to appreciate cozy relaxing nights at home, or the simple pleasure of doing little things around the house with no pressure to get out and DO something.

Oh and of course I'd be remiss if I left out the part about marriage being about compromises... blah, blah, blah... loving though sharing and giving, blah blah... etc...

So don't feel guilty OK? That's a big drain on any person- instead take some time to work out a way for you to get what you both need and have many good nights together both out on the town and staying at home.


A big thank you to Jameel for the adorable graphic!


At 10:10 AM, Blogger Mar Gavriel said...

I like the joke-- hee, hee! (Of course, it doesn't work if you pronounce the phrase the way I do, in the semikhuth: "Shelom Bayis".)

Reminds me of the line that the rabbi should walk in right before the last berocho of Mincho, so that the Chazzan can say: "Sholom, Rov!"

At 10:20 AM, Blogger Mar Gavriel said...

OH, and the graphic is great!

At 10:51 AM, Blogger Mirty said...

I like the picture! We could do a "date night". It is true that when I let myself be pushed and pulled into going out, I do have a good time. I think I was a bit afraid of falling on my butt in roller skates....

At 11:23 AM, Blogger Jameel @ The Muqata said...

I always thought that this was the key to Shalom Bayit....The Good Wife Guide.


PS: Don't tell my wife I posted this, or I'm a dead man...and there goes MY shalom bayit.

At 11:51 AM, Blogger Mirty said...

Ha! That guide is great. I like this: Be a little gay and a little more interesting for him. Yeah, that would make things interesting all right. (My, how that word has changed over the years.)

At 11:56 AM, Blogger Y.Y. said...

a healthy relationship is all about compromise
here is my question
how does a person know when its his time to bend to the other partner?
you cant say that i have to bend all the time because then its not a compromising relatioship

At 1:26 PM, Blogger Ze'ev said...

Hey... anyone know of any good roller-skating places in Israel? My wife is always wantingto go rollerblading, but we live in a very hilly area, and going down hill is a bit frightening and going uphill is rather painful - I dont have ot make thaose kinds of sacrifices for love, do I?

At 5:12 PM, Blogger DovBear said...

A wife who works, takes care of the children, keeps the house sparkling, and has a delicious homecooked meal waiting for him, so that when he strolls through the door at night all he needs to do is smile and say "Shalom Bayit!"

Yeah baby!!

At 6:35 PM, Blogger chuck said...

I would like to point out that, when this was published and adhered to, there were
less divorces
less stress
less debt
less pritzus (if you gotta ask)

At 8:48 AM, Blogger Mar Gavriel said...


You should use the graphic as your blogger image (next to your name).

At 10:23 AM, Blogger Y.Y. said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 10:13 PM, Anonymous onionsoupmix said...

If I had a wife like the kind that is described here, my shalom bayis would go through the roof. Sadly, though, I am a married female in the Jewish religion and am limited to a husband.


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