Shalom Bayit


Shalom Bayit

The traditional blessing for a new couple is that they should merit "livnot bayit ne'eman b'Yisrael," to build a house or home. The analogy of marriage to the building of a house is very apt. A house can remain standing for many years if it is built on a strong foundation and if work is continuously invested in maintaining it. This is also true for marriage.

Home ownership - in both the literal and allegorical senses - is a responsibility. If both members of the couple put in the effort to keep the marriage well-maintained, even if they do it in different ways, they will continue to keep in it good condition.

Almost all homeowners need to get assistance occasionally when something in the house goes awry. Similarly, a couple will not always be able to solve every problem by themselves. There is no shame in asking others for help. (If tension between spouses ever reaches the level of threats or physical violence, it is essential to seek outside help.) A couple may want to seek advice from a trusted and competent friend or family member, rabbi, or mentor. If the problem remains unresolved, it may be appropriate to seek professional counseling. This does not mean that the marriage was a failure or a mistake. It rather indicates that the couple are mature and committed to each other enough to invest the effort in making it work.

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