Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Crazy hours

I was speaking to someone I know who recently left Lakewood. She had been living there for about 9 years and has recently moved out.

She was telling me the typical day of the average kollel guy or Rabbi (her husband) in kollel community...
- Wakes up early, runs to catch minyan.
- comes home, has breakfast, runs to morning shuir.
- comes home for dinner time, stays for about an hour, and then goes for maariv and night shuir.
- comes home about 11 (depending on who he speaks with etc)

She gave me exact hours, but I'd be lying if I told you I remembered them (which is why I didnt post them). But I do remember that she pretty much just sees her husband that one hour for dinner, and then from 11 till they go to bed (which varies on the night of the week), and then fully on shabbos.

This lady who was telling me, has spent her entire married life, seeing her husband with these teeny amount of hours... meaning their first year of marraige.

I cannot fathom how a marraige can possibly function properly, if the couple sees each other soooo seldomly. Especially the first year of marraige... how in the hell can they possibly get to know each other, with hours like that? Can one even say they're living with each other, or just AROUND each other like roommates?

65 comments:

mlevin said...

They are not seeing each other the entire shabbos because he has to run to shul for davening, so it's down to half a shabbos. And if they are invited or are entertaining then although they are physically together, but are not really together because knowing frummies men and women separate themselves even at private houses, too.

frumskeptic said...

its ridiculous.
what kinda marraige is that?

BrooklynWolf said...

I have learned that not all marriages are the same. The way that Eeees and I relate to each other works well for us. For others, it simply will not do -- and that's fine if they're happy (or contect) with that.

Was the person *telling* you about their marriage, or were they *complaining*? If the former, then if that schedule works for them, so what? Let them be -- it's their marriage. Just because you (or I, for that matter) wouldn't want that type of marriage doesn't mean that it's bad for them.

The Wolf

bankman said...

mlevin, dont forget about the mandatory shabbos afternoon nap.

But to be fair, this is not a "kollel" specific problem or even a frum problem. I know many non-jews who rarely see or speak to their spouses during the week and travel 20%-40% of the time too. In addition, the kollel guy is VERY flexible when it comes to missing a seder to pick someone up from the airport, or to do grocery shopping for his wife, or to travel to a wedding. Try doing that at a normal job and you'll be out of one real soon

frumskeptic said...

WOLFISH,

i'M GETTING AN "IGNORANCE IS BLISS" SORT OF ATTITUDE...

IF ALL THEY KNOW OF MARRAIGE IS THAT THEY HAVE TO BE AROUND EACH OTHER, BECAUSE THATS WHAT THEIR COMMUNITY DOES, THEY'LL BE CONTENT, NOT ACTUALLY GETTING TO KNOW EACH OTHER...

I MISS MY HUSBAND WHEN HE WORKS LATE -ONCE A WEEK- I CANNOT IMAGINE A COUPLE THAT ACTUALLY LOVES EACH OTHER WOULD AGREE TO THESE HOURS ON A PERMENANT BASIS.

frumskeptic said...

sorry bout the caps...
at work I use caps...

BrooklynWolf said...

In some cases, ignorance *can be* bliss.

Seriously, if they're happy, what's the problem? So what if they're marriage isn't the same as yours or mine? It's only a problem if they're not happy with it -- and hence my question regarding whether she was *tellng* or *complaining*.

The Wolf

mlevin said...

I really hate "If they are happy" excuse. It has been used to defend the ignorant lifestyle of chassidim/ultra frum who do not know anything about outside world and therefor don't know what they are missing. I heard this excuse used to justify poverty in Bangladesh, if these people are happy without getting electricity on regular basis or good food or regular health care who are we to judge. They are happy after all.

I think we could use the same excuse about slavery. If slaves are happy with their lot, because they don't know any better, why do we need to outlaw it, especially since others benefit from it?

BrooklynWolf said...

Mlevin,

Come on... that's unfair. Comparing marriage to slavery which violates people's human rights?

The Wolf

BrooklynWolf said...

I think this might be a topic for me to blog about as well.

The Wolf

frumskeptic said...

WOLF- ignorance is only bliss if it doesn't effect anybody...

Jews are nothing without the community. We cant have a yeshiva or a shul without the community. A family is the foundation of the community. A family consists of a husband and a wife. Communication between the members of the family reflect how they will percieve the community, and how they will contribute to it. If children hardly see their parents speak, and hardly learn from them (family discussions etc), how long before the family-unit screws up, and later the community?

These hours end up affecting the entire society...

and think about, how far off are we from a complete turn-around, because the community is so screwy with the family structure, cuz no one parents anymore and they leave it to the school?

the whole thing sounds like a slippery slope, but really, it all begins with the way a marraige works out...

BrooklynWolf said...

WOLF- ignorance is only bliss if it doesn't effect anybody...

Jews are nothing without the community.


First of all, you're not talking about a community, you're talking about a marriage. People are free to define the terms of their marriage. If they're happy with the way they have things arranged, who are you and I to tell them different? And furthermore, what do you propose to do -- enforce that they spend X hours together?

In addition, I think you're stretching your assumptions on "screwing up" the family unit? Just because you can't envision your household functioning that way doesn't mean that they can't make it work. Do you mean to legislate that kids have to see parents conversing for X hours a day?

Again, if they're happy with it, then that's fine. You and I may not be able to effectively manage that style of matrimony... but the people in this marriage aren't you and I. If they feel that they can make this marriage work, then why are you so eager to interfere?

The Wolf

BrooklynWolf said...

Here's my extended response.

The Wolf

mlevin said...

Wolf - I compared marriage to slavery for a reason. In the ultra frum community girls are raised to be wives, mothers, breadwinners, homemakers and everything else. Husbands are there to be taken care of and to satisfy all of his needs. He doesn't run a household, doesn't parent (because children a still sleeping when he wakes up, and already asleep at 11 pm when he comes home.) he doesn't work, he doesn't do housework.

Now because women cannot handle the whole load all by themselves, children spend more and more hours at what they call schools.

What is the difference between that and slavery? Oh, yeah, in here if someone wants to change their lifestyle they cannot do it, they are forced into compliance by the threat of a bad shidduch or no shidduch. So, the only difference is the type of threat applied for compliance. Slaves are threatened with pain and death, frummies are threatened with no shidduch and alienation.

frumskeptic said...

wolf- Yes i'm talking about marraige.

But there's a reason marraige has a holiness in our religion, and that is specifically because it is the foundation to starting a family. That is why when someone gets engaged, they're told "may you be zoche to build a bnb"

cuz they're expected to get married and start a nice Jewish family, to perpetuate Judaism.

You cannot PARENT if you dont know your spouse (the other parent-hopefully). and you never get to know them, because you spend soooooooo much time away from them. After dating for a month or so, never really socializing with anyone of the opposite sex (until dating, and probably soon after engagment), it cannot possibly be healthy for the future of Judaism to have marraiges like this. Its a burden nobody really deserves...

There is a reason there are so many rules with the "Yom Rishon", and that' because its the hardest year of a marraige and since marraige is so important, it should be dealt with in a fragile manner.

NOw... I understand that there isn't a mold for all marriages... some people can function and really get to know each other super well under such circumstances (little sleep or w/e), but this lifestyle is a *norm* amongst kollel/yeshivish people.

Off the Derech said...

MLevin: Your analogy to slavery is strong, but I think it's more or less accurate.

I would like to just point out one thing: what are these men doing all day that keeps them so busy and without a minute to spare for their families? Working sixty hour weeks to give their families a nice standard of living? Getting an education? Being productive?

Ummmm. learning Toyrah.

Anonymous said...

UHM, I think the yeshiva world endorses men skipping night learning during shana rishona....I THINK
Fav Anony

Off the Derech said...

I recall the story of R' Akiva being one that was cherished in that world. The story about him leaving for TWELVE years to learn and when he got back he went back without *even saying hello* for TWELVE MORE when he heard his wife mention that she was happy that he was learning. That's the kind of story that's idealized in that world.

Are you following the YU gay controversy? Those on the right constantly point out that even though we think we're being kind to gay people by tolerating them, we're in fact being cruel to them. And if we think we're being cruel to them (by being cruel to them) really we're being kind to them, we're doing them a *favor*. Welcome to the world of religion, where up is down and down is up. Black is white, and white is black. I pity those who are at the mercy of clergy.

Moshe said...

Unless she was complaining, whatever. The question that was only mentioned once, though, is what effect is this having on the children.

Between them, she knew what she was getting into.

mlevin said...

Moshe - not if she was a brainwashed 18 year old

Moshe said...

So, maybe she'll learn she's an idiot and maybe she wont. Not like we'd want to marry them or vice versa.

Off the Derech said...

Moshe: How can you call them "crazy." Do you have any idea what kind of pressure they're put under to stay in their world?

Welcome to the world of cults.

Off the Derech said...

You make it seem like it's somewhat radical or unusual in that world to learn 24/7. They "knew what they were getting into" etc. THIS IS NOT THE EXCEPTION, IT'S THE NORM. This is mainstream ultra-orthodox, all of Lakewood, Bnei Brak etc etc. These are not a few yechidim. It's everyone I know! These are mainstream Orthodox beliefs! Yes, I know many Orthodox people have believe in torah im derech eretz (though torah of course always has priority). But I don't even think they're the majority.

mlevin said...

Moshe - my point is that it's not okay to say if they are happy leave it alone. Even if they think they are happy, they think that only because they don't know there is an alternative. Imagine she was brainwashed and got married at 18 and moved to Lakewood where everyone is brainwashed like her. Now, 9 years later with a million children to boot she is stuck. She can't change.

SubWife said...

It's quite obvious that you know about kollel lifestyle very little. From personal experience I can tell you that very few people live the life you described. Most men, if not all, help out their wives and spend time with their children. What you described is really an exception. I also doubt the story about these hours during shanah rishonah. I know only of one man who attended the night seder, and he had done it at the suggestion of his wife, who did not do it out of peer pressure or any other reason you suggested.

Mikeinmidwood said...

I could only feel for the wife and how she has to deal with the children with almost no help and there were probably many of them, am I wrong?

Moshe said...

Brainwashed sheeple, whatever. My only concern is about them ending up with my money. They can enjoy the grave they dug for themselves.

We didn't turn out like them. For those who can't think for themselves, the Elders of Zion will do the thinking for them.

mlevin said...

Subwife - when my daughter was in 8th great (4 years ago) their principal visited her daughter in Jerusalem, who was in kollel marriage. She described in flying colors the similar life that OFS described here. This principal was hoping that her students would be so inspired by the description that they would want the same thing for themselves.

My former co-worker was marrying off his daughter to the kollel man. When we discussed help with household and childcare he told me, of course the husband is not supposed to help, because if he was to waste his time on that, then he might as well go out and get a job.

I could go on with these stories, but suffice it to say that it's not unusual in the frum world.

Moshe said...

As if he's spending every minute learning and not hanging out half the time.

mlevin said...

Moshe you didn't turn out like that because you were raised in a different world.

SubWife said...

MLevin, for every story like the one you are telling me, I will tell you the exact opposite. My husband most certainly helps, so does his chavrusa, so does one of my neighbors.

I agree with you that there are men who don't help their wives. But I have a feeling that they wouldn't regardless of what they did - kollel or work. Some men just feel that housework is beneath them and will find justification for it.

mlevin said...

But that's the point. These women are expected to do everything including work, making money, earning a living, while their husbands are doing nothing. And then someone comes out and says but if they are happy who are we to judge, and im saying that it's not ok, and we should judge, simply because the only reason they could possibly be happy in that type of a scenario, is if they don't realize that there is anything better

SubWife said...

Look, they are hardly prisoners in their homes. There are plenty of frum people around them working. They KNOW they don't have to live like that. If they do live this way, it's because they chose it and are quite possibly happy doing it. (i am talking about US only, I know nothing about Israeli kollel life).

You personally cannot imagine being happy living like that, but that doesn't mean they nobody can. It is possible to choose this lifestyle knowing that there are other alternatives.

NICOLE said...

OK! THATS IT! IN RESPONSE TO WOLF!
Its is clear that you are a little unaware of how the jewish and religous world works. The Jews are a peeople who's entire existance rotates around G-d and the jewish community. However! the bases of every jewish community is the marrriage of two people and the family they have come together to create. Unfortunately, it seems as the marriages in certain communities, out of all the jewish communties, have become less about love and the mutual compassion between two people, and more about sustaining the communities population. By that I mean people are not marrying because they love eachother or care for eachother, but they are marrying either because they are pressured into it, do it for approval (as according to jewish law all men must marry)or they simply accept that it is their job to sustain the community by producing children and the future generations. In result.. they marry, (women) assuming that its their purpose in life or it is what they should do, and men accepting the fact they they have no choice but to do so according to the torah. this pressure and blind acceptance causes people to jump into things , such as marriage, not understand what the purpose or reason behind doing so is. AND THAT LEADS TO-> 2 people living together to A) simply to provide the future generations to continue their community and traditions without mutual love, and/or B) people living together like roommates with kids running around as they just work around eachother as Anita said before.

In which case: THAT IS NOT A MARRIAGE! THAT IS A UNION FOR THE GOOD OF THE FUTURE AND OTHERS!

I believe that is the idea Anita was trying to bring across.
IT ISN'T ABOUT THE KAY SERA SERA STORY OF "IF IT WORKS FOR THEM THEN LET THEM BE!"

IT IS A HUGE FAULT IN THE FUNCTION OF MANY JEWISH COMMUNITIES!

SubWife said...

Nicole, are you married? I have a feeling the answer is no. Anyone who is married knows that marriage is hard with a partner you love, and absolutely impossible for an extended period of time with someone you couldn't care less about.

mlevin said...

But if she feels she can't get out of it, then she just tolerates it. She is stuck. No way out. And in many cases she doesn't even know that it could be better because she was brainwashed to think that this is it.

NICOLE said...

SubWife. I am not married. But i hope you are not implying that I am naive for thinking that a marriage should be based on a mutual love, feeling for, and compassion between two people.

SubWife said...

No, you are naive in thinking that marriage where a couple barely know each other, live together and have children only out of the sense of responsibility while having no feelings for each other whatsoever,and where a husband lives off of his wife contributing absolutely nothing to the family/wife/children could survive for any extended period of time.

Suggesting that the majority of ulta-Orthodox marriages are like is a lot more than naive.

NICOLE said...

ok!I agree! such marriage realistically cannot survive. BUT THIS ISN'T REALISTIC! THIS IS THE ULTRA FRUM WORLD!

AND I APOLOGIZE if you believe that i think that these marriages can survive in the the real world, BUT i AM CLARIFYING NOW...

IN THE REAL WORLD THEY CANNOT EXIST

BUT THEIR WORLD IS NOT THE REAL WORLD! IT IS THE ULTRA FRUM WORLD!

once you accept that! you will understand the rest of my logic.

NICOLE said...

to add! When 2 people love each other, as a child and his parent, as 2 siblings despite their vast 13 year age difference, or as two very good friends do..

THEY FIND IT DIFFICULT TO NOT SEE EACH OTHER OFTEN, AND THEY CANNOT STAY AWAY FROM EACH OTHER FOR TOO LONG AS THEY SIMPLY YEARN TO SPEAK TO AND SPEND TIME WITH EACH OTHER!

I hope you understand the analogy as after all, you do call yourself the Sub->WIFE

aml said...

I'm sorry, but this is such a silly conversation. Yes, its dumb, but Wolf is right.. if it works for them, lets just back off and let them live their lives.

It may or may not be a systemic "problem" as some of you are pointing out. I know of both types of kollel couples- ones where husbands are firmly engaged in the home and ones where the husband is little more than an honored guest in his own home (not really his, he did nothing to earn it). And guess what? I know non-religious couples that have the same dynamics.

The real problem for me is these "men" who well, frankly, aren't. Sorry. And 95% of the time is women doing this to other women... mothers encouraging their daughters to live such lives. Mothers drink the koolaid and hand it too their daughters, encouraging them to do the same.

*shrug*

No31 said...

Well, there's a simple solution:

The wife can demand a change and help.

If she doesn't get it, she can threaten secular divorce.

You can't stop a divorce in the US if either wife or husband wants one.

With a bunch of children, the husband will be forced to work and provide child support.

So, if he does not negotiate, he'll have to work full time paying child support for each child, maybe alimony, too.

I'm not saying it need go that far, but she does NOT need her husband's permission to stop being a 'slave'.

It need not go that far if the husband is at all negotiable.

She can point out that the judge won't be too 'understanding' of the husband's desire to contribute nothing to the time, caring or finances of the children and home.

If his rebbe says to the husband to not negotiate, then just one example will show dozens of other women who's got the whip. It's not the husband, it's the wife. She has the law on her side.

Moshe said...

No31, that may make sense to you, but it looks like you've never dealt with frummies.

Jessica said...

I can't help but wonder if the guy was working (instead of learning) for many hours if you still would have written this post...

frumskeptic said...

jessica- hellz yea...
its not a marraige if the only thing you have time for is to make babies.even if the guy is actually a productive member in providing the family with help.
marraige is about communication

frumskeptic said...

Anony- that may be so, but this lady said “its always been this way, since we got married”

OTD- The Rabbi Akiva story *REALLY* disturbs me. It bothers me when people praise it.

Subwife- You come from a different world. As Nicole said, these people are trained to get married. That’s all they know. They are born, raised in a mold to conform to certain standards, all for the purpose of the proper shidduch. And if they have any sense of decency, even if they’re upset with the lifestyle, they couldn’t get out of it, because if they go “off the derecH” they have a handful of siblings (and possibly distant family) who will be super affected by their decision. I had a friend who was very very unhappy with the lifestyle she grew up in. She told her mother to allow her younger sister to get married before her, and her mom absolutely refused. She felt such pressure to marry, But for her own sanity she just couldn’t do it, because she didn’t know what she wanted. For the summer, she went to camp, and she got inspired ovr there. 3 days after she returned from camp, she was engaged to a guy she knew from a sit-in.

You think she had feelings for him? She had a 6 month engagement (tanayim and e/t) and saw him twice before the wedding. You really think that’s grounds for a healthy marriage? They don’t know any different. 2 months before she had major issues with her lifestyle, she gets some “inspiration” at camp, and BAM she’s engaged the week she returns?
“But I have a feeling that they wouldn't regardless of what they did - kollel or work.”

Probably wouldn’t. But atleast the wife is getting financial help from a guy only working. So that relieves her stress of being the sole breadwinner as well.

“There are plenty of frum people around them working.”

Again, their decisions affect the entire family. They can’t be totally selfish. I remember one girl in my grade went off the derech. She had a 3rd grade sister… they were like “I feel so bad for her when its time for her to get married”… Umm… a third grader is7- 8?

Jessica- One of the major reasons I had a long engagement was because of my hubby’s schedule (worked full time, and went to school full time). We waited ‘till he finished school.
I generally avoided dating guys who had over a year left of school.
I do have to admit, I’d more likely defend a marriage with crazy hours if the guy worked, but that’s only if it were a temporary arrangement (like if he needed to work a little extra to get out early for shabbos, or needed to train for a better shift that would come in a month etc). No way would I defend it if it were as permenant as this lady said it.

kisarita said...

The problem is that i bet when he finally does come home, he's expecting to get laid quick after ignoring her all day

but seriously, that's better than i thought. my impression of kollel guys was that they sat around a lot. I did't know they were actually busy.

yitznewton said...


Jessica said...
I can't help but wonder if the guy was working (instead of learning) for many hours if you still would have written this post...


That's what I'm thinking. I:
- leave the house before Shacharis when my family is (we hope) asleep
- learn
- daven 'til about 7:50
- learn until 8:15
- go home to get my stuff for work & greet my family, go to 8:23 train
- come home at 6:50, eat dinner
- leave at 8:00 for Maariv
- learn on M/W until 9:45, shop for groceries on Th, usually home on Tu with running mixed in

So, bottom line: most nights I'm home from 6:50 to 7:55 when I leave for Maariv. Is that a great thing? Probably not. I count myself fortunate that I am virtually guaranteed to leave the office at 5:50 and not be expected to stay late, like others I know! It's not just kollel, it's modern professional life as well - unless it doesn't take long to get to work or you have short or weird hours.

BrooklynWolf said...

Yitz,

I'm wondering the same thing.

As a database administrator, I often *do* have to work late. In addition, I go to grad school two nights a week and on those nights don't get home until 10:00 at the earliest. So does just about everyone else in my program (Jewish or not). I don't think she would be complaining about people who go to grad school at night either.

The Wolf

mlevin said...

Wolf and Yits - OFS answered it back on January 1 at 3:53

yitznewton said...


mlevin said...
Wolf and Yits - OFS answered it back on January 1 at 3:53


Yeah, I see the responses; my point is, it seems all but futile in this world (again with the assumptions I made at the end of my earlier post) to maximize quantity of home time without eliminating something else essential - in my case, limud Torah or exercise. It is a struggle to make the available time meaningful. Ha gufa, speaking for my wife and me, that's one of our challenges, which we (apparently) share with many other families.

frumskeptic said...

yitz- you coming home at a decent enough hr compared to 11. unless ur kid and wife go to bed 10min after uget home, you SEE them. that's a huge difference, then coming home daily at 11

wolf- night school is not permenant. you go a couple yrs,finish, and come right back to normal hours. and even then...how many days per week? not 5!

SubWife said...

Whether working or learning, most men see their children very little on a daily basis. Many working women are in a pretty much similar boat. Whether this arrangement works or doesn't work for a particular couple, is only for them to decide. If the woman is happy/content with her husband learning most of the day, then they should be left alone.

OFS, you are not happy about Rabbanim telling people how to live their lives, but have no problem doing the same and think these women need to be liberated whether they want to or not. While I don't understand these arrangements/marriages myself, this is everyone's personal choice, whether or not influenced by the community. And it should remain personal.

frumskeptic said...

subwife- when did I tell people what to do? you consider my blog on-par as Rabbeim banning sheital shops because of "untznius" pictures, or Rabbeim imposing invented chumras?

are you high?

if I ever open a school, the only thing I'd use to determine acceptance is an entrance exam. I wouldn't care If the applicant wore a hat, didn't wear one or if they wore one and it was purple.

but on my blog, I criticize. it is my beautiful source of venting. don't you dare read this and compare me to some power-grubbing bastard, who uses his smicha as a form to control the ignorant masses.

this is a blog. you don't like the criticim, don't read it. but its not healthy for kids to see their dads for 10 min, same for the wives.

notice...since kollel became a trend, otd rates shot up...

SubWife said...

I didn't make myself clear. What I meant to say was the: Everyone is an expert on how other people should live their lives.

About kollel and OTD rates - that is just an assumption. It could be true, partially true (contributing factor) or completely false. There were many other developments that could be responsible for the OTD rates.

NICOLE said...

MAN OH MAN! THANK YOU FRUM SKEPTIC! WHERE HAS THIS RESPONSE BEEN HIDDEN ALL THIS TIME! I thought you had gone soft! "Baruch Hashem" YOU ARE BACK!



AND ABSOLUTELY CORRECT AS WELL!



SUBWIFE: I have a question. How are you an eved hashem and don't understand the marriages you, yourself called "arrangements" that are "influenced by the community" as you so bluntly admitted?




- that is how people from such backgrounds are raised. with such questions and guilt trips.

I hope that cracked your rose colored glasses since you choose to keep them on.

SubWife said...

Nicole,

when you are married for a year or two, I will consider revisiting this conversation with you. For now you have no clue about what marriage is like (you also seem to have little idea what frum/kollel life is like as well, but that's beside the point). Living with someone is hard at times even if you love them. Living with someone you barely know and can hardly tolerate - seems to be your idea of frum marriage - is impossible.

First get a clue and then try to open my eyes about the realities of life I already am living.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, whoa.....I'm a bit speechless (but not for long!). I am what one would call ultra Orthodox, I suppose, living in community of same. I really abhor limiting people to titles though. I find this use of the word "frummy" as distasteful as I would find the use of any word meant to sling a bunch of people in one group for derogatory purposes.

When I dated my husband, we spoke about Kollel, as that was his ideal at the time. Seeing how much he wanted it and how it would make him happy, why wouldn't I have wanted to be supportive of that? However, I did make it clear that my needs would have to be met as well.

It's a couple years later, and neither one of us has been disappointed. He did go to Kollel, and he ran all the errands to and from it. He worked when he wasn't learning, neither of us took a cent from our parents (unless it was Chanukah gelt or birthday money, which was given to all children), and the "labor" was shared. He did all the shopping and washing the dishes while I cooked, he washed and dried the laundry while I folded it and put it away, etc. And when he was done with his "tasks", he would ask if there was anything else that I needed done. (Obviously, this still takes place today, but I'm speaking in past tense because that's when it started.) When I was pregnant, he went to every single one of my appointments and took off a few days from Kollel/work to help me settle in and clean/arrange the house for the baby's arrival.

Still and all, we had breakfast and dinner together every single day (excluding the couple times he had to go out of town), and he would bring me that breakfast in bed on Shabbos. We made time to cuddle every night (when okay), and if we lost a little bit of sleep over it, neither one of us was crying. Once the baby came, we have made sure to have cuddle time with him in the bed together with us at least once a week.

We intend to raise our children seeing how much we love each other and learning to have the utmost respect for their spouses, which translates into doing whatever it takes to make them happy. I feel confident in saying that my husband worships the ground I walk on (well, he's not a groveling wimp, but you get my drift!), and it would be a great disservice to him for me not to respond in kind and support him in what makes *him* happy.

I know I don't live in a bubble because I have plenty of friends and relatives who I'm close enough with that I would know if something was amiss (such as what you suggest in your post) in their marriages. In fact, they lead similar lifestyles as we do, although every person brings his or her own "style" to the marriage.

So call me naive, but I don't know what communities you all live in or refer to that you have such a negative impression. If my happiness would be considered naivete, then I guess I wouldn't want to experience another person's happiness because I'm more than satisfied with my own.

It saddens me to hear some of the opinions expressed here, and I do wonder if you would dissect other demographics to that extent. Or maybe this is just personal because you're Jewish and you want better for your "own kind"? I will just have to hope that is the reason because otherwise I can find no way to understand the vitriol expressed here. I hope you guys all see more positive examples within family units, and SOON. :)

(Did I say or did I say that I would recover my tongue quickly enough?!)

Moshe said...

An exception that proves the rule ;-)

mlevin said...

Anonymous - you are talking here about a different marriage. Your husband is part time kollel and he comes home at a decent hour. The marriage FS describing, that her co-worker told her how it works, is where a husband is basically a roommate who doesn't contribute to the family, he doesn't work, he doesn't help around the house, he doesn't raise children. The only time the see each other is on Shabbos, and as I pointed out between davening and sleeping and socializing there is very little time left on Shabbos to be with a wife and to raise children.

mlevin said...

Subwife - I know marriages where husband and wife don't know each other. They are just going through the motions of living together, because that is what expected of them. Why do you think there is such a high divorce rate? Because not everyone is able to live with someone he/she barely knows. Believe me, for every marriage in ultra frum world that ends in early divorce there is at least one that was pressured into staying together.

Another factor you are missing is that immature children who know nothing about life and finances, who still do not understand themselves, are suddenly married and a short year later with a child.

Keep in mind many girls get married a year they come back from the seminary. They were raised in the environment where every second of their lives was dictated to them they never had time to think and to make decisions to explore. All of their lives they were told that she should be a morah in beis yakov (or if she's not good enough to be a morah, then an assistant at a frum company) and he a should be a full time learner. So, they continue in that path, because they don't know that there is anything else.

I also take affront that just because Nicole is not married, then her opinions are irrelevant. Just because she is not married doesn't mean she didn't have a chance to observe bad marriage and good marriages and make her own assumptions. For all you know she could be a marriage counselor or a divorce lawyer...

Anonymous said...

Moshe, the point I was trying to make was that I don't believe we *are* the exception. As I wrote, my close friends and family members (and these are people who would complain to me if things weren't going well in their relationships) all have husbands who are the same and do the same types of things for them. So my question is, where do all the people you guys are referring to live?

MLevin, the Kollel *was* full-time, and yes, that did mean that most mornings he woke up at about 5 and most nights he came home between 10 and 1. But that was the sacrifice we happily made in order not to "sponge" off of our parents. I don't care how much money they have, they earned it, and I do not feel we are entitled to it. My husband does feel that when our children are older (G-d willing), and if we have any extra money, he would love to support their learning because if they made the choice to solely learn the first year after marriage, he would have much nachas from that. Of course, they would be on their own any subsequent years. My point is, yes, it's hard, and as many people pointed out above, many jobs demand such a rigorous schedule, but if your heart is in the right place, you still get the quality time together. If anything, I think it made the quality time more quality, if you know what I mean. And we never experienced any angst as a result. I would wish a happiness like that for anyone, no matter what their paths in life are.

mlevin said...

Anonymous - did you read the original post and all the comments. What you described is a temporary arrangement. What FS is describing is a permanent lifestyle. The woman is married for 9 years and she is the sole provider all of these 9 years, she is also a house cleaner and cook and child raiser. She does it all. Her husband is never home (except for Shabbos).

Now, just because you missed it, this woman has kept this lifestyle for 9 years and she will continue on doing it for many more, may be even forever.

Anonymous said...

MLevin, I did in, in fact, read the original post and the ensuing comments. I would not comment on something I haven't read. I think you've missed the point in my post (diatribe?!), which is that while that may be that particular woman's life, I don't know that that's the norm or as it should be, and I was asking you all where you see this kind of thing taking place on a regular basis. I haven't, so I'm wondering which communities you talk about where the husbands are in kollel full-time (and life-long) and do not lift a finger to help their wives. In truth, none of us really know what goes on behind closed doors. You guys keep on talking about "frummies" and their nefarious deeds, and I'm just trying to isolate a community here because besides for certain obvious problems, I see people: some good, some not so good, some willing and able-bodied, some slothful. In other words, much like the rest of the world. Yes, we should strive for better, but I fail to see the point in picking on people so much. If you want something to change within a community, work on changing it (I'm not saying any of you don't, as I obviously wouldn't know one way or the other), and hopefully one person at a time, our little world and the world at large will become better.

Anonymous said...

From Anonymous #2 to Anonymous #1: Well spoken!

Too much negativity here. Feels like a lashon harah war zone. The only person we are missing is Korach.

~A Concerned Mother