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Insights on Domestic Tranquility: Everyone Makes Mistakes

Written by Anonymous

In marriage, we commonly find that our spouses make foolish mistakes. To err is only human, and we all have human spouses. Our task is to be sure we do not react foolishly when we discover those mistakes. If we need to bring the problem to our spouses’ attention, we must be calm and cool, and with great patience and love, point out what went wrong. In no way should we show arrogance or ridicule, since this would be very insulting and likely to kindle an argument. just as in the opening story in which the Rabbi did not react foolishly, even though the wagon driver had done so, we also should not react foolishly when our spouses make mistakes. Always cushion the blow when telling your spouse of his/her mistake when you feel that it must be pointed out. You could start with a sentence like, “I know I am always making mistakes, and now I found out that you can make one too.” Or say, “I thought you were perfect, but now I have found out that you are human and make mistakes.” You can also say, “Honey, whatever mistakes you will ever make, I will always love you.” The worst thing to do is to be foolish enough to become angry. If you lose your temper, you will not be able to correct the mistake, since your spouse will become offended, and instead of learning from the mistake, will start defending him/herself. You will not gain anything from a fight with your spouse, except a lot of needless aggravation. Being angry is a mistake, and bear in mind that one foolish mistake does not justify another. our Sages say that a person does not succeed in Torah until he makes mistakes. 1 The holy Chazon Ish writes in his collection of letters, Igros Chazon Ish, that he was well aware that he made many errors, both in his logical reasoning an in his understanding of the Talmud. If even the holy Torah cannot be acquired without stumbling first, then it must b that mishaps are an expected and necessary part of personal growth. Slip-ups are so much more to be expected when it comes to married life, where two different dispositions are trying to unite. There must be errors; it would take a miracle to have marriage in which each spouse did not make mistakes once in a while. But the trial of the marriage is how each one weathers the other’s mistakes. If it is with love and patience then the marriage will last. But if it is with anger and impatience, then the marriage faces a crisis every time- a mistake is made. No error justifies acting with anger Everything can be worked out, and since even G-d, Who is flawless, forgives our mistakes, how much more must we imperfect human beings be full of forgiveness for each other. Just as G-d has the patience not to react in kind to foolish actions, so also must we learn to have tremendous patience with our spouses. 1. Cbagiga 14a _ _ _ _ This article is provided as part of Shema Yisrael Torah Network Permission is granted to redistribute electronically or on paper, provided that this notice is included intact. For information on subscriptions, archives, and other Shema Yisrael Classes, send mail to

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