Return to homepage

Bookmark This Site
 
Search our site
WOLFE'S WORDSDecember 14, 2007
 
Send this page to a friendDecrease Font
Page DownBottom

FacebookRedditDeliciousDigg
Share this page
 
"Di Katastrofe" Of Marital Disputes
by: Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
 
Issue:
8.11
 
Important dates

This Month...

Editor's Comment
Michael looks at:
Farewell, Shalom and Adieu

Being Jewish Magazine


see a .pdf copy of the current issue

Features
An Open Letter from Abba to His Family

Enough With The Political Finger-Pointing!

Revisiting the Haggadah

Eddy's Recipe List
Victoria Sponge

Book Review
Unstrung Heroes

The Outspeaker
Encouraging violence is never correct

Batya
Good times and bad times with Batya

Nathan Weissler
What my friendship with Michael Hanna-Fein meant to me


BC's Backlot
The Last Shalom

This And That
My Treasure Chest

Three Symbols of Passover

Stress

Lynn Ruth Miller
How we all became part of a bigger story

Mel Yahre
A few words for my friend

Eddy's Thoughts
Don't let life flutter by

The Bear Facts
How I found Michael

 

Having been married for almost "fuftsik" years, I know from experience that disagreements in a marriage are inevitable. Why there's even a Yiddish proverb that goes, "Tov lashevet al pinat gag me'eshet midyaneem u'vait chaver" (It is better to reside in a corner on the roof, than with a quarrelsome woman in a great mansion.)

The Jewish tradition places importance on peace in the home--Shalom bayit. Joyce Eisenberg and Ellen Scolnic ("Dictionary of Jewish Words") says, "The Jewish Tradition of Shalom bayit requires, among other things, that family members not raise their voices to one another in anger, that a husband treat his wife as nicely as he would treat a neighbor ("shokhn"/"shokhente"), and that the commandments for children to treat parents with respect goes both ways."

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (The Jewish Dr. Phil), has eight children. He says that "parents must first focus on being good people, then on having a healthy, loving relationship, and finally, on being the best parents they can."

Some couples have an argument ("tayne") even BEFORE the wedding "tseremonye." A bride-to-be wrote to the "answer maven" at Atlantic Jewish Life:
Q. Everything was going fine until I got engaged. Then I started spiraling out of control with all the wedding plans, not to mention how many times I've fought with my fiancÚ over the color of the tablecloths at our reception ("kaboles-ponim"). I'm stressed out. How do I keep from totally turning into Bridezilla?
A. The "answer maven" said--in part--"And as for your fiancÚ, why does he have to know anything? Ignorance is bliss, my friend, especially when it comes to choosing tablecloth colors...Give the groom one or two important jobs (like booking your wedding night hotel, and leave him out of the rest."

According to a new study of 150 couples, conducted at the University of Utah, women who swallow their anger during marital disputes are more likely to die of heart disease than women who speak their minds. This is contrary to the Yiddish proverb,
"Vos vainiker me ret, iz als gezunter"
(the less you talk, the better off you are.)
The couples, who were videotaped, were discussing sensitive subjects such as how they managed money or household chores. When men dominated the conversation and made cutting remarks while the wives sat mostly silent, researchers found subsequent analysis of the women's heart found high levels of coronary calcification--a sign of heart disease. Men, on the other hand, suffered no ill effects from "self-silencing," but showed more evidence of heart disease if arguments with their wives turned into an open battle for control, instead of a more cooperative discussion on how to make things "beser."

The researcher, Timothy W. Smith, told The New York Times,
"Can you do it [argue] in a way that gets your concerns addressed but without damage at the same time?"

Some Jewish women are the type who can say in a calm voice,
"Ikh hob tsu dir a tayne"
(I have a complaint to bring to you)... or
"Makh nit keyn tsimes fun dem"
(Don't make a fuss about it).

Some advice: Try NOT to resort to using the following Yiddish expressions during marital disputes:

"Di gantse velt iz nit meshuge."
(The whole world isn't crazy--so you could be wrong.)

"Oykh mir a meyvn."
(Look who's acting like an expert.)

[sarcastically], "Host du bay mir an avle."
(So I made a mistake.)

"Du farkirst mir di yorn."
(You'll be the death of me.)

"Du fangst shoyn on?"
(Are you starting up again?)

"Gey strashe di gens."
(Go threaten the geese...because you're not threatening me!)

"Kamandeve nit!"
(Stop giving orders!)

"Ruf mich k'nak-nissel!"
(I did wrong? So call me a nut!)

"Nem zich a vaneh!"
(Go jump in the lake.)

And the worst expression:
"Ikh bin der balebos do."
(I'm the boss here.)

I still adhere to the advice given by my mother: "A husband and wife should NEVER go to bed 'broygez'--angry."
___________

Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is the author of a brand new book, "Yiddish for Dog & Cat Lovers." To order:
Marjorie Wolfe
19 Market Dr.
Syosset, NY 11791

$13 (plus $3.50 mailing/handling, USA)
$17 (plus $5.50 mailing/handling, outside of the USA)

 
       
   
Advertisement

Page UpTop Small Monitor Subscribe Tzedakeh Links

Subscribe (free) to the Gantseh Megillah. The Gantseh Megillah and GantsehMegillah.com are designed and hosted by HannaVisioN About this site Send a financial contribution to this site Contact us See our glossary of Yiddish words and expressions Log In Join
Personal insights from two yiddishe meydls Life stories from the heart News and information with a lighter touch Politics and policy with a Yiddishe taam