Should a husband spend extra money in order to make his house more beautiful if that will make his wife happier?
If a man’s wife wants to have a home that is more elegant and she wants to spend money on that – well, it depends. If he can persuade her not to be extravagant and that it’s really nothing, then all right. But if she insists, then a certain amount of leeway he has to give to her. Certainly; after all it’s a chesed. Doing chesed to your wife is a very important function of life. ואהבת לרעך כמוך. “You should love your fellowman like you love yourself.” And your wife is your best fellowman! Certainly you should deal with your wife respectfully and spend you should spend money as your wife’s desire.
But of course, the wife herself must know that to be extravagant is not a big mitzvah – not at all! There are many very good uses to which that money can be put. And therefore, if the husband can persuade her with words of intelligence and mussar, that certainly would be the best thing. But they’re going to have to reach some sort of compromise.
TAPE # E-257 (January 2000)