Rav Avigdor Miller on Giving Your Wife the Silent Treatment

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Q:
The Rav mentioned in the shiur tonight that getting into the habit of not opening your mouth is a very healthy attitude. But sometimes for shalom bayis, my wife wants to talk to me at length?


A:
Listen to me, listen to me. When your wife wants you to talk to her, what she means is that she wants you to listen to her when she’s talking. That’s all. So you should listen to her. You can listen to her and keep your mouth closed. And you’ll stay most healthy by keeping your mouth shut. “לא מצאתי לגוף טוב אלא שתיקה” (Avos 1-17)

Q:
But how much could I listen already? I need time time to learn as well?
A:
Look, when you’re wasting your life reading the newspaper, you don’t ask me that question. Then you’re not asking me about the time you need to learn. So you make sure that you give your wife the time she needs. If you can, you could listen to her and think in the sugya that you just learned. And nod, and say “Yes, yes. You’re right.” Whatever it is, you have to fulfill your duties and be loyal to your wife.
Now, sometimes a husband can educate his wife to know that she has a one hundred percent partnership in your Torah learning. She’s a one hundred percent partner with you. Now, the fact that you’re silent when you’re reading the newspaper and you don’t talk to her, that part of the partnership she’s מוחל. You can have all of that bitul zman for yourself. That, she’s not looking to share with you. But when you’re reading divrei Torah, when you’re learning, and you explain to her, “Whatever I’m learning right now, is like you’re learning Torah right now.” That’s exactly it. A wife is אשתו כגופו. It’s not fifty percent. She has a one hundred percent partnership in your Torah. And if you can educate her to understand that truth, it becomes easier for her to allow you to sit and learn.

TAPE #E-172