When it comes to the mitzvah of kibud av ve’eim how does that fit in with honoring your wife? Sometimes both can’t be true.
If you use your seichel, then honoring your parents doesn’t have to come into conflict with honoring your wife. But as was mentioned before, it states that a man is obligated to honor his wife and to see that his home is a place of tranquility; and he has to honor his father and his mother outside the home – if they are going to interfere, they should never be invited to his house. If he wants, he can lie all day long in his parents’ home but he shouldn’t bring home any suggestions from his mother. And if his mother interferes, as was said before, he has to put his foot down and let her know that this cannot be.
What if my mother wants to relay suggestions to my wife through me?
It’s important that it shouldn’t have the slightest suggestion that it came from her. And wives usually are able to sniff that out. And therefore women who want to feed suggestions to their sons – that’s one of the ways they do it – the best thing would be to forget about it. Let the daughter-in-law’s house be bedlam; let it be confusion. Don’t mix in. It’s much better than what you could contribute. All you contribute is hostility. Because every mother-in-law thinks that it’s so; every mother-in-law has suggestions. And therefore the best suggestion is to say nothing at all.
TAPE # 154 (February 1977)