If my husband wants his parents to come for yomtiv but they belittle me constantly, do I have the right to prevent my husband from inviting them? Or should I just have them over and swallow the hurt?
It depends. If you are looking for a great mitzvah that will help you be zoichehto Olam Habah, then you should tell your husband to invite them and you should be willing to swallow everything that they do. Because li’fum tzara agra. The reward will be according to the distress. And besides that, you will be perfecting your character.
So if the wife is willing to suffer, then yes. But if she’s not willing, then he must obey his wife and not invite his parents. And that’s because you can’t be a mazik because of your mitzvos. He’s going to cause her a certain amount of distress by doing this mitzvah and he has no right distress her for his mitzvah. על כן יעזוב אחד את אביו ואת אמו ודבק באשתו (Bereishis 2:24). A man must always be loyal to his wife. Loyalty is the foundation of a marriage.
Now, sometimes it pays for you, the wife – even not for a mitzvah, not for Olam Habah – to swallow it. Why? Because his parents are much older than you. And when they pass away, sometimes they’ll leave money for you. So it’s a pretty good idea to be on good terms with your husband’s parents because that way they’ll leave their money to you. And don’t think that it’s a joke. It’s very serious. And in many cases there aren’t that many years that you’ll have to wait. And therefore, be very nice to your husband’s parents because you’ll have something to hope for. And that’s in addition to your perfection of character and your s’char in Olam Habah.
TAPE # E-181 (March 1999)