Apr 14, 2011

Putting your foot down

A woman wrote a question to a frum publication for their advice column about her husband who wakes up late in the mornings and even if she wakes him at 10:30 it still takes a while till he gets up.  He is supposed to be learning in the morning in kollel.  Once he's up, the rest of his day is productive.  He is a night owl and doesn't go to sleep early and she doesn't know how to handle it.

I would like to comment on one of the responses she got from a respected rabbi who said he presented the question to his wife and one of his daughters-in-law.  He wrote, "My wife was adamant that the wife's role is to set her husband on the right path and put her foot down as far as his fulfilling his responsibilities."

I'll just briefly question whether her assessment of the wife's role is correct or not as many have said the ruchnius of the home is the husband's responsibility and the wife's role is not that of mashgiach, and would like to focus on the "putting her foot down" part.

I am curious as to how she thinks any spouse, wife or husband, can "put their foot down" about anything and expect compliance.  What is her method to ensure obedience? Does she offer prizes? Punishments? Both? Would she suggest the wife not make his supper if he doesn't get up earlier? Not do his laundry? Divorce?

A person (spouse, parent, anyone) can say something forcefully; can provide rational reasons; can speak from the heart, but ----- ultimately, the person on the receiving end has the choice of listening or not.


  1. what is wrong with nagging? She could just keep coming into the bedroom and waking him up from 7:30 a.m. and tell him that she is going to continue until he gets up and davens. She can also nag him to go to bed at a decent hour. nagging is very important and I totally believe in it.