12 Cheshvan 5782 / Monday, October 18, 2021 | Torah Reading: Vayeira
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Get Off My Back!    

Get Off My Back!

Nagging actually has a deep spiritual significance. We women are programmed to “get on our husbands’ backs” because that’s how we started out in life...


Dear Racheli,


Lately my wife of 10 years has been increasingly nagging. She won’t stop picking on every little thing I do! Nothing I do seems to be good enough for her anymore. She even finds things to nag me about that have nothing to do with her - like how I make my coffee in the morning. I’m fed up and don’t understand what got into her. If she keeps this up, I’m going to consider divorcing her.






David, did you create a fake Gmail account and write to me as “Jonathan”? Just wait ‘til you get home - I’ll show you some real nagging!


But seriously, Jonathan, take it easy! I totally understand your frustration. My husband, David, doesn’t pick on me much, but if he does, let’s just say what goes around, comes around, and then some. Hubby be knowin’ better than to mess wit’ me.


But your wifey? Hmmmm. Something’s obviously changed recently in your relationship. Granted, you have been together a decent amount of time, and in all honesty, I’m surprised your wife waited a full 10 years to start nagging you. If she were like me, she would have waited until the morning after the wedding to begin nagging. Generally, most women have an unspoken rule that we’re nag-free until we get married; and then it’s no-holds-barred nag-fest until the day you die! (If you manage to hold on that long.) Whoo, hoo, baby!


What, you never heard of the bait n’ switch tactic? Works every time.


In all seriousness, Jonathan, there is a spiritual reason for our nagging. It all dates back to the time of Adam HaRishon and his wife, Chava. The Midrash says that before Chava was created, she was actually fused to Adam’s back, but she was inanimate. It’s pretty freaky, if you think about it. The back of her head was fused to the back of his head, and all the way down until the feet. She didn’t come to life until Hashem took her off his back.


So you see, nagging actually has a deep spiritual significance. We women are programmed to “get on our husbands’ backs” because that’s how we started out in life. And what better way is there to do that than to nag? Now, you can finally understand the origin of the term, “Get off my back, woman!” So first thing, Jonathan: understand where wifey is coming from. Nagging is in her spiritual DNA. Don’t take it personally.


Now, here’s the thing. If she’s really getting on your case lately, then there is actually a valid spiritual reason for that, from our very own Rav Shalom Arush. In his book (that women shouldn’t read,) The Garden of Peace, Rav Arush explains that wives get all annoying and in-your-face when you’re not living up to your husbandly duties.


What? You’re wondering what your husbandly duties are? Oh, boy. By “husbandly duties,” I mean like giving her “The Three A’s”: attention, affection, and appreciation. Check out my article, The Princess and the Caveman, for the full lowdown on The Three A’s. I have personally found that if hubby starts slacking in these areas, I automatically turn up the nag without even realizing it, until I become so intolerable that I even start to annoy myself!


Oh, and here’s another thing. Very super-duper important. If you are checking out other hot mamas on the street, you are fully responsible for destroying your marriage with your own two eyes. Yup! Can you see why I love Rav Arush so much? He’s the most pro-woman rabbi I know!


You see, your wife has a built-in spiritual radar that detects when your attention is not at 100%. If it’s at 99%, she starts to rev up the nag. So you’d better keep your eyes to yourself, if you know what’s good for you. And also don’t forget about The Three A’s. And if you really want a marriage that’s not only nag-free, but actually full of love and mutual enjoyment, here’s what you do: read The Garden of Peace. Like 100 times. Listen to Rav Lazer Brody’s incredible CD for men, called Peace in the Home.


Then write me back and tell me that I’m the greatest thing ever. Oops, I meant tell your wife that she’s the greatest thing ever. This better not be you, David....






* * *

Feel free to send Racheli your questions, particularly in the areas of marriage, dating, child-rearing and women's role; write her at racheli@breslev.co.il

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