- Moshe Ben-Chaim
- Reader: Dear Rabbi,
My wife and I are always getting into arguments (serious arguments)
our relationship with her parents. She thinks I am bring ungrateful
because I do not want them to be so involved with our children.
She was brought up in an environment where her parents and grand
lived in the same house, and therefore it believe it is normal for her
interchange the roles of parent's and grand parents. I believe this is
was done when she was growing up, so it is normal for her. I, on the
hand, grew up seeing my grand parents on weekends, or holidays. Of
stayed overnight in their house, and spend long amounts of time with
but there was always a distinction between them and my parents.
In the relationship we have with my wife's parents, I feel like the
are blurred, and there is no distinction between our immediate family
and the next level of a family group. I believe that there is a place
each family member. Parents have certain responsibilities and also
privileges. So do grand parents, but at a different level. I think the
levels hare have been set equally, therefore the roles of the parents
grand parents are now one and the same. Of course this is not a
the children, as now they get twice as much care and attention, but
personally, I feel like sometimes I am being robbed of those moments
should be for the parents to experience, or experience with your child
the first time.
Examples of things that we argue about are: We never took a vacation
together with my son, but my wife's parents went on vacation, last
now my wife wants them to take my sun again on vacation this year. I
personally like to go on a vacation with my children, but since the
parent's are already doing this, it seems like the job is done (the
going on vacation) and now there is no need for the immediate family
consider taking one. Another thing that I thought the parents should
gotten a chance to experience first is, going to the Zoo and see my
face when he so the lion, or the elephant. Instead, the grand parents
that I feel like I am being robbed of the experiences that are part of
being a parent. The last example is when my child was sick, my wife
to send him to her parents so they would take care of him. She thought
since we are so tired from lack of sleep (one of our children is still
sleeping trough the night), they would to a better job. I on the other
think that when your child is sick, you most definitely do not send
anywhere, and take care of him, no matter how tired you are. This is
parents do, not grand parents.
I hope I am making sense.
This may be all silly, and I may be to sensitive about all of it, and
just not care who does what, but it does bother me. I was hopping that
can provide me with some Halakhic insight on how I should approach
- Thank you.
- Mesora: Your concerns are real,
genuine and rightfully, you should experience what you
wish to with your children.
- Personally, I would say to your wife and in-laws exactly what you
- You may even tell them in my name that I feel your concerns are not
rational and fair, but that the children will also benefit from closer
experiences you wish to share with them. Your wife should not stand
and your own children, but she should support her husband's wishes.
wishes which are rightfully yours, good for your children, and are
irreplaceable. She must realize how much you treasure these moments if
her to see your side of the matter. Talk to her, alone.
- Additionally, she must use foresight and understand that by her
your marriage will benefit, and the opposite will happen if you end up
resenting her for not being sensitive to your feelings. Marriage is
compromise. But in this case, she should RUN to thank you for such
your children. The word compromise seems hardly right when you are
something so good.
- Explain to her and your in-laws your feelings, and make them see
that this is
something you cannot do without.
Then, make plans right away to do that trip!