Thursday, July 29, 2010

LASHON HARA: Does it apply between husband and wife?

Today is the 18th of Av, 5770

In his wonderful book, Shemirat haLashon, the Chaftez Chayim found it necessary to discuss the matter of conversations between husband and wife and the impact of Lashon haRa in their relationship.

What should a woman do if, for example, someone close to her tells her something derogatory about her husband's personality? Should she tell her husband about it? Should we assume that Lashon haRa does not apply between husband and wife?

Definitely NO!. The Chafetz Chayim warns that the rules of Lashon haRa should be strictly kept -especially between husband and wife- and that the consequences of not observing this Halakha might be devastating.

The classic example: Too often, big family battles have started by a husband telling his wife what his mother or his sister said about her, or by a wife men­tioning a criticism which her parents voiced at her husband.

A wise spouse should convey perfectly clear that negative talk about his/her spouse is completely unacceptable. And if one can't avoid listening derogatory information about one's spouse, at least one should have the intelligence not to 'report' back to his/her spouse!

Such situations would ultimately lead to resentment and distress and might cause unnecessary anguish and tensions in our families.

On building positive 'spouse - mother in law' relationship: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hm8KoF4XRgg

(Thanks to N. B. for sending it!)