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Wife never wants to go to social shabbats, and it’s bringing me down. I could use some advice.

I don’t really know if this is the right place to post, but I don’t know anywhere else to go with this problem.

My wife and I almost always have our shabbat dinners at home with just the two of us. Often we get invited by mutual friends and also some Chabad rabbis over for dinner. I enjoy these social shabbat dinners including the company and food, but my wife usually doesn’t enjoy social shabbats or at least gets uncomfortable and thus doesn’t want to be there. I end up having to turn down virtually all invites, except for some very select ones that squeak by. She is a classic introvert and gets very uncomfortable in social situations she isn’t 100% secure in, so this isn’t only a shabbat problem (although it’s definitely more pronounced than usual). I have tried to make it more enjoyable by trying to organize with people she does like, but that doesn’t seem to help at all. We do invite people to our place as well sometimes, but not often, and it would be nice to be guests.

I understand her 100% since I usually prefer being on my own, but it’s clearly becoming a problem for me. I believe that I shouldn’t attend a social shabbat while leaving my wife at home. It feel very wrong and is completely the OPPOSITE of what shabbat is all about. She tells me to go on my own, but I can’t do this because of my own feelings on such a thing, and to a lesser extent, how this reflect on me socially. I mean really, who doesn’t spend shabbat with their wife? This of course puts pressure on her, because now I cannot go without her. So in the end, I never go to any of these events, and she gets stressed out if I even hint at a social shabbat event.

I am at the end of my rope. I enjoy social shabbat events very much, but now I feel my future will more nearly completely void of them simply because my wife doesn’t want to attend. Below are some questions.

QUESTIONS

  1. Am I being guided properly by my feeling that it would be wrong to go to a social shabbat on my own without my wife? I mean this both from a social and Jewish (halachic, or otherwise) perspective. Maybe it’s common and I am unaware? I don’t think so… but I have to ask.
  2. I would like to reason with my wife and explain that these things are very important to me and to help find a solution. I feel this is one of those things in life that cannot be done separately (unless a person is travelling, or something). If my hands are indeed tied here, what might be a good strategy here to work with my wife on this? I don’t want her to feel pressured, but I need some way out of this since I don’t want a lifetime of non-social shabbats.
  3. Have you experienced such a situation yourself? What ended up being the solution?

Thank you for the help 🙂

submitted by /u/Understanding-Option
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