Rambam and Marriage

This week my wife and I celebrate our 37th wedding anniversary.

I won’t claim everything has always been perfect. “And they lived happily ever after” only happens in fairy tales.

However, since we’ve reached this milestone, I think I’ve got some license to share a wedding idea with you.

Some years ago I came across a small piece of paper with the title The Rambam’s Seven Principles of Matrimonial Law.

(I should point out I don’t know how they came up with “seven” because I count 12 bullet points. It could be they count the guys 6 points and then add 1 for the wife’s side.)

Rambams Principles of Matrimonial Law

I don’t remember where I found it.

I keep it in my November tickler file and make sure to read it at least once a year.

Here they are

The husband is requested to:

  • Treat her with more honor than he treats himself.
  • Love her as much as he loves himself.
  • Increase benefits to her according to his finances.
  • Avoid imposing excessive fear upon her.
  • Speak to her in a gentle and kind manner.
  • Avoid moodiness and anger.

The wife is required to:

  • Honor him greatly.
  • Hold him in esteem.
  • Follow his instructions.
  • Think of him as a dignitary and as a king.
  • Conduct herself according to his heart’s desire.
  • Avoid doing all that he dislikes.

That’s it. Straight and to the point.

Annual Review

I figure the Rambam ideas are worth review at least once a year.

There are many lessons in what the Rambam writes.

I can only speak from the standpoint of a guy. Having said that, I think the more I live up to my side of the Rambam’s principles, the easier it is for my wife to fulfill her side.

Also, if I want my wife to honor me and hold me in esteem, then I need to act in ways that are worthy of honor and esteem.


A Note on the Translations
The translation of Bible verses is based on the Judaica Press Tanach.
The translation of Gemara is based on the Soncino Talmud.
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