Dear Bronya,

I always want my husband to do and be more than he is. I know I have to be happy with everything he does and is, but I always feel that I want him to learn more, be more religious, grow in his spirituality, etc. How can I change my attitude?

Wants More

Dear Wants More,

I understand your desire to see your husband constantly grow. And it's appropriate that you feel this way. The question is, how can you help him...?

The woman is called the akeret habayit, the "foundation of the home." But what are the tasks associated with that role? For a man, his tasks are clear. He is halachically responsible for the physical sustenance of the home. He has specific tasks to perform. But the akeret habayit, what defines her role? What are her tasks?

A woman's role is fulfilled not by her "doing" but by her "being"...just being. The "task" of an akeret habayit is her very being. It's in the atmosphere of her home — the environment that she creates.

Think back to your chupah, and the statement you then made. Before the legal proceedings could even begin - the ketubah, the ring, your groom's statement to you - before any of that could even begin, you made your statement. You approached him in your symbolic home, and you walked around him. Seven times. You circled him. Seven times a circle. And with this you promised to him that you would envelope him completely. That he would be totally embraced by you. By an atmosphere that you would create. You, being you, would create a home in which all that both of you aspire to could be nurtured and thrive.

Don't expect of him to be the fulfillment of your dreams...even your dreams for him. Nourish him with encouragement of who he is, not who you expect him to be.

Create an atmosphere that is so accepting and respectful and appreciative that he could not help but want to rise to its very heights. And, every single day, find something in him that you can appreciate and admire. Every single day.

Let me know if I can be of any further help.