My wife recently mentioned that for the sake of maintaining marital peace and harmony its okay to "modify" the truth, just to avoid arguments and fights. She feels that it's not worth it to get into arguments over trivial issues, so it's better to "smooth" out the details a bit.

My point of view is that regardless of the situation the truth has to be crystal clear, even if it may cause a bit of hardship. At least we are dealing with the naked truth in any subject.

So what is the right way to act? To bend the truth when it's not so comfortable? Or to stick with the truth regardless of the discomfort involved?

Looking forwarded for your reply,


Tough question. Because, in principle, your wife has a point, if modifying the truth means not relating every sordid detail, especially when such details may be hurtful to one's spouse or to one's marriage.

Let's say my wife asks me if my mother enjoyed the supper she prepared. Am I being honest or simply insensitive if I tell my wife that my mother had commented that she didn't like the way my wife seasoned the roast, although the rest of the meal was delicious?

On the other hand, to actually alter the facts is another matter altogether. Aside from possibly going down the proverbial slippery slope, practically speaking, a person runs the risk of being caught in the little white lie, and undermining their spouse's trust.

Best advice, I can give, therefore, is to work out the ground rules with your wife. Because while honesty is of paramount importance in Judaism (and in marriage), so is sensitivity to the feelings of your spouse.

Rabbi Eliezer Danzinger for