Almost six years ago I attended my first Torah class. The connection, for me, was immediate. I felt as if all the questions I had been pondering for most of my life had answers, and they were all contained inside the pages of the Torah. I was so excited I could hardly contain myself, and who better to share all of this with than my husband?

When I began telling him Torah stories, his reaction was not what I would have wanted. He said that he was just not interested. Well, clearly he must have misunderstood me. "How could you not be interested?" I would say, "This is all about our ancestry." I ignored his protest, knowing full well I would try a different approach at a later date.

Clearly he must have misunderstood me So as my learning intensified and expanded, I began to teach the meaning behind the Torah stories, explaining that the Torah is not a history book, rather it's an instruction manual offering us timeless lessons of how we are supposed to get the most out of our lives. This approach also failed miserably (since, as any woman knows, you should never give a man instructions on how to drive around the corner- let alone how to live his entire life).

This pattern continued for months and months. All the while, I had rabbis and rebbetzins from Pennsylvania to Israel giving me advice on the situation. The commonly held opinion was as follows: Don't pressure him. Just continue to grow and evolve into the best person and wife you can possibly be. When he sees how happy you are and what a better person you've become, he'll want to come along.

So I tried this approach, and incorporated Shabbat dinners both at home and with other families in the community. I cooked like I had never cooked before, and our social life boomed. Still, he was just not interested. I even managed to get him to travel on a mission to Israel with other couples from our community. At times it seemed like there may be some progress. However, within no time, he would pull back and reinstate his claim of disinterest.

Within a few years, we moved to a new home. While the move was great for our family for practical reasons- my kids were closer to school and my husband was closer to work- it also placed us smack in the middle of the religious community. Now, not only did my husband have a wife who wanted him to grow spiritually, but he was also surrounded by people who held these same beliefs and practices.

As our household observances increased, so did the tension between me and my husband. How could this be? I couldn't understand how growing closer to something so positive and meaningful could cause such stress for my husband. I thought I was following the advice of those many sage rabbis and rebbetzins who all but assured me that as long as I continued to grow in a positive way he would soon join me on my journey. Well, it wasn't happening. As a matter of fact, his original commentary -stating 'I'm not interested'- had actually taken on a much more negative tone and seemed to be heading towards resentment.

In recent months I began to take a closer look at the situation. I had to acknowledge that since my husband was clearly not on this journey then it would seem likely that the difficulty I was having had to be a challenge tailor made for me. I felt certain that only I could possibly have the solution to this problem, and I was determined to figure out what I had been doing wrong.

As I took an honest accounting of the past six years, I began to see where I went astray. First, when my husband told me for the first time that he wasn't interested in Torah, I should have kept my mouth shut. Instead, I tried at every possible turn to show him the way—my way. I should have thanked him for supporting my decision to learn and grow through Torah, and I should have ended the discussion there.

Second, was I really showing my husband all the positive things a torah life had to offer? While my journey has been undoubtedly life-changing and enlightening for me, was my husband the recipient of all these changes in only a positive way? The answer to this question is a resounding no. Sure my friends and family have seen me become a more patient, kinder version of myself, but more prominent from my husband's point of view were all the negative changes our lives have undergone.

For example, we left a house he loved to move to a more religious neighborhood and into a house where he is now required to use different silverware for meat and dairy; and as for those fun Shabbat dinners? They were now part of a 25 hour Shabbat experience which he did not want to participate in. Our social lives rarely ventured outside the community that I had created for us, and though I hate to admit it, it is so obvious that there was not much fun in it for him.

I should have thanked him for supporting my decision This conclusion took some time for me to reach, but the moment I was actually able to accept and internalize the reality of our situation is the moment when I began to see some improvements. After acknowledging the concessions my husband had actually made, I was able to begin to show him that I appreciated his sacrifices. I had spent so much time focusing on how much he wasn't doing, that I was never happy with what he was doing.

Torah teaches us "Who is the rich man? He who is happy with his lot." I had been learning Torah for years, and yet I was obviously not living it. If I wasn't living it, how could I expect my husband to have any desire to join me on my journey?

While not much has changed with our situation on the outside, the inside looks dramatically different. I have finally become the more evolved, kinder person I had thought I had been all along. My patience for my situation is greater, and my reactions to things that don't go my way are much better. I have a deeper understanding of what I need to do to ensure shalom bayit (harmony in the home), and I am committed to doing it. I feel more confident that with these modifications in place my husband will come to appreciate the journey I have chosen for myself and feel more comfortable with his part in it- whatever that may be.