Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

The Fruits of Friendship

Sarah Chana Radcliffe

Centuries ago, Rabbi Akiva’s students died because of the lack of kavod they showed each other. At this time of year, we remember why friends are so important, plus how to be a trusty confidante.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

friends“When I got married, I went from living in a seminary dorm — where I’d spent the last year bonding with six friends — to an apartment with my new husband. Without consciously realizing it, I expected him to take the place of my friends,” Rochie admits. “He was supposed to be deep like Sari, adventurous like Leah, practical like Talia, and so on. Finally, around three months into marriage, my intuitive husband exclaimed, ‘Rochie, I’m only one man — I can’t take the place of six women!’ ”

Few wives find that their husbands can satisfy all their emotional needs. This isn’t to say that men are lacking; it just means that women have more complex social needs. In fact, John Gray, best-selling author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus — along with a myriad of other secular marriage experts — even asserts that, in order for marriage to flourish, women need friends.

It’s not only because females function differently emotionally and verbally (which they do), it’s also because women have different interests, especially after they become mothers. Take Chaya, for instance: “I’ve been blessed with a great husband. We get along really well, and he’s a great listener and friend. But he is not a woman! (And I’m not complaining about that.) He has zero interest in some of the things that really interest me, like the fantastic bargain I found on brand-name stretchies for my granddaughter or the changes I made to the salad dressing recipe that completely transformed the flavor. But I have a friend that I’ve been discussing these things with for decades and we never get tired of it.”

Whether a woman’s interests are domestic, creative, or business-oriented, they’re usually brushed with a feminine stroke. A female accountant working in her home office while the baby is sleeping has a completely different experience of her profession than does her male counterpart who leaves the domestic realm for his office downtown each day. Even when working out of the house, a wife tends to be attached to her family and home in ways that her husband is not — and in ways that other women can immediately understand.


To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription.


Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

The Fortunes of War
Rabbi Moshe Grylak We’re still feeling the fallout of the First World War
Some Lessons, But Few Portents
Yonoson Rosenblum What the midterms tell us about 2020
Vote of Confidence
Eyan Kobre Why I tuned in to the liberal radio station
5 out of 10
Rabbi Dovid Bashevkin Top 5 Moments of the Kinus
Day in the Life
Rachel Bachrach Chaim White of KC Kosher Co-op
When Less is More
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman How a good edit enhances a manuscript
It’s My Job
Jacob L. Freedman “Will you force me to take meds?”
They’re Still Playing My Song?
Riki Goldstein Yitzy Bald’s Yerav Na
Yisroel Werdyger Can’t Stop Singing
Riki Goldstein Ahrele Samet’s Loi Luni
Double Chords of Hope
Riki Goldstein You never know how far your music can go
Will Dedi Have the Last Laugh?
Dovid N. Golding Dedi and Ding go way back
Battle of the Budge
Faigy Peritzman Using stubbornness to grow in ruchniyus
The Challenging Child
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Strategies for raising the difficult child
Bucking the Trend
Sara Eisemann If I skip sem, will I get a good shidduch?
The Musician: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer "If she can't read she'll be handicapped for life!"