The OU Marriage Satisfaction Survey

Zev writes on hirhurim: Very poorly done survey, obviously prepared by women and from a woman’s point of view. For example, a question asks how much of the following affects your marriage: drugs, internet time, inapprpropraite internet sites, gambling, illegal activities. Clearly these are MOSTLY problems associated with men (yes, libs, there are exceptions.)

Why not ask questions from the guys point of view? Why not ask if the following affects your marriage: wife eating too much, not enough variety in sex life, unrealistic demands on husbands time, unrealsitic expectations based upon classes taught in seminary?

Unless the survey rectifies this major flaw, it is little better than worthless. And yes, as some people said above, the survey presupposes unhappy marriages. It also seems very agressive about promoting "counselling", asking you to explain yourself if you did not or would not go to strangers to seek marriage counselling. Other questions it does not ask for follow up, but if you answer you dont approve of counselling, it right away challenges you, "why not". It’s written innocuously, but the obvious undertone is that someone who doesnt feel the need for counselors should be on the defensive about explaining himself.

The premise is absurd. An internet-based survey is going to produce insights for orthodox Jews, for many of whom the whole internet is assur to begin with? Why not have a telephone survey on shabbos? You’ll get the same results.

And why would frum Jews, who rightly value the concept of tzenius, be so open to strangers about their marriage and sex lives? Just because it’s anonynmous? Even the Kinsey survey was anonymous, and no one takes it seriously.

I had a hunch, and sure enough, Aleinu is another of those groups obsessed with "abuse". In fact, it is far more interested in "abuse" than it is in promoting happy marriage. It refers to it’s abuse program as its "hottest asset". ( Yes, that is their actual words.) Much like its sister agunah focus groups, "abuse" focus groups dont know the meaning of "it takes two to tango". For such people, the man is always the evil one. The style of the questions gave it away, but the website confirms it.

And this is what the OU spends money on?

Chazal already spoke about the need for women to look their best when their husbands come home, so their eyes will not be tempted to wander. Well, with women working and dresses more revealing, the temptations are harder than ever, and the ability for eyes to wander – internet, if not worse – is easier than ever. Yet how many women do you see making an effort to dress up and look good when their husbands come home?

I know the women will say its hard to dress up after a hard day with the kids. Sure it’s hard. But you know what? It’s also hard for men to refrain from "inappropriate" web sites. The day I see Aleinu urging women to dress up and look good when their husbands come home, is the day I start taking their "happy marriage" proposals seriously.

SETH WRITES: Women are largely clueless as to the tests men face. If they knew, they would not play so hard to get in the bedroom, based on whether or not they are "in the mood."

Another point for wives to consider: if your husband is interested in you (sexually) on a regular basis, that means he is probably not addicted to pornography. Be very grateful, and help him out.

Rav Leibel Katz, in a tape on Shalom Bayis (circa 1995), tells about a couple who were having serious marital problems. It had been many months since the wife had gone to Mikvah. Finally, the man, seeing no end in sight, lost control of himself and "went to 42nd street." When the man told the story to Rav Katz, he said with trepidation that he’s terrified of the punishment that the Ribbono Shel Olam has in store for him.

DANIEL WRITES: There is no Issur of contraception (as opposed to abortion) for B’nei Noach. The issue is more that it may encourage immoral behavior, which is debatable.

Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, family planning is not PER SE against Halacha, at least once the couple has fulfilled P’ru u’Revu. Of course, a permissible method must be used.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been covered in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and on 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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