Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Threesome

The first two years following my sister’s marriage were very traumatic for me. Memories of those times stir up feelings of anger and resentment. I'm sure if I’d see a therapist today, all my current troubles would probably be traced back to those times.

I remember especially the Sundays, I’d come home from school exhausted. As was customary, I poured myself a glass of milk and headed for the freezer for some heimish, frozen Kokosh cake. That, while reading the Balachtoongen, really did it for me.

Just four weeks after her Chassana and the trouble started. The Kokosh cake was gone. It wasn’t like my mother wasn’t baking them. Oh, sure she did. She’d spend hours kneading the dough and mixing the sugars till the entire kitchen just needed to be rolled up and baked. But my sister had just been tied to a lover forever, and she was destined to celebrate it with every piece of mezonas around.

She’d be talking on the phone to him in kollel, giggling into the receiver like an idiot, while devouring mountains of food. She had no conscious and no problem with keeping the zipper open.

She'd sit on my mother’s bed, crunching something onion-and-garlic, while shushing about things I wasn’t privy to listen to. From under the door I’d get lots of pronouns like ‘him’ and ‘his’. Most conversations ended with thankful words addressed to my mother. Hug, hug. “chachmes nashim, my dear…”

See, to her marriage was about being a threesome.

Sister would bring bags of laundry that she needed to wash ‘here’ because she’s eating dinner 'here' anyway. She'd be found cleaning in my favorite robe or only pair of slippers. It didn’t matter that she’d said good bye to me with a heart of sincerity. She was back in my life, this time owning my mother.

The kokosh cake was now being shipped off to her home, and the rest my sister burnt with a blink. My mother would do turnovers and lasagna but we got chicken. When Purim came around, our home was full of enough ribbon to wrap the globe, because my sister had a shvigger.

But my sister had no home.

Many of my friends have gone on to live such lives. The mother is there to cut the cord as the baby makes its grand entrance, the mother dictates what should or should not be done in the bedroom, and the mother listens to the daughter's cries and encourages her over and over again to practice savlanos.

To those, the men really belong in Kollel, where they should enjoy the big breakfast that the mother-in-law cooked up. The woman should be working hard to earn a living, only to fall into the mothers house where veibele would sit around and whine about how much she wants to quit work. The mother, the loving mother, is always there to make her feel better and get her through the tough times.


This bothers me, not only because the other children also need cake, but because a mother has no partnership in a young woman’s relationship. A husband and wife should learn to ride the waves themselves, and master the art of holding on. To each other.

41 comments:

Me! said...

"all my current troubles"

Pray to God.

heimishinbrooklyn said...

Right on! Get to know your spouse a little. Many newlyweds spend way to much time at the parents' houses.

It's All Good Now said...

What exactly are you resentful of - that your sister is enjoying all the privileges without pitching in? that she "kid"napped your mother's attention? that you felt relegated to second class citizen?
And what about your other siblings, assuming you have other siblings? How did they feel?
And how did that affect your marriage?
And is it really about your mom letting go or your sister assuming her role?

Y.Y. said...

yes yes yes
totaly agree
one million PERCENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mindy said...

youre exaggerating.
my sister and i were very close to my mother after we got married, and we supper there 3X a week, but it wasnt to the extent that you portray. we had private lives with our husbands and we didn't much off nearly as much food. We NEVER took food meant for the younger kids.

You're exaggerating, generalizing,a nd stereotyping. I thought this wasnt that kind of blog???

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Of course I'm exxagerating. I'm doing so to simply make a point. My point has nothing with how the 'other' children are affected, rather how a marriage is affected by an involved parent.

I am not stereotyping, that's for sure. Some. Did I say everyone?

I opened this blog to air my opinions regarding true parts of Brooklyn life that might need some shmoozing about, but doesn't get any because we're all so mum on everything. Ya'all gotta learn to handle things from an 'opinion' point of view, not biblical.

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

It's all Good: Although the other kids can often be hurt, my point is that the couple themselves get hurt when the mother doens't let go of her daughter when she is married. Good for you if you don't know what I'm referring to, but many women sit at the mother's house day and night.

Hoezentragerin said...

Mindy, if Shpizel wasn't stereotyping, perhaps I should.
There pretty often is a correlation between Tichel Kop and Cholent Tup.
Can you imagine Yoilish and Shprinze Brane starting off their life together in Israel as so many Yeshivish/ Litfish couples do?

It's All Good Now said...

Shpitzle, the reason I asked you to clarify what bothered you was not because I can't identify, but because you griped about several things and I wasn't sure what you were getting at. From what I've seen in my family, as well as in my husband's family, our mothers let the children set the tone and the pace. I think some mothers are resentful in a way, that the child they raised through blood, sweat and tears, all of a sudden is married and no longer looks to the mother as the central figure in her life. But I also think that some new vahblech are afraid to fully assume their new role, and thus they run home every chance they get (or every chance they create.) What some fail to realize is that home is now a different place, and the person they run to should be their husband. It's a mother's job to encourage the daughter to turn to her husband, but it's the daughter's job to find the right balance.

Mindy said...

skirttraagerin, it would be a tragedy. precisely BECAUSE we are two stragers we NEED our parents home as a base, and a place to get to know each other with other people taking part in conversations. our meals at home were super duper awkward the first few months. i didnt like them too much.

oh, and we dont go to isreal mitten man ibberen yam cuz we dont have seminary brainwashing to make us do it...

Begreatfull said...

I was hoping for a nice juicy story
after reading the title, what A Disappointment ;-(

Ok, lets get back on track

I say parents ought to stay out of there childrens personal life after marraige, and if they got no brains to do so, the couple should be responsible for creating the boundries with them..

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Shiksa, it's obvious that couples are too insecure to let go on their own. If their parents aren't so available they simply learn to survive.

Mindy, although the other extreme isn't right either, especially giving the reason these couples move, the discomfort you experienced the first few months at your own home should not have been there. Had you been left alone immediately, the formality would have dissolved sooner. It’s nice to sit at your mother’s where everything is familiar and all, but if you want to be able to get to know each other before the woman is a little unpredictable with pregnancy hormones you got to start immediately.

Hoezentragerin said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

It's good if the 'feigele fleete avek'.

Hoezentragerin said...

Excuse me Mindy, but I wear the pants in this house :)

Of course, as with everything else in life, we should aim for the happy medium.
My father teased my sister a
lot when she was a kala. After she was married, he told her, "I did that to you because I didn't want you to miss home too much."

Begreatfull said...

shpitz:

you will always have those who understand that a marriage is between a husband and wife and not between husband mother/mother in law and those who don't.


there is no one way about how couples are or arent knowen to be, some are just as secure as those who are insecure

nuch a chosid said...

for many couples, goign away from INTER DE MOMES FARTICH would help alot for their shalom bayis as well to get on their own feet.

in Israel it;s now more in common, as many couples get to live in new towns where the apprtments are cheeper, and therfore they are away from their parents.

Ex-Blogger said...

Shpitzle, you have a shpitz!!

If I would relate a similar story it would of had a bitter ending.
The case I am talking about , it wasnt just the mother but also the older sister, and the threesome was all female, even excluding the husband.

I dont think you were sterotyping, and Mindy's mom might have just done a better job. (May I use the podioum and give a shout out to MINDY!)

btw I had the same dissapointment as Shiksah, (yeah, another thing I have in comon with a Shiks.)
But on that note, I would ask , was your sister the first daughter to get married? then your mother may have just liked her first son-in-law too much, as it states in the gemurah, that woman have "weaknesses" for their son-in-laws especially the first one.
Or she may have simply wanted to impress him and his family, "What a shvig!!!"

on the other hand this usually goes on , only till you can hear the newly wed in the shpitzle say, wow we are sooooo close already !!!

Lakewood Venter said...

This was a great post! This is so true for so many marriages! I know of many marriages that suffer due to the "mother" being too much a part of the marriage! It's not for naught that the Torah states that (loosely translated) "A man should forsake his father and mother and cling to his wife"

This works both ways, for mothers and mothers in law!

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Thanks for interesting comments.
I'm surprised some of you don't see the mother thing as a problem. Is it because the mother is not involved or because you see the mother's involvement OK?

Ex-blogger, right on. She was the eldest and although she's busy with her family now, my mother is still very much the boss at home.

Anonymous said...

cake with baalachtungen, lol. that was my hightlight too.

as far as going to my mother for support, i just figured out i have no parents, just caregivers who abused me. i never got a thumbs up.

my poor mother, she hates herself, therefore not being able to give love to us. it hurts sooo bad. deep inside i want someone to hold me and say, its gonna be ok, im here.

well its gonna havto be me who is gonna havto learn how to mother myself, nurture myself and love myself, as a mother would. but one problem, i have no clue how to. Shaindy

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

It's very unfortunate. Although I think the mother shouldn't be very involved in a marriage, a daughter must always feel that she's there for her when needed.

Being a mother is a very amazing job, but you got to know how to do it. And it starts by taking care of yourself. It's not always easy but try to turn to your husband for support.

Anonymous said...

as far as my husband is concerned, hes a great man, but its impossible for him to grasp the pain im in. only friends who have been abused as well feel me.
its so hard not being able to dump it all on my husband, it ruins the relationship.
its very interesting, my parents have no capacity to love me, so it comforts me. my father gives me money, my mom keeps cursus me. shaindy

vaibel said...

sometimes i think if i did the right thing telling my husband everything I suffered as a kid the day after my wedding, because him being a very loved child , I wonder if he could relate 100 % or he thought I was overdoing it maybe, we got married in israel and I moved away from my home country right after to usa a new place ,language, and nobody
it was the best start to a marrige ever.

your ok im ok said...

hi guys check out my blog.
its bout recovery from childhood abuse. together we can make it. www.yourokimok.blogspot.com

your ok im ok said...

i hear ya veibal, id love to hear bout your experiences. check out my blog.
maybe we shouldnt tell our husbands everything. thats y we need loyal girlfreinds

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Vaibel, I think it is. It can be hard, as Shaindy says, not to be too much of a load on the husband because people that have not been through what you've been through can't understand it. But the husband tries, and that can bring a couple closer together.

vaibel said...

it sure made us into very best friends from day one,
he wanted to protect me and make me feel secure...
I remember not very many days after our wedding my mom telling him, you know she is not a "mes mitzvah" you don't have to be her shoimer ...
little did she know, that he was doing just that...being my shomer, but thank god I wasnt dead, I was very much alive for the first time in my life that is....

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Vaible, I'm not sure if your mother was right, but the end result was. Thank god for a special husband...

your ok im ok said...

i sometimes wonder if lust is part of a chasidic marraige. i can see very loving couples, but not this sex kitten, throw me against the wall kinda thing.
share experiences. this is the best place to express our true feeling, questions and desires. shaindy

vaibel said...

of course she wasnt right
duh
she was soooo jelous
and thank god for a special husband !!!
I guess hashem doesnt punish with two sticks....

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Shaindy, you'll be surprised when you'll find out what's going on behind closed doors in many frum homes.

Vaible, Ditto

vaibel said...

I think lust is and very much can be in a chasidish marrige
I just think that with time it wears off , like every new thing
and from lust it turns into true love !!!!!!!!!
forever and ever .

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Wow I love your blog. I could understand your frustration. Threesome is really not healthy.

David_on_the_Lake said...

Welcome to blogland....
Great post and oh so true...Thats why I think its best for kids to move away from parents after the wedding. I got into a huge fight with my mom in law after the wedding..and moved to israel...things improved after that..lol

Mindy said...

shpitzle in my case there were never any pregnancy hormones... we didnt have children for 9 years... i was pregnant several times in the decade of my marriage (ended in miscarriages), and never threw up, never nauseious, felt great... our marraige was strained not by children but by infertility. but BH we survived and lived to tell the tale. I started cooking once a week pretty quickly, and i enjoyed cooking, but it was too quiet and awkward.

oh well it's 10 years late,r life is very different now BH.

nuch a chosid said...

Cake with Baleichtungen, is like so yunchyyyyyyyyyyyy

vaibel said...

were all YONTSHY
oifgeklerte vaiblech....

Shpitzle Shtrimpkind said...

Mindy - Although I don't know you and really wish to keep my own identity private, especially since I plan to write a little less mainstream, I do have my own personal story that makes me understand. Baruch hashem. I know. The other way around is not easy on the marriage either.
I read your tiny blog, sniffed at your great writing (BTW, I don't consider myself a writer. I consider my self simply opinionated) and knew that it was my loss that you're gone. Baruch Hashem.

David - I agree. It seems not everyone feels the same but I really think David's gotta be on the lake only with his wife....

Social Worker- Thanks!

Nuch - I know!

Mindy said...

as I said on your first entry,i *do* have a blog, but I do not let in people that I do not know or who wont tell me who they are. So... it IS your loss :)

klueless said...

I don't understand why mothers marry off their daughters when they don't trust them to take care of their own business.