Scrolling through funny TikToks has become one of my favorite downtime activities. And, being that I’m a marriage therapist, short clips mocking married life is my go-to.
Recently I came across a short that featured a large cargo ship slowly making its way into port. It was huge, bursting with 100s of containers perched so high upon each other that the entire pile appeared ready to tumble into the ocean and disappear forever.
As the clip followed the ship’s movements, a caption scrolled across the bottom: “My wife’s daily Amazon order has arrived!”
There is always some truth in humor; women make 85% of all consumer purchases in the U.S. 93% of food purchases are made by women, and 75% of women identify as the primary household shopper. The question is, why? Is it that men don’t like shopping and surrender it to their spouses? That’s probably the case in many households—I hate shopping and assume that is true for many men.
But Jewish mysticism teaches us a deeper reason.
When Gd created Adam, He realized that “It wasn’t good for man to be alone.” Gd then split Adam in half and created Eve (Chava in Hebrew), the first woman and mother of all humanity. Eve was charged with elevating the physical world by channeling the divine feminine into creation, primarily through receiving Adam’s gifts and returning something much greater. We see this most obviously in a woman’s role in birthing children, but her powers go much further.
A woman has the unique ability to transform and elevate her surroundings, actualizing the potential of everything she touches. This is true of her children, her home, and her husband. And this is her job, her raison d’etre, her superpower.
And this comes at a deep cost. Because extracting the full capacity and abilities of those around her often makes her the enemy. Her demands, her complaints, and her to-do lists make her the unpleasant one. She is forced to cajole, boss, and even nag to get those around her to step up. So much so that she can sometimes become the one we don’t appreciate or even want to be around.
Undeterred, she never gives up. Because giving up on herself means giving up on you—something she is unwilling to do. She would rather go through life being unliked than watch you and her family not succeed. Not live up to the gifts she knows Gd has given you. Not reach your potential. She will never stop, and she never stops, till her last breath when Gd returns her exhausted soul to heaven, where it deserves to go. She pays a steep price, with little acknowledgment, reward, or gratitude.
Women want your resources. They want your body, mind, soul, money, children, house, and everything else Gd has created in the world. And they want to take all this in and create something greater than what she was given. Something more beautiful, something more complete, something more perfect, something more Gdly. She wants this lowly world so she can nurture it and perfect it, completing the mission that Gd created her for.
Turn towards her and hug her. Say “Thank you,” and let her know you understand that what she wants and does is not for her, but for those she loves. Gd has gifted you with the greatest divine helpmate you will ever get. Make sure she knows you know that and love that about her.