Is a married woman obligated in the detailed laws of honoring her father and mother?

Women-Is a woman obligated to honor her father and mother?[1]

Both men and women are equally obligated to honor and fear their father and mother.[2] This is with exception to a married woman, as will be explained next.

A married woman: A married woman is exempt from [fulfilling the acts of] the command of honoring[3] her father and mother, being that she is subjugated to her husband[4] and is hence unable to fulfill this command.[5] [Thus, a husband’s wishes come before that of her parents even regarding those matters in which the wife is not subjugated to her husband.[6] If, however, her husband is not particular about her continuing to honor her parents, then her obligation to honor them remains just like a man.[7] Furthermore, it is praiseworthy for the husband to instruct his wife explicitly to precede the wishes of her father and mother prior to his.[8] Practically, we assume that the husband is not particular unless he explicitly instructs the wife otherwise. Thus, a wife is to fulfill her fathers or mothers needs prior to her husband’s, unless she explicitly heard from her husband otherwise, or it can be assumed that in such a case the husband would not compromise on being preceded.[9]]

A divorcee or widow: The above exemption of a married woman applies only so long as she is still married, however, if she becomes divorced or widowed then she becomes re-obligated in the command to honor her father and mother [just as they applied prior to her marriage].



Which types of honor is a married woman exempt from?[10]

She is exempt from all types of honors even those which she is not obligated to provide for her husband. Nevertheless, all those honors that she is able to do for her parents without diminishing from her husband’s needs, she must continue to do on behalf of her parents.[11] Thus, she must still stand on their behalf when they enter the room [unless they forgive their honor]. Certainly, she is still required to speak with her parents respectfully as doing so will not diminish any of her husband’s needs.[12]

Matters related to fearing one’s parents:[13] A married woman is only exempt from matters of honor and not from matters of fear that she is obligated to have towards her parents. Accordingly, it still remains for a married woman to sit in her parents place, or contradict their word, or call them by name. However, she’s not obligated to listen to the instructions of her parents when they contradict the honor or instructions of her husband.[14]

If a married woman is staying by her parents, is she obligated in her parents honor?

If a married woman is staying by her parents without her husband, then she is obligated in their honor.[15] Furthermore, some Poskim[16] rule that she is obligated in their honor if her husband is there.


May husband prevent his wife from talking with her parents?[17]


May husband prevent his wife from visiting her parents?[18]




[1] Michaber 240:17; Mishneh Kiddushin 29a; Pesakim Uteshuvos 240:48

[2] This is learned from the verse “Ish Imo Veaviv Tirau”, with the word Tirau/fear being in plural, thus implying that both a son and daughter are obligated to honor their parents.

[3] Seemingly she is certainly exempt from doing the acts of fear towards her parents, as the expounding of this exemption is learned specifically from the command involving fear.

[4] Michaber ibid; Rashba Kesubos 39a; Perisha 240:25; This means that the husband has authority over her in place of her parents, as she needs to provide him with his needs at all times. [Perisha ibid]

Other reasons: Some write that the reason for the exemption of the married woman is because she is simply not found by her parents. [See Divrei Shmuel Derush 11]

[5] The scriptural source: This is learned from the use of the term “Ish” in the verse mentioned above, to teach us that only a man remains constantly obligated to honor the parents while a women’s obligation can sometimes be revoked.

[6] Igros Moshe Y.D. 1:255

[7] Shach 240:19

[8] Sefer Chassidim 335

[9] Chayeh Adam 67:17; Kitzur SHU”A 143:13;

[10] Igros Moshe Y.D. 1:255

[11] Pirush Hamishnayos Rambam Kiddushin 1:7; Ralbag Parshas Yisro; Chinuch Mitzvah 33

[12] Sefer Morah Horim Ukevoda 7:11 in name of Rav Elyashiv; However, see Mishneh Halachos 7:153

[13] Chareidim Asei 1:26; Mizrachi Vayikra 19:3; Rishon Letziyon 240; Chasdei Dovid on Tosefta Kiddushin 1:8; Mishneh Halachos 7:153

[14] Mahritz Geios Teshuvos Hageonim 120; Maharal in Gur Aryeh Vayikra 19:3; Sefer Hamakneh Kiddushin 31b; Maharam Shick Kiddushin 30b; Biurei Rav Perlow on Rasag 9

[15] Rameh Mipuno 89

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule that a married woman is exempt from her parents honor even when she’s in their home and her husband is not there. [Tzapichis BeDevash 54]

[16] Chidushim Kadmonim Kiddushin 30b

[17] Mishneh Halachos 7:153

[18] Michaber E.H. 74:9; Rambam Ishus 13:14; Semag Lavin 81 [once or twice a month]

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