Marriage finds itself on the more confusing side of human perception. On the mere surface it seems but a beautiful paradise, eternal bliss for those lucky ones that managed to attain it. Yet piercing just a bit deeper, the butterflies tend to disappear. Described as a walled city, those that are out want in, and those that are in want out. The amazing part is, even those that managed to get out still want back in again. It does not take an experienced, nor a professional eye to witness the shambles that marriage finds itself in, in the 21st century. The current divorce rate in America is at an alarming 56 percent. That means when one witnesses a wedding there is no point in wishing that (lucky) couple a healthy happy long life together. Since there is a higher chance that their marriage will end up in a divorce then spending their life happily together. Why is that so?
Isn’t every couple at the time of their marriage committed to make it last? so what happens.
What is the meaning and purpose of marriage?
We are all familiar with the word marriage. Although all of humanity is aware of this concept, the definition varies, basically amongst everyone. Most people have a similar idea of what it is, (or what it should be) till they marry and then the definition gets redefined.
Although marriage has an objective definition there are many levels of that definition that can be reached, and like any other valuable thing in life it takes much time, work and effort.
The exact definition of marriage as defined by the one that created it, in sefer Bereishis.’’ AL keyn yazov ish et aviv vet imo vedavak beishto’’ loosely translated it means, a man shall leave his parents and cling to his wife. Building on that we see that marriage is some kind of connection, the word davak means to cling or to stick (like glue) and is a very strong expression of connection.
The rishomim ask why was it necessary for Hashem ysbrc’ to create adam and chava together and to then split them apart, he could have just crated them separate from the beginning as the rest of the creatures? The answer they give sheds tremendous light on the connection between husband and wife. When a person finds his wife, that is the ideal state, it’s not two becoming one rather it’s two halves that were once together that are reuniting back to their original state of one. The connection is a lot stronger since they were once connected. R’ chaim shmuelevits zts’’l explains that the main connection of a marriage is the emotional bond between husband and wife! Which happens to be in sharp contrast to the modern day view where the physical is seen to be the epidimy of the marriage.
There can be roommates that get along great, very caring to each other, nice, polite helping each other all the time. Yet that is not what marriage is supposed to be explains R’ Chaim, The Torah tells us ‘’Lo tov heyos heodom levado”, loosely translated the Torah tells us that it is not good for a person to be by himself therefore Hashem made him an ‘’an ezer kenegdo”.
There are times that we can be surrounded by many friends or even by thousands of people. yet we still feel lonely. Our inner self remains the exclusive domain of ourselves, where know one enters, but us. That is, till marriage. when one marries, he is to become one with another which means, shedding that loneliness forever. It’s not enough to just get along with each other and be polite, respectful etc….. even more it’s not sufficient to just love one another. All those things are definitely of much significance but they are not the idea of becoming one. Becoming one, means sharing one life.An obvious prerequisite for that is first getting to know each other very thoroughly. Then the lives have to merge into one. Whatever matters to her has to matter to you. Any worries that she has, needs to be shared by you. Good news for her means good news for you too. If she is nervous about something you have to know about it and it has to bother you equally, And so on. Of course this works both ways. However it’s important to keep in mind that such behavior cannot be faked and neither is it easy to acquire. It takes much time and effort till one can call it his lot. This brings to mind the famous story of R’ Aryeh Levine. On a fine sunny day he and his wife made their way to the Doctor. “what can I do for you”asked the doctor? Doctor, my wife’s foot hurts us., was his reply.