If anyone can say that they are content in their marriage….
then their spouse is NOT HAPPY!
I’m realizing this phenomena more and more these days. How one partner is soaring and growing while the other is left on the bottom.
In whatever area it is. Whether be it in the realm of spirituality, career, or even in building the home.
Two people had gotten married. They may not have been identical personalities and occasionally they may not have been the best fit. But MOST people that get together and decide to get married have SOMETHING in common that they strive for.
So what happens?
What happens 10 or 15 years down the line that they find themselves on totally separate pages?
This idea is very complex. There are so many factors that I don not think I can cover them all. So I will attempt to state SOME of my observations.
1) Couples are not TALKING! This is in a PHYSICAL sense. They don’t deem it important enough to set aside time to REALLY TALK and LISTEN to their spouses.
They may be speaking to each other about the kids, the house, the money, and vacation but they have nothing to talk about when all these EXTERNALS fall aside. I mean by talking about their THOUGHTS. Talking about their IDEAS. Talking about thier DREAMS.
Not REPEATING something from someone else. Not TELLING your spouse WHAT TO DO. Just an OPEN-ENDED conversation when both people are really talking and both are really listening.
When you got married, did you marry your spouse for any external reasons?
Some people may answer “yes” to this question, (which may be a cause for some introspection now.)
But MOST people don’t do this.
Most people marry someone because he/she will fill a void that they hope will help them grow. And vise versa.
At the time of dating, were there any kids in the picture?
Was there a schedule or routine that you were trying to follow?
Did you really know how much money your spouse had? (Especially people coming from our circles where we got married so young that no one even had any money to show for themselves.)
2) A lot of people are not being themselves in marriage. Either they have never really CONFRONTED who they are. Or they are AFRAID of who they really are.
Honestly, I don’t enjoy speaking to people who are not COMFORTABLE with themselves. Everything I say may be taken the wrong way. Things that they say end up not being consistent because they change it according to who they are talking to….
You know those people? They are VERY hard to have as friends (and spouses). One day they are here and the next day they are there. You cannot build relationships with these kind of people.
In order for these people to begin working on their marriages, they first need to start working on knowing WHO THEY ARE. What they REALLY think and feel. Not what OTHER people tell them to think and feel. Not what THEIR SPOUSE tells them to think or feel…
3) Then you have the BIGGEST cause, which is my pet peeve. Anyone that knows me knows that this is motto. (And I learnt this from my father.)
Marriage is about WORK!
If anyone comes into marriage thinking he’s just gonna sail through it on a sailboat, will end up feeling his consequences later on in life. I see it ALL THE TIME!
People that have no interest in changing or growing or becoming a better person.
And no, I am not talking about superficial growing or growing so that your neighbors and teachers can applaud you. Those people are NOT GROWING. They are also living up to the Jones. Just not in a material way. They’re doing it for social status!
Did you ever think about why marriage was created? I mean, why couldn’t G-d create two people that were BORN married? Why’d we have to go through this painful process of finding our mates?
There’s even more than that! Why does there have to be a concept of a boy and a girl? Why couldn’t we just be a combination of both – the day that we are born?
So the answer that Rashi gives is that man was created in the image of G-d. If he were to be both and women he may come to think that he IS G-d. Therefore man was created INCOMPLETE to remind him of his HUMANITY.
He is IMPERFECT. G-d doesn’t need a woman to marry. Man does.
It goes without saying that women are imperfect as well. They need a man to become complete.
Now here’s the thing.
They don’t just become complete by getting married. They are two incomplete human beings that BECOME complete through marriage AND…….
Hard work does not only mean PHYSICAL work (although it may also INCLUDE this). Hard work means WELDING together each persons ideas so that they come out with a new and COMPLETE WHOLE.
Ask any spouse in a marriage if he/she thinks the same way as his/ her partner. While there may be many things that they agree upon, there ARE going to be things that they will disagree about. (If someone tells you they agree with EVERYTHING their spouse says, they do not have a self in the marriage. And according to Rebbitizin Kaminetsky “they are not fulfilling their role as “Ezer K’negdo”.)
One person may have an idea of what he/she thinks is right. Another may think something else is right. So instead of coming to some sort of middle, they each go on their own separate path. Each one clinging to his/her narrow viewpoint.
Now let me tell you. IT AIN’T EASY!
FIRST you have to HAVE a viewpoint. Which takes ALOT of work.
SECOND you have to COMMUNICATE that, which can take EVEN MORE work.
And THIRD, once you’ve done those two steps, your spouse may/may not agree to follow through with your views. So either you’ll need PAITENCE until he/she comes around. Or you’ll just have to AGREE TO DISAGREE.
And yes there may be lots of sweat and tears in the process. There even may be some (gasp) screaming.
I know homes (and I’m sure you do too) where there is a NO SCREAMING rule in the home. And yet, there is NO PEACE. I had a friend when I was a kid who’s home was like this and….. Yup they got divorced.
So what’s better?
No screaming or divorce?
Of course the ultimate goal is “no screaming” AND a “unified couple.” But, sometimes, the only way to get there is by bringing up some DIRTY LAUNDRY.
The bottom line is that we are in a marriage to grow and evolve into the people we need to become.
We need to WORK to get there.
We need to figure out what is holding us back from being “on the same page” as our spouses. And we should NOT throw in the towel so quickly as to say “he/she doesn’t get me.”
We don’t want to be that couple that is on two different roads after 20 years.