Get The Ring: How to Find & Keep the Right One for Life.
Tziporah Heller - Part 7
want most, by and large, is love. In today’s society people often have no idea of what love means. They know that is practiced through giving, but what is it in essence. In Hebrew, the word for love, ahava, has the same numerical value as the word echad, which means one. Love means feeling that the other person feels that they’re one with you. It means feeling one with the other person. Women want to feel that the other person cares about them, is identified with them, has a singular identity with them. This means, obviously, that the other person, the man, wants to hear her thoughts, her feelings. This is what a woman wants most of all. Because of this, men have to know that women need to be spoken to and listened to often more than men do.
What do women need to know? Women need to know that men are different than women. They don’t necessarily want the same level of closeness. Picture this: your husband is standing by the window looking off into the distance. You walk quietly behind him and say — What are you thinking? Odds are he’ll say — Nothing. The reason for this is he doesn’t want to feel that good feeling of closeness as much as you do. It makes him feel claustrophobic and overwhelmed. What a man needs to know is that his wife believes in him, that she’s committed to him, that she’s emotionally reliable. That means that when he asks her what’s wrong and if she says nothing that’s not good, so what a woman has to know is how to give her husband respect, which it’s why it’s so important for her to be emotionally reliable, to be committed to doing what he wants. What he wants most of all to see in her is a woman who is happy. What that tells him about himself is that he’s good. Serenity and happiness is what he wants to see and this is what she could build in the marriage most. This is what will cause him to feel committed towards her and towards the marriage.
So in conclusion, if you had to boil it down to one central point, how would you sum up the formula for a successful marriage?
In the end people could figure out to the best of their ability whether they’re ready, what they want to look for, how they want to date and what they’re going to do to make the marriage succeed. But it doesn’t always happen. Some of the reason for this is that there’s something missing in the equation. The something missing is that we’re only mortal. People often confuse their gifts with their personalities. A person will say — I am beautiful. But what they really are saying is that I was given beauty by God. I am intelligent. But of course, intelligence is a gift. The only thing that’s really our own is our ability to make moral choices. Everything else is gift from God. So when people say to themselves or to that mythic third person who I’ve spoken about — I need a person who’s this, that and the other — oftentimes they’re talking about the kind of gifts they would like the other person to have. But the fact is that gifts come and gifts go. The only thing that you could truly know about another person that won’t change is who they are morally. This is what’s going to define the person who you are married to when the looks are gone, when the money is gone, when health is gone, God forbid, or when anything else is gone. This is going to be the person who is going to be with you in your hard times. If God is not a very strong part of that person’s accounting system, if they aren’t looking for His goodness, if they haven’t developed a sense of transcendence, then it’s going to be harder. Conversely, no matter who you’re with, if God’s presence is a real factor in their life, if to them a victory means doing what’s right more than having more, then you’re married to a treasure. If you put religion into the picture, not just belief, but having commonality of goals that are spiritual, the likelihood of the marriage succeeding is far, far greater than if there’s no spiritual common denominator. If the couple keeps Shabbos, for instance, what this means is that every single week they’re committing themselves once more to seeing that God is the Creator and they’re only creations. How could that not affect a marriage? If they keep the laws of family purity which require a certain degree of self-control, self-discipline, as well as a belief that the physical side of the relationship is part of the spiritual and emotional side, how could the marriage not be different? How is it even possible to think of the marriage without this being the same?
Statistically, again, there is a deep connection between the level of religiosity and the success of marriage. The myth is that that’s because religious people will stick together no matter what. The truth is that there’s less reason to grow apart.
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