MADE IN HEAVEN?
Rabbi Shea Hecht
About the Author
my recent seminars on marriage, a group of young couples had a
discussion based on the following thought. As religious people we
believe that a marriage is predestined. Forty days before conception,
the soul is prepared for a journey down to this world, and a
proclamation is made in heaven regarding the beauty, intelligence and
talents of the child. Likewise, it is announced who this soul is
destined to marry.
participants in the class had
a question. If marriage is in fact as explained above and elaborated
upon in Kabbalah that it's two halves of the same soul reuniting under
the marriage canopy, why is it that creating and maintaining peace and
harmony, love and friendship in the home take so much effort? Why must
we exert so much energy to achieve these things and have a healthy
to them was that marriage is not a reward nor a prize. When people marry
they haven't passed a finish line - if anything that's just when the
race is starting. Marriage is a task. It's a job and a
full time job at that. Marriage is a labor of love, yet it's still a
that we can find some couples that were childhood sweethearts and the
excitement, glamour, infatuation and love last a life time without much
effort. For some reason those couples are very visible, and though it
seems like 10% of the married population is in this situation, it's more
likely it's as little as 2%.
have to work on their marriage. One of the biggest misconceptions about
marriage is that the job of cultivating a happy marriage is split 50% -
50%. Actually, marriage takes 100% - 100%. Both sides have to commit
their energy to a healthy marriage. Not only that, people have to
realize that regardless of what image married couples show the world,
most are in the 98% category mentioned above.
news is that the way marriage works, sometimes the challenge and
innovative thinking necessary to keep marriage going, is the most
while ago I came across a
news article about a couple that was married a while and felt that
their marriage was stale. They were not getting along well with each
other, so both of them clandestinely started to look for someone else.
Eventually both the husband and wife found someone else on internet.
Each found that the internet ‘friend' shared their passion, sense of
fun and their goals. In the excitement of a new secret relationship they
gave the relationship their-all with no stops or inhibitions.
after communicating with his internet ‘friend' long enough, the
husband arranged a rendezvous to see her and plan their future. They
arranged a quiet place to meet and gave signs so they can recognize each
other. Imagine his surprise - imagine their surprise - when his internet
friend turned out to be his wife!
fascinating story! How often
is it that we see such an open sign that says ‘take your energy and
effort and use it for your spouse with whom you have common goals,
common needs, and once shared the same energy'?
of this couple was still looking for and was attracted to the very same
things that attracted them when they first met. How sad that they didn't
put that same energy into fixing up their own relationship - and adding
spice to it - instead of looking for alternatives outside of their
can definitely be made in heaven, but we need to safeguard it to make
sure that it stays healthy and happy. Those same things that attracted
us to our spouse originally are still there if we just look for them and
keep them alive.