Can you predict which marriages will survive?
Sometimes. If they’re communicating well, they have a good chance. If they have a similar belief system, similar values, they have a good chance?
What about love?
Love they should always have. But love changes?
What do you mean?
Love – the infatuation kind – he’s so handsome, she’s so beautiful – that can shrivel. As soon as something goes wrong, that kind of love can fly out the window.
On the other hand – a true love can enrich itself. It gets tested and grows stronger. It is proven through action, not words. Life in Fiddler on the Roof, when Teyve sings “Do you love me?” Golde his wife says “How can you ask if I love you? Look at all I’ve done with you. What else would you call it?”
That kind of love – the kind you realize you already have by the life you’ve created together – that’s the kind that lasts.
I think people expect too much from marriage today. They expect perfection. Every moment should be bliss. That’s TV or movies. But that is not the human experience.
The trick is when things aren’t so great, you don’t junk the whole thing. It’s okay to have an argument. It’s okay that the other one nudges you a little, bothers you a little. It’s part of being close to someone.
But the joy you get from that same closeness – when you wake up and smile at each other – that, as our traditio teaches us, is a blessing. People forget that.
Why do they forget that?
Because of the word ‘commitment’ has lost its meaning. I’m old enough to remember when it used to be a positive thing. A committed person was someone to be admired. Now a commitment is something people avoid.
And if people don’t commit?
Their choice. But you miss what’s on the other side.
What’s on the other side?
Ah. A happiness you cannot find alone.