10 Secrets for the Most Amazing Jewish Marriage
Marriage is the ultimate tool in personal development. Modern marriage is a 50/50 merger, but Jewish marriage is 100% - 100%. The Hebrew word for marriage is Kiddushin, which means to sanctify. The purpose of marriage is to realize a higher level of holiness through intimate giving to another. When we come close to our husband or wife, we increase our ability to come close to G-d.
1. Cherish everything. Every experience, every person you meet, or even get a glimpse of everything you come in contact with in your limited time in this world even for only a second, is such an incredible gift from G-d! How much more so is your soulmate. Be sure to appreciate the efforts of the one you love! Your soulmate is helping you to perfect your soul - perhaps not always pleasantly - but even then, treat your marriage as the great gift that it is. Thank your spouse often.
2. The secret of a good marriage is giving, without any expectation of receiving anything in return. The true purpose of marriage is for husband and wife to figure out what the other needs and give it to him, give it to her - before they even know they need it. The goal of marriage is to develop the ability to give of oneís self to the other, and to allow the other to do the same for you. We were all created to receive. G-d created us in order to give to us. But G-d wanted us to be G-dly beings. The way to be G-dly is to give.
3. Continue to date each other, even after you are married. After the marriage is when the romance really begins. Stay attuned to each other. Talk to each other at a deep level at least once a week. The way you want to give love is not necessarily the way the other person needs to receive love. Check in often. Express your needs softly and listen for the unspoken need in your beloved. Make time to communicate and solve problems together. Make special times to enjoy the things that first attracted you to each other.
4. Be married every moment. You have to get married every minute, not just on your wedding day. Marriage evolves. People grow and change, and so does marriage. As your marriage grows, redefine your closeness. Marriage is mutual: Bringing out shared potential, accomplishing shared vision, moving forward through life together, anticipating with joy the work and pleasure you will share. There is a sense of comfort, of inner familiarity, and a sense of inspiration. Remember the Holiness of these things while washing the dishes, taking out the garbage and taking care of all of the mundane details of married life.
5. Every marriage has three partners: You, your spouse and G-d. Kissing the mezuzah on the doorpost before you enter your home gives you a moment to reflect on the purpose of your home life and an opportunity to re-orient yourself to G-dliness before you greet your family and refocus on the ideals of your home. Kissing the mezuzah when you leave your home reminds you to protect the privacy and the sanctity of your family when you are in the world.
6. Focus on the little things. Itís the little things that make a marriage great. Intimacy is paying attention to details. This is how to have a complete relationship with yourself, your spouse, with G-d. The small thing is not only the practical way to begin, it is the most intimate, most important part of the relationship.
7. Solid relationships are built with clear communication. An architect doesnít point at an empty lot and say to the builders just hammer something together warm and cozy. He makes a clear set of plans with every detail clearly marked. When we marry, we are also building a home, a House of Peace. Say what you need. Did G-d expect us to read His mind? No! G-d gave us a full set 613 very explicit directions to explain what He needs and wants from us. Why should we expect any less from each other?
8. A fabulous marriage is built on trust and respect, a shared togetherness. There is a certain settled feeling, a quiet expectation that you will take care of each otherís needs. In a relationship, when your partner exposes his or her need and asks you to help, donít ask why just do it! Thatís why you are married to each other. Do it because you are touched and honored that they have trusted you enough to ask you to help in this intimate and vulnerable way. Love your spouse as yourself. But treat your spouse with even greater dignity.
9. Donít expect your spouse to change. When you point your finger at someone else, three fingers are pointing back at you. Work on yourself and learn to adapt. As a face is reflected in water, so is one heart reflected in another. Any lack we see in others is present somewhere in ourselves. If we fix that thing in ourselves, we will be able to understand and forgive it in others. When one person is willing to give 100%, this opens the heart of the other to give.
10. Everybody needs forbidden fruit! When you canít have something, you love and desire it even more. This is the greatest secret of an amazing Jewish marriage. For 12 days of the month, the wife is forbidden fruit. On the night of Mikveh, she is a new bride, and her husband is a new groom every month! Taharat Mishpacha, Family Purity is the secret of the incredible strength and vitality of Jewish marriage and the foundation of the Jewish family.
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