Do you wonder, why do people get married and what is a relationship based on? Read along to unearth the reasons to marry someone, by and large, the right reasons to get married.
“And she lifted her eyes and saw Isaac….she descended from the camel …took the scarf and covered herself.”
To understand the Torah’s approach to any given topic, the place to start is by analyzing the first instance that topic appears.
So, Isaac and Rebecca, which is the Torah’s first description of a meeting between husband and wife can help us understand the Torah’s perspective on marriage.
Why do people get married? What are they looking for when they “take the plunge”?
Do looks matter in a relationship?
I posit that they are looking for a deep, intimate connection with another human being that only the commitment of marriage can provide. If we accept that, the next question is: “What promotes connection and what cripples it?”
Personality vs looks
Sight, the visual sensory experience curbs our ability to connect, while listening deeply facilitates connection.
When you see something, you think: “I’ve got it”! Your eyes have taken a picture and they tell you: “What you see is real. What you see is the truth.”
The problem is, it’s not.
Our visual perception is constantly misleading us to conclusions that are inaccurate. And even if a conclusion is partially accurate, it’s not the whole truth, and a partial truth is really a lie.
Relying primarily upon one’s sight is most damaging when relating to another human being. When you look at a woman, you are not seeing her for who she truly is, but rather as an extension of your visual perception.
Therefore, the more you rely upon your visual sense to determine the nature of the relationship, the less of a relationship it is. Who are you relating to? An image that you yourself just produced!
Listening, on the other hand, is a much different experience. In order to really listen, you have to set yourself aside and create space for that input.
To put it in other words: While seeing begins with you and is nothing more than a projection, listening begins with the other and focuses on their reality.
Relationships are thus bolstered by deep listening and handicapped by an emphasis on the visual.
Importance of personality over looks
When Rebecca noticed her future husband, she got down from the camel and covered herself with a scarf, both acts of modesty. Why?
Because marriage, if it is going to accomplish its goal of facilitating a deep and meaningful connection between two human beings demands modesty.
Modesty turns down the visual sensory experience and creates a more neutral space where two people can begin to listen to and truly experience one another. They connect.
Modesty is not prudish. Rather, it serves the couple as they create a marriage permeated by deep passionate connection on the emotional and physical level.
Modesty creates a shared space that the couple can inhabit safely, listen, be heard, and become one.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Marriage is a committed framework that enables individuals to create the deepest of human bonds. I believe in it, live it and specialize in helping couples accomplish it. The first goal of the process is for the couple to understand and overcome the "dance", the negative cycle thatis getting in the way of their desire to connect. The second goal is to collaboratively createan intimate bond that enables each partner to be there for the otherin theireveryday and most vulnerable moments- over a lifetime. I have advanced training in several couples modalities and primarily use the APA "gold standard" in couples therapy - EFT (Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy), which has over 30 years of research supporting its efficacy.
(Rabbi Elazar is also listed in Best Marriage Therapists in Hollywood)