Marriage

The ring slipped on her finger. “Haray Ut…..”Those words, that ring, that’s it: I have changed, I am no longer just an I, I am part of a we.

In those first few days after the wedding when the couple is being spoilt;  Marriage is really enjoying itself. The wife is being selfless while still floating on her pre wedding cloud. The husband is trying with all his might to do what he was taught in Chosson classes. Marriage wonders why it was being warned about a rough ride. No one has yet noticed that the toothpaste tube has been squeezed from the middle. The early nighter has not yet demanded to be in bed by 10:30pm.

Poor Marriage. If people only knew that it existed, then they would think about it more.

So if one of the couple say the wife decided to always act as her husband wanted wouldn’t that make for a deliriously happy marriage?  If the wife was really happy being perfectly selfless, then the marriage might be successful. It is more likely though, that there are certain things that the wife is forcing herself to do for her husband’s sake. After a while she might be angry and/or resentful at having to forego her own desires for the sake of her husband. Marriage will feel the tension and will be quite put out.

“Hey, Marriage, how are you doing today?”

“Rather under the weather, if you really want to know.”

Lets hear what Marriage has to say.

“This man puts a ring on a lady and suddenly I am dropped into this world straight onto the floor under  the Chuppa. It’s a shock, I can tell you and, like a new born baby, I really haven’t a clue what to do. Then the couple walk off and I, like a magnet, follow them. I feel happy and elated and a warm togetherness seems to envelope me. I’m so happy I was chosen to be this couple’s marriage. If I had a mouth and a face, I would be beaming.

“Channie, they’re waiting for us”

“Shaul, just give us five more minutes, we’ve been apart for so long.”

“It’s only been a week Channie. I think it’s very selfish when the Chosson and Kalla keep their guests waiting for a long time”

“I just asked for another five minutes but if you don’t like being with me….”

Hey, you two, I’m your marriage, a brand new Marriage, and I’m beginning to feel a little bit queezey.”

*********

A couple of years and a couple of kids later.

“”If she would only do as I tell her . I just can’t seem to change her. Maybe you will have some more success.”

“I know that I need to work on my temper. It’s not that I deny having a temper. But he’s enough to try anyone’s patience. He never comes home on time and then, if by some mistake he really does arrive when he said he would, he is very upset that the food is not always ready.

“You’ve had plenty of warning that I was coming”

“Yes, but you never come on time.”

“Not a wonder, because you’re never ready for me.”

“Do you hear him, therapist? Time after time I have to serve him with dried-out re-heated victuals . Then he says to me that it is my fault that he comes late because his food isn’t ready.”

“Keep your voice down. Do you see her, the reddening of her face, the speeding up of her speech. Any minute now the screaming will begin?”
“H O W  D A R E  Y O U!”

“See, what did I tell you.”

I have to tell you that it’s so hard living with these people. I’m really hurting. I used to want to stay close but now I try to hold back. I’m dragged along with them wherever they go but, if I had my choice, I would leave. Pulling me apart would be rather like splitting the atom.  I’m their bond you know.

“We’re going round in circles, that’s what we’re doing. “

“It’s not important what shape we’re going in. Just control your temper  and we’ll do fine.”

“Just don’t annoy me and we’ll have a perfect marriage.”

“No need to be facetious.”

“No need to put all the blame on me.”

“If the cap fits…..”

“D I D  Y O U  H E A R  TH A T?!”

“Shall we try something different?”

“Let’s hear it.”

“Your marriage doesn’t seem very happy when Temper is around.”

“You’re right, I’m not.”

“No, I wasn’t talking about you; I was talking about Marriage. Did your Marriage once have happier times?”

“Do you remember how we used to go for walks together on the long, warm summer nights? We used to dream of our future”

“And look what a future we’ve got.”

“And, Mr. Cohen, do you remember having happier times”

“The truth is, I think she’s just exhausted. If she would only have more sleep at night, she might flare up less often”

Hey, I’m beginning to have a warm cozy feeling of caring creeping up my toes, I wonder if they’re growing together again?

“So Temper’s putting a strain on Marriage and there seems to be some issue something about punctuality.”

“What with the kids and work and your learning, we never seem to have time just to enjoy each other.”

“Yes week follows week and all I hear from you is about the broken washing machine and your broken nights.”

“What do you think would happen to Marriage if you found a few minutes a day to go for a walk or just to chat over a cup of coffee?

I’m floating on air. It’s beginning to be like it used to be.

“But what about her temper?”

“What about it? What happens to your marriage when Temper is around?

“I don’t know. I try to disappear or just ignore her.”

“I’m upset and need him and he ignores me and he sometimes even puts his fingers in his ears.”

“If only you would tell me what was wrong instead of blasting off like a rocket.”

“Is that what it’s like? A rocket blast?”

“No, I’m just so upset that the words tumble over each other and blast out to be heard.”

“What does Temper say to you to get you so upset?

“Oh, it says that they always blame me and it’s so unjust. Then it reminds me that  nobody cares about me because I’m not worth of caring about.. You know, that sort of thing.”
“She’s always putting herself down. Do you know who she is: a mother; a teacher; she runs the local paper and fits in some voluntary projects. Not worthy? She’s over worthy.”

“I wonder what you two could come up with for helping to keep Temper out of your Marriage?”

“I could buy Shaul a watch with an alarm and set it for him day by day.”

“And I could try to calm her down with a cup of coffee and a homemade muffin, or, perhaps, just give her a hug”

Now, that’s more like it. A hug.

Batya Jacobs, Netzach of Yesod