They worked, bought a house, put children through college, bought nice furniture, went on vacations, etc. Sometimes, being with the person you love motivates you to work harder to get the money you need.
But far more important than the money they eventually built up, was the love and dedication to each other.
When my mother was ill, it was my father that studied the different medical procedures so that she didn’t have to be running back and forth to the hospital. Sometimes doctors would call my father for advice on how to do something to help my mother. When my mother, ill with cancer, saw an ad from a Jewish agency asking for volunteers to help newly arriving immigrants adapt to their culture, it was she who encouraged my father to do it. She didn’t want him spending every minute of his retirement with her; she wanted him to pursue a personal interest. She had an aide a certain amount of hours a week and she had relatives and friends dropping in. Without my mother suggesting it, I doubt my father ever would have done it. But he did volunteer, and it opened up a very fulfilling chapter in his life. And of course, he was there for my mother, always, when it really counted.
So, if you’re on the precipice of a marriage and if you’re wondering if your potential spouse is the one for you, it certainly is important to consider financial needs. But also consider whether you would enjoy being with this person day in and day out. And try to project to decades later – would that person be giving you and would you want to be giving back the support and love needed to get through good times and bad.
Marriage is far more than a beautiful chassanah, a beautiful face, and beautiful possessions. It’s for the long haul and a deeper beauty that goes beyond what you SEE and what you HAVE and transcends to what you want to GIVE and SHARE from the depths of your heart. Those qualities are priceless.