No doubt, Yossi and Deborah would be challenged by financial concerns, work stress, childrearing, and difficult in-law relationships. Amidst the ups and downs of everything waiting for them – happy or disappointing moments, quality times enjoyed together or stressful late nights at work, watching their children take their first steps or struggling at school – the “secret,” that could hold their marriage together and bring them the most happiness and stability in their lives, would be to focus on the primal importance of their relationship.
I call this simple yet revolutionary idea Relationship Theory, which states that for a marriage to work, both husband and wife need to make their relationship the main goal of their lives.
Another way of stating this is: H=QR
Where, Happiness (H) is directly proportional to the Quality of Relationship (QR) one develops with their spouse. The more that a couple works on deepening both the quality and quantity of their relationship, the greater likelihood they have for success.
That’s why, when couples like Yossi and Deborah come to speak with me about their fears of marriage, I begin by asking them if they are willing to make their relationship a priority in their lives. If they don’t make it the number one priority, then it’s going to be very difficult, if not impossible, for them to succeed.
My next column, Part 2, will discuss The Purpose of Marriage
Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, MA, is the Executive Director of Shalom Task Force and the author of an upcoming book about marriage called First Aid Kit For Jewish Marriages. He maintains a practice in family counseling and is a popular lecturer on S.H.A.L.O.M. Workshop for Engaged couples. To register for the workshop, visit www.shalomworkshop.org. You can e-mail questions to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.