What amazed me the most about this couple was their tremendous sense of happiness and camaraderie. Love seemed to permeate their home and their relationships with the people who happened to enter into their lives.
That Shabbos, I was given a present far greater than a bed to sleep on: a glimpse at the secret of what makes and sustains good marriages. That secret is a commitment to building meaningful relationships, and an overriding desire to do chesed for one another.
I also came away from the experience realizing that people tend to confuse real happiness with temporary pleasure. The line of reasoning is that happiness is dependent upon our ability to purchase comfort. Yet, human experience teaches us that pleasure and happiness are two different things. You can have all the pleasure you desire, yet still not be happy.
In the next column, part 3 I’ll discuss: Why Most Marriages Can Work
Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, MA, is the Executive Director of Shalom Task Force and the author of an upcoming book about marriage called First Aid 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.