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Sunday, 19 April 2015

Not who I thought I married

Daf Yomi Kesubos 73

Eli was distraught.  He’d been married for just three months and wasn’t sure if he wanted out.
“Rabbi, she’s not the girl I thought I married,” he said to me, “When I was researching the shidduch, everyone said she was the kindest soul.  And in the beginning, it’s true, she was really nice.  But now I’m seeing this whole other side of her.  Sometimes it feels like I’m married to two different women.  One day, she’ll be so sweet, but the next day, I’ve no idea who she is!”  

The Mishnah states: One who betroths a woman on condition that she has no previously-declared vows of abstinence upon her and they later found out that she did have vows she had made, the marriage is null and void.  If he married her without conditions, but then discovered she had vows, he may divorce her without paying the kesubah entitlement.

It was stated: If he betrothed her on condition but married her without conditions, Rav says she would require a gett, and Shmuel says she does not require a gett (i.e. the marriage is null and void).
Rabbah taught: They are debating a case where there was an error made with one woman who is like two women. 
(Rashi explains: He betrothed her with conditions then divorced her and went back and married her without conditions.  Since there are two marriages, it is like two women.)

We all go through cycles.  Physical, biological cycles.  Emotional cycles.  Spiritual cycles.  Don’t expect that your spouse will always be the incredibly sweet, pleasant, calm person you dated.   Being married means being with the entire person, through the tranquil times and the fiery times.  Sometimes, it might feel like you’re married to two different people, but remember, you’ve been blessed with finding a partner who is multi-dimensional, not the same boring person day-in day-out.

As a loving spouse, you need to learn to ride the wave and recognize when your spouse needs you the most.  Don’t fight back.  Don’t disappear when they need you more than ever.  Particularly when they’re going through their emotional highs and lows, you need to be there.  It’s the Almighty teaching you patience; teaching you tranquility; teaching you how to maintain your own balance and equilibrium, in the face of stress and adversity. 

You got married to serve this other person; in their entirety, through every facet of who they are.  We all have highs and lows; a loving spouse is always there.  May you merit growing with your spouse and always being there for them, especially when it seems like they are a completely different person to the one you thought you married!