Follow by Email

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Marriage grown stale?

Daf Yomi Kesubos 90
Tom and Sally were ready to get divorced.  There was really no reason to stay together any longer.  The kids had grown up and left home.  And the marriage had grown stale a long time ago.  It was time to go their separate ways and find some excitement in their lives rather than stay in a boring, old marriage.

The Mishnah states: When a minor son whose father married him off becomes an adult, the ketubah remains in force, since the continued marriage was bound to that document.

Rav Huna taught: They only taught this ruling with regards to the hundred or two hundred standard basic amount of the ketubah, but she has no rights to any additional amount (unless he recommitted to such additional funds when he came of legal age).
Rav Yehudah says: She keeps the additional amount.

They asked a question from the Beraisa which states, “If they added new (items to the ketubah when he reached adulthood), she is entitled to that which they added new.”  Thus, if they added new, yes.  If they did not add anything new, no.  (This refutes Rav Yehuda who said that even without adding when he reached adulthood, she is entitled to the additional amount.)

Think back to the inventions that came out when you were a child.  Every few years they came up with some new, exciting innovation.  Remember when colour TV came out?  How about the fax machine?  Home computers?  Cell phone?  You could probably count on one hand how many new inventions arrived into your life during your childhood years. 

Nowadays, it seems that every year there’s a must-have new product out there.  From the latest Apple creation to Google’s innovative ideas, yesterday’s invention is boring.  And it’s not only with consumer goods – there was a time when people stayed in the same job for their entire lives.  Nowadays, the average person switches jobs every six years!

So it comes as no surprise that people are getting ants in their pants when it comes to married life.  Everything else seems to change so frequently; everything else seems so fresh and exciting; but you’re still married to the same person you got married to thirty years ago. 

The key to a successful marriage has always been to keep it fresh and exciting.  Not just in the twenty-first century.  Our Sages explain that freshness is the reason we have the Laws of Family Purity – the monthly cycle of separation and reunification makes it feel like the wedding night all over again. 

But the biological imperative is just the first step – it’s a reminder that marriage must be kept fresh and exciting.  If that’s the only step you would take to spice up your marriage, it would grow stale very quickly – even the Laws of Family Purity can become cyclical and robotic after a while. 

Do you want your marriage to last and be just as exciting as the day you met?  Listen to the words of the Talmud: If they added new, yes.  If they did not add anything new, no.  The Laws of Family Purity teach us that we must always find ways to keep the marriage fresh and alive.  Find new hobbies to try with your spouse!  New places to go for date night!  New books to read and discuss!  New shiurim (classes) to attend together!  New foods to cook together!  New places to discover together!

Most importantly, you want to find ways to surprise your spouse (in a good way, of course)!  Maybe you’ve seldom cooked dinner or prepared them breakfast in bed.  Maybe you’ve never arranged a surprise birthday party for them.  The more innovative ideas you can bring to your marriage, the more you will keep that flame alive!

Want to keep your marriage alive?  Keep it fresh, exciting and innovative.  May you merit loving your spouse throughout your life with the same excitement and enthusiasm as the day you were married!