22 Sivan 5779 / Tuesday, June 25, 2019 | Torah Reading: Korach
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Is He The One?    

Is He The One?

You can see examples of this all around- two people that live together for years, decades even; then they get married, and suddenly, they can't stand each other! What happened?


Dear Racheli,
I met a wonderful man a few months ago, and things have gotten very serious. He's treated me so wonderfully and he says he loves me and wants to marry me. The problem is that I found out he's still married! He says he's separated from his wife, but I'm wondering if I should continue the relationship...
Oh, brother, my eyes hurt from rolling in their sockets so much. Donna, what can I say? In a word, NO! Don't continue with the relationship!
Now that I have clarified my position, let me clarify further. First of all, let's point out what's wrong with him. Then we'll move on to you.
For starters, this guy is completely immature and egotistical. So what if he's separated? As long as he's still technically married, his soul is still connected with his wife's soul. When two people get married under the chuppah, their souls become spiritually fused together. The wedding ceremony is like spiritual surgery. That's why relationships become more difficult after the wedding.
You can see examples of this all around- two people that live together for years, decades even; then they get married, and suddenly, they can't stand each other! What happened? Well, as I described in a previous article, “The Look of Love,” when two people get married they become like the Two-Headed Monster on Sesame Street. Except it's not as cute when one spouse wants to go this way and the other spouse wants to go that way.
A marriage requires people (men in particular) to learn concepts like compromise, patience, selflessness, and putting down the toilet seat. It's not easy for a couple to learn to put their personal needs aside in order to satisfy the needs of their spouse and thus contribute to the greater good of their relationship. But this is the essence of marriage.
Judaism teaches that a man who isn't married is like half a person, and he hasn't even begun to accomplish his spiritual correction. It is one of the primary life goals that Hashem has given us. Over the years, through all of the struggles in a marriage, spouses can learn the real meaning of unconditional love and giving. For example: do you know how hard it is for me to do my husband's laundry when I'm upset with him? I'm extremely tempted to tell him to do it himself (and to cook for himself, and to take care of the kids himself, etc.) Thankfully, I don't get upset with him often.
For this guy to already go looking for another relationship while still married is immature because he clearly hasn't learned the basic lessons of marriage. It seems that he's stuck in the same mindset as most people when they enter a relationship: can this partner meet my needs? Will this partner make me happy?
He's egotistical because he thinks since his current wife didn't live up to his expectations, he is entitled to look for someone who does. Why does he think he deserves better than what Hashem gave him, especially since he failed the first time?
But this is the problem of western-programmed relationship mentality- it's all about looking for someone to give you what you want, and not vice-versa. No wonder so many relationships fail- both partners are so focused on what they think they deserve, that neither has time or space in their hearts to focus on what the other person needs!
Obviously this guy has a lack of emuna. If he had real emuna, he would have believed that Hashem sent him his current wife exactly the way he needed her to be. Is he so perfect that he deserves a perfect woman? I highly doubt it. He didn't see that she was his reflection and was doing exactly what she was supposed to do in order to help him grow as a person. Therefore, he felt entitled to look for someone that suits his vision of perfection more.
Enter you, Donna, the innocent future victim. For starters, forget about all of his charming behavior. It's just an act. He cannot truly love you for many reasons, particularly because he's STILL MARRIED! Love is not the Hollywood-laced emotion/drug that we have been taught it is. It's a feeling that grows along with years of struggles and compromises within the framework of married life. I firmly believe that it's simply impossible for people to love each other without certain parameters, such as the fact that they can't simply end the relationship because things aren't going their way.
Honestly, Donna, I think you should be extremely thankful to Hashem for having put you in this position. First, you are learning that love is more than romantic feelings and cheap talk. Second, Hashem is trying to show you that you are worth much more than being a girlfriend on the side. I can almost guarantee you that this guy is in no rush to get divorced. If he were, he would have done it before he started getting involved with other women. He's only concerned with himself and no one else.
My suggestion would be two-fold. First, run away from him as fast as you can. Second, you now have a chance to attract the man that you deserve. It's time to really get serious about doing personal prayer for Hashem to send you your other half. Dedicate at least 30 minutes a day and I'm confident you'll get the right guy for you.
You know, personal prayer is like getting milk from the cow. As much as the baby calf wants the milk, the mother cow wants to give him even more. Hashem is waiting to give us  all the blessings we can dream of; we just have to ask Him for them!
* * *
Feel free to send Racheli your questions, particularly in the areas of marriage, dating, child-rearing and women's role; write her at racheli@breslev.co.il

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