10 Really Dumb Mistakes

10 Really Dumb Mistakes that Very Smart Couples Make

Rabbi Benzion Shafier,

Rabbi Benzion Shafier
Rabbi Benzion Shafier

Mistake #1 It wasn’t love; it was magic, and the magic wore off

Almost every couple has that moment of revelation. It may be two weeks after the wedding or two months after, but one morning either he or she wakes up and thinks, “Oh my gosh! I don’t believe it. I made the biggest mistake in my life. I married the wrong one!”

And it’s

The Magic Starts

When they first met, he looked into her eyes, she looked into his, and the magic began. Then with the violins playing in the background, they began an enchanted journey. He was so charming. She so beguiling. Hours passed like minutes. They could talk on and on and never run out of things to speak about. But it didn’t matter. Even if they spoke about nothing, just being together was enthralling.

And during this state, everything she did was perfect. Everything he said was clever and funny. And each of them thought, “This is it. Now that I’ve found the right one, forever and ever we will be happy.”

And that was their mistake. They were infatuated, and they didn’t understand what that state was and why HASHEM created it.

The State of Infatuation

Infatuation is like a drug. It affects your senses and changes the way you think and feel. Everything is wonderful. The whole world is filled with happiness and joy. Scientific studies show that falling in love affects the brain chemis

“His bad habits will never bother me.”

“She will always be tolerant of my being late.”

And they have a clear sense that, “We will live forever and ever in this state of bliss.”

Infatuation Plays an Important Role

HASHEM created infatuation to allow men and women to get married and create long-standing, loving homes. But therein lies the problem. To take two individuals from different backgrounds, with diverse natures and upbringings, put them together for a short time, and then ask them to live together for the rest of their lives in peace and harmony should be impossible. By the time they meet, they are mature adults. They already have a host of habits, routines, and ways of doing things. They’ve developed their own lifestyles, value systems and goals. To ask them now to mold two divergent lives into one should never work.

To allow marriages to succeed, HASHEM gave mankind the capacity to love. When a couple is in love, they operate in a climate of acceptance and understanding. They overlook each other’s shortcomings and ignore the other’s flaws. She is forgiving. He is tolerant. Differences don’t matter. Disagreements are rare. Your way. My way. What difference does it make anyway?

And the marriage thrives despite what life throws at it. The heart of a successful marriage is love.

But love isn’t instant. Learning to give doesn’t come naturally. Real dedication to another person takes a long time to develop. To allow marriages to succeed, HASHEM created certain forces to jump-start the relationship.

Like a Kitchen Match

One of these forces is infatuation. Infatuation works like sulphur on a kitchen match. When you s

Infatuation works the same way. It allows the couple to begin; it starts the process. But they must then do the difficult work of creating a

You Think You Know Him

The way that we come to “know someone” is by creating a composite based on our interactions with him or her. We take our experiences with the person, and we review (often subconsciously) the conversations and exchanges, what he said, how he said it, when he said it, and then we create an image of who that person is.

And that’s the problem. When a person is under the influence of that drug called infatuation, they act in ways very different then they would otherwise. An ordinarily sober, serious young man might be seen singing from the rooftops. A normally mature, highly responsible young woman might have a glassed over look in her eyes and be unable to concen

And as a result, the entire relationship was built on something that couldn’t last. It’s easy to like someone who is nice to you all the time. So when he says, “She is the first person who accepts me for exactly who I am,” and she says, “He is so sensitive and sweet. He never says a single unkind word to me,” of course, they like one another.

But that was because when they were dating, she was too spellbound to even notice his personal habits. Of course, she was completely accepting of him. She didn’t see a single flaw in him! And he, as well, was en

But after a while the drug wears off, and the music stops. Both of them go back to being who they really are, and each is a whole lot less tolerant and accepting than they were before they were married. While they certainly knew each other before, it was as a person acting unlike themselves.

The Magic Ends

And then one day they wake up. The magic is gone. The spell is broken. Yes, they still feel very s

The problem was that they weren’t in love; they were infatuated. Infatuation is a temporary state that ends. It was created to start things off, and then it fades away and is gone — never to be heard from again.

The First Really Dumb Mistake in Marriage

This is when many couples make the first really dumb mistake in marriage. It’s when either he or she wakes up and says, “I don’t believe it. I made the biggest blunder in my life! I married the wrong one!”

They didn’t marry the wrong one. The magic started to wear off, and they are now facing that great challenge of making their marriage work. What they fail to realize is that HASHEM designed it to work that way.

Infatuation is an important tool to help start a marriage, but it isn’t the basis for a marriage. It is a short-lived chemical explosion, and if you use it as the indicator that “We will have a great marriage,” you might well be making a grave error.

And a couple is now ready to learn the first rule of a successful marriage.

First Rule of a Successful Marriage
Infatuation and Love are Two Different Things

Love is a bond based on commitment, devotion, and dedication. It may have been helped along at the start by a sense of infatuation and even lust, but that is just one of the many catalysts that helps to form a real attachment.

The real bond of love comes from sharing a life together, working together, being committed to each other. Infatuation is fast boiled and temporary. It starts off with a bang, but if soon fizzles out. Love is a whole lot slower to cook up. It starts off very gradually, but as time passes, it becomes s

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