November 4, 2015
Before my husband and I got married, we attended pre-marriage classes. While I would like to say I remember everything we learned and all the words of wisdom shared with us, it was really one main idea that stuck with me. Our facilitator offered this simple piece of advice: The best thing you can do for your marriage is hire a babysitter. In other words, as much as you will love/adore/cherish/be obsessed with your kids, make sure you take the time to invest in your marriage, your partner, your Besheret. Because children leave the nest (hopefully!) but your partner is your partner forever.
Today, twelve years later, the same message was shared by our inspiring and hip trip leader, Adrienne Gold – or as I affectionately refer to her as “the Oprah of the Jewish community.” That Adrienne is one smart lady.
I have to be honest (that’s kind of what blogging’s all about right?) – I am guilty of losing sight of the advice I received over a decade ago, before my husband and I stood under our chuppah and danced the beautiful hora. And, in fact, as tough as it is to admit he was right (there – you were right!) over the years my husband has been the one to keep this idea at the forefront of our marriage. And while I’ve known all along that this advice was good and made perfect sense, the pull of my children’s needs have often taken over and consumed me, and as a result, my focus has often been on being a great mother and tending to my children’s needs. I suspect I’m not alone. If I was, this probably wouldn’t have been Adrienne’s lecture topic this morning to 200 Jewish women from around the world. She’s a pretty smart lady and knows what her sisters need to hear!
While my husband and I have a strong marriage with open and honest communication, mutual respect, humour, and kindness (and we are consistently looking for tools and applying principles and ideas to make ourselves stronger), I am so grateful to have been reminded of the advice we received twelve years ago. Starting today, even thousands of miles away, I will be a better giver. I will make the choice to love (the verb) every day.
Finally, I especially loved Adrienne’s definition of love:
What’s important to you is important to me.
So, babe, twelve years into our marriage, now is as good a time as any to start paying attention to sports, who got traded, who got signed by which team, and who’s in the Playoffs/World Series/Super Bowl. Wish me luck!