Question for People Married More Than Five Years

Have you found True Love?

This question comes from my friend, who wants to know if True Love exists in the Jewish world. She doesn’t know how to define it. Rather, she chooses to let each couple define it in their own relationship.

So, people married 5+ years: would you say you have found True Love?

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15 thoughts on “Question for People Married More Than Five Years

  1. What would be the difference between Jew love and non-Jewish love? And why wouldn’t love exist in the Jewish world? Your friend is asking a pretty obvious question. Unless I’m missing something.

  2. Because she says everyone believes in True Love in the bigger fish tank of the world. (As opposed to mere pedestrian “love.”) I think she specifies Jewish because she wants to know if people in the smaller tank feel like they’ve found the perfect person (only person?) for them.

  3. 1.5 years away, I’ll say that my husband still thrills me with his intelligence and depth. Mostly it’s his dependability, kindness, good fatherness, and being the guy who is always around who shares my views on almost everything, that makes me happy to be around him.

  4. I want to jump in here and say that I think I know what your friend is asking. She’s obviously watched a lot of rom-coms where Hollywood actors and actresses profess “love at first sight” and “you can’t help who you love” on the screen (even if that means breaking up a marriage, cheating, or losing your friendships in order to be together.) This “Hollywood love” is what she’s desperate to find and wonders if it exists in reality.

    The short answer? No.

    The long answer? Real, lasting love is different than what you see in movies. Hollywood love is usually about infatuation, based more on looks or chemistry than real insides clicking.

    I’ve been married for almost 10 years. I didn’t love my husband when I was engaged the way I thought I should (from all my years watching said movies), and I admit – I was a little nervous about it. But I was reasonably attracted to him, and I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that his character, personality and path in life fit me perfectly. I believed my mentors that “love comes after marriage”.

    And so I waited to “fall in love”.

    Again, it wasn’t what I expected. The fireworks didn’t flash and the room didn’t spin. BUT. As we became closer, as we worked on our communication and our relationship, as we gave and did for each other – we grew into love.

    And it’s so much deeper.

    I can’t imagine my life without him. He’s the only person I’ve ever met (including my best friend) who “gets me” so deeply. I respect him, I appreciate him, and I want to spend time with him. We are a unit, our lives intertwined, and even on the not-so-good days when we argue or disappoint one-another, we know that this is real and it’s forever. So we work it out. And move on.

    Growing into love is so much more real than falling in love.

    Is it “true love”? I would venture to say that this deep love and appreciation we have for each other is insulted by that question. “True love” was coined by Disney. It’s empty. We have Real Love. And that’s what lasts.

  5. Married a couple of decades and practice orthodox Judaism.

    I think it is valid to correct to assume that religion, particularly Jewish orthodoxy, can impact the love equation. When people meet, it’s an issue that needs to be negotiated, and when people remain religiously compatible over the long term, it’s an additional shared bond just like having children. It can even make otherwise lackluster marriages more palatable. At it worst, though, deep philosophical differences that emerge can disrupt a relationship, or add a note of finality to divorce. So let’s not discount it as a force to be reckoned with, as it can certainly influence romantic and personal compatibility.

    Now, as to whether “True Love” can exist in a religiously orthodox marriage? Of course it can. Why shouldn’t it? Plenty of orthodox Jewish marriages start with romantic love along with religious compatibility. Whether romance is sustained may operate independently of religious similarities. My impression is that romantic love often — and maybe inevitably — changes into a love that is less dependent on physical attraction. Even handsome people become less so and witty people become less so, at least to their spouse. There is some truth to the maxim of familiarity breeds contempt, or at least apathy. Maybe romantic love changes to a bigger appreciation of your spouse’s personality.

    Your mileage will vary. In the marriage department, all bets are off whether your an orthodox Jew or ascribe to other spiritual philosophies. I wouldn’t dream of misrepresenting my own particular experience as universal, and that’s why I’m not going to say whether my marriage is exemplary or not. Why should anyone use my experience to draw any particular conclusion? I assume that each circumstance is different.

  6. I think true love is what lasts after the initial spark goes away. Its like a glue that keeps you together … like if you would be willing to die for the other person in a split second decision. The kind that is more than infatuation but lasts after initial spark, you learn to function together, live together, see each other at best and worst. Best friends and sometimes when you are fighting you both start laughing and saying how dumb this whole fight is.

  7. Not everyone in the bigger fishtank believes in True Love either. I see a lot of young hip advice columns (internet advice columns are my guilty pleasure) about how there is no “One,” there are a lot of people that you could potentially be happy with, don’t go based on gut feelings/”chemistry” but figure out what really matters to you in a partner – stuff that wouldn’t be out of place in Jewish relationship guidance.

    I’m married going on 3 years, but for what it’s worth, so far the closest Hollywood-relationship analogy to my marriage is not Hollywood-true-love but Hollywood-best-friends – in that I can spend hours on end with my husband (when we’re both in a good mood), he makes me laugh so hard I can’t breathe, we have philosophical/political/religious debates… – plus physical attraction.

    As for whether he is the “perfect person” for me: he is not. We do complement each other well, but we clash in certain ways too. I’m sure both of those will get better as time goes on. I doubt anyone in the world would be “perfect for me.”

  8. Shira, totally agree about your “perfect for me.” I think my husband is one of the people on the planet who is as compatible as with me as there is, which means 95% of us is the same, 5%is different. Or maybe the ratio is different (try to quantify similarity), but somewhere around there.

  9. From 2-14 years of my first marriage I believed that I had found true love. I’m divorced now and I still think that my first wife was my first true love. I’m convinced that I’m blessed to have the opportunity to find a second true love, one with whom I can share the rest of my days in the physical world as we know it. Both are my beshert šŸ™‚

  10. Do we count? We’re married 3.5 years but it’s been five years and three months since we met.

    I don’t really believe in the concept of true love – I attribute all feelings of “true love” to hormones. Sometimes they’re more prominent than others, and life is always changing.

    I think love is a concept that no one really understands; what we usually define as love is really better defined as lust; love itself is something that you can really only know you have when you’ve been happily married for fifty years. Feelings come and feelings go, when they’re there it’s nice and when they’re not it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

    The wedding is supposed to be a low point in your journey of love, not a high point. Because, honestly, at your wedding, you’re just starting out (well, hopefully and usually, even if you’ve lived together for a while). If your wedding was when you loved each other most, you’re on the fast road towards divorce, better see a marriage counselor and try to save the relationship.

    At least, that’s what I (we) think . . .

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