Jacob’s Wedding Album by Prof. Gerald August

Nov 18th, 2010 by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Portion of the Week, Relationships
What if there had been a wedding photographer at Jacobs wedding. The pictures would show a beaming Jacob. After seven years of toil to earn the right to marry Rachel, the moment was at hand. Could he really restrain himself from beaming from ear to ear? Imagine what was going on inside. His heart pounded for joy. Ah, what a night!

But then he arose the next morning and found… Leah!! He had been deceived on a grand scale. Jacob’s anger would have known no bounds. At that moment he could have become violent. And imagine that at that moment an express camel had arrived with the wedding album. Jacob would have grabbed the album, taken a knife to those pictures of perfidy, cut them up and thrown them into a fire. And rightly so. He had been deceived on a grand scale.

But… But… But…

The unfortunate fact is that some people contemplating marriage end up deceiving themselves. They think they are in love, but do not really know the person. Or, they ignore signs that all will not be well in the relationship.

Let me give you an example. I have a friend who told me the following story. He had a close male friend who was a young and important Director in the Jewish community. He was introduced to a woman who was also a young and important Vice President of an important  Jewish charity. After four weeks they decided to get engaged. And they wanted their wedding to take place within two months.

The family recommended caution. What was the rush? Why not take a little more time? But the man and woman, both in their early 30s, said they were mature enough to make this decision. Neither one of them had been married before.

Three weeks before the wedding, my friend sat down with the woman to get to know his friend’s fiancée a little better. At one point he told her that her future husband was very stubborn. She recoiled and asked in an incredulous voice, “What do you mean?” My friend said to himself, she is getting married in three weeks and has no clue who she is marrying. It was the case of a Director marrying a Vice President, and vice versa. But they did not know each other.

Four weeks after the wedding my friend was invited to the new couple’s apartment for dinner. When he left the dinner he was heartbroken. He saw there was already friction in the marriage. And he knew what was coming.

Unfortunately, he was correct. They divorced within nine months.

They were so in love with the idea of being married, and married to a title, they did not take the time to know each other. They deceived themselves. What is the antidote to this situation?

You need to take the time to talk about your basic philosophies, goals, needs. Some people actually go into marriage without discussing how many children they want to have. You also need to talk to your friends and relatives to get their perspective on this person. They may see

things you don’t, or won’t, see. And you need to take seriously what they are saying. Read what experts advise.

Self-deception can be as destructive as someone else deceiving you. Try to overcome that if you can. Then your wedding album will last a long time.