Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Marrying Up

Surprise surprise, I'm not perfect. I have my fair share of flaws, if you ask me, more than my fair share. Unfortunately, and fortunately as well, life isn't fair. God is though, and he decided that my share of flaws is what's perfect for me. Perfect for me, that if I overcome them, I will maximize my potential on this world.

When it comes to finding a wife, there are two trains of thought for what a woman can do for her husband. "Don't marry counting on her changing you" and "Marriage would help you overcome many of the challenges you face."

Well, that makes things nice and clear.

Are these two trains of thoughts meant for two different types of people? 

For myself, I think I know what would be better for me. I thrive under encouragement and support. That's just who I am. My internal motivation waxes and wanes with the frequency of the tides, or the rising and setting of the sun. One day I'm rocking and rolling, the next, to steal a Brooklyn phrase which is too fitting to ignore, "fuggedaboutit."

Yet, while knowing what's best for me, I feel incredibly stupid going into a relationship knowing that I'm counting on her to  help change me.

It gets better, for all of you girls currently shuddering in outrage, I have more. I'm not where I want to be with regards to my level of Judaism. I want to marry up. I want to get married to someone who shares my values, but is closer to the practice of those values than I am.

The colloquial "they" say that all guys marry up, but what's the norm for that "up"? Is there this enormous chasm between the two, with the girl patiently biding her time for her husband to shape up, or are the differences in religious practice minor and quick to change?

I know that I'm not where I want to be. For all of the great things about me, and I can say it, I'm a pretty good guy, there are so many things I see in myself that aren't up to par.

There are days where I'm 100% confident I'm ready to get married, and there are days where I'm wondering what the heck I'm thinking.

It's very disconcerting that, what is to most people, a very simple question, drives me crazy.


  1. You'd be surprised; girls being what they are, many are on the search for a "fixer upper." Many have fantasies of being a "savior" to their significant other. However, perhaps you are aware of the old maxim:

    “Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed.” Albert Einstein.

    The question is, are you really being real when you say you want a gal who is superior to you?

    Who says all guys marry "up"?

    1. Sigh... So you see the problem? One side of me is screaming "I don't want to be saved," while the other is saying, "ya, ya you do."

      One of Einstein's wiser, that one. My "trains of thought" are an amalgamation of Einstein's quote.

      Superior is the wrong word. My Jewish Education sayeth: Women are naturally stronger in their practice/beliefs. Superior implies that one person is better in all areas. I'm not looking to marry superwoman (too buff for my taste). But a woman who has strengths that I don't, I'll go for.

      My male Jewish Education :-) In the yeshivos I attended, I was taught women are the much much fairer gender.

  2. I think ideally, both sides of the relationship balance each other out. Don't forget that your future wife is going to have flaws character traits she wants to work on, too! But maybe, just maybe, your weak points will be her strengths, and vice versa, and you will help each other become the best versions of yourselves together.

    1. Absolutely! That's what keeps on driving me back into the dating arena, thoughts such as: "Sheesh, I'm not the only one who has weaknesses and what to work on."

      Right, but I can't bank on that "maybe, just maybe." I need to continue to work on myself and grow, but at what point do I say that challenges I'm facing are not enough to hold me back from dating?