The Reb was lucky to have such a love with Sarah. It had endured hardships by relying on cooperation – and selflessness. The Reb was fond of telling young couples, “Remember, the only difference between ‘marital’ and ‘martial’ is where you put the ‘i’.”
He also, on occasion, told the joke about a man who complains to his doctor that his wife, when angry, gets historical.
“You mean hysterical,” the doctor says.
“No, historical,” the man says. “She lists the history of every wrong thing I’ve ever done!”
Still, the Reb knew that marriage was an endangered institution. He’d officiated for couples, seen them split, then officiated when they married someone lese.
“I think people expect too much from marriage today,’ he said. “They expect perfection. Every moment should be bliss. That’s TV or movies. But that is not the human experience.
“Like Sarah says, twenty good minutes here, forty good minutes there, it adds up to something beautiful. The trick is when things aren’t so great, you don’t junk the whole thing. It’s okay to have an argument. It’s okay that the other one nudges you a little. It’s part of being close to someone.
“But the joy you get from the same closeness – when you watch your children, when you wake up and smile at each other – that, as our tradition teaches us, is a blessing. People forget that.”
(Have a Little Faith, Mitch Albom, page 144)