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Posted on February 2, 2017 (5777) By Rabbi Ben Tzion Shafier | Series: | Level:

Mistake #1:  It wasn’t love; it was magic, and the magic wore off

Almost every couple has that moment of revelation. It may be two weeks after the wedding or two months after, but one morning either he or she wakes up and thinks, “Oh my gosh! I don’t believe it. I made the biggest mistake in my life. I married the wrong one!”

And it’s true that they made a mistake – but not the one they think they made. They made a far more fundamental mistake – mistaking infatuation for love.

The Magic Starts

When they first met, he looked into her eyes, she looked into his, and the magic began. Then with the violins playing in the background, they began an enchanted journey. He was so charming. She so beguiling. Hours passed like minutes. They could talk on and on and never run out of things to speak about. But it didn’t matter. Even if they spoke about nothing, just being together was enthralling.

And during this state, everything she did was perfect. Everything he said was clever and funny. And each of them thought, “This is it. Now that I’ve found the right one, forever and ever we will be happy.”

And that was their mistake. They were infatuated, and they didn’t understand what that state was and why HASHEM created it.

The State of Infatuation

Infatuation is like a drug. It affects your senses and changes the way you think and feel. Everything is wonderful. The whole world is filled with happiness and joy. Scientific studies show that falling in love affects the brain chemistry in a significant manner. The dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline, the neurotransmitters, which regulate our moods, are greatly increased. The effect of “falling in love” is similar to cocaine use. The couple experiences a rush of adrenaline, a sense of elation, and rapture. They are high.

“His bad habits will never bother me.”

“She will always be tolerant of my being late.”

And they have a clear sense that, “We will live forever and ever in this state of bliss.”

To allow marriages to succeed, HASHEM gave mankind the capacity to love. But love isn’t instant. It takes work. And it takes a long time. So, HASHEM created infatuation to jump-start the relationship.

Like a Kitchen Match

Infatuation works like sulphur on a kitchen match. When you strike a match against the phosphorous on the match box, it will ignite into a flame. It gets very hot, very quickly. For a second or two it will flare up, just long enough to light the wood of the match. That flame, however, wasn’t designed to last. It was meant to be a catalyst to start the fire — not to keep it going. If the wood catches, the flame did its job. If not, it shined bright for a short while, but accomplished nothing.

Infatuation works the same way. It allows the couple to begin; it starts the process. But, after a while the drug wears off, and the music stops.

The Magic Ends

And then one day they wake up. The magic is gone. The spell is broken. Yes, they still feel very strongly about each other, but somehow it’s different. Now, she says to herself, “He really does leave his socks on the bedroom floor – and it bothers me.” He says to himself, “She really does have a bit of a temper, and it’s annoying.” And each of them ask themselves, “What happened to our love?”

The problem was that they weren’t in love; they were infatuated. Infatuation is a temporary state that ends. It was created to start things off, and then it fades away and is gone — never to be heard from again.

The First Really Dumb Mistake in Marriage

This is when many couples make the first really dumb mistake in marriage. It’s when either he or she wakes up and says, “I don’t believe it. I made the biggest blunder in my life! I married the wrong one!”

They didn’t marry the wrong one. The magic started to wear off, and they are now facing that great challenge of making their marriage work. What they fail to realize is that HASHEM designed it to work that way.

And this is the first really dumb mistake that Very Smart Couples make:

They forget that it wasn’t love. It was magic, and the magic was supposed to last only so long.

Now their job is to build a bond of real love in their marriage.

The Marriage Seminar, a 12 part comprehensive guide to a successful marriage is now available at You can download it, listen on line, or access it on the Shmuz APP for Iphone and Android. CDs of the Marriage Seminar can be obtained by calling the Shmuz office at 866-613-TORAH (8672).