When Hashem gives us the Torah, He is teaching us the guidelines as to how we can have a relationship with Him.
And, since everything in our relationship with Hashem is paralleled in our relationships here in this world, I would like to share some thoughts on what we can learn from each of the Ten Commandments for having a successful marriage.
1) I am Hashem your God – the necessity to fully know and recognize the reality of the Creator.
For your relationship to thrive, it has to matter – otherwise it can easily be pushed to the bottom of the pile, under kids, the house, work, laundry, meals… Making the effort to spend time together, work on issues and doing your own self work is how you can show yourself and your husband that your marriage is a priority.
2) Do not have any other gods – not giving power to anything or anyone other than Hashem.
When frustration occurs in your relationship, it is natural and easy to blame others – your husband, your parents or in-laws, stress… Not giving anyone else power over the state of your relationship, and taking the responsibility to look at what is in your hands to change allows for real change and growth.
3) Do not take Hashem’s Name in vain – your words have power and can even affect Hashem’s presence in this world
What you say, how you say it and the intention behind your words matter! While society seems to hold up an ideal of “sharing everything,” this can quickly turn into lots of negativity being brought into your home. Being aware of how words affect others and communicating with love, respect and empathy is a relationship game-changer.
4) Remember and keep Shabbat – take the time to rest from your normal routine and reflect on your purpose and mission
Taking time to reflect on both your accomplishments and your challenges provides inspiration and motivation to keep moving forward. Your heart, mind and body also requires rest from stress, and in doing so you also benefit your relationship, as self care time increases your level of happiness, patience and dedication.
5) Respect your parents – they brought you into this world and raised you
Respect the reality that much of your views, fears and beliefs stem from your childhood (no matter what that experience was like.) Awareness and curiosity to this truth is the key to letting go of those stories that are no longer serving you and rewriting the patterns that are bringing frustration and pain into your marriage.
6) Do not kill – respect human life
Respect is a fundamental foundation of connection. Respecting your husband means giving him space and trust to be who he is, while respecting yourself means honoring your own worth and value even within the relationship.
7) Do not commit adultery – respect the sanctity of a couple’s physical connection
Valuing and making time for physical intimacy is so important, as is dedication to working through fears or challenges you may have in the bedroom. The sexual relationship between you and your husband is holy, beautiful and a microcosm of your whole relationship – honoring this truth is crucial for a healthy, loving relationship.
8) Do not steal – respect other’s boundaries
While boundaries are often thought of as walls between people, setting healthy boundaries are what allows for there to be a safe space from within which your relationship can thrive.
9) Do not testify falsely – recognize that you do not hold the whole truth
The way you see the world is different than the way every other person sees and experiences is, including your husband. Fully accepting that different doesn’t make it wrong allows for less resentment and more empathy, leading to deeper connection, peace and happiness.
10) Do not covet – take responsibility for your emotions
While respecting your emotions and giving them acceptance is always the first step, you can then use your intellect and your higher self to work through them and live into your deeper desire for who you want to be.
By internalizing and living by these ideas in your mindset and actions, you are incorporating timeless lessons on how to live and love with connection and fulfillment.