At Jewish weddings I've seen this dance where people stand facing each other
in two lines, and then run towards each other and meet in the middle, then
run backwards to their original places, only to do it all over again. Where does
this dance come from?
There is a common
misconception about relationships. Many people think that if I meet the right
person, things will all go smoothly from there. If a relationship is bumpy, if
we need to put effort in to make it work, it must be the wrong relationship.
The wedding dance, with its forward and backward motions, is there to
tell us that this view is false. In any loving relationship, a couple
experiences moments of closeness and love, as well as moments of distance and
tension. It is not possible for two human beings to share intimate space and not
go through some rough patches. If a relationship is to be real, it probably
won't be smooth.
But this tension is exactly what makes love so powerful. Every moment of tension in a loving relationship is an opportunity to get to know each other better. Why are you upset? What did I do to hurt you? Where did we misunderstand each other? What can we learn from this episode?
The only reason you retreat from each other is in order to come close again. You take a step back so you can then rush forward. The divide that was created by your little falling out provides the fuel for you to come back together, closer and stronger than ever.
As we dance around the newlyweds we give them a powerful message. In your
lives together it will invariably happen that each of you will make mistakes.
There will be times of misunderstanding and distance, when you feel you have
drifted apart and the love is being strained. The secret: even in those times,
never turn your back. Even when you are retreating, always face each other. If
you do, the tension itself will propel you back towards each other.
Never fear those moments of tension in your marriage. Rather see them as doorways that lead you to a deeper connection. In the dance of love, the good times bring you close, but the tough times bring you even closer.