Keeping the marriage alive

So how do we keep a marriage alive when our responsibility towards the survival of our human specie has been fulfilled?

What reason is there for living; when our children purport to know more than we ever did or do; and where our collected and collective wisdom has no use to anyone?

Well, we do what all generations before us could not do – we liberate ourselves back to our youth, with the added bonus of a life long experience.

Now we can learn, grow and experience anew. We can venture into new pursuits of our own choosing and at our own volition; and thus enriching ourselves, the society we live in, and the world at large; in a fresh and unique way.

For me, getting to this stage in life was enlivening; as I am sure it is to many a woman. It gave me the time and the opportunity to express myself and do all that I could not do before. It gave me the opportunity to be myself and live my own life.

For the man in my life, who had to stop work due to a car accident, retirement was a forced and traumatic event, which took a hard and painful toll. He lost all he loved doing, felt useless and dejected, and took years to heal.

Most men find retirement hard to swallow in any event, and the battle in this instant was even greater, since Gerry did never want to retire in the first place.

Now the question is, how do you adjust to this new situation? What do you do, or how do you go about it?

Once Gerry got better, I approached him and said,

Till now we did what had to be done as well as pursued your interests (which were in the realm of both his chosen professions), now it’s my time; and he agreed.

Not only did he agree, but he also started to actively take over the running of the household, one thing at a time. This was not easy. He had to learn all he’d never done before, and the way I did it. Slowly, he got the hang of things and changed them according to his own way of thinking.

On top of it, he took closer interest in my newly developed interests and encouraged me to continue with my pursuits.

Nowadays, he does all shopping and errands, and most of the household chores, while I join in whenever I can.

As a matter of fact, when any of us notices something to be done, we just go ahead and do it, or help the one who is already at it, if time permits. If we not, we ask to be excused for whatever the reason is.

With these important parts of daily life out of the way, we realised the need each of us has for a private space of his/her own - an uninterrupted time to be oneself for oneself. Allowing for this private space was, and is, one of the most important pillars in keeping a healthy marriage.

As importance as the above is, it only forms a base for a smooth and cohesive daily life. It does not keep the marriage alive, does it? So how do you do that?

Well, we did and do that by continuing to be who we are, and by doing what we always did, but - without the handicaps of direct family responsibilities of looking after children, dogs, cats, fish, you name it. We have only the two of us to look after, just as we were at the beginning:

We talk and debate a lot, laugh a lot, and dance passionately. We do old things, new things, and exciting as well as not so exciting things. We go for new projects, travel places, meet with friends all over the world and communicate via cyberspace with old and new acquaintances.

From them we learn of changes in places we left behind and of ways of life we have never encountered. In short – we live with all the gusto we did before.

BUT now, we do it with an added bonus. A bonus of knowing one another so much better - AND we like what we know, as well as what we see; even though it has wear and tear signs here and there.

Now we are free to ask each other questions we did not dare ask before; question relating to our most inner feelings, for example. We can share in the different reactions and feeling each of us has from his/her unique prospective; and by doing so, learn more about each other. AND we are not shy of laughing at ourselves and at one another, in good spirit and with no malice.

Having gone through all the above, I can see still one important subject to cover, which is the love in a long marriage.

This I will leave for my next posting on the fascinating subject of a long and happy marriage.


Artist, poet and the author of

From the Promised Land to the Lucky Country

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In one of our monthly ‘Poetry in Paradise” group meeting, I read a love poem I presented Gerry with, on our 39th wedding anniversary. When members realised I wrote it in Hebrew as well, I was asked to read it in that language.

Since the poem was too long to be read to people who do not understand the language, I opted for a short one I had in both languages as well; to be presented at a later date.

Then, I thought it would be wise to say few words about the structure of the language, as the Hebrew is so different from the English. On top of it, being the language of the Bible and so very old, a quick rundown about its long history may be interesting.

As per usual, I looked deeper into the subject before talking about it, to make sure my information is correct. This led me to the fascinating subject of the origin of write.

It is funny, but we do take writing for granted, as we do many other things; and we never think how they came about.

Many of us, me included, think or thought that the Egyptian hieroglyphics were the first form of writing. But I learnt that it wasn’t so. I learnt that the first to write were the Sumerians in Mesopotamia, where Abraham came from.

Their type of writing, called ‘Coniform’, started because of their need to record their commercial activities.

They started by dabbing reed ends into wet rectangular shaped clay tablets before they dried out and hardened. One dab stood for number 1, two for 2 and so on.

Many of these tablets were found, and are on display in the British museum in London; They are huge; standing larger than man one next to the other; and next to tablets etched with full size figures of the those Sumerians who used it – An extra ordinary and very impressive sight indeed.

In those days, Egypt had a backwards society, and the Sumerians, the world’s first civilization, apparently brought writing to the Egyptians with their commercial endeavours; thus instigating the development of the Hieroglyphics. Those Hieroglyphics were, at the beginning, used primarily for religious purposes.

The Cuneiform and Hieroglyphics recoding systems were very cumbersome and not transportable, and there was a need for an easier way of writing to develop. This need brought about the development of the Alfa Bait system, on which I will enlarge in my next posting on this fascinating subject.


Artist, poet and the author of

From the Promised Land to the Lucky Country

See my website at -


Bicurim feast in the kibbutz highschool
Hi Walter and Annette, Thanks for the feedback. Pleased you enjoyed reading it. What happened to the boat, comes in a period after the book ends and maybe a part of the next book...