Dear Readers,

“My husband takes me for granted! When we first married years ago, I was his whole world. He made me feel so loved, so needed. I was the center of his life, treasured and important.

“But nowadays, I feel more like a piece of old furniture, functional and comfortable, but with no intimate connection. We’re like two strangers living under the same roof. The spark is gone.”

Adam stood in the middle of the garden, enveloped in exquisite beauty. The world was there for his delight—succulent fruits, majestic trees, green pastures, sparkling waters, striking animals. He was the master of them all.

Yet as Adam stood gazing at this grandeur, he was overcome with a powerful feeling of existential loneliness. He had everything, yet he was missing something integral to his happiness and completion. He might be the master of his world, but deep within, he was deficient.

“And G‑d said, ‘It is not good that man is alone. I shall make for him a compatible helper.’ ”1

With the creation of all other species, both male and female sprang up at the same time. With the creation of mankind, however, Adam was created as a lone being.

Man needed to feel a sense of intense loneliness, a deep and unfulfilling lack, to impress upon him how central his partner is to his life.

“The Holy One willed that man should be without woman for a brief period and then afterwards introduced her to him, so that she would be dearer to him after he had felt life so lacking without her.”2

“What so attracted me to my wife when we first met was not only her amazing qualities and charismatic personality, but how she made me feel about myself. Intuitively, she knew how to build me up and make me feel so capable, so successful.

“When she was with me, the whole world sparkled, and I felt like we could conquer anything. Together, there would be no barriers, nothing holding us back.

“But nowadays, she doesn’t stop criticizing me! There’s nonstop complaining. Whatever I do is always wrong, and no matter how hard I try, it is never good enough.”

Chava (Eve) awoke from a deep slumber to gaze into his searching eyes. Immediately and intuitively, she sensed that they were deeply attached to one another. In fact, somehow she knew that they were actually parts of one another.

She would be an integral part of his life; its very foundation.

“But for Adam there was not found a helper who was compatible … and the rib that G‑d had taken from man, He built into a woman and brought her to the man. And Adam said, this is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh. … Therefore a man shall leave his parents and cleave to his wife.”3

Woman is called an ezer kinegdo, a compatible helper. As part of man’s own flesh, she is closest to him, an actual part of his being.

What was man so lacking before her creation, that he was (in G‑d’s words) “not good”? And, what could she provide that was so integral to his completion?

Man was missing a companion, someone who could understand his nature and his psyche. She was built from him, but it was she who needed to build him up. Without her, he was not whole.

Woman, as an actual part of Adam, is the one best equipped to inspire in him a confidence in achieving his mission. Only together could they fulfill their dreams and hopes, their joint mission and purpose.

The formula for a successful relationship between man and woman is hidden between the lines on the very first pages of Genesis.

Ask women about their husbands and you are sure to hear: “He fails to appreciate me,” “He takes me for granted,” “He doesn’t spend enough time with me,” “He fails to nurture our relationship.”

Ask men about their wives and by and large, their responses will be: “She nags me,” “She puts me down,” “She’s always criticizing,” “She’s never happy with who I am.”

In the very first moments of creation, G‑d reminds man and woman of the essential tools each carries.

To man, G‑d says—look at your first moments before she entered your world. You had the entire creation at your fingertips, success, prosperity, and power, but your very life was “not good!” Show her that you appreciate her. Remind her how much she means to you. Make her the center of your world. She needs to feel like the treasure that she is.

To woman, G‑d says—you are his greatest helper, without whom he simply cannot succeed. Your smile, your approval, your words of praise and encouragement are the very oxygen pumping life-giving energy into his veins. You hold the building blocks, essential to his life. He needs you to build him up.

Want tools to navigate a successful and fulfilling relationship? Embedded within the first moments of creation, you will find them.

Chana Weisberg
Editor, TJW