So many people feel frustrated because they have "nothing in common" with their spouses. Some of these people knew their spouse for a long time before marriage—a time, presumably, when they felt they had a lot in common. Indeed, they felt that they had so much in common that they wanted to spend a lifetime together sharing all of it. Other people did not know their prospective mate all that well. They hoped that they would create a common ground through living together, raising a family, sharing a vision and so on. Both groups, however, are prone to great disappointment, for after only a short while, it becomes apparent that most men and women have very little in common!

Of course, any two people will have great differences between them. They come from different homes. They have had different experiences. No two people are alike. However, when gender differences are added to the mix, the dissimilarity skyrockets. Men and women think differently, feel differently and approach life differently. They really do seem to have very little in common.

But why should this lack of commonality become a marital problem? Obviously, if G‑d had felt it was beneficial for men and women to be similar, He would have created only one gender or He would have made the two genders much more compatible. In His wisdom, however, G‑d created the gender gap. Obviously, lack of commonality is not an aberration in marriage; rather, it is marriage.

Marriage is a special relationship with a special task. Marriage helps us grow spiritually. By learning to accept, understand and appreciate a truly different person, we burst through our own skins—the materialistic boundary that keeps us feeling separate from all that there is. In fact, all is One. Judaism teaches us that all souls are united and that our perceived separateness is, in fact, illusory. The more we highlight our own unique ego, our own separate, individual way of being – our difference from all others and particularly from our spouse – the less in touch we can be with this great spiritual truth.

Marriage gives us an opportunity to push out of our own limited world to try to truly relate to another human being. Only through our own personal effort will we be able to reach the goal of marriage: attaining oneness. It may take decades of effort but, in the end, we will be wiser, more mature and evolved. When we finally embrace the differences of our spouse and claim them as our own, feeling that our spouse is indeed an extension of our own soul, then we will have accomplished the task of marriage.

So don't despair because you have nothing in common with your spouse. Realize that this challenge has been put there purposely by G‑d to help you reach tremendous spiritual heights.