While we’re familiar with the Gemara Sotah 2b, which explains how 40 days before the creation of an embryo, a Bat Kol (Heavenly Voice) calls out: “The daughter of So-and-So to So-and-So,” it seems that many people feel they might have married the wrong person.
And then questions arise. (It is indeed a complex & paradoxical topic. For more, please see Insights into the Daily Daf: Zivug Rishon & Zivug Sheni.)
Yet friction and frustration doesn’t automatically mean you aren’t 2 halves of 1 whole.
Soul rectifications, spiritual growth, and middot play a huge part.
As a prominent Rebbe told Rebbetzin Heller, this is Olam Hatikkun—the World of Fixing.
(Please see What is the World of Tikkun? for that story.)
We’re here to repair & rectify things.
And what with past lives, flawed upbringings & corrupt environments, plus the flaws Hashem imbued within us for the sake of soul-polishing, we’ve got a lot to work on.
Finding the Man of Her Dreams - Literally
The night before the wedding, she dreamed of a man who was weeping.
All night long in her dream, he wept and wept. She saw his face clearly, but she didn’t know him.
Yet one thing she did know: He was weeping over her upcoming marriage. She was supposed to marry the weeping man in her dream, and not the man she was set to marry the next day.
She woke up feeling like she was about to make a big mistake. But cancelling a wedding on the day of? And she’d been sure of her fiancé.
So she decided to go speak with her mother about it.
Now, my friend never got along great with her mother. There was love, but also a lot of friction. Furthermore, my friend wasn’t so young at the time. It’s not like she was a fresh-off-the-farm 20-year-old. She was an independent woman with a successful life. She knew how to make her own decisions.
Yet she went to her mother anyway.
She said she never forgot how her mother responded through a cloud of cigarette smoke, waving her hands around and saying, “If you feel you shouldn’t marry him, then don’t! Don’t worry about what people will say. You have to follow your heart. If your heart tells you that this is a big mistake, then cancel the wedding. Call it off, don’t be afraid. You must follow your heart. This is a big decision and you must follow your heart!”
Her mother went on like this, much to the surprise of my friend, who said this response was uncharacteristic of her mother.
So she called off the wedding, which meant dealing with a lot of stress, appalled friends and family, and lots of crying by herself.
But at one point, she saw the man from her dream and recognized him. (I can’t remember how this played out.)
And they got married!
Talk about predestined zivugim!
But here’s the thing: They DIDN’T live happily ever after.
Is there love and connection between them? Yes.
But it takes a lot of sorting through all the other stuff to get to those moments where they really connect on the soul level.
At one point, my friend got so fed up, she convinced her predestined zivug to accompany her to the Rabbanut and set up a heskem gerushim (a divorce agreement). This is not a divorce, but a document which can facilitate a smoother divorce should the couple eventually decide to actually go through with it.
Last I heard, they were still married and I don’t think they will actually get divorced.
But the point is this: This woman married the man of her dreams—literally!
And they STILL had major conflicts.
Based on the above, I don’t think there is any other conclusion to come to except that they really are each other’s zivug. Apparently, his soul sensed when she was about to marry someone else, and its grief and connection was so acute, it visited her soul in a dream.
In other words, their Bat Kol jumped into action once again to remind them of their pre-embryonic pronouncement.
But they still had shalom bayit problems!
There is so much more going on that we don’t know.
Frustrating Fact: Tikkun Often Overwhelms Harmony
It can also be a kaparah for faulty actions we’ve committed, whether in this life or a previous one.
Yes, there are couples who get along like 2 doves from the get-go, and remain like that throughout their marriage. For those couples, their tikkunim lie in other areas.
But for many couples, their marriage lies somewhere between a little bit of friction to a whole heck of a lot of friction.
And yes, it also seems that for some, Hashem decreed that their nisayon and tikkun is to get divorced and either stay divorced or remarry someone else and deal with the challenges of second marriage and maybe also blended families, etc.
But the lesson here is that marital difficulties and even serious personality conflicts don’t AUTOMATICALLY mean that the marriage isn’t bashert.
Shalom bayis problems (even unrelenting ones) don’t AUTOMATICALLY mean that you’re not married to your zivug.
It COULD mean that, but it doesn’t HAVE to mean that.
And that’s all.