In one of my previous blogs, I quoted professor Tice from Berkeley who said that the most valuable asset a company has is what it cannot sell. And, I totally agreed. Among other things, I believed it reinforced my theory that the most important asset of a company is its culture of MT&R.

I think, however, he operationalized the concept so that it seemed stronger:  the most valuable asset is “what you cannot sell” that works for you.

This phrasing works better for me.  It can be used to analyze the value of an “asset,” but that asset can extend to include an individual’s personality. And his system of values as well… That is not saleable.

Now it occurred to me this morning that I can apply it to a marriage too.

Why get married?  Some people, especially women, marry because the clock is ticking and they want to have children. So a man is a (not necessary but convenient) tool for reaching that goal.

Some marry because they are sexually attracted and want to have a monopoly over their sexual interest.

And some decide to marry because they are lonely now; or are afraid of being lonely when they are old.

Another reason of course is to marry for financial security. Find someone who can be a provider.

All the wrong reasons if we use the formula: “what cannot be sold”. Because what cannot be sold can nevertheless be bought.

You can “buy” your biological children, you do not need to be married for that. Just go to a reproduction center and acquire someone’s sperm.

Marrying for sexual gratification is the most expensive alternative. Sex is easy to buy.

Marrying because one is lonely is also an expensive alternative.

And financial security can be purchased too.

Being alone is easy to solve now; or in old age.   You can do now what most probably your spouse is going to do when you get old: put you in an old age home with a nurse. You can do that yourself, no?

So why be married?

What is it you cannot “BUY”?

It is LOVE.

Love cannot be bought or sold. Affection. Attention. Sex. They all are available on the market, all can be bought and sold. But that feeling of deep, real, honest affiliation, of real belonging cannot be bought. It is not sold anywhere. There is no potion that can do it. Even God cannot give it to you. God can order you to love, which is the first commandment. But He cannot make you do it. God does not even say “love your parents.” Impossible even to order that. God says “honor your parents.”

Love is the quality which is not available from the outside. It has to be available from the inside, and it is the most important quality in a relationship called marriage. It is the most valuable asset.

Everything else… at best, is a passing reason. The kids grow and leave the house. Money comes and goes. Friends scatter around the globe. What is left at the end of the day? Why be married if there is no more love? Pure love. True love.

And how do we know if it is pure, honest love?

Remove from your head all the other reasons why you are married to your spouse.

If you had no children (and no pets you were attached to) and you were broke, or your spouse went broke and stopped being a provider, and there were people to take care of you like a maid or a nurse, would you still be married? If all the reasons disappear, what is left?

All the other reasons for being or getting married are based on FEAR.  Marriage should not be a response to fear. It can and should be only entered into because of LOVE. And only LOVE.

And think of it, love applies to children too. Why have children? In developing countries, they are a source of income for the family. Or they are the insurance that someone will be a provider and caretaker in old age.

These are also reasons based on fear. Unfortunately fear is a reality, completely rational, within a developing country. But it—fear— is not a reasonable response for a man or woman in a developed country. Not with health insurance and an available retirement system.

As for companionship, it is becoming more and more sporadic. In today’s open borders world, especially in the USA, kids scatter all over the globe so that form of companionship is limited to periodic skype calls.

So why have kids? Because they are the expression of your love with your spouse. Because you cannot help it. It is an urge driven by love. (Psychologist say it is a need to reproduce and secure our human continuity. I challenge that. There are too many of us already…)

Is it not sad when kids are conceived out of hate or pure sexual intercourse without love?

So love it is. It is what cannot be sold or bought. But it can be destroyed in a flash. In a second of rage, disappointment or reality testing.

Like all most important things in life, you know their value not by their existence but by their absence.

You do not know the worth of love, health, democracy, until they are absent.

Wish you love in your life.

Sincerely,

Dr. Ichak Kalderon Adizes