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Control may be the most destructive force influencing a marriage. Let me illustrate this point with the following story. About two years ago a woman named Bracha, 47, came to speak to me about her husband’s controlling behavior. This is how she described her precarious situation:
Dear Rabbi Schonbuch, My husband and I are having trouble in our marriage. We tend to fight about the same issues every day and he's very emotionally distant. At what point should I consider seeing a marriage therapist?
A few years ago, a couple, Sarah and Joseph, came to see me about their son Moshe, sixteen, who was experiencing extreme difficulty in school. Moshe did not have any serious learning problems. In fact, he was exceptionally bright and capable of succeeding in school. His problem was that he was frequently missing class. Recently he had started leaving school and spending time in an unknown location. Moshe's parents were naturally concerned for his future.
Let's look at an example of how mentoring improved the life of a teenager who had given up observing Jewish tradition.
I once received a call from a forty-seven year old distraught mother whose seventeen-year-old son Moti had changed his style of dress, wearing jeans and refusing to wear a hat. She explained that he had gone through a difficult time in school and was now hanging around the house instead of studying in yeshiva. He was also mixed up with the wrong crowd and was associating with at-risk teenagers late at night on the street. She was very concerned as she had an older son who had gone "off the path" and was worried that Moti was going in the same direction. She believed that Moti could be helped if he would be willing to talk with someone.
Ruth had just recently discovered (from another parent) that Toby had been secretly dating a boy for over a year. When she confronted Toby about her boyfriend, Toby had adamantly refused to admit that she was secretly seeing anyone. Ruth was extremely distraught to realize that her daughter would do something against her wishes and asked if I could help.
Referring back to our earlier case of Debbie’s body piercing, let’s see how using knowledge of Debbie’s inner world and the power of spending quality time together can help her parents connect to her.
The number one factor in resolving problems of acceptance by in-laws is your spouse’s support. As with all close relationships, it’s an art to support your spouse without jumping into the fight or feeding his or her discontent.
There are some marital issues that are too sensitive for a couple to handle alone. These issues might include mistrust; lack of marital satisfaction; conflict involving in-laws, friends, siblings, and children; verbal abuse; and so on. When dealing with such problems, the best course is to ask a professional outside party for advice and opinions.
This column usually focuses on the issue of teens at risk and finding ways families can become closer to their children. This week, I turn my attention to one of the most important stages before parenthood: the critical period when couples are engaged.
Torah-based sources can be powerful tools for overcoming anxiety.
Sexual dysfunction can take various forms for both men and women. If those statistics are right, it is a much bigger problem that I ever thought.
If you would like to know if your marriage is relationship centered or not, the way to find out is to ask yourself about your core values. For example, what is the most important principle of your marriage? Is it your desire for money or pleasure? Do you dream about being comfortable, being honored by your spouse and having a lot of fun?
The good news is that I believe that most marriages can work. Often, all they need is a little guidance and direction, and when necessary, a bit of first aid. I call this simple yet revolutionary idea Relationship Theory, which states that for a marriage to work, both husband and wife need to make their relationship their main goal.
Are you looking for emotional first aid for your marriage? If you are, you’re not alone. Today, engaged couples, newlyweds and couples who have been married for years are feeling insecure about their relationships and looking for advice on how to make their marriages work better or simply to heal their relationship wounds.
Whenever I speak at a shul or event I’m usually asked what I think are the vital aspects of good communication, and by implication, what makes for bad communication.
If you are in a difficult marriage and are considering seeking help, you're probably wondering: what would the counselor make us do during the session? Would my counselor know the appropriate technique to use for our specific case? Is our counselor's style suited to our problem?
The country's economic indicators may be falling, but incidents of domestic violence are rising.
Q: My husband and I are having trouble in our marriage. We tend to fight about the same issues every day and he’s so emotionally distant. At what point should I consider seeing a marriage therapist?
Scenario: your teenager starts smoking and you detect it by smelling it on his or her breath or by finding packs of cigarettes in his or her bedroom. Possible inner issues: control, self-esteem, lack of relationships.
The principles of Relationship Theory (where the greater the relationship, the greater the ability parents have to connect to their teenager) can help address some of the key issues facing teenagers today including: problems concentrating during prayers, difficulty in school, listening to secular music, smoking, rude behavior and alcohol and drug abuse.
One of the most important skills good listeners have is the ability to put themselves in the shoes of others or to empathize with the speaker by attempting to understand his or her thoughts and feelings. As a parent, try to mirror your teenagers’ feelings by repeating them.
Is Internet addiction the main cause of today's at-risk crisis? It's a topic most people shy away from, but it's one that needs to be addressed. Everyday more and more teens are getting hooked on the Internet and the effect of surfing may be taking its toll on our youth.
Online infidelity may be the next upcoming challenge facing the Orthodox world. In the last 12 months, I have seen 11 Orthodox couples where one spouse has reported an online affair that has caused serious distress in their marriage. I now believe that an epidemic of online infidelity may be causing the breakup of countless Jewish marriages.