web analytics
October 22, 2014 / 28 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



Building Happiness Is Hard Work


Respler-052314

Dear Dr. Respler:

I know that many couples are busy before their weddings dealing with clothing, photographers, caterers, florists, bands, etc. This is especially so among young couples who are also setting up their new homes.

Unfortunately, the importance of the marital relationship, i.e. future communication, is often pushed to the wayside. Yet, this crucial subject merits pre-marriage discussion.

My son got married last summer and I thought he hit the jackpot by marrying into a wealthy family. But I guess everything was not as amazing as it seemed. He is home now, having recently separated from his wife. While he is seeking professional help, it may be too late for them to reconcile.

Many of my friends are struggling with their children’s divorces. Where has everything gone wrong?

A Heartbroken Mother
 

Dear Heartbroken Mother:

Thank you for your sensitive and heartfelt letter. It is true that we put so much time into the gashmius of a wedding. The same amount of time, if not more, should be spent on the ruchnius of a wedding (and the subsequent marriage itself).

This generation is living in a disposable, fast-paced world; thus many young couples are unaccustomed to the hard work that goes into a successful marriage. Marriage is never a fairytale and while some couples have it easier than others, all marriages require much sacrifice and selflessness. Many individuals think that all it takes for a marriage to work is being with a loving spouse. But in all marriages, the hard work of mutual love and support is required for success to be attained.

Many couples benefit from premarital counseling to increase the chances of avoiding issues during the marriage. Here are some potentially helpful ideas for married couples or singles in the shidduch scene:

Anger: In a marriage, it is important to express anger in an appropriate fashion. Unexpressed anger can lead to anxiety, explosive outbursts, depression and even physical illnesses (i.e., ulcers, heart disease, high blood pressure and possibly cancer). Inappropriately expressing anger can lead to marital distress, as well as some of the aforementioned disorders or illnesses. Learning to express oneself in an appropriate way allows clarification of those feelings, helping to enhance the marital relationship. And learning to assert oneself without being destructive can be most effective at the beginning of a marriage.

Learning how to use the “I feel” technique as opposed to the “you are” method can be very helpful. For example, if your spouse is doing something that is hurtful to you, say “I feel bad when you…” This permits you to broach the issue in a sensitive, non-confrontational way. Saying something like “You are so obnoxious when you…” will likely lead to an argument and will probably not engender any change in your spouse.

Before you criticize, consider whether the criticism is necessary. Are you criticizing in order to build your self-esteem, or is it helping the marriage? Remember that most criticisms can be kept to oneself. A kind and loving word, along with positive reinforcement (i.e., complimenting your spouse when he or she gives you what you want and/or need) is much more effective in building a positive and loving marriage.

Love: For couples raised in homes in which love was not expressed openly, expressing positive feelings can be most difficult. The individuals involved may feel insecure and be afraid of being hurt. Sometimes only one spouse feels this way, and the other is left baffled and defenseless. In this scenario, it is imperative for the couple to seek professional help to assist them in learning how to demonstrate love and affection in a non-threatening manner. If a couple continuously feels vulnerable with each other, they may not be able to form the close bond needed to build a solid foundation for a happy marriage. Insecurity can lead to much unnecessary hostility and pain, emotions that could be easily avoided by receiving professional help. That help can create dual self-esteem, teaching the couple how to communicate more effectively.

Unrealistic expectations: Young people often fantasize that if a spouse would love them, he or she would understand their feelings without their having to express them. “If you love me, you would know how I feel without my having to tell you,” is the often-heard refrain.This attitude can be particularly destructive in a new marriage. Lasting love and understanding are achieved through good mutual communication.

Happiness from within: A person cannot expect his or her total happiness to derive from a spouse. One must try to attain personal happiness, hoping that the marital relationship will enhance contentment. It is dangerous to enter a marriage with the expectation that it will solve all of your problems. A healthy marriage can certainly help a person grow emotionally, but it is not a panacea for an unhappy individual.

Finally, it is important for parents to discuss relationship-related issues with their children. And if one’s child or the couple needs premarital counseling, remember that that is a more important investment than any material thing you can purchase. All parties must be careful with the choice of a premarital counselor, making sure to choose someone with a positive approach to marriage.

Parents should help their children opt for a spouse with the fundamental building blocks to construct a beautiful and lasting marriage. It needs to be someone willing to work hard in the pursuit of building a bayis ne’eman b’Yisrael.

Thank you for trying to help others. I hope that you and your family find much happiness in the future. Hatzlachah!

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “Building Happiness Is Hard Work”

  1. Add on pre parenting and continuing education too!

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
IDF soldiers are evacuated to a hospital after a terror attack.
Photo credit: Smiley Hafuch / Rotter.net
IDF Soldiers Injured in Terror Attack From Sinai
Latest Sections Stories

Sadly, there are mothers who, due to severe depression are unable or unwilling to prepare nourishing food for their children.

Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!

Though if you do have a schach mat, you’ll realize that it cannot actually support the weight of the water.

Social disabilities occur at many levels, but experts identify three different areas of learning and behavior that are most common for children who struggle to create lasting social connections.

Sukkot is an eternal time of joy, and if we are worthy, of plenty.

Two of our brothers, Jonathan Pollard and Alan Gross, sit in the pit of captivity. We have a mandate to see that they are freed.

Chabad of South Broward has 15 Chabad Houses in ten cities.

Victor Center works in partnership with healthcare professionals, clergy, and the community to sponsor education programs and college campus out reach.

So just in case you’re stuck in the house this Chol HaMoed – because there’s a new baby or because someone has a cold – not because of anything worse, here are six ideas for family fun at home.

We are told that someone who says that God’s mercy extends to a bird’s nest should be silenced.

Our harps have 22 strings. This gives musicians a wide musical range and yet stays within Biblical parameters.

More Articles from Dr. Yael Respler
Respler-101014

It is important for a therapist to focus on a person’s strengths as a way of overcoming his or her difficulties.

Respler-100314

I went to camp for many years. We cleaned our own bunks and did not have air conditioning.

“I would really love my mother-in-law …if she weren’t my mother-in-law.”

Not enjoying saying no, I often succumbed to requests viewing them as demands I couldn’t refuse.

It’s fair to say that we all know or have someone in our family who is divorced.

I recently met a wonderful woman who writes poetry. With her permission, I am sharing a poem she wrote about time.

What can we do to help him stop feeling so sad all the time?

Perhaps you can reach a compromise during this news frenzy, whereby you will feel more comfortable while he can still follow the latest events.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/building-happiness-is-hard-work/2014/05/23/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: