web analytics
November 23, 2014 / 1 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Calming Your Spouse


Respler-122013

Dear Dr. Yael:

I am writing in regards to the December 6 letter from Anonymous about the woman who always sees “the good in every person and every situation, all the while rolling with life’s punches. My husband, on the other hand, gets upset about every little thing. He is a nice person, but is always tense.” Those words really hit home – with one difference.

I am a man similar in outlook to the letter writer whose wife – stressed out and tense – is like the husband.

Everything with my wife is an issue. If one of our young children spills something or accidentally breaks something, she screams uncontrollably. She is always angry and moody, which terrifies the children. I try to act lovingly toward her, but after an outburst she will often find a reason to blame me for what happened.

I love my wife and in some ways she is a caring mother. She takes good physical care of the house, the children, and herself. Supper is always ready and the house is spotless. Since it is hard to keep everything neat and clean with three young children, my wife has plenty of cleaning help.

I want to stay married to her and help her become calmer. I sometimes wonder if she leans towards a Borderline Personality Disorder, but when I researched the condition I found that she only has the character traits befitting an angry and moody person. She is a good person but very nervous.

While reading your reply to Anonymous, I realized that in fact my wife comes from a very nervous household with a lot of anger. I am the one with the “shovel” in dealing with life’s difficulties; unfortunately she is the one with the “spoon.” I love that analogy since it speaks accurately of my life situation.

My wife respects me and is devoted to our family, but I wish she were warmer and more loving. Please help me by sharing any ideas about a solution to my problem.

Anonymous  

Dear Anonymous:

You appear to be a caring and loving husband and father. You are very much correct to believe that it is not emotionally healthy to yell at the children for any little spill or break. That behavior is, unfortunately, likely to make them nervous adults.  My favorite line from author Chaim Ginott, a”h, a well-known psychologist and one of the earliest promoters of parenting workshops, is: “The milk spilled here is the sponge.” I like to utter my line when something spills at children’s Shabbos parties: “The juice spilled here is the pre-cut paper towel or napkin.” When that happens it is prudent to hand the child the pre-cut paper towel or napkin, teaching the child to clean the spill without having to yell. Teaching children how to deal calmly with an issue will prepare them for life’s challenges.

It is key that you impress upon your wife the importance of not making a big deal of small issues, a strategy that will create a calmer home environment. In short, your attitude is the right way to raise a family (and to behave in life).

The more confidence and calmness we instill in our children, the stronger they will be to cope with life’s difficulties. A broken glass or small spill doesn’t compare with those difficulties. I applaud you for practicing a calm demeanor, and suggest that you use your “shovel” in a most loving way to successfully reach your wife. Compliment her generously when you notice even small improvements in her behavior.

Growing up in a tense home has put your wife at a great disadvantage, and your warmth and love can be most helpful. Thus, when your wife is getting nervous, act soothingly and calmly toward her, teaching her to handle stressful situations with greater composure. And in order to help your wife respond more positively, you will need to retrain her brain to deal with stressful situations in a more relaxed manner. This will entail communicating with your wife when she is in a good mood and feeling self-confident.

Say something like “I notice that when daily stress occurs, it is difficult for you. I would like to try something with you that may help you feel calmer in these situations.” Then practice deep breathing with your wife and come up with a secret, funny word that you can use to cue her when she needs to calm down by breathing deeply. If she is willing to try these techniques, you’ll be helping her pair stressful situations with these calming techniques. Her brain will eventually be retrained when stressful situations arise.

Please understand that she may have to work harder than you, as she is trying to undo many years of pairing stressful situations with panic or agitation. But it is possible to change if she is willing to make the effort by regularly practicing calming techniques.

As a trained hypnotherapist, I often help people deal with stress by teaching them calming techniques through hypnosis. I also attempt to help my clients learn anger management techniques. So another idea would be to seek professional help from a frum therapist.

I wish you hatzlachah in dealing with your challenging situation.

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.

No Responses to “Calming Your Spouse”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Herzilya's vertical cemetery vaults.
Police Disinter PA Arabs Sleeping Peacefully in Herzliya Graves
Latest Sections Stories
Kupfer-112114

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

Astaire-112114-Horse

There were many French Jews who jumped at the chance to shed their ancient identity and assimilate.

L to R: Sheldon Adelson, Shawn Evenhaim, Haim Saban

As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”

South-Florida-logo

Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]

The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.

Recently, Fort Lauderdale has been the focus of international news, and it has not been about the wonderful weather.

Rabbi Sacks held the position of chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years until September 2013.

The event included a dvar Torah by student Pesach Bixon, an overview of courses, information about student life and a student panel that answered frequently asked questions from a student perspective.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

“Grandpa,” I wondered, as the swing began to slow down, “why are there numbers on your arm?”

So the real question is, “How can we, as hosts, make sure our guest beds are comfortable?” Because your guests will never say anything.

It was a land of opportunity, a place where someone who wasn’t afraid of a little hard work, or the challenges of adapting to a different climate and culture, could prosper.

Rule #1: A wife should never accompany her husband to hang out with his buddies at a fantasy football draft. Unless beer and cigars are her thing, that is.

There are many people today with very little training who put out shingles and proclaim themselves to be marital coaches, shalom bayis helpers, advisers etc.

The two World Series combatants, the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants, were Wild Card teams (meaning they didn’t win their respective divisions) that got hot at the right time.

More Articles from Dr. Yael Respler
Respler-111414

There are many people today with very little training who put out shingles and proclaim themselves to be marital coaches, shalom bayis helpers, advisers etc.

Respler-110714

When one marries someone with children, all family members must accept them.

My mother-in-law is totally devoted to her daughters and their children. Her sons’ children on the other hand are treated like second-class citizens.

How can I help my wife learn to say “no,” and understand that her first priority must be her husband and family?

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

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/calming-your-spouse/2013/12/20/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: