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October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
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Individuality In Marriage


Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

Unfortunately, I have seen many couples who spend a significant amount of time nit picking about each other’s faults. Instead, they need to change their lens of perception and view their spouse in a positive light.

Relationship Quiz

To change your perception of each other, I suggest making a list of your spouse’s positive points. Here are some questions that can get you started:

What unique qualities does your spouse have?

What are his/her talents?

What can he/she do that you are unable to do yourself?

What tasks does he/she fulfill in the marriage that makes your life easier?

In what ways does he/she help you develop your own identity?

What acts of loving-kindness does he/she do for you, un-noticed?

With your new list you can review your spouse’s good points every day. I even suggest keeping the list in your wallet, and glancing at it every night before coming home from work. The “individuality” list can gives couples the energy needed to grow closer together each day.

Relationship Test: Individuality

How often do you nurture your spouse’s awareness of his or her individuality?

1 2 3 4 5

Never Rarely Constantly

About the Author: Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, MA, Marriage and Family Therapy, is an expert in marriage counseling, pre-marital education, and helping teens in crisis with offices in Flatbush, Cedarhurst, and Crown Heights. He is a certified PAIRS instructor, and trained as a Level 1, Emotionally Focused Therapist at the Ackerman Institute for the Family, and is a member of AASECT. He is the author of At Risk – Never Beyond Reach and First Aid For Jewish Marriages. To watch his free videos on marriage and parenting and for appointments visit: www.JewishMarriageSupport.com or call 646-428-4723


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More Articles from Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch
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Separation anxiety disorder is a condition in which a child becomes fearful and nervous when away from home or separated from a loved one – usually a parent or other caregiver – to whom the child is attached.

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I try to focus on the parents in a way that is not often addressed. As soon as the child gets anxious, the parent gets anxious;

Most people are not aware that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults age 18 and older (18% of U.S. population).

Parental conflict affects children in varying ways, depending on their age. For example, teenagers around the age of fifteen or sixteen are most likely to involve themselves in their parents’ battles. Younger children may keep their feelings hidden inside and may only show signs of depression in late childhood or early adolescence.

When parents come to talk to me about a troubled child or teenager, I often find it helpful to explore whether or not their marriage is causing their teenager to be at risk.

Active listening is only one part of the marriage equation; learning what to say and what not to say is the other half. And, it’s not just about expressing your feelings, but doing it in a way that avoids hurting the other person.

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:

Controlling behavior may be the number one reason that your marriage needs first aid.

If you are unfamiliar with the topic of control, it’s no surprise. Most people are unaware that control is a major issue for counselors, therapists and psychologists-at-large.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/individuality-in-marriage/2012/12/20/

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