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Investing In Your Relationship

Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

People who patiently toil toward worthwhile dreams and goals, building strong character while overcoming adversity and challenges, grow the strong internal foundation to handle success, while get-rich-quickers and lottery winners usually are unable to sustain unearned sudden wealth.

Had the Chinese bamboo farmer dug up his little seed every year to see if it was growing, he would have stunted the tree’s growth as surely as a caterpillar is doomed to a life on the ground if it is prematurely freed from its struggle inside the cocoon.

Marriage is like a seed that needs planting, watering, weeding and a lot of sunlight. It takes time, effort, patience and skills to make a difference. The challenge facing many couples is that they have not yet learned the practical skills needed to improve their marriage, nor how to invest in their relationship.

So if you’re looking to improve your marriage, here are some thoughts which I believe can make a big difference in your lives:

* What have you and your spouse done recently for renewal of your relationship?
* What do you think your spouse would like to do for renewal (soon or in the next year)?
* What would you like to do (soon or in the next year)?
* How often do you REALLY just talk as a couple?
* Why are you in this relationship in the first place?
* What can you do as a couple to bring you closer together?

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
Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

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.

Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

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.

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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/investing-in-your-relationship-2/2012/10/24/

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