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December 26, 2014 / 4 Tevet, 5775
 
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Learning To Communicate And Accept Each Other’s Individuality


Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

If you have found yourself settling into a routine, and taking your partner or relationship for granted, then it’s time for you and your spouse to shake things up a bit. Make time to try something different — go to a place you haven’t been to before, try an activity a friend recommends, slow down or speed up your pace of doing things. And don’t assume that you already know everything there is to know about your partner. Consider areas of discovery, and set aside time to uncover them.

Go for separate-togetherness. Some couples are threatened when their partner has an active social life, or has invested a significant part of himself or herself in a career. But, as long as time for the family isn’t sacrificed, there is nothing wrong with each partner continuing to develop as individuals — and indeed, having a life outside marriage. In fact, affirming your partner’s individuality and asserting your own are necessary in a marriage; not just for both of you to grow, but for your marriage to thrive. Marriage should be a secure base to explore yourself and what you can be, not a prison that stifles your personality.

Contrary to popular opinion, a healthy marriage is not based on knowing your spouse’s every move — both of you are entitled to keep things to yourself.  As long as there is trust, respect and commitment, it’s okay to fully develop yourself and your marriage.

These basic principles can help many of us set the stage for a healthier relationship – both in the short and long term. With an open mind and heart, as well as the willingness to learn and adapt over the course of a relationship, couples who take advantage of counseling and its principles often find they’re able to overcome even the most formidable of relationship issues.

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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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/learning-to-communicate-and-accept-each-other%e2%80%99s-individuality/2011/10/26/

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