web analytics
May 23, 2015 / 5 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


More On Controlling Behavior

Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

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:

“My husband is a very controlling person. He likes to be in charge of everything and he’s always telling me what to do. It’s driving me crazy. I feel like I can’t live up to his standards. He’s critical about almost everything I do, like my housework, taking care of the kids, and how I talk in front of his friends. When I clean the house, he quizzes me on what I had accomplished, how long it took and how to improve in the future. I tend to lean toward perfectionism, so you can imagine how frustrating it is for me to spend hours trying to meet his needs and then have him question me on my behavior!”

There was no question that Bracha was suffering from an overly controlling husband. Instead of respecting and caring for his wife, he chose to belittle and berate her for not living up to his unrealistic demands. Worse, Bracha had tried her best to please her husband and was now made to feel that she was a failure.

For those who find it difficult to imagine this extreme behavior, try to remember the last time you felt controlled by someone close to you, and then multiply that feeling by one-hundred-fold. Most of us have experienced some kind of control in our lives. For example, your parents may have tried to control what you ate or when you went to sleep. At work, you may have experienced a boss who aimed to control your behavior or ensure that your productivity was high. In the classroom, your teachers may have tried to control your behavior and make sure you focused on your studies.

Some people grew up in families where anger and criticism were used as ways to control. If these were used in your family, you may have learned to respond to with compliance. You may have learned to put aside your own feelings and go along with what others wanted, in the hope of avoiding their wrath.

After learning how to handle control as a child, some utilize the same principles in marriage. Now it manifests itself in new way, for example, trying to “baby” your spouse by controlling his or her every move, giving in easily to what he or she wants, or retreating or resisting attempts to control you. All of these are systems of control.

Below is a transcript of a session with Eliyahu, 38, and Shaina, 35. After 12 years of marriage, their relationship was deteriorating and they were quickly drifting apart.

Eliyahu: I guess I feel that Shaina is just so distant and unaffectionate. Most of the time she’s critical and I can’t seem to do anything right in her eyes. I try really hard to please her, but no matter what I do, it’s not good enough. I want her to appreciate me and say “thank you,” for I do give to her. I wish she would be warmer with me and let me know that she still loves me.

Daniel Schonbuch (DS): Shaina, Eliyahu feels that you are distant and don’t appreciate who he is or what he does.

Shaina: Don’t appreciate him? I just can’t seem to connect with him anymore. I feel irritated around him and I don’t really know why. He just annoys me. I feel like he’s clingy and I don’t like being around him.

DS: You said you don’t know why you dislike like him. Is there anything specific that you can point to?

Shaina: Well, for one thing, he’s doesn’t appreciate how hard I work for him. I work in a high-pressured accounting office and often come home late. When I do, he seems irritated and usually attacks me by saying that our kids are burdening him. But, you know, I work too hard for him to complain. I spend too many hours slaving at work for him to complain about me! I wish he would get a better job so I could stop working so hard! But he’s such a failure in business and I can’t stand having to bear the burden for the entire family.”

About the Author: Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, MA, LMFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. He is an expert in marriage counseling, pre-marital education, treating Anxiety and Depression, and helping teens in crisis with offices in Brooklyn. To watch his free videos on marriage and parenting and for appointments visit: www.JewishMarriageSupport.com, email rabbischonbuch@yahoo.com or call 646-428-4723.


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 “More On Controlling Behavior”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Tzipi Hotovely, new Deputy Foreign Minister.
Foreign Minister Hotovely: Tell the World ‘God Gave Israel to the Jews’
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

To what extent is your child displaying defiance?

Respler-052215

This therapist kept focusing on how “I could do better,” never on how we could make the marriage work.

South-Florida-logo

Mistrust that has lingered after the fiasco in Ferguson, Missouri, has edged the issue forward.

“The observance of a kosher diet is a key tenet of Judaism, and one which no state has the right to deny,” said Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy of the Orthodox Union.

Two weeks of intense learning in the classroom about Israel culminated with Yom Ha’Atzmaut. Students attended sessions with their teachers and learned about history, culture, military power, advocacy, slang, cooking, and more.

The nations of the world left the vessel to sit rotting in the water during one of the coldest winters in decades and with its starving and freezing passengers abandoned.

Rabbi Yisroel Edelman, the synagogue’s spiritual leader, declared, “The Young Israel of Deerfield Beach is looking forward to our partnership with the OU. The impact the OU has brought to Jewish communities throughout the country through its outreach and educational resources is enormous and we anticipate the same for our community in Deerfield Beach as well.”

Our goal here is to offer you recipes that you can make on Yom Tov with ingredients you might just have in the house. Enjoy and chag sameach!

Gardening can be a healthy, wholesome activity for the whole family.

Unfortunately, the probability is that he will not see a reason to change as he has been acting this way for a long time and clearly has some issues with respecting women.

All of these small changes work their way into the framework of the elephant and the rider because they are helping the elephant move forward.

It’s hard not to be intrigued by recipes with names like Thanksgiving Stuffing Soup, Braised Chicken with Rhubarb Gravy and Vidalia Onion Fritters with Sambal Yogurt Dip.

More Articles from Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch
Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

A compulsion is a repetitive action. But what underlies the compulsion is an obsession or fear.

Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

Teens-at-risk feel alienated from their parents and often believe that no one is interested in hearing about their problems.

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.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/more-on-controlling-behavior/2013/05/31/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: