“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” Thus begins Jane Austen’s classic marriage-themed novelwork of marriage, Pride and Prejudice.
Dear Dr. Yael: I feel extremely guilty about my elderly father and am filled with anger toward my sisters and brothers in regards to his care.
I often share with my clients a simple yet powerful analogy: think about your relationship as you do about your bank account. That’s because investing in your relationship is similar to saving money; the more you put into your bank account or relationship, the more you can take out when necessary.
Dear Readers: Much of my private practice is devoted to helping couples in conflict resolve their differences. I have discovered over the years that personality compatibility is an essential component of a happy marriage. Many of the couples I see in therapy struggle with reconciling radically different modes of communicating and coping with life’s issues. As a result, it is often the case that arguments ensue, empathy is strained and estrangement sets in. With that as a backdrop, here are several fictitious vignettes of couples that are personality incompatible.
A mother and father living in accord and harmony is one of the best presents that can be granted to a child. Yet what happens when G-d’s natural design of child rearing becomes stripped away from a family? What happens when the notion of enjoying quality time with both parents together becomes non-existent? I am of course referring to the ramifications of divorce. Divorce eradicates the stability of a traditional family unit and invites the inherent difficulties of single parenting.
Dear Readers: It is Motzei Rosh Hashanah as I write this letter. I have been a therapist for over thirty years and devote a large part of my practice to marital and pre-marital therapy. This year I have had many clients seeking my services after they sought help from other frum therapists. Regarding this, I wish to address the following phenomena:
Dear Dr. Yael: I am a man in my 50s who, Baruch Hashem, has had a good life. I am married with children and grandchildren and was always a happy-go-lucky person, thankful for all the berachot bestowed on me. This year, though, has been very difficult for me, with many family and personal problems. I have begun to experience something that I have never really had before: depression. Out of nowhere I begin to feel upset and anxious, and I do not know what to do to get rid of these feelings.
Mordechai, 36, and Chani, 35, were married for six years and came to me for advice on how to save their relationship. They seemed to have everything going for them. They were working professionals, successful and upwardly mobile; they shared many common factors including similar religious beliefs, intelligence levels, and were both pleasantly extroverted.
Feeling like a prisoner, I went along with a shidduch she wanted for me. Baruch Hashem, the girl was sweet and beloved. But I held out hope that after the wedding I'd be able to ask my wife to gradually change. I knew this could cause problems, but I was hopeful. Sadly, after 12 years of marriage and six children, my situation is the same; my wife is unwilling to change. As a matter of fact, contrary to what I had hoped for, the opposite is happening: my wife wants me to change. She says that I am too modern and should become more frum.
Dear Dr. Yael: My husband and I are, Baruch Hashem, happily married for five years. But there is a stumbling block constantly facing us.
If you would like to know if your marriage is relationship centered or not, the way to find out is to ask yourself about your core values. For example, what is the most important principle of your marriage? Is it your desire for money or pleasure? Do you dream about being comfortable, being honored by your spouse and having a lot of fun?
As we begin the New Year it is with a sense of hope that we can avoid the painful arguments, hurtful remarks and misunderstandings which have harmed our relationships in the past. We seek to make amends with friends and family over the High Holidays and resolve that things will be different in the future. But moving forward, we may also wonder if we can really change patterns of relating that have been perpetuated for years or decades.
Dear Dr. Yael: I am a 20 years old and dating. While I know that people consider me to be an attractive young woman, I...
Are you looking for emotional first aid for your marriage? If you are, you’re not alone. Today, engaged couples, newlyweds and couples who have been married for years are feeling insecure about their relationships and looking for advice on how to make their marriages work better or simply to heal their relationship wounds.
Dear Dr. Respler: In your August 24 column, What Can Prevent Marriage, you eloquently discussed how losing a parent at a young age may cause someone to have a hard time getting married. As you made clear this is because of a deep-rooted fear of getting closer to someone and facing the possibility of loss.
“Is it possible for my disabled child to get married?”
Dear Dr. Respler: Having enjoyed your column, The Benefits of Countermoves (Dear Dr. Yael, 8-17), I am now seeking your suggestions regarding my problem in this area. My husband practices the “silent treatment,” whereby if I tell him something not to his liking or if I do something that does not meet his approval (these acts are not meant to hurt him) he can stop talking to me for hours or even for one or two days. After awhile, he returns to his normal behavior and we never discuss the issue again.
Dear Dr. Respler: I notice a certain unfortunate trend. People who lose a parent at a young age often stay single for a long time – or, unfortunately, do not marry at all. This was first pointed out to me at a sheva berachos in the fall of 2011. My internal thought was that the person who lost his father when he (the son) was just 28 – which, in my opinion, is an age when one should be able to function on one’s own – was simply looking for an excuse to rationalize why he had not yet gotten married.
I am concerned about my daughter. She is dating a boy whom she is crazy about, but I see certain things in him that make me nervous.
Dear Dr. Respler: I wish to share with your readers and you what I did to enhance my marriage through the use of your suggested...
Cheating on a spouse is a terrible betrayal. Yes, sadly, it is quite common, but that doesn’t erase the devastation and pain it causes. The discovery of cheating almost always comes on the heels of extreme lying. The big question always is, how can the one cheated on ever trust again? It is logical and practical to think that once a spouse has cheated, there is no reason to assume it would not occur time and again.
Dear Dr. Yael: I am convinced that my mother is clinically depressed, but she refuses to seek help or even admit that she has this problem. Instead, she blames all of her sorrows on outside sources.
Dear Dr. Yael: I am, Baruch Hashem a happily married woman of 10 years with two children. As I am trying to expand my family, it seems that Hashem has other plans for me (my husband and I have not been able to conceive another child). Of course we want more children, but we can only do our hishtadlus and leave the rest up to Hashem.
Dear Dr. Respler: My parents, who I love dearly, constantly contradict what I say to my children. They constantly interfere with the way my wife and I raise our children. For her part, my wife is very frustrated with this situation. What makes it harder for her, her parents live out of town while my parents live close by and are thus more involved with our children.
Not long ago, he was jumping on Oprah's couch like a lovesick teen, and now Tom Cruise faces a bitter divorce with Katie Holmes. Why is it that when a couple seems to have everything: fame, fortune, health, and an adorable child, it doesn't work? It's enough to make everyone else hopeless. After all, if celebrities have everything and can't make it, what are the chances for the rest of us?