Dear Dr. Yael: Although I agree with your advice to A Passive Reader (Showing Respect Gets Results, 4-20) about how to deal with difficult people, I emphatically disagree with your decision to take the blame for the impatient frum guy who was honking his horn. If you saw him run someone over with his car, would you take the blame for that too? If you had gotten a ticket, would you have paid it? If the officer had arrested you, would you have gone to jail? I am not a rabbi, but I would be surprised if not informing means taking the blame as well.
About a month ago, we began the Passover Seder by asking “the four questions,” which led to a narrative explaining how the Jewish people were freed from Egypt. We are now in the midst of a forty-nine day process of spiritual growth in which we prepare ourselves to receive the Torah.
Dear Dr. Respler: At the recent wedding of my best friend’s son, I arrived for the chuppah early so as to secure a seat close to the front and by the aisle. I didn’t want to miss anything.
Dear Dr. Respler: I love my wife, who is by nature a difficult person. As a result, our seven children gravitate more to me than to her. She thinks she is always right, her favorite line being “I told you so.” This is annoying and drives all of us crazy.
Dear Dr. Respler: I am, Baruch Hashem, a healthy mother and grandmother who was recently trying to be helpful to my married daughter. After Shabbos my daughter, who has a large family, had many dishes piled in the sink. I planned on rinsing the dishes and placing them in the dishwasher, and then straightening up downstairs while she put her younger children to sleep. Aware of my plans my daughter, who loves me and means well, said, “Ma, please don’t work so hard. I will put the children to sleep, and then I can clean up and load the dishwasher quickly. I will do it quicker than you, and I want you to relax.” I was hurt. I know that she really wanted me to take it easy, but suddenly I felt like an old, useless woman. Do you think my daughter was right? How can I tell her how I feel without hurting her? My husband and I are planning to move in with my daughter, son-in-law and their children for Pesach. We always enjoy going there, but I do not feel good when I cannot be useful. I would like to help my daughter over Pesach, and would feel better if she allowed me to help her. Please advise me. A Healthy Grandmother
In our March 16 issue we featured The Tyranny of Beauty: A Plea to Mothers Of Girls In Shidduchim, in which the author described a “Meet and Greet” for young women in a certain age and mindset (looking for young men who are sitting and learning) and mothers of the young men they could potentially date. The article received a tremendous amount of comments on our website and via e-mail. Below are some of the responses.
Dear Dr. Respler: I recently lost my husband of 51 years, and I am very depressed. He was a true talmid chacham and a loving husband. Every morning when he was well, he went to shul early. He never missed a minyan and he learned every day. All his life he ran a business and, baruch Hashem, he worked hard and took excellent care of our children and me. I look at my grandsons and my grandsons-in-law and they don’t hold a candle to my husband. Even the children who learn in kollel are not as careful as my husband was about being on time for minyan. Everyone seems too busy for me, and I feel very lonely.
Dear Dr. Yael: I read the March 2 letter from A Lonely Wife who feels unappreciated and neglected as she seeks more attention from her...
What's more important - love or money? Let's hear what a 90-year-old woman sitting in front of two elevators in a nursing home had to say. I asked her, "If both elevator doors opened at the same time, and out of one came the richest man in the world, and out of the other came the nicest man in the world, who would you want to marry?" She thought about it for a good while and then answered, "Both of them."
For most physicians specializing in the treatment of infertility, the subject of sexuality - and especially the "how to’s" of sex - are rarely a subject of concern.
Dr. Yael replies to a woman who feels like she's playing second fiddle to her husband's myriad phone calls, business deals, medical emergencies, and everyone else who needs him so desperately. Despite the fact that he buys her beautiful jewelry and gifts, that they live in a stunning house and have cleaners and babysitters, all this does not substitute for the intimacy and warmth that she craves from him.
Dear Dr. Yael: As a reader of all of your columns on hakaras hatov, here are my feelings as a child with loving parents.
A worried mother asks Dr. Yael how to deal with her two-and-a-half year old daughter's jealousy of her newborn brother.
Dear Dr. Respler: I disagree with the January 27 letter writer, Desperate Single Woman, who wrote that the frum, older singles scene is easier on the men. Well, I am a man who desperately wants to get married and start a family.
Dear Dr. Respler: I will never forget the following situation that happened to me in high school: Some of the boys picked on a boy who behaved inappropriately, causing the boy to feel terrible about himself. The rosh yeshiva, hearing about the situation, spoke to a few boys separately. I was one of those boys.
Dear Dr. Yael: I love your column, but I’ve read enough about the husband who wants to daven vasikin and the in-laws who feel that their married children do not express hakaras hatov to them. What about addressing the singles who love to read your column and want to read something about relationships? But instead of complaining to you, I would like you to answer my question.
Dear Dr. Respler: Although I am only 40 years old, I feel as if I have discovered the ultimate emotional healing remedy.
Dear Dr. Yael: As a husband and longtime admirer of your column, I respectfully submit that your answer to A Sleep-Deprived Wife (The Magazine, 12-23-2011) missed the mark. Your response begins as follows:
“Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Remember that saccharine line from the famous 1970 movie “Love Story?” It sounded icky to us then, and it sounds icky to us now, but since, like us, many of you also came of age under the spell of that cloying mantra, we’d like to set the record straight once and for all: it’s a big fat lie that has nothing whatsoever to do with love.
Note from Dr. Respler: In A Plea To My Husband’s Ex (The Magazine, 12-9-2011), I mistakenly left out one important detail. Her husband has legally sanctioned visitation rights to his children, and despite this his ex-wife has largely prevented their children from having contact with their father. The father has been advised by his rebbeim and many legal experts to refrain from returning to court to fight for his relationship with his children. He is following this advice. This letter is in response to my reply to that letter.
Psychologist David Richo defines love in terms of five A's: appreciation, affection, attentiveness (listening), acceptance and allowing (as in allowing others the freedom to fulfill their own dreams). Love is the opposite of control.
Whenever I speak at a shul or event I’m usually asked what I think are the vital aspects of good communication, and by implication, what makes for bad communication.
Readers respond to the letter from Wounded In-Laws (Magazine 12-2-2011)
Dear Dr. Yael: My husband recently started davening in a vasikin (sunrise) minyan. Our problem is that I am a light sleeper, and he sleeps right through his alarm. I realize that while he is not trying to be cruel by intentionally leaving on his radio in the middle of the night just to hear what is going on in the world, my patience is extremely thin at 4 a.m.
If you are in a difficult marriage and are considering seeking help, you're probably wondering: what would the counselor make us do during the session? Would my counselor know the appropriate technique to use for our specific case? Is our counselor's style suited to our problem?