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?
Dear Dr. Yael: After reading your columns about bullying, I wanted to share with you a wonderful story about how our son went from being a bully to becoming a tzaddik.
I am writing to you on my husband’s – your ex-husband’s – behalf. While driving home from work the day after Sukkos, my thoughts were occupied with his broken heart. I do not always clearly hear his pain, but that day my heart began to ache for the pain you are putting him through.
Dear Dr. Yael: We have taken our daughter-in-law into our home with warmth and love. Unfortunately, her parents are divorced and she grew up in a dysfunctional family with neither of her parents giving to her financially or emotionally.
The country's economic indicators may be falling, but incidents of domestic violence are rising.
Dear Dr. Yael: I wish to share some thoughts with you and Despondent Daughter-in-Law (Magazine, 10-28-2011). I am a happily married woman who has a great relationship with my mother-in-law. Although it might seem to others that my mother-in-law sometimes favors her other children’s families over mine, I don’t let that bother me – I have a different approach toward the whole situation.
Mrs. Sharon Russ, Hotline Director for Shalom Task Force, prays every day that her job will cease to exist. Alas, her prayers have yet to be answered. Over the last fifteen years, thousands of Jewish women have summoned up the courage to reach out and contact the hotline, asking for help. They rely on Shalom Task Force's guarantee of anonymity and privacy and awareness that an Orthodox Jewish wife will often delay efforts to seek advice. This is because she is fearful of embarrassment and the potential negative consequences for her and her children. When she finally gathers the courage to face her dilemma, calling the hotline is her first step towards getting help.
Dear Dr. Yael: Respectfully, I was greatly disappointed with your 10/21/11 column regarding bullying. Although my experiences relating to this issue occurred more than 15 years ago, and the bullying did not, Baruch Hashem, affect my son as he journeyed into adulthood, I am still extremely bitter about what occurred.