During these difficult financial times, many couples, usually without ever noticing it, start dealing with life as individuals. They begin to recede from each other and allow a distance to develop. They stop talking. They find their feelings to be too intense and too difficult to face, so they don't share them. They don't want to share that they are scared, so each partner says nothing and goes into a deep and lonely place within. They don't fight for their relationship. Instead they fight over money and who's at fault for the situation. They blame each other for not making enough money, for spending too much money, for not saving money, or for not spending enough time doing the things that will bring in more money.
The morning blessings provide a daily reminder of the mitzvah to bring peace between a husband and wife. However, most couples can maintain sholom bayis on their own with a practical, easy-to-implement system: the Marriage Meeting Program.
Have you joined with other women in your community to punish someone who has behaved badly? I have seen several instances of shunning, where women banded together to cut someone out of the social life of their synagogue and neighborhood in order to punish her for wrongdoing. Women shunning another woman, often feel they are participating in a positive act, but it is one they do not discuss with their rabbi. This is a modern, informal version of cherem.
My oldest daughter recently celebrated her nineteenth birthday, and I'm just now getting used to the idea that my husband and I are heading into a new parsha in our lives: Getting ready to find a shidduch for our daughter. So it wasn't any wonder that the topic came up when I ran into an old friend at shul the other day.
Due to the overwhelming amount of e-mail I have received about domestic abuse, this week's column focuses on the services of Shalom Task Force. (Names...
Can improving your marriage help you live longer? A fascinating study led by researchers at Hebrew University revealed that Bnei Brak, an Israeli city that has one of the highest proportions of ultra-Orthodox Jews, also had the longest life expectancy in Israel. This is what the report found:
The number one factor in resolving problems of acceptance by in-laws is your spouse’s support. As with all close relationships, it’s an art to support your spouse without jumping into the fight or feeding his or her discontent.
You may think you said “I do” to just one person on your wedding day, but the reality of married life is that you actually vowed to honor several people. Marriage comes with new challenges; some of which you had no idea were waiting for you.
With Tu B'Av - a holiday renowned for women "dancing in the fields" and meeting a man - falling out on Wednesday, August 5, we'd like to share the following annual letter:
One of the most important ways a couple can manage money together is to learn the art of contentment. We have already discussed how making a budget can be a very simple way to start saving money.
There's no getting around it: in marriage, a budget is a requirement for good money management. A budget is simply (1) a tool to increase your consciousness of how and where you spend your money, and (2) a guideline to help you spend your money on the things that are most important to you. Following a budget can create money for savings, where you thought there was none.
To help couples better understand where they stand on financial issues, here is a mini quiz that both partners can take and use to facilitate a discussion about money.
Throughout our lives, we will all experience endless irritations and frustrations, as well as many losses, such as losing a job, suffering betrayal and abuse, and the death of a loved one. What makes the difference between those who stay down and those who pick themselves up and start rebuilding?
You marry for love and friendship. Yet there are practical concerns involved in making a living and managing your finances that can affect the quality of your marriage.
There are some marital issues that are too sensitive for a couple to handle alone. These issues might include mistrust; lack of marital satisfaction; conflict involving in-laws, friends, siblings, and children; verbal abuse; and so on. When dealing with such problems, the best course is to ask a professional outside party for advice and opinions.
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 at-risk issues in their home.
In evaluating three styles of communication: competitive, avoiding and compromising, being competitive or avoiding conflict share the same risk of alienating the other person.
No matter how couples try to make sure everything in their lives is perfect, at some point they may experience conflict in their marriage. Conflict is not as dramatic as it sounds. In marriage, independent of how much you love someone, you may have differing ideas about money or education, preferences, or various special activities you both want to do.
About 10 years ago, I went to Israel for a brief visit and met up with the Kuper family, old friends I hadn't seen for many years.
Domestic abuse is an issue that affects people of all religious and cultural backgrounds. It is for this reason that most communities today have organizations that will respond to abuse in a manner appropriate for its constituents.
Last week, a frum-from-birth mother in one of my classes thanked me for encouraging her to stay home with her last baby (which was her sixth). She said, "Until I met you, I didn't know it was important for babies to be cuddled or held. Thanks to you, I decided to nurse for the first time and it was a wonderful experience. Instead of rushing off to work in the morning, he got a calm mom - at least until I returned to part-time work when he was eight months old."
In an online article, Lisa Twerski, LCSW, identifies different types of tactics often used by abusers. This is only a partial list, but recognizing...
Here are some of the ways to know whether you are in a controlling relationship:
In most dating situations it would be highly unlikely for a person to act out in a controlling manner. For example, you would not see a young man rant and rave if his first-time shidduch is five minutes late for a date. Both parties are still in the illusionary phase of the relationship, where they are careful to limit any form of criticism and to maintain an air of civility during all interchanges.
Controlling behavior may be the #1 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 topic for counselors, therapists and psychologists-at-large, which until recently has not entered into the public’s attention.