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.
A friend of mine called me recently on her way home from a date. It was 11:30 p.m., and she was walking home from the subway, a 20-minute walk from her home. She said that she had a pleasant time, but was surprised when her date walked her to the subway at the end of the evening and said good night at 11 p.m. "Doesn't he realize that at this late hour he should be escorting me home?" she cried.
In marriage, it’s inevitable that sometimes couples will step on each other’s toes; especially during the first year of marriage, where newlyweds find themselves tip-toeing around their spouse’s emotional roadblocks. Don’t forget that it takes time to learn about your spouse’s idiosyncrasies and to learn how to respond in a way that makes them feel at ease.
Dear Mom and Dad, Yes, I am addressing you both in the same sentence, because even though you are divorced, to me you are still Mom and Dad. I just want you both to know how much I love you. Things have been really crazy and I need to get a few things off my chest. You being divorced has really been hard on me. I remember how you argued so much that most of the time I parented myself. I was so scared ... When you fought, I felt so invisible.