Their situation needed mediation. To resolve this issue they would first need to become aware of their stressors (like work and child-rearing pressures), and then find ways to reduce the stress of the early-evening-bedtime drama. I also suggested that a good place to start would be to repair any emotional damage their arguing would cause by saying they were sorry and admitting that they are overwhelmed.
Michael and Rivkah were relieved to know that there was a way to deal with their problems. Both could learn skills that would help them improve their relationship. They didn’t need to be perfect. The true test of their marriage would be if they could learn how to say, “I’m sorry.”
Saying you’re sorry can be difficult, especially if it means admitting you were wrong in the first place. No one likes exposing their imperfections to others, even to those who are very close to them. Admitting you are wrong takes courage. Yet, by using these two simple words, people can make a major difference in their marriage.
First Aid Relationship Tips:
● Ask for comments, as opposed to offering them.
● Show sincere interest in your spouse when he or she is speaking.
● Empathize with them.
● Reduce criticism and negative comments.
● Use more loving and positive words when you communicate.
● Actively listen to your spouse’s inner messages.
● Avoid judging or playing the role of psychologist.
● Learn when it’s best not to force the issue.
Next Week, Part 13, Reducing Controlling Behavior
Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, MA, is the Executive Director of Shalom Task Force. For more information about Shalom Task Force, please visit www.shalomtaskforce.org. You can e-mail questions to him at firstname.lastname@example.org