web analytics
September 2, 2015 / 18 Elul, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Part 14 – How Control Begins and Breeds Resentment


Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

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. Control is also not usually a major factor at the beginning of a marriage, when most people are doing their best to start off with their best foot forward and limiting any excessive behavior.

While during the initial phase of a serious relationship people tend to treat their fiancé as a friend, over time, controlling behaviors can silently creep in and become apparent when one side attempts to yield an imbalance of power over the other. They may also start objectifying the other person and mistakenly believe that this person was created to serve their needs. And, when they don’t get their way, they feel it’s their right to force them to comply and make them do what they want.

It is true that you may think that what you want should be acceptable to your spouse, even though in reality it is debasing or demeaning. Of course there are many circumstances in which we have to do things we don’t feel are easy or pleasant. For instance, a parent may find it hard to tell their child to behave in a certain way. A wife or husband may complain that they need more help around the house or with their children. Problems begin when we start believing that we can actually control the other person’s behavior, and we don’t have to negotiate for what we need.

In counseling I often see situations where a husband very giving to his wife. He gives her all the things that he thinks she wants. He may provide her with all the comforts imaginable, including a beautiful home, car, clothing etc. Yet, she may feel that her husband is emotionally detached and unresponsive to the things she really wants – warmth and affection.

Meir, 24 and Tzipporah, 22, though recently married, have both begun to feel as if the other person was unresponsive to his/her needs. Although there had been respect on both sides, over the last few months, Tzipporah had begun to feel that her husband was wielding too much control over their finances. About two months prior to their first visit with me, Meir had decided that he would be solely responsible for their finances and without Tzipporah’s knowledge, had opened up his own bank account. Tzipporah would not have direct access to money, and instead would be given a small “allowance” for spending each week. Clearly, Meir had begun to control his wife, by using money as his primary weapon.

I was interested in exploring whether money was the only area of control in their lives. Often, control starts out in other areas, such as emotional control, or control over how love is shared or reserved to punish the other person. This is, it turned out, how Meir had shown early signs of controlling behavior. During their dating period, Meir began to take unusual control over their relationship. At first, he would insist on deciding when and where they would dine. At first, she viewed this behavior as somewhat gallant or chivalrous, and at a certain level she even enjoyed it, because she thought there was something charmingly old-fashioned about it.

However, one night, he ordered her a dish she knew she really would not like, and when she tried to ask the waiter to bring her something else instead, Meir glared at her until she felt shamed into silence.

During that date, Tzipporah found herself fuming inside, all the while trying to conceal her anger at his having treated her like a child in front of their waiter. Through a sheer act of will, she managed to keep up a steady patter of superficial, meaningless small talk, but she barely touched her meal. (After all, it was something she did not like.) She wanted to speak up afterward, when they were finally alone together in the car, but for some strange reason, she found that she was almost afraid to do so. It was a strange, unfamiliar feeling, being somewhat fearful and on guard around the person whom she believed she loved, and who, likewise, claimed to love her.

So, rather than directly confronting him about how his actions had made her feel, the following day she called her sister to discuss it. She was initially embarrassed to tell her sister what had transpired, and she wasn’t even sure which aspect of the situation was the greatest source of her embarrassment: the fact that her fiancé had treated her like a child in front of that waiter, or the fact that she had felt afraid — genuinely afraid — of confronting him about how badly he had behaved.

About the Author: Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, MA, LMFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. He is an expert in marriage counseling, pre-marital education, treating Anxiety and Depression, and helping teens in crisis with offices in Brooklyn. To watch his free videos on marriage and parenting and for appointments visit: www.JewishMarriageSupport.com, email rabbischonbuch@yahoo.com or call 646-428-4723.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Part 14 – How Control Begins and Breeds Resentment”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
President Obama in the fog.
US Says It Doesn’t Even Know How Many Americans Live in West Bank
Latest Sections Stories
Lunchbox Restaurant in Tel Aviv.

Bringing your own sandwich to a restaurant would appear as the height of chutzpah, but not any more—at least not at Lunchbox…

Recipe-082815-LChaim-cookbook

Last year, OneFamily published a cookbook in Hebrew featuring the bereaved mothers’ recipes.

Astaire-082815-Books

How did an unresolved murder case turn into an accusation of ritual murder?

Recipe-082815-Apple-cover

Excerpted from The Apple Cookbook (c) Olwen Woodier. Photography by (c) Leigh Beisch Photography with Food Stylist Robyn Valarik. Used with permission of Storey Publishing.

The flag had been taken down in the aftermath of the Charleston shooting and was now back and flying.

A light breakfast of coffee and danishes will be available during the program.

A variety of glatt kosher food will be available for purchase at Kosher Korner (near Section 1).

Jewish Press South Florida Editor Shelley Benveniste will deliver a talk.

Corey Brier, corresponding secretary of the organization, introduced the rabbi.

The magnificent 400-seat sanctuary with beautiful stained glass windows, a stunning carved glass Aron Kodesh, a ballroom, social hall, and beis medrash will accommodate the growing synagogue.

Even when our prayers are ignored and troubles confront us, Rabbi Shoff teaches that it is the same God who sent the difficulties as who answered our prayers before.

I’ve put together some of the most frequently asked questions regarding bullies, friendship and learning disabilities.

His parents make it clear that they feel the right thing is for Avi to visit his grandfather, but they leave it up to him.

More Articles from Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch
Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

A compulsion is a repetitive action. But what underlies the compulsion is an obsession or fear.

Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

Teens-at-risk feel alienated from their parents and often believe that no one is interested in hearing about their problems.

Separation anxiety disorder is a condition in which a child becomes fearful and nervous when away from home or separated from a loved one – usually a parent or other caregiver – to whom the child is attached.

I try to focus on the parents in a way that is not often addressed. As soon as the child gets anxious, the parent gets anxious;

Most people are not aware that anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the United States, affecting 40 million adults age 18 and older (18% of U.S. population).

Parental conflict affects children in varying ways, depending on their age. For example, teenagers around the age of fifteen or sixteen are most likely to involve themselves in their parents’ battles. Younger children may keep their feelings hidden inside and may only show signs of depression in late childhood or early adolescence.

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 their teenager to be at risk.

Active listening is only one part of the marriage equation; learning what to say and what not to say is the other half. And, it’s not just about expressing your feelings, but doing it in a way that avoids hurting the other person.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/part-14-how-control-begins-and-breeds-resentment/2009/05/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: