When searching for a partner in marriage we are often attracted to people who are different than we are. Sometimes the very same qualities we find charming and exciting are the ones we find ourselves trying to change after marriage. Rather than understand, accept and appreciate our partners for who they are, we turn the differences into the source of our frustration, irritation and dissatisfaction. Many couples try to change their partners to be more like themselves. These couples sincerely want things to be better between them, but because they don’t understand the problem they can’t figure out how to fix it. They start criticizing, complaining and blaming each other. This blame is the downfall for most couples. Instead of negotiating, they demand change. But without counseling this change is not always for the better.
About one third of the divorced people who re-marry tend to repeat and to carry over the same or more complicated personality and relationship problems into their second marriage. When I council couples who are divorced and now want to get married we start all over, once the couple understands each other’s personality type they can have more compassion and support for who they are and nurture the qualities that the other partner values, not just the ones that they value.
The curriculum I use is the same as in Pre-Marital Counseling. We cover twenty-one topics in seven sessions. But the difference is that each person comes into the marriage with wounded pride, and a lot of pain. Loyalty issues may arise for the children since they often hope secretly that mommy and tati will get back together again. As bad as the home situation was, many of these children still grieve for the previous family structure.
The role of the Pre-Marital Counselor is crucial. The complications of couple conflict are such that distortion of perception by one or both prospective mates can often affect the marriage. As the couple will start all over, Pre-Marital Counseling will hopefully change harmful habits, relieve emotional stress, clarify issues and develop insights which will result in personal and spiritual growth so that the couple can once again achieve shalom bayis, and a build a makom kodesh.
CPC – Center for Pre-Marital Counseling, is endorsed by Rabbi Pikus of COJO of Flatbush, and leading rabbonim and Torah authorities in the NY community.
Moishe Herskowitz MS., CSW, is a marriage counselor and maintains his private practice in Brooklyn as founder of CPC. He is an educator, lecturer, consultant and adjunct professor at Touro College. He is the counseling coordinator for Career Services at Touro College and the At Risk Center in Brooklyn. Moishe is presently working as a licensed guidance counselor for the NYC Board of Ed. in Special Education.
For more information or to obtain a free brochure, please contact Moishe Herskowitz at 435-7388 or at CPCMoishe@aol.com.