web analytics
December 25, 2014 / 3 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



The Benefits Of Countermoves

Respler-081712

Dear Dr. Respler:

I wish to share with your readers and you what I did to enhance my marriage through the use of your suggested technique of countermoves.

My husband is, by nature, a closed person and has a hard time paying compliments. Many people have advised me to accept him and love him just the way he is, as he is both a good husband and good father. He is also a great provider.

But I was very frustrated with his lack of warmth and deficiency in giving compliments. He would often say that the “good is expected and the bad is noted.” This was painful, since I yearn for positive statements and warmth from him.

Even though my nature is to be warm and loving, all my praise did not seem to help him reply in kind. He told me, “I know that you are complimenting me to get me to compliment you, but I just do not need all this praise.” This pained me even more.

I finally said to him, “I know that you do not need my praise, but I yearn for your compliments. Nobody means so much to me, and it is only you who can fill this void.” Then I did something very creative: Every time I wanted a compliment, I would ask for it!

If I were wearing a new outfit, I would say, “Do you like my outfit?” After he would answer yes, I would ask him, “Do you think I look good in it?” I would add, “It would mean so much to me if you told me that I did.” Sometimes he would get upset, but other times he would tell me what I longed to hear. I used this strategy with many issues that were important to me. For instance, I tried to get him to compliment my suppers with this technique, my small successes at work, and even the way I handled the children.

I’ve been working on this for over a year, and surprisingly he is better at complimenting me. I tell him how much his compliments mean to me, and I show him my happiness. Occasionally he actually praises me on his own, and I am still persistent in getting his praise.

I see how his parents’ marriage is devoid of all praise and warmth. As a young couple, I do not want my husband and I to end up like them. Thus I think that if I keep at it, we will have a different kind of marriage, one that is more loving and positive than that of my in-laws.

For my part, I continuously praise him – an act that he is enjoying. I try to give him compliments that are important to him. As an example, he davens beautifully. So the other day I got a babysitter and went to shul at the time I knew he would be davening. He was shocked to see me there. I told him that I came since I knew he would be davening, and I really enjoy hearing him daven. He did not respond, but he could not stop smiling. He could not believe that I took a babysitter and made an effort to come to shul on a Shabbos that was not Mevorchim HaChodesh or Rosh Chodesh. (I know that many people are away in the summer and that the shul needed him to daven.)

I am so happy with the positive changes in my marriage that I wanted to share my experience with your readers. I hope that the details I’ve expressed help others in a similar predicament.

A Happier Wife

Dear Happier Wife:

Thank you for your amazing letter and your wonderful ideas. Your letter is an inspiration to all women, as well as to men who have closed and non-complimentary wives.

I have previously referred to the imago theory in my column and recently did a radio show about it. I often use imago therapy to help my patients. The imago means the image in which you grow up.

In essence it seems as if your husband comes from a negative imago, as there is, based on your description, little praise and very little warmth between his parents. In all probability his parents were also not warm toward him and probably did not compliment him. Therefore all this praise is alien to him. By using your technique, you are trying to create a new imago in your home so that you do not copy your in-laws’ marriage. You do not talk about your home life before marriage, but I would venture to say that you probably come from a warm, loving home. Otherwise, you would not be able to be so positive when faced with so much negative energy.

You cannot imagine how much of sechar you will have as you change the way future generations of your family will behave. Your children are likely to experience a different childhood than your husband’s upbringing, and accordingly their homes will hopefully be different as well.

Please understand that your husband’s imago was challenging. You must recognize how difficult it is to grow up in such a home. With that in mind, please continue to be loving and warm toward your husband while doing your best to get him to be warm and complimentary toward you. The lesson here is that if you see his childhood as challenging, you will be less angry with him and more able to continue your very important mission.

I imagine that at times you will get frustrated at being the one who is almost always the initiator of acting in a positive and loving manner. But remember that ultimately you will reap the benefits of your outstanding countermoves. May Hashem give you the strength to continue what you are doing. Thank you again for your letter. I am sure it will help many other women. Hatzlachah!

About the Author:


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 “The Benefits Of Countermoves”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The 13th issue of Al Qaeda's 'Inspire' online English-language magazine.
Al Qaeda Urges ‘Lone Wolves’ via Magazine to Attack US Airliners
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

When someone with a fixed mindset has a negative interaction with a friend or loved one, he or she immediately projects that rejection onto him or herself saying: “I’m unlovable.”

Respler-121914

How many potential shidduchim are not coming about because we, the mothers, are not allowing them to go through?

Is the Torah offering nechama by subtly hinting that death brings reunion with loved ones who preceded you?

She approached Holofernes and, with a sword concealed under her robe, severed his head.

Here are examples of games that need to be played by more than one person and an added bonus: they’re all Shabbos-friendly.

The incident was completely unforeseeable. The only term to describe the set of circumstances surrounding it is “freak occurrence.”

The first Chabad Center in Broward County, Chabad of South Broward, now runs nearly fifty programs and agencies. T

The NHS was also honored to have Bob Diener as keynote speaker.

Written with flowing language and engaging style, Attar weaves a spell that combines mystery, humor, adventure and Kabbalah in the most magical place in the world, the Old City of erusalem.

There are those who highlight the diversity of these different teachings, seeing each rebbe as teaching a separate path.

Rav Dynovisz will be speaking in Hebrew on Wednesday, January 7, at 7:30 p.m.

Rabbi Simeon Schreiber, senior chaplain at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, saw a small room in the hospital that was dark and dismal but could be used for Sabbath guests.

More Articles from Dr. Yael Respler
Respler-121914

How many potential shidduchim are not coming about because we, the mothers, are not allowing them to go through?

Respler-logo-NEW

I so desperately want to have a loving relationship with my stepsons.

Isn’t there anyone making a simcha who understands that loud music can cause hearing loss?

My mother thinks of herself as a superior person, has very little feelings for other people, and probably suffers from a deep lack of self-esteem.

Sometimes the most powerful countermove one can make when a person is screaming is to calmly say that her behavior is not helpful and then continue interacting with the rest of the family while ignoring the enraged person.

There are many people today with very little training who put out shingles and proclaim themselves to be marital coaches, shalom bayis helpers, advisers etc.

When one marries someone with children, all family members must accept them.

My mother-in-law is totally devoted to her daughters and their children. Her sons’ children on the other hand are treated like second-class citizens.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/the-benefits-of-countermoves/2012/08/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: