web analytics
March 5, 2015 / 14 Adar , 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


The Need For More Marriage Education


Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

Are we doing enough to prepare our children for marriage? I’m not talking about matters of Jewish law which couples learn about with their chassan and kallah teachers before they get married. What I’m referring to is the lack of knowledge of effective communication skills needed to make marriage successful and relationship-building tools that can enhance feelings of love and camaraderie.

Couples in our community now face more demands than ever before. The typical complex marriage – managing two careers while rearing children – really requires that couples have very strong, well-established abilities to communicate, resolve issues, maintain mutuality and set goals. Without this foundation, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by stress and time pressures. Problems can intrude much more easily than most couples realize. Marriage preparation can function as an immunization that boosts a couple’s capacity to handle potential difficulties.

Overall, we need to give our young couples better skills so they can become successful in their marriages. Unfortunately, couples spend very little time learning about the art of shalom bayis before the wedding. And, unlike other professions such as law and medicine that test and certify their graduates, marriage – the most important and longest profession anyone can enter into – doesn’t require any specific training or certification. Therefore, many couples begin unprepared to meet the challenges that occur on a daily basis such as child rearing, financial pressures, and spending quality time together.

Think about it. A person spends around twelve years in school preparing to enter college which takes four years to complete. Yet, how many years do people train for marriage, which is supposed to last a lifetime?

To take the analogy one step further, if marriage would be placed side by side with other professions, how would it rank? Today, national statistics tell us that only about 50% of marriages are successful. Imagine a doctor who was successful only 50% of the time or a lawyer who only won half of his cases. At some point, there would be a national upheaval and public call to re-evaluate if these doctors and lawyers were truly prepared to enter into their professions.

I know that our community does not share these discouraging statistics. Yet, many of us believe that the divorce rate seems to be rising in the Orthodox world and that divorce appears to be more common than ever before.

All of this points to the need to address the challenges facing young couples and begin the process of pre-marital education. Couples need to learn marital skills and develop realistic expectations before the marriage takes place. Only then will they be prepared to cope successfully with the inevitable ups and downs.

Recently a new program called the S.H.A.L.O.M. Workshop (Starting Healthy and Long Lasting Marriages) was initiated to help engaged couples and newlyweds learn the skills needed to achieve successful marriages. In just one or two sessions the chassan and kallah cover important issues such as:

• Increased understanding and sensitivity to each other’s feelings • Communicating effectively through a sense of mutual respect • Promoting self confidence in each other • Financial Management

As their literature describes, “The S.H.A.L.O.M. Workshop teaches specific, easily learned methods for successful communication and effective problem-solving.” The goal is that participants will emerge with a deeper self-knowledge and the tools to build a happy, successful and long-lasting marriage.

It’s important to note that this workshop in no way replaces traditional chassan and kallah classes; rather it enhances the knowledge learned with easy-to-use and practical tools that can make marriage more enjoyable.

During the workshop, a couple will learn how to actively listen to one another, express their feelings in a healthy way and negotiate a power structure for making key decisions in their lives.

One workshop participant recently commented, “As I am getting married very soon, I think that my future husband and I will greatly benefit from the workshop. Taking the time to listen and let the other person know you are listening felt very validating, and actually enabled us to do something we both were too subjective to suggest doing with each other on our own.”

It’s time to expand the scope of educational programs offered to engaged couples to improve their chances of having a successful marriage and build a Binyan Adei Ad. A pre-marriage program like the S.H.A.L.O.M. Workshop is the place to begin.

To find out more visit their website at www.shalomworkshop.org.

About the Author: Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, MA, LMFT is an expert in marriage counseling, pre-marital education, treating anxiety and depression, and helping teens in crisis with offices For more information visit www.JewishMarriageSupport.com, e-mail 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 “The Need For More Marriage Education”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
US Secretary of State John Kerry with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier before P5+1 talks. (Nov. 22, 2014.)
Fears Over US Iran Deal Trigger Mideast Nuclear Race, Saudi-South Korea Deal
Latest Sections Stories
Yarden Merlot

Bottles of wine accompany the Pesach storytelling – each glass of wine represents the four expressions used by G-d in describing the redemption of the Jewish people from Egypt.

Schonfeld-logo1

There is a point that many parenting books miss: children do more for us than we do for them.

Brigitte was a nine-year-old girl when Islamic militants launched an assault on a Lebanese military base and destroyed her home.

The husband needs to make some changes!

Purim is a fantastic time for fantasies, so I hope you won’t mind my fantasizing about how easy life would be if kids would prefer healthy cuisine over sweets. Imagine waking up to the call of “Mommy, when will my oatmeal be ready?”… As you rush to ladle out the hot unsweetened cereal, you rub […]

‘Double Gold’ awarded to 2012 Yarden Heights wine & 2011 Yarden Merlot Kela Single Vineyard.

One should not give the money before Purim morning or after sunset.

The mishloach manos of times gone by were sometimes simple and sometimes elaborate, but the main focus was on the preparation of the delicious food they contained.

One of the earliest special Purims we have on record was celebrated by the Jews of Granada and Shmuel HaNagid, the eleventh-century rav, poet, soldier and statesman, and one of the most influential Jews in Muslim Spain.

Jews, wake up! Stop educating the world and start educating yourselves.

The lessons conform to the sensitivities and needs of the Orthodox community…

The program took on special significance as it marked not only the first anniversary of Rebbetzin Kudan’s levayah but also the 27th yahrzeit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka Schneerson, a”h.

It was only in the reign of George III (1760-1820) that Jews became socially acceptable in Britain, and Nathan became music master to Princess Charlotte and musical librarian to King George IV.

More Articles from Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch
Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

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

Schonbuch-Rabbi-Daniel

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.

Control may be the most destructive force influencing a marriage. Let me illustrate this point with the following story. About two years ago a woman named Bracha, 47, came to speak to me about her husband’s controlling behavior. This is how she described her precarious situation:

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/the-need-for-more-marriage-education/2011/09/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: