About 10 years ago, I went to Israel for a brief visit and met up with the Kuper family, old friends I hadn't seen for many years.
Domestic abuse is an issue that affects people of all religious and cultural backgrounds. It is for this reason that most communities today have organizations that will respond to abuse in a manner appropriate for its constituents.
Last week, a frum-from-birth mother in one of my classes thanked me for encouraging her to stay home with her last baby (which was her sixth). She said, "Until I met you, I didn't know it was important for babies to be cuddled or held. Thanks to you, I decided to nurse for the first time and it was a wonderful experience. Instead of rushing off to work in the morning, he got a calm mom - at least until I returned to part-time work when he was eight months old."
In an online article, Lisa Twerski, LCSW, identifies different types of tactics often used by abusers. This is only a partial list, but recognizing...
Rachel is a bubbly and adorable 8-year-old girl. From a young age, she was afraid of the dark, but after a minimal amount of coaxing, would eventually go to bed. Outside of the home, Rachel loved school, excelled in her classes, and looked forward to going to school each day. Suddenly, one night, all of this changed. Rachel would not go to bed. She claimed she was afraid of the dark. After four hours of her mother sitting beside her bed, Rachel finally fell asleep; however, she awoke an hour later screaming, "Please don't leave me alone. I can't be alone." Rachel's mother, in an effort to calm her down, spent the night on the floor beside the bed. Even so, Rachel woke about every half-hour to check that her mother was still there.
Here are some of the ways to know whether you are in a controlling relationship:
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.
Controlling behavior may be the #1 reason that your marriage needs first aid. If you are unfamiliar with the topic of control, it’s no surprise. Most people are unaware that control is a major topic for counselors, therapists and psychologists-at-large, which until recently has not entered into the public’s attention.
There is a startling connection between illiteracy and crime. One journalist in The New York Times noted that, "60 percent of the state and federal prison population of 440,000 cannot read above the sixth grade level." In other words, more than half of all criminals would be considered illiterate by modern standards.
A friend of mine called me recently on her way home from a date. It was 11:30 p.m., and she was walking home from the subway, a 20-minute walk from her home. She said that she had a pleasant time, but was surprised when her date walked her to the subway at the end of the evening and said good night at 11 p.m. "Doesn't he realize that at this late hour he should be escorting me home?" she cried.
In marriage, it’s inevitable that sometimes couples will step on each other’s toes; especially during the first year of marriage, where newlyweds find themselves tip-toeing around their spouse’s emotional roadblocks. Don’t forget that it takes time to learn about your spouse’s idiosyncrasies and to learn how to respond in a way that makes them feel at ease.
Dear Mom and Dad, Yes, I am addressing you both in the same sentence, because even though you are divorced, to me you are still Mom and Dad. I just want you both to know how much I love you. Things have been really crazy and I need to get a few things off my chest. You being divorced has really been hard on me. I remember how you argued so much that most of the time I parented myself. I was so scared ... When you fought, I felt so invisible.
Rabbi Horowitz, As parents, we often see that our children have talents that are outside the classic Mitzvah realm. This could be in the area of art, gymnastics, musical instruments, etc. Often times, development of these talents require time, money and sometimes exposure that we would generally not encourage. How does one decide when this is a good idea (or at least necessary) and when these activities are a distraction from spiritual pursuits?