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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Career Services’

Avoiding Domestic Abuse

Wednesday, June 27th, 2001

The term “domestic abuse” refers to a cycle of de­structive thoughts, feelings and actions that often in­volve power and control over another person through fear and intimidation. The batterers believe they are entitled to control their partners through emotional, eco­nomic and sexual abuse. They often use children to manipulate their spouses. The three cycles of domestic abuse are as follows:

1. The Tension Stage in which the wife denies her anger and believes she can control the situation by withdrawing so not to get her husband angry — because anything can set him off (it’s like walking on egg­shells).

2. The Explosion Stage. He doesn’t understand his anger. He knows his rage is out of control and yet does not want to hurt her.

3. The Honeymoon Stage. The husband is remorseful and fears she will leave him. He says he is sorry and that he loves her. He convinces her that he’s sincere and for that moment he really is — until the cycle starts again!

I was at a wedding many years ago when I noticed that the chassan’s rav, who was also the mesader kedushin, was holding on to his coat the entire time that he was under the chuppah. Except for the groom and myself, no one seemed to notice. After the chuppah was over, the crowd rushed the newlywed couple into a pri­vate room while singing and dancing. I knew the rav, so I stayed behind to ask him a few questions. In a joking, roundabout way, I said, the way you were holding on to your coat, it seemed as if you were ready to leave!”

But the rav wasn’t laughing. He seemed a little upset. He began to explain that he knew the boy for many years. He was a bright boy with many good midos (quali­ties), but when he didn’t get what he wanted, he got angry and could go into an uncontrollable rage, some­thing that he witnessed himself first hand. “I don’t know the kallah very well, but she seems nice. But in a few days, her life will change, unfortunately, not for the better.”

The rav then went on to say, “I had to do some­thing. As the chuppah began, the crowd turned to the kallah walking down the aisle and I turned to chassan and said, “If you don’t promise me right here and now that you will never raise your voice or your hand against this girl, I am taking my coat and walking out!” The chassan was in shock and began to plead with me not to leave. T11 do anything’ he said. But only when he promised, did I decide to stay.”

I’ll always remember that rav’s famous words that night. Now, that’s pre-marital counseling!

A year later, I met the very same rav again. He shared with me a follow up session that he had with that young man. The young man came to visit him in order to thank him. He said to him, You have no idea how many times I wanted to ‘teach my wife a lesson’ and really hurt her! But I stopped myself and remembered what you did and what I promised. Because I stopped myself, I was able to work on my anger and, Baruch Hashem, we have a much better marriage.”

In a private session I had with the rav, he advised me to always see the chassan and kallah together for pre-marital counseling, something I have been doing ever since.

Rabbi Shimshon Pincus, z”l, stated in his lectures on building your own bais hamikdash, When a person recognizes his yechidah (his own deep self) and know­ingly stops himself from his own anger and remains si­lent so as not to hurt the other person, he will merit to see that wonderful light that no creation or angel can ever imagine.”

In Pre-Marital Counseling, prevention is what it’s all about. Old cognitive patterns are replaced with more effective ones. Communication, anger and problem solv­ing are but a few of the 18 topics that are discussed at great length. •

Rabbi Pikus of C0J0 of Flatbush, and leading rabbonim and Torah authorities in the IVY community endorse CPC ­Center for Pre-Marital Counseling.

Pre-Marital Counseling: To Go Or Not To Go

Wednesday, May 16th, 2001

What is the difference between pre-marital and mar­ital counseling? People come to marital counseling with an existing problem. Each partner in the relationship is now occupied with getting his/her needs met, not the partner’s. They have forgotten how to share, solve, and support each other in their relationship.

At The Center For Pre-Marital Counseling, CPC, couples come for pre-marital counseling to learn how to optimally relate. There are no problems, no therapy, no psychological testing, and no groups. This counseling is educational in nature. The couple learns about the importance of anticipating each other’s needs, and that good communication skills are the single most important aspect in a good marriage.

Take the case of Yossi (not his real name), a 21 year old graduating senior at Touro College. He was an excel­lent student, had just gotten married, and was still learn­ing in Yeshiva. Yossi came to my office at Touro College where I work as the counseling coordinator, asking for help with his resume. When Yossi became engaged, I had asked him to consider pre-marital counseling. Yossi just laughed it off as a cute idea.

As we now talked in a friendly, joking manner, I asked Yossi how married life was treating him. At this point, Yossi got very serious and said, “I’m not sure. My wife Rivky cried most of the night.” Yossi explained that his Rosh Yeshiva had told him of a position that was now available in a small, out-of-town yeshiva. He could start out as a Rebbe and, in time, possibly become the Menahel and principal of the school. “I was so excited,” said Yossi, “that I couldn’t wait to tell my wife the good news! I was ready to move.”

Although they tried to talk about it, communication between Yossi and Rivky was not good. Their inability to reach each other only made things worse. Yossi was feel­ing hurt and unsupported. Rivky withdrew, which made Yossi feel undermined and angry.

I asked Yossi to bring Rivky to my office so that they could talk as a couple. At first they were both a little ner­vous, but as we spoke, they soon relaxed. I explained that two individuals could develop the potential and skills to understand themselves and each other’s needs and expec­tations. When they returned the next day, I did a short intake and assessment on both of them.

Rivky’s preferences were realistic, practical and re­sponsible. She wanted a more stable, predictable life style where she could first settle down, save money, and raise a family in the community she grew up in. Yossi, on the other hand, felt that, “I like things that are open and flexi­ble with visions of possibilities.”

Rabbi Shmuel Dishon stated in one of his lectures to new grooms: “Each one of us is a unique personality whom we have to understand, accept and appreciate.” Good communication is essential for problem-solving, sharing infor­mation, and mutual support. For Yossi and Rivky we be­gan with the technique of Understanding, Acceptance and Appreciation as a key factor in becoming sensitive to the other spouse.

Yossi and Rivky began to have more insight, compassion and support for each other. They started to appreci­ate and understand what each other’s uniqueness and personality had to offer, and how to work together to achieve the same goals.

The Torah (Bereishis2:24) states that a husband and wife are considered “one”. Understanding, acceptance, and appreciation for each other’s personality will enable a hus­band and wife to communicate as a harmonious team.

Prevention Insurance

Yossi and Rivky regretted that they had not gone for pre-marital counseling. It scared them to think what could have happened if Yossi and I had not met. A prob­lem that could have taken years to correct could have eas­ily been avoided in just a few sessions at CPC.

The Center for Pre-Marital Counseling offers a tre­mendous opportunity for learning and growth with a wide range of related topics, helping couples to achieve mean­ingful relationships.

I recently met with Rav Pam, shlita, and he expressed that, “This program should be part of the curriculum of every chassan and kallah class.”

For more information or to obtain a free brochure, please contact Marty Herskowitz at Ladino23@aol.com.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/pre-marital-counseling-to-go-or-not-to-go/2001/05/16/

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