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In my last article I had mentioned that often one of the symptoms of autophobia, a fear of abandonment, is that as adults people suffering with this condition may become extremely sensitive to rejection.
In part one (Family Issues 04-29-2011) we mentioned that often a symptom of the anxiety disorder, the fear of abandonment, is a strong need to be in control. That is because the person suffering from the disorder has lost someone in their past - due to separation, divorce or death - and may unconsciously blame themselves for the desertion.
The fear of abandonment, also known as autophobia, is an anxiety disorder characterized by an acute fear of being alone. Often, one of the symptoms of this particular anxiety is a strong need to be in control. This is because one has previously lost someone close through separation, divorce or death and may unconsciously blames his or herself for the event. When this happens, any type of separation may traumatize the person, even the marriage of his or her own child can be viewed as a life-threatening event.
Children who grew up feeling shameful for the most part will have also grown up without someone to talk to about how it made them feel. Shame is one of the most destructive feelings there is. It is a feeling that something is wrong within us and has a negative affect on a child's self-development.
A few years ago I was invited to be a guest on a talk show. An interesting question came up from a young man who wanted some information on the topic of in-laws. He wanted to know if I had ever known of a couple divorcing because of their in-laws. My response was that although divorced people may blame the in-laws for the marriage failure, in most cases this does not happen directly, but indirectly- YES!
Dear Moishe, I am writing to you because frankly, I just don't know where else to turn at this point. I know that statement makes it sound as if I have been married for years, but the truth is I have only been married for six months, and the changes that are taking place are scary.
I teach a graduate course in trauma and family crisis. The question most often asked by students is, "Why are there so many families in crisis compared to the families our parents grew up in?" Whenever changes in a support system occur, making it no longer secure and defined, our ability to cope, adapt and problem-solve will be impaired.
When my nephew Chaim was three-years old, he used to have nose bleeds quite often - so often, that he had a procedure done in the doctor's office to stop the constant nosebleeds. It worked, but he walked around the house saying, "Something hurts and I don't know! Something hurts and I don't know!" My brother Sol said at that moment, "Chaim your nose hurts! - Oh yes, my nose hurts!" Now that he was aware of what was bothering him, he felt so much better.
As a child you had two basic needs. One was to be happy and loved, and the second was for your parents to be happy and loved. If you grew up and these emotional needs were not met, then your unconscious mind seeks a partner to help you meet those needs. The process will take place by recreating your childhood wounds in your present marriage. This way you can finish unfinished emotional business and move on with your life.
Marriage, by contrast, is an institution of close, complementary cooperation. Its success or failure depends upon the the couples, ability to work together as a TEAM. However, in order to accomplish this, we first have to understand that in marriage we carry our own emotional baggage along with us — some good and some, not so good. The not-so-good seems to stand out a lot more.
Marriage is not like every other human relationship. It brings two incompatible people together for the purpose of healing and growth. The degree of healing and growth will depend on many factors. One such factor is the ability to give love. Love is the foundation of married life. Even though many people talk about it, there is a great deal of doubt as to whether they really know how to give love.
As we come to the end of our series of articles titled "who am I", I would like to devote this last set of preferences, Judging Vs Perceiving, to singles. If you recall, about a year ago I wrote an article titled Commitment Phobic (www.cpcteam.org). It was based on the fact that people are not the same. We have different energy levels, make decisions based on different criteria, depending on what makes us most comfortable. The focus was on Perceiving types a personality that likes to keeps their options open as long as possible.
The Jewish community has never been as challenged as it is today. I believe that many of our problems could have been avoided if we took a more proactive approach. I recently met with a doctor who had just married off his first daughter. He wanted to know what exactly pre-Marital enrichment is. I responded by explaining the concept of self awareness, that it's not possible to know someone else if you don't know who you are!
Almost every profession has what we call the tools of the trade, and with marriage it isn't any different. If you're single, engaged or a newlywed, you need to have the tools it takes to build a successful marriage. Yet for many of us even when the chosen and kallah classes are over, they still find it difficult to use the tools that they have just learned.
The Dubna Magid in Safer Hamidos, states that "love is one of the most important midos in a person". Hashem has given us a most powerful energy source with the potential to grow and heal unresolved issues of the past. But in order to activate this energy source we must first try to understand the levels of complexity love has to offer.
In my last article, I discussed the topic of "teens at risk." We have always had "teens at risk" within our yeshiva system, but they were segregated and referred to as the "bum class." This class was separated from the mainstream students, and given its own separate rebbe to provide support services. The success of this system was due to the fact that yeshivas followed the Torah concept that "majority rules".
There is something about an approaching wedding that can cause a state of emotional upheaval. This should be of no surprise. In most cases, marriage reflects two sets of personalities; the chassan's and the kallah's. The parents too are involved. They produce a relationship that is more than the sum total of themselves. This relationship includes their family, and yet a separation is about to take place for both parent and child.
The objective of Pre-Marital Counseling is for couples to learn new skills on how to improve communication, and resolve conflicts creatively. It would seem logical that the parents of these couples have learned from being together and through a lot of tough times that good communication is the single most important aspect of a satisfying relationship.
Marriage demands the best in maturity, but this does not mean that couples are necessarily mature to begin with. A factor of greatest importance in the success or failure of any marriage is the emotional maturity of the partners. Marriage is a cooperative venture involving two people who must make certain sacrifices for the partnership and for each other.