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.
In working with many couples, I find that one parent or sometimes both sets of parents cannot adjust to the “loss” of their child. They may accept the union at the conscious level, but not at the unconscious level. As a result, communication misunderstandings between the future in-laws begin to develop. Statements like “who pays for what?” and “you promised this!” become heated discussions for both the couple and the parents. Parents frequently ventilate their dissatisfactions to their children in hopes for some support, which makes the separation so much more difficult.
But in time, parents do achieve a degree of detachment and adjustment and all is forgiven. But for the chassan and kallah, all is not forgotten.
As Rabbi Shmuel Dishon, shlita, states “the engaged couple is sensitive to the environment and people around them.”
What the chassan and kallah had hoped for was an affectionate alliance between families. But what they got was years of resentment towards their in-laws.
Pre-marital counseling helps prevent misunderstandings. The couple understands themselves and their partner’s family so that issues of the past do not become issues for the future.
When I met with Rav Pam, zt”l, regarding pre-marital counseling at CPC, he stated that this program should be an extension of every chassan and kallah class.
Moishe Herskowitz MS., CSW, is a marriage counselor and maintains his private practice in Brooklyn as founder of CPC. He is an educator, lecturer, consultant and adjunct professor at Touro College. He is the counseling coordinator for Career Services at Touro College and the At Risk Center in Brooklyn. Moishe is presently working as a licensed guidance counselor for the NYC Board of Ed. in Special Education.
For more information or to obtain a free brochure, please contact Moishe Herskowitz at 435-7388 or at Ladino23@aol.com.