web analytics
August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Moishe’

What Comes Around… Goes Around (Part One)

Wednesday, December 12th, 2007

(Names and circumstances changed)


 


         The topic of discussion of the support group was our children. How do the children of the chronically ill cope? One parent is sick and needs constant care, while the other is doing double and triple duty to provide that care, bring in an income, bring up the children (most often as a single parent), and still find some moments for him/herself. The well spouse is doing triple duty just to get through the day.

 

         The people in the support group felt that no matter how hard we try our children get cheated. They get less attention, have more responsibility, and often have chronic sadness that comes with living with constant illness in the home. As a result, the children of the chronically ill may act out more and may have a bit of trouble concentrating in school.

 

         Our hope is that our communities, our schools and youth groups would understand our children’s needs and help out. We hope that seeing their life, they will empathize and give our children an added bit of attention, a bit of praise when deserved, an opportunity for an outing that the illness has stolen. Perhaps a time to be with “normal” families and just have fun.

 

         The reality is quite different, even regarding friends. And so our children are often treated in a manner that causes us to be angry and frustrated. Perhaps because of the pain we feel when our children are rejected or mistreated, we wish others would just understand our life. We wish they would just be put in a situation to feel as we feel, hurt for our kids as we hurt. But that wish can be something we live to regret.

 

         Chaya Leah told me that despite her husband’s chronic illness and her own overloaded life, she felt for her friend’s son (I’ll call him Moishe) age nine, who was going to stay at the shiva house every day, while his mother was sitting shiva for her father. No one had offered to take the boy after school, and so she offered to pick Moishe up from school with her own son each day of the shiva. The boys would do homework and play together. Chaya Leah would give them supper and let them stay up late until Moishe’s mother could take him home to sleep. Moishe’s mother could not find the words to express her thanks and gratitude. She said she would never forget the kindness.

 

         A year later, Chaya Leah’s son (I’ll call him Dovid), Moishe and a third friend (Ari) were all to go to summer camp together. As the camp was quite far, the three boys were to fly together and be picked up by the camp at the airport. Chaya Leah was thrilled not to have the worry of her child travelling alone on a plane. She was hoping the three weeks at camp would give her son respite from living with his father’s illness and a break from responsibility. Going with two boys he knew helped ease any fear Dovid had of the new experience.

 

         Just before making the final flight arrangements, Moishe’s mother called. It seemed she had a married daughter in the same city as the summer camp. She had decided to take her son and Ari to visit her daughter a week before camp. There, they would get to tour the city and have fun before camp started. She told Chaya Leah that her daughter’s place wasn’t large enough to accommodate three boys, so they weren’t able to take Dovid along with them.

 

         Chaya Leah cried as she put her frightened son on a plane to travel alone to camp. It had taken quite a bit of convincing to get him to even go to camp, and since he was flying alone, he was frightened. She did not know what to tell him when he asked her why he couldn’t go with his two friends to Moishe’s sister house.

 

         She had heard through the local gossips that Moishe’s mother thought Dovid was a little too active to take along on the extra trip. Chaya Leah wondered why Moishe’s mother hadn’t found Dovid “too active” for her son to spend the week of shiva at her home. Nor had he been “too active” the many times during the year when Moishe had asked to come over to play with Dovid after school.

 

         Chaya Leah kept hearing Moishe’s mother’s words after the shiva week telling her how she would “never forget Chaya Leah’s kindness in taking her son every day of the shiva.” She kept hearing her say she’d find a way to reciprocate. And she couldn’t help but think of the expression “No good deed goes unpunished.”

 

         Chaya Leah remembered that the tears of widows and orphans have a special place with Hashem. She remembered learning that this group’s special place came because they didn’t have security. They had no one to take care of them and they came with broken hearts. She wondered if well spouses were included in this group. They certainly fit the criteria. Did Hashem hear her tears? She hoped that someday Moishe’s mother would know how it felt to have her child rejected. She hoped that someday she too would feel this terrible pain.

 

(To be continued)

 

         You can reach me at annnovick@hotmail.com 

Commitment Phobia

Tuesday, August 21st, 2001

People are not all the same. We have different energy levels, make decisions based on different criteria, and structure our lives in different ways, depending on what makes us most comfortable. But if you’re in a com­mitment-phobic relationship, it’s important that you gain some insight on your partner’s comfort zone and how he/she functions in the world. According to psychologist Carl Jung, people are born with preferences, and how we bal­ance and use these preferences is what makes up a good part of our personality. Most people are balanced between two of these preference types called Judging and Perceiv­ing.

The Judging Types like things to be settled, finish­ed, out of the way, and want the tension off their minds. They are often organizers and planners. Perceiving Types like to keep their options open as long as possible. They have a “let’s wait and see” attitude. To alleviate tension, they may avoid making decisions.

The Commitment-Phobic individual is balanced at 90% perceiving and 10% judging. It’s like having a scale that is tipped over too much to one side. If this should happen, they can often feel trapped by pressure, obliga­tion and commitment. They are frequently likable, adaptable and charming people, always on the lookout for some new adventure or experience. They want their freedom and dislike being controlled. One of the key factors for commitment-phobics is closure. They keep collecting new information rather than drawing conclusions. Only when they have looked at all of the possibili­ties are they likely to settle down and get married.

Baruch Hashem, this past Labor Day was my wed­ding anniversary. When I was single, I thought I would never get married. If it wasn’t for my mother, a”h, I would still be single, even today. At age 31 and almost engaged, I was still looking for excuses to back out. But my mother, who had tremendous insight as to what I was feeling, sat next to me and explained that you have to move on to the next stage in life — a level of growth that can only be obtained through marriage and not to be avoided. You are about to marry a wonderful girl and in all probability, she will be your ezer kenegdo. Hashem has sent her to you so that you can balance the scale back to where it belongs. If your are good to her, you will reach a level of growth that you never thought possible.”

I didn’t understand what my mother was talk­ing about, but I did listen! And she was right. Seven­teen years and three children later, I still wake up in the middle of the night and look at my wife and chil­dren while they’re sleeping. I still can’t believe I’m married! What I did to deserve to have such a good wife and children is beyond me, but I thank Hashem every night for making it happen.

In pre-marital and marital counseling, the aware­ness of type preferences creates the greatest challenge for couples in establishing satisfying relationships and shalom bayis.

Moishe Herskowitz’ M.S., C.S.W., 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 435­7388 or at CPCMoishe@aol.com.

Pre-Marital Counseling: The Fear Of Giving

Wednesday, June 6th, 2001

The transition from single to married living necessi­tates many changes and adjustments. The success of the couple depends upon what each brings to the marriage. What may seem positive to one partner may be perceived as negative to the other partner. This failure in perception is one of the primary causes of marital friction and break­down.

A few weeks ago, a mother of a newlywed couple called me for help. She stated that her son Shimon, who recently got married, became ill. With all the blood tests that were done, they still didn’t know what was wrong. He had al­ways been healthy. He married a wonderful girl from a fine family. She had the feeling that something was both­ering him, but he wouldn’t speak to anyone. When I asked her, “What makes you think he will speak to me?” she an­swered that, “He doesn’t have a choice.” His rav called him and explained that he now recommends pre-marital coun­seling to all chassans and kallahs, something that he did not do in the past. Since a couple in their first year of mar­riage (shanah rishona) is still considered chassan and kallah, it would be to their benefit to attend.

Three days later the young couple (Esti and Shimon) were sitting in my office. Although Shimon did not look interested, I explained that the five sessions of pre-marital counseling would be an opportunity to gain valuable in­sights about one’s self and one’s partner. When I stated in session three that, “How you learn to give and receive is a determining factor in a growing meaningful marriage,” Esti seemed confused. She stated that someone in her family instructed her not to give at all because if you give a man too much, he will grow indefinitely dependent on you. You will be locked in that role of giving and your turn will never come. Men must be trained and broken in from the very start. Shimon could not believe what he was hear­ing! He thought Esti was not giving or doing anything for him because she was just not capable and that he married the wrong person. At this point, Esti started crying and said, “How was I to know? I just did as I was told.”

Rebbetzin Fink states in her lecture series to kallahs that, “Marriage is not a training ground. Husbands do not get trained. Marriage is about growth and you grow best in an environment of unconditional acceptance.”

Thanks to a very resourceful mother and a smart rav, by the time the fifth session was over, the couple was well on their way to restoring shalom bayis.

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.

CPC —Center for Pre-Marital Counseling, is endorsed by Rabbi Pikus of COJO of Flatbush, and leading rabbonim and Torah authorities in the NY community.

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 (718) 435­7388 or at Ladino23@aol.com.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/marriage-relationships/pre-marital-counseling-the-fear-of-giving/2001/06/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: