I do not count myself as one of your fans and often I do not agree with the advice you give to letter-writers. You come off like a Jewish version of “Dear Abby,” advising women who have been in disagreements with their husband that they are in an abusive relationship, warning young women who are in the dating phase to look out for certain red flags that might trigger future problems, and maligning a husband who insults his wife while under a great deal of pressure or inadvertently raises his hand to her as an abuser.
You seem to have one solution: head for the courts or Bais Din!
Mrs. Bluth, most times, no one is responsible for a bad marriage because, in reality, these two people were just a bad fit. And that means, just as in garments, with a little alteration and some adjustments, a bad fit can be corrected and serve as a useful garment that didn’t have to be cast away with the trash.
I, too, am a marriage counselor and can tell you that when there are problems in the home, it is most always the wife’s fault. Either she wants too much because she wants to have credible standing among her friends, or she spends far more than her husband makes so he’s unable to keep up with the mounting bills, or she’s still bound tight to her mother’s apron strings.
I try to show the wife that the cause of the couple’s unhappiness rests on her shoulders and if she tries to change her attitudes and actions, she will be successful in achieving shalom bayis. I don’t need more than a few 45-minute sessions to achieve this success, the proof being that the couple feels strong enough to go it alone and doesn’t need my help any longer.
As for the other problems which appear in your columns, I won’t offer any opinion as my specialty lays strictly in marriage counseling. We are living in an era where women have succeeded in hoodwinking society at large by blaming the male gender. Every ill-placed word is interpreted as an inappropriate slur and many benign and innocent actions are considered something akin to assaults.
It’s bad enough that men, and now I mean almost all men, are quaking in their boots trying to see if there is anything they might have done or said way back to the age of three that could be held against them. Women are now in a powerful position and your column further entrenches and encourages this sense of supremacy.
Please either tone down the rhetoric or retire; you’ll be doing more for shalom bayis and relationships if you do. I would sign my name to this letter, but I respect my clientele too much to put myself in the spotlight.
Sometimes, but not very often, I get a letter that is so uplifting and validating albeit insulting, irritating and off-putting, it deserves to be in print. I am sure this readership will find it as humorous and ridiculous as I did. And just to prove how impartial I am, here you have it.
Now, though, you are in my court, so sit back and get ready to eat your piece of humble pie.
First off, I know right off the bat that you are a man, and one with a very low opinion of women! That you lay the blame for almost all failed marriages at the feet of the wives is reason enough to keep you out of the marriage counseling business. I am sure that every marriage counselor worth his or her salt will see that your partiality towards the males is heavy-handed and that the reasons your clients do not stay with you longer than for a few short sessions is because they see it too. They quickly move on to other clinicians who will work with them in real ways to possibly save their marriages.
Which brings me to the next point – not every marriage can or should be saved!
Yes! Every school should teach gender respect from a very early age, as neglecting to do so will diminish or devalue the worth of a gender and make one subservient to the other. And yes, high school girls should be taught what to look out for when they begin dating, as all this will help to cut back on the horrendous number of gitten that have crippled our people, and which you are only exacerbating with your mentoring!
Simply put, those successes you claim end up in my office and the offices of my colleagues’ leaving us to undo the damage you have done with your suggestions, in addition to trying to help them unravel and work out their marital issues. So much for your success rate!
As for my retirement, thank you for your concern, but as long as there are people who reach out to me for help, I’ll be there and as long as there are people like yourself who make things worse – I have to be there!
By the way, Ann Landers never retired, she died. And her columns of sterling help to the masses are still in circulation today.
However, there is one point you made that I do agree with you on: Woman marching in the “Me Too” conga lines will pay a steep price in the future. By emasculating men and defeminizing women, we are encouraging an evolution that goes against nature. Men and women alike, have important and clear cut roles and talents that are G-d-given and should not be altered or tampered with.
To all my readers who go to the likes of Dr./Mr. J. B., unless you feel you are being helped and are seeing actual progress, get yourself to another practitioner post-haste! Therapy is a visible thing with results, good results, that should be plainly apparent in a reasonable time-frame. If this is not the case, then you and your therapist are not a good fit.
We are living in miraculous times medically, and although we have yet much to learn about mental and emotional dysfunction and diseases, we have come light years forward in treating many of the afflictions successfully with medication and oral therapies, without which, years ago, these clients would have been lost.