Dear Dr. Respler,
I am writing to you to thank you for saving our marriage. During the course of our marriage, I had been involved in some inappropriate things. Our therapy sessions with you really helped me address my issues. However, I truly believe we were successful in healing our marriage because of my wife and her willingness to allow herself to be more loving towards me.
Today our marriage is solid; she is my best friend and the strength of our relationship helps me overcome whatever yetzer hara I might still have.
We spend our time together and with our children. Baruch Hashem, we have a beautiful family and, while most of that credit goes to my wife, I do try to be as involved with the children as I can.
Often people think that when you hit rock bottom, divorce is the only option. Thank you, Dr. Respler, for helping us find a way to connect on a deep and meaningful level. It has taken us from a poor problematic marriage to a loving solid great relationship.
This letter is not just to say thank you; it’s also to let people know that marriage is hard work, but so worth the effort.
Thank you again, Dr. Respler, for saving our marriage and changing our lives and our children’s future.
A Husband Who Almost Gave Up
Dear Husband Who Almost Gave Up,
Thank you for sharing your beautiful letter. What you and your wife did is incredible and a lesson for others. Many couples go into marriage believing it’s going to be a magical time. Then when the tough times come or they hit some minor bumps, they panic and think it’s time to get out.
Readers, most marriages can be saved – unless there is severe abuse or mental illness. Unfortunately, the divorce rate in the frum world has risen dramatically. As a community, as parents, as teachers, we must do everything in our power to remind those young adults getting married that marriage is work – but work that can reward you with the greatest of joys.
As this letter-writer tells us, if both parties are willing to persevere, there is hope.
Research has shown that a strong and loving marriage can help prevent couples from straying or becoming involved with inappropriate material. That is one of the reasons that it is important to keep the romance alive and not allow your marriage to become “stale.”
Keeping the lines of communication open is essential, and one of the best ways to do that, as we have discussed many times, is date night. Spending time together, as a couple, not as parents, is imperative.
That means putting aside your phones so that you can talk and catch up. Talk about what’s happening in your lives, your opinions about the world, etc.
It’s also important to tell your spouse how much you appreciate him or her and how attractive he or she is. We all want to feel special and as if the other person can’t wait to be with us – like it was when you were dating. Research from the University of Michigan shows that “Re-creating the excitement you once had can actually boost dopamine and oxytocin, two brain chemicals responsible for that love rush,” which ultimately helps keep that spark alive. The research also shows that it is important to keep the intimacy in a marriage alive and to talk about what’s needed if things are not going well. If talking isn’t helping, then it’s a good idea to seek professional help with someone who is trained in this area of marriage counseling.
I appreciate what this letter-writer and his wife accomplished. It always amazes me how people are able to find the money to pay expensive divorce lawyers, yet are hesitant to invest in marital therapy which can save their marriages and their children. And remember, if you don’t deal with your issues, you may find yourself divorced and remarried and still not happy.
A marriage needs to be watered in all areas, and if it’s running dry, you need to find a way to help it grow again!
Thank you for your letter and hatzlocha.