Friday, August 3, 2007

Married Too Fast?

A reader finds herself in the following situation and is asking for advice:

We got married very quickly. We were very much in love and got engaged after about four weeks. Both our parents, being very religious, were very supportive and not at all skeptical that this was right for us. Four years down the line, one 2 year old ds, and a co-owned home, we realize that we probably did not know each other well enough and there are many things about each other that we just can't stand, certainly don't love, and this gets in the way of every aspect of our life together.

We do try to work it out, and put on a happy face especially in front of our son, but how do we get out of this? We are very committed to the marriage, but have gotten burnt by therapy. (Perhaps tips for finding a therapist too? In the orthodox world, its not like you can just ask for recommendations. And in Israel, just finding someone from the Kupat Cholim [health fund] is not enough). We want to stay married and can't imagine life without the support and help of the other. But I feel that we don't love each other like we should. I know that it's not like it was at the beginning, never is, but I don’t think that its supposed to be like this.

Signed,

Married Too Fast


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10 comments:

Jerusalem Joe said...

In my mind there is no question. The most effective solution I have seen which directly addresses your problem is the "Imago Theory" by Harville Hendrix.
My wife and I also love each other dearly but had a lot of trouble expressing that love in daily life, mostly because we had terrible examples.
I wrote a little about the theory on my blog (see the side bar categories).
http://the-israeli-tikkun-blog.blogspot.com/

You can just start by buying the book(s) reading and doing the exercises by yourself. I know there are therapists in Israel but I haven't used any.
Best of luck and don't give up on your love! There is a way out of the mess!

Miriam said...

My opinion, if you can ever get a hold of the book Awareness, by Miriam Adahan, it will help each of you to understand more about yourselves and each other. That was a great start for my husband and I.

The book even helped me to understand why I reacted the way I reacted and why he reacted the way he reacted.

Now, I can't say there aren't any problems -I don't think any marriage will be completely problem free- but we appreciate each other very much.

BB said...

Miriam, I love Miriam Adahan's books. I especially like Appreciating People Including Yourself which is a different version of Awareness. Also, Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus is a good book by Dr. Gray. I read it a long time ago and remember thinking that suddently I could see clearly why men act the way they do and why women say things that men don't seem to understand.

I personally think that one needs to focus on the positive. What made you "fall in love" with your husband? What attracted you to him? Make a list of all of his good points. Constantly focussing on the positive instead of the negative can make a huge impact. Focus on what he does right and let him know that you respect him.

Abbi said...

Books and workshops can be helpful, but I agree you do need to find a thoughtful, sensitive, action oriented therapist (by the latter I mean- one who offers serious strategies to get you on the road to a healthy relationship) who will help you with your individual case.

My husband and I saw a wonderful woman in Jerusalem. You can contact me at qtavitali at yahoo.com if you would like her name and number. i don't know if she is taking new clients, but she might be able to direct you to one who is.

imba said...

Hi all,
Thanks very much for all your comments, and we will look into all of them.
Hope you dont mind me posting another question.
For those of you who live in Israel, do people only go to therapists who are private? Has anyone ever heard of going to a Kupat Cholim therapist? Or do people just think that if you need to speak to someone, it must be worth it to pay. We do think it is worth paying, but NIS 400 a visit is a bit steep. We also think its important to keep our budget balanced, and are afraid of getting "hooked" and not being able to afford it anymore.

thanks
imba

triLcat said...

1. Charlotte Slopak-Goller -charlots at netvision dot net dot il- gives imago workshops. My husband and I took one last Sukkot - sort of a wedding gift from my parents - and we found that it helped us develop better coping mechanisms for our disagreements, as well as giving us a lot of insight into each other's feelings and behavior.

2. It's very very normal for couples to "fall out of love" after a certain point, and it's really great that you are putting in the effort to get your marriage back on track. Kol Hakavod! Don't give up!

Miriam said...

I have never tried a kupat cholim therapist. I admit I have gone to Rab. Pliskin (?) the one who wrote Gateway to happiness. He's very positive but also expensive.

Miriam Adaham is only $250 shekels. I really like her as you can tell.

YMedad said...

Have you heard of an Eliezer Speter who does counseling?

Ariella said...

Someone mentioned Imago therapy. There is a frum Imago therapist in Baltimore, Rabbi Slatkin. His website is: http://www.jewishmarriagecounseling.com/
His email contact should be on the site if the writer wants to ask for guidance in finding someone who can be helpful.
As for books, Gottman has a few on marriage success. An article on one of them appeared in the summer Kallah Magazine issue and is archived on the site.

marcel said...
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