With Tu Bav approaching, a holiday that recalls the lifting of restrictions of marriage between the tribes of Bnai Yisrael, among other things, a meeting on improving marriage seems appropriate.
Last Sunday, fifty married couples attended a joint program of the SHALOM Workshop, the National Council of Young Israel and the Young Israel of West Hempstead, “Making Good Marriages Great!” Each of the two speakers “gave the couples an exercise on communication skills,” said Bonnie Kupchik, co-sisterhood president of YIWH. “It was extremely effective across all age ranges.”
Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch, Executive Director of the SHALOM Task Force, instructed the couples in the daily temperature exercise, recounted Kupchik. She described it as “a way of setting aside time to go through the day with your spouse, to show appreciation,” to discuss new information, feelings, wishes and hopes, and complaints. Esther Friedman, MSW, Director of the SHALOM Workshop, presented the wheel exercise, explained Kupchik, a healthy way to bring up a topic that would otherwise be difficult to bring up. She further clarified that “when one spouse says something, the other has to repeat what they hear, so they have to understand what the other is feeling and they can go on to have a healthy discussion and deal with it in a healthy way. Each couple did the exercises themselves” after the speakers explained what to do. The recommendation was to use the exercises on a regular basis, said Krupchik. The daily temperature should be used daily but the difficult topic exercise should be used only when necessary “Don’t abuse it, just when a topic needs to be discussed,” she stressed.