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Rabbi Daniel Schonbuch has brought "out in the open" Attachment Theory in his newest book, "Getting Closer".  He helps singles seeking a healthy approach to marriage to have a corrective attachment experience with each other.   Forming the thesis of Schonbuch's book are the three types of attachment styles according to Bowlby: Secure, Anxious and Avoidant Attachments.

Secure styles are usually adults who saw their parents as a secure base and safe haven and felt they could turn towards them in times of danger or fear.  Their mothers were responsive to their child's  needs, provided physical and emotional closeness, warmth, affection and validated what the child was experiencing .  This usually ensures secure attachment in the child well into adulthood and they usually enjoy secure relationships.

Anxious types, in contrast, are often those whose parents were preoccupied with their own worries and fears and didn't always focus on the child's needs.  According to Bowlby, the child was unsure of the mother's love and later adopted the same style with the spouse by doubting whether he or she is loved in the marriage and often finds triggers to worry about it.

The Avoidant type, the most extreme of the three styles, is when the mother is cold, distant or abusive and the child never felt his or her needs were met.  As adults, they become shut down, withdraw from closeness and are not comfortable with intimacy.

Sometimes, after years of searching for the right person,  "avoidant" personalities realize that they too often find faults in the other person they're dating as a defense mechanism against closeness.  What should you be aiming towards to make your shidduchim better and more focused??  If you're the avoidant type, you may be looking for little problems with your shidduch date that sabotage the entire process.  You  could probably benefit from an emotional GPS and help with an experienced Shidduch Coach. Learn the 3 easy steps to develop as much Secure Attachment as possible!!

Let's be in close contact for a more productive Shidduch Process....with blessings for a binyan adei ad....

Sacrifice — the courage for one to give up something truly valuable for an ideal or a person outside of oneself — has become in our day an “endangered species.” In the minds of many it is a dirty word, conjuring up images of repression, dogma and abuse. Sacrifice is often seen as the arch enemy of the virtues that have become emblematic of our times—self expression, self assertion and emotional independence. Sacrifice, we are often told, is a crutch for insecure and co-dependent victims who eclipse their emotional dysfunction by employing the heroic myth of sacrifice.

It is obviously crucial to challenge forms of sacrifice that erode rather than affirm the quality of one’s life. Sacrifice that is feeding into abuse and tyranny is not a virtue. A beaten spouse or a crushed employee should not tolerate the immoral behavior of their spouse or employer in the name of sacrifice. Yet is it not possible that in our hypersensitivity toward the pursuit of individual liberty and the importance of self affirmation, we have deprived ourselves and our children of the vital awareness that to live means to sacrifice something of ourselves for truth, for G-d, for another human being, for your marriage, for your nation, for your values, for making the world a good place?

Nothing in the contemporary secular conversation calls on us to sacrifice anything truly valuable for someone or anything else. We have been taught to be nice and cordial, tolerant and respectful, to give five dollars to a homeless man in the street and to be sensitive to other people's feelings; but not to make real sacrifices that challenge our pleasures, force us out of our comfort zones and require profound and unwavering commitments. Yet when you do not need to fight for something, for anything, how do you learn who you really are? When you do not need to give up anything of yourself, how you do acquire the depth, dignity and maturity that comes along with sacrifice?

When you look around college campuses, educational institutions and even many yeshivos today, you wonder who is reaching out to the idealistic cords inherent in the souls of the youth? Who is giving them something they can fight for? Who is eliciting their inner depths, rather than their most superficial qualities?

When we live a life that lacks any sacrifice, our humaneness is diminished. We become more superficial, more timid, and more external. The entire book of Leviticus, dealing with sacrifices, is Judaism's way of stating that to live means to live for something.
An Altar In Tears

No area of society has been so profoundly affected by this void as the family unit. While in the not-so-distant past the family bond was considered something worthy to sacrifice for, today it is easily discarded when in conflict with one's personal comforts. Couples do not feel that the marital union is so great an ideal and so sacred an institution that they ought to make real sacrifices for it to work and blossom. If the love does not come easy, it is not worth the effort.

1700 years ago, the ninety-page tractate of Talmud legislating the Jewish laws for divorce, was transcribed. The sages of antiquity chose to culminate the book with these words:
“Whenever anyone divorces his first wife, even the Temple Altar sheds tears. As the Bible states, ‘You cause the altar of G-d to be covered with tears, with weeping and with sighing; so that G-d no longer turns to the offerings to retrieve it with good will from your hands. And you might ask: Why?—Because G-d has borne witness between you and the wife of your youth, that you have betrayed her, though she is your companion and the wife of your covenant.”

Why does a divorce arouse tears in the Temple Altar? The Holy Temple in Jerusalem had many pieces of furniture and vessels, like the candelabra, the table of bread, and of course the Holy Ark on top of which were carved the faces of a boy and girl gazing at each other, symbolizing the relationship between G-d and man. Why would they not shed a tear upon witnessing a divorce? Why was this unique to the Altar?

The explanation might be this:

The Altar was the place in the Temple where all the daily sacrifices of grain, wine and animals were offered. The Altar represented the profound but often forgotten axiom that a relationship with G-d demanded sacrifice and the giving of oneself and ones wealth. For centuries, the Altar has stood as a silent witness observing the depth and dignity characterizing a life of commitment and sacrifice. Day after day, the Altar internalized the truth that the path to self-realization leads through self-sacrifice.

When the Altar observes the consequences of a marriage in which the man and the woman did not muster the courage to make sacrifices for each other, it weeps for the greatest of opportunities forever lost. Who more than the Altar appreciates the truth that to find your own soul you must embrace another soul?

There are, of course, exceptions. Sometimes divorce is a tragic necessity. When abuse and dysfunction pervade a marriage, and no remedy can be found, the right answer might be divorce. But in today’s age, many divorces occur not because of an impossible situation, but rather because of our unwillingness to transcend our egos, challenge our fears and transcend our selfish natures. For this, the Altar weeps.  

This simple truth so well known to the Altar has been forgotten by many. We are scared of making sacrifices, lest they deprive us of our personal happiness. Our self-esteem is so fragile that we desperately feel the need to protect it against any outside or foreign intrusion, lest it fade away into oblivion. But happiness is an altar. The more you give, the more you receive. The soul is most at peace with itself when it shares itself with another soul. When we give up on all forms of sacrifice, we deprive ourselves from reaching our deepest potentials.

This week’s portion invites us to ask this question: When was the last time I made a real sacrifice? (from Rabbi Y. Y. Jacobson's  Essay The Dignity of Sacrifice)

     Not everyone values emotional honesty.  Not everyone has time to listen and the reality is that not everyone is capable of "hearing" and empathizing.  If you find that your shidduch dating experience lacks an empathetic listener,  perhaps you're looking for the wrong "personality type".  In fact, empathy is a rare quality which depends on one's personality type.  According to the Myers-Briggs personality system (see Please Understand Me, by Keirsey) people are either dominant Thinkers or dominant Feelers.  Thinking types (60% of men and 40% women) have little interest in the world of feelings.  They feel no urge to share personal feelings and are irritated and bored by those who do.  They are focused on functioning, not feeling.  Feeling types (60% women, 40%) men) are concerned with their feelings and distressed if they cannot share them.  When these two types get together, there is likely to be a lot of mutual frustration, because each has demands which the other cannot meet.

Without feelings, there would be no love, no music, art, poetry or meaningful prayer.  But to allow our feelings full reign is like giving the car keys to a three year old.  Learn when emotional modesty is needed and when not to "emote". 
It is best to inhibit the expression of feelings in the following situations.

1) When sharing will overwhelm others-e.g. it is "immodest" to share strong feelings of grief, fear or rage, especially around children and others who are incapable of receiving your pain with empathy and compassion.

2) When sharing feelings will exacerbate self-pity and despair.  Griping about problems may help people feel better for about fifteen minutes.  After that it's considered "co-rumination" and will actually lower the mood, especially if the problem has no solution.

3) When sharing feelings will lead others to think you are immature, naive, or unstable.  This is how most Thinking types view Feeling types.

4)When sharing feelings will cause others to use the information against you.

Let's get real.  Hoping against hope that the communication will get better if you look past his/her personality type, is wishful thinking.  Nothing will change their brain patterns or level of sensitivity.  As with all difficulties in relationships, use this for your spiritual growth and Be Proud of your Emotional Modesty, realizing that it is not always appropriate to expose your feelings. Turn it Around: Give yourself whatever it is that you want from this other person that you will never get, such as unconditional love, understanding, appreciation, praise and time.  Then get on with meeting your true soulmate  next time, iy'H.  (from Dr. Miriam Adahan's Essay, The Communication Trap,, September 15, 2008)
         A recent article written by a bochur who was challenged by "Fear of Commitment" appeared as an Op-Ed on the site , February 28.  It's revealing to review his difficulties with this issue and his method of overcoming it.  Let's examine some of his challenges and experiences-  

The person with "fear of commitment" to marriage will often question whether their reason for not committing is their "own fear" or perhaps they really have an issue about the one they're dating.  This is the most difficult step to deal with in determining the source of repeatedly turning down potentially good shidduchim.
One of the best ways to determine if the issue is fear of commitment or not, is to start with a list after the first few dates.  On the left side of a page he suggests writing all the positive things about the one you are dating, all the reasons why you  have spent so many hours together and kept agreeing to go out again and again and again.  On the right side of the page he suggests writing all the cons; the reasons why you're not sure about continuing the dating process.  After writing the negative things, indicate which of them are connected to "fear".-As the thought of getting engaged gets more real in your mind, you may have some doubts and question legitimately, " What if he/she isn't the right one, or, how can I know that I won't meet someone  better in the future? "  What will determine the outcome of these doubts?  How will you conquer the fear?

The well known and time tested approach to a successful dating process, he writes, is to ensure that the most important elements are  in place.  Do you have the same goals in life?  Are your spiritual levels compatible? Do your personalities match?  Are you attracted to each other?  Once you have these points checked off, you've done your part... the rest is in the hands of HaShem.  You need to trust that HaShem wouldn't "watch you walk yourself into a disaster" and will guide you to decide what's best for you and help you make a decision that you truly feel is right". 

There's nothing to fear but fear itself.  The next step to take is the leap of faith to jump into the best stage of your life.  He adds that if you choose to give in to your fears, they will be there again the next time, and the next, and the next...If you take the jump, suddenly the fears disappear and the irony of commiting to this wonderful person is that it's deeply "liberating".  The act of committing to marry frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the "fear" that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation.  To commit to marriage is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.  When you decide to conquer the fears, HaShem helps to lead you in the right way. 

Baruch HaShem, he proposed to his designated soulmate and is "free at last".  Mazal tov!
How can you know if you're afraid of Committment to Marriage or you're really not right for one another?

Do you start to feel uncomfortable, anxious and/or break off the shidduch or sabatoge the process in a way that causes the other person to end it??

Maybe you're not even aware that "fear" is the catalyst for break-up.  Perhaps you rationalize what happened by finding some justification for the break-up or claiming to "feel" pressure. 

If you recognize any of these issues as familiar, you should consider doing some self-introspection work with a qualified Shidduch Coach or Mentor.  Check out repetitive patterns in your dating history-i.e. do the break-ups happen often at the same stage in the dating process?  Do you avoid emotional intimacy and prefer to relate to her/him on a superficial level?  Do you see a pattern of actions that sabotage the relationship by antagonizing, offending, or scaring the dating partner?

It's time to move on in Joy- Free yourself of old habits.  Start pursuing Purpose in the Shidduch Process and Marriage - then watch your life become Happy.  Let's connect to learn how to overcome unproductive
 thought patterns that lead to feeling fearful, trapped or loss of control.  Download the phone interview  on my Contact Page for more information and feel free to fill out contact information so  you can begin right away to experience a fresh new approach to the next (and hopefully right) shidduch proposal. 

A Happy, Freilichen Purim!!!
Revealed Blessings,

Me She-nichnas Adar Marbim b'Simchah~!! 

Is there a more auspicious time in the Jewish Calendar to focus on your real Mazal?!? Is there a more joyous time  to strengthen your ability to know and perfect your true "self" and manifest the work of finding your missing half?!?  How can you allow someone into the most vulnerable and hidden places of your heart, trusting that your emotions will be well received?  That is the beauty of a committed relationship! Now's the time to chance it! Why? It's the month of Adar- the month when there's " power" available to access your true blessing, influence and "luck".
Healthy "Mazal" (מזל בריא) is most  available to you starting from today, Rosh Chodesh Adar!! 
On the one hand  it's written that"אין מזל לישראל " ("there is no "mazal" -astrological influences) that affect the Jewish people.  On the other hand the Gemorrah says, healthy "Mazal" (מזל בריא) is most  available starting from today, Rosh Chodesh Adar!! So which is it?!?   True, there is no power of the astrological forces on us-we have the power through prayer and Tshuvah to transform our Reality.   The real Power of Mazal is the Point of  Nothingness (Ayin) in the inner soul..Another understanding of "there is no Mazal among the Jewish people-"Ayn Mazal l'Yisroel"- is  "Ayin" is the Mazal of Israel-that quiet space of surrender when you stop identifying with all the external "stuff"....when you stop  running after the accomplishments, the dependencies on emotional attention, honor, and/or obsessive collecting habits.   Healthy "Mazal" is Knowing Yourself in a true, humble way by transforming the need to "exist" for yourself and bolstering loving relationships with faith and trust. 

 Start transforming yourself now (like in the Purim story) by turning all negativity (thoughts, speech , and action) into Joy!! THINK! before speaking (and/or writing)- Ask yourself:
T=is it True?
=is it Helpful?
I=is it Inspiring?
= is it Necessary?
= is it Kind?

Prepare yourself for communicating in a healthy manner with your future soulmate by increasing in prayer this month and make those quiet moments of "surrender" -inner dialogue-with HaShem count.  Your "soulmate" is out there looking for you.  Be the best half-soul you can possibly be and G-d willing, your efforts will be guided towards each other sooner than you think. Have a wonderfully, joyous month-Good Chodesh!
Self Knowledge is a lifetime process and helps you to define your parameters for your lifetime partner.  Ask yourself the following questions in order to help you in the process:

What are your main goals: immediate and long-range?

What are you doing to reach these goals?

What are your five best qualities?  What is your ideal self?  If there were no obstacles in your way, how would you like to be?

What are your five weakest qualities?

What do you consider the main problems in your life? What are you doing about them?

When do you feel most happy?  What motivates you?

When do you feel sad or frustrated?  How do you react to difficult or frustrating situations?  Do you give up or are you motivated to try harder?

To what degree are you a "giver"?  To what degree are you a "taker"?

Do you usually or rarely have peace of mind? Why?

 Would you consider yourself a happy person?  Why?

Contact me for more information or counseling
King Solomon says, "The person who's found a wife has found good". Your soul mate isn't someone outside of yourself.  He or she is the other half of your true self.  You were separated at birth.  If/when you can recognize your "other half" in your shidduch, it's like recognizing yourself!  That takes practicing living from the "inside-out".  Don't hold out for deep romantic love.  If you want to understand who someone else really is inside, if they're right for you, you first have to divest yourself of preconceptions, expectations and delusions.  You need a spark-but rid yourself of your rules and discover an entire world you never dreamed of or noticed.

 We've been looking for compatibility but not necessarily for marriage.  I often hear: "When I find someone I'm really crazy about, then I'll get married."  In the secular world that's been the mission statement and the system claims some very attractive promises of happy marriages.  For the last 50 years, people married only the ones they were crazy about and the divorce rate skyrocketed.  Today it is higher than ever before.   What happened to all those promises?  They failed because they don't follow Torah's wisdom and we're not working the shidduch system right.  If you do it , it works.

Don't get into a relationship. Get into a marriage.  That means first and foremost define what 's important in your life now, what's precious about it and then find someone who shares  those ideals and values.  Define and describe for yourself your vision of a perfect ideal marriage relationship one year from now and  search for the one you need to share it with.  The "spark" can then be fanned into a full blown love that's based on a solid foundation of mutual respect, G-d willing.  Be real focused and clarify if this is the person for you, your true soulmate.  If yes, don't wait. Get married.  (from the rich Torah wisdom of R. Manis Friedman-N'Shei Chabad Newsletter, June 2012 and Shimona Tzukernik-How to find your soulmate-The Kabbalah Coach)

With blessings for faith-filled "findings"  of your true soul mate.


Kosher Soulmate