Monday, December 24, 2007

A Really Good Idea

Over the last few months, there have been ads in the Jewish newspapers advertising The SHALOM Workshop. According to their ads,
"The goal of the Shalom Workshop is to teach engaged couples practical tools to achieve a healthy marriage...the Chassan and Kallah will cover important issues such as:
Increased understanding and sensitivity to each other’s feelings.
Communicating effectively through a sense of mutual respect.
Promoting self confidence in each other.
Financial Management."
Now, this sounds like a fantastic idea to me. Anyone who has ever been married can tell you that it can be really hard to make a marriage work, and a little pre-marital coaching can only make things easier.
But... when I mentioned the workshop to a friend whose daughter had just gotten engaged, the daughter and her fiance got very insulted. They thought that I was implying that there was something wrong with their relationship and that they needed counseling. Actually, they're a lovely couple who were made for each other. I have every expectation that their marriage will, G-d willing, last forever. It's just that every couple, no matter how well-matched, can only benefit from something like this.
In most Orthodox communities, Taharat Hamishpacha (mikvah) classes are standard for brides (and sometimes grooms as well); we would be doing ourselves a favor if we made this workshop a standard part of getting married as well.
It's a lot more important than the caterer or the band.


Anonymous said...

everyone needs and should get guidance befor marriage.
whether those particular workshops are good or not, you cant really know till its too late.
no reason to get insulted over the suggestion, if anything theyre a little immature and REALLY need it.

flatbush gal said...

I don't know if I think it should be standard but I am definately a major believer in counseling/therapy/talking things out/learning good communication/learning how to balance needs of a partner with that of your own... Huge fan of what the shalom task force is out to spread.

Jack's Shack said...

People don't really understand how profound a change they're making until they do it.

SuperRaizy said...

Lakewoodshmuck said:
"whether those particular workshops are good or not, you can't really know till its too late"- yes, I think you're right. I didn't mean to endorse this particular workshop- I haven't attended it and I really don't know if it's good or not. I meant to endorse the idea of premarital workshops or counseling in general.

flatbushgal: I think it's up to young single people like yourself to spread the word and make the idea "cool" and acceptable.

Jack's shack: Absolutely true. Your whole life changes when you get married, and it can be a real shock, especially when you're young and no one has told you what to expect.