Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



How to Raise a Gentle Man

Sarah Chana Radcliffe M. ED., C. PSYCH.

We’ve all heard of divorces occurring due to abuse. But who are these abusers and how did they become such awful husbands? Can you ensure that your own son will not be abusive one day? Learn the strategies needed to raise gentle men.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Abusive tendencies are often blamed upon mental illness. However, only a small proportion of abusive men suffer from mental illness. Indeed, when mental health disorders are at the root of the problem, proper treatment sometimes provides a complete remedy.

But when there is no apparent “reason” for engaging in controlling, intimidating, abusive, and mind-destroying behaviors, the remedy is often much more elusive. Why would anyone act so cruelly?

In many cases, the root of such abusive behaviors in marriage is emotional vulnerability developed in a painful childhood. In fact, those whose deep insecurity leads them to experience frequent and rapid feelings of shame are most at risk.

This abusive man may have been bullied by parents, siblings, schoolmates, teachers, or others. Now he puffs himself up defensively, ruthlessly attacking a woman who accidentally or purposely bruises his fragile sense of self. Perhaps she forgot to do something for him or didn’t remember something he told her. Perhaps she wanted to do something her own way. Maybe she made an unkind remark or was impatient.

Whatever the threat to his sense of wellbeing, the young man responds with excessive rage. No one — certainly not his wife — will ever make him suffer again the humiliation and helplessness he felt when he was young. Naturally, his aggressive posture works very poorly in marriage, leading all too often to a traumatic divorce.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
Not a Newspaper
Shoshana Friedman A deeper difference between newspapers and magazines
Services in Shards
Rabbi Moshe Grylak “Such a painful, malicious lie!”
The Pittsburgh Protests: All Politics All the Time
Yonoson Rosenblum The old rule — “no enemies on the left” — still applies
Danger: School Crossing
Eytan Kobre The hypocrisy of YAFFED’s assertion is breathtaking
Real Laughter and Real Tears
Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger The two sides of a life lived with emunah
Work/Life Solutions with Eli Langer
Moe Mernick I was proud to be “that guy with the yarmulke”
Is Ktchong! a Mitzvah? When Prayer and Charity Collide
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman These cannot both be done effectively at the same time
An Honest Shidduch
Jacob L. Freedman “Baruch Hashem I’m cured, and this will be my secret”
A Blessing in Disguise
Riki Goldstein “I never thought the song would catch on as it has”
Ishay and Motti Strike a Common Chord
Riki Goldstein Bringing together two worlds of Jewish music
What’s your favorite Motzaei Shabbos niggun?
Riki Goldstein From the holy and separate back to the mundane
Rightfully Mine
Faigy Peritzman Don’t regret the job you didn’t land; it was never yours
Growing Greener Grass
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Nurture your blessings and watch them blossom
My Way or the High Way
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt We know what we want — but do we know what He wants?