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


 
Drink to Eternity
Rabbi Moshe Grylak Redemption doesn’t simply mean being let out of jail
Klal Yisrael Is Always Free
Yonoson Rosenblum "In that merit will Klal Yisrael continue to exist”
Home Free
Eytan Kobre My baseline for comparison is admittedly weak
Believe in Your Own Seder
Rabbi Judah Mischel Hashem is satisfied when we do our best
Picture Perfect
Yisroel Besser Take a picture — and this time, send it to yourself
Flying Solo
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman As Pesach loomed closer, his resentment was growing
Hanging on by a Hair
Jacob L. Freedman MD “Do you still think that I’m not completely crazy?”
A Song for Every Season
Riki Goldstein Influencers map out their personal musical soundtracks
Subliminal Speech
Faigy Peritzman The deeper the recognition, the deeper the effect
The Big Change
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Spelling things out clears clouds of resentment
The Count-Up
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz Tap the middos of Sefirah to recreate yourself
The Baker: Part 1
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP with Zivia Reischer "She can't get married if she can't build a relationship...
Know This: Infertility
As Told to Bracha Stein There was no place for me. I didn’t belong
Dear Shadchan
The Girl Here's the thing: I need time