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GOOD MORNING! I thought I'd give you a Chanukah gift of some wisdom for a happy marriage from my friend Rabbi Aryeh Pamensky. Who is Aryeh Pamensky? He is the director of The Pamensky Relationship Institute, which is dedicated to provide couples with strategies for creating extraordinary marriages. He launched the seminar "How to Make a Good Marriage Great" in 1997, which has grown into one the most popular programs of its kind. Last year he taught over 10,000 people in 100 cities on 5 continents how to have a great marriage!
He also does his "Pamensky Live!" at comedy clubs around the world and can be found at his website http://www.happywife.com. You can even buy his wisdom, including the following topics: How to Make a Good Marriage Great, How to Have a Good Fight, Making Love Real Every Day, Feeling Lonely, In the Bedroom, Money, Children, Communication, Conflict Resolution on cd or mp3 downloads from his website.
Here is how you know that he is REALLY good! Recently, Reb Aryeh received a $5,000 check from someone he didn't know. When he called to thank the man and clarify, the man told him, "Rabbi, my wife and I have been in marriage counseling for over 10 years; we attended your session, started doing what you taught, got rid of the therapist and have the most wonderful and amazing marriage. Believe me, I owe you more than $5,000, so please keep the $5,000 with my eternal thanks!"
Teaches Rabbi Pamensky: Men and women are different, not just physically and emotionally. Perhaps the biggest difference is that women are relationship beings ... and men are not. At one seminar he divided the men and women into two groups to come up with descriptions of the ideal husband, wife and marriage. When they reassembled, he called upon a woman. However, before asking her for the descriptions, he asked her the name of a woman who was in her group. "How many children? Boys? Girls?" He then asked her the same questions about 2 other women at random. The woman knew about each woman in the group.
Rabbi Pamensky then called upon a man and asked him to name ANY man in the group. He couldn't do it. None of them could. They had worked out excellent descriptions of the ideal husband, wife and marriage, but it just wasn't important to know each other's names or about their families. Says Rabbi Pamensky, "When do they learn the names of the other men? When their wives introduce them!"
What do men need to be successful with a relationship being? They need a job description to know what to do! Here is a husband's job description: Your job is to make your wife happy all the time! If one told women that their job was to make their husband happy - then the husband would be happy. However, if the husband makes his wife happy, she'll return it multifold ... because she is a relationship being! Make her happy and she'll make the relationship happy and filled with intimacy, connection, closeness, passion and growth.
How does one make his wife happy? Rabbi Pamensky quotes Rabbi Moshe Aharon Stern, of blessed memory, who once advised, "All you have to do are the 3 A's - Attention, Affection and Appreciation. A woman needs attention, craves affection and so rightly deserves appreciation!" (When Rabbi Pamensky once asked a group if they knew what the "3 A's" are that one should give his wife, one cynical pundit said, "Yes! American Express, Apology and Alimony...)
Advises Rabbi Pamensky, "The relationship is not about thinking. The language of a relationship is feelings. Feelings have nothing to do with logic. A man has to make his wife feel that she is the most important part of his life, the absolute first priority!"
How does one give attention? Put down the newspaper, stop typing on the computer, turn off the music ... turn around, face your wife, look her in the eyes ... and listen. Why does a woman interrupt at the last moment of a football or basketball game in overtime? She wants to know that she is more important than the game. Give her attention and she'll give you space.
How does one give his wife affection? A man tends to compartmentalize life: business tones, parenting tones, walking the dog tones ... for his wife he needs to all the time speak to her with affectionate tones of love and respect.
What does Rabbi Pamensky advise women to know in order to make their husbands happy? Two things:
- All men are giant egos with legs - and egos need stroking all the time, especially when your husband does his job of making you happy! He has to feel that if you were the only woman alive and you had 3 billion resumes of men wanting to marry you, that you'd pick him! You mean the most to him. You know him best. Therefore, your ego stroke is the only real ego stroke he gets in life.
- The second thing a woman has to know in order to make her husband happy is to give her husband a break - especially when he does NOT do his job of making his wife happy! Do not nag, harp or criticize him when he slips up. It doesn't help. It makes everything worse! Men weigh effort versus benefit. They'd rather do their job and get an ego stroke than get a break!
For a better marriage, for a happier world ... go to happywife.com !
For more on "A Happy Marriage" go to ShabbatShalomAudio.com!
Torah Portion of the Week
Pharaoh dreams of cows and sheaves and demands for someone to interpret his dreams. The wine butler remembers Joseph's ability to interpret dreams. They bring Joseph from the jail. Pharaoh acknowledges the truth of Joseph's interpretation (that there would be seven good years followed by seven years of famine) and raises Joseph to second-in-command of the whole country with the mandate to prepare for the famine.
Ten of Joseph's brothers come to Egypt to buy food; Joseph recognizes them, but they don't recognize him. Joseph accuses them of being spies and puts them through a series of machinations in order to get them to bring his brother Benjamin to Egypt. Then Joseph frames Benjamin for stealing his special wine goblet.
Next week ... the denouement!
based on based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
The Torah sets forth Pharaoh's prophetic dream:
"And behold from the Nile rose up seven cows, which looked good and healthy of flesh and they grazed in the pasture." (Genesis 41:2)
What does it mean that the cows "looked good"?
Rashi comments that their looking good was a sign of the years of plenty, for then people look good to one another and are not envious of each other.
The idea that Rashi expresses is important for happiness in life. When you allow what someone else has to rob you of your own happiness, you will frequently suffer. However, if you learn to appreciate what you have to its fullest, you will be so filled with good feelings yourself that you will not be disturbed by what anyone else has. The more you focus on the good in your life, the less it will make a difference to you if anyone has more than you. When you master this attribute of feeling joy for what you have, your whole life is a life of plenty!
CANDLE LIGHTING - December 30:
(or go to http://www.aish.com/shabbat/candlelighting.asp)
Guatemala 5:25 Hong Kong 5:31 Honolulu 5:35
J'Burg 6:42 London 3:41 Los Angeles 4:35
Melbourne 8:27 Mexico City 5:50 Miami 5:23
New York 4:19 Singapore 6:51 Toronto 4:31
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
If you don't have great expectations,
you won't have giant disappointments .
In Loving Memory of