Jan 31, 2013
Catching On "Controlling" Issues

A Crown Heights organization will advise bochurim and yungeleit to identify controlling behavior from women during dating or marriage.

Press release from Adai Ad Institute:

The Adai Ad Institute, co-founded by Moshe and Faigie Rubashkin and Devora Krasnianski, was established to provide programming and education to strengthen marriages and ease the Shidduchim process.

They listen to really understand the concerns of those involved in shiduchim and address the underlying issues, through education, awareness and advocacy.

Beginning with its signature 'First Points' course, the Adai Ad Institute continues to grow with more workshops and other Shidduchim and marriage related services in the future.

As they hear about more issues related to marriages, Adai Ad works to address those too. Unfortunately Domestic Abuse is a problem in our community too. And education and awareness can prevent some cases.

This past month they presented a workshop for single and young married women about Recognizing the Behaviors and Attitudes of Controlling Men - and what you can do to deter them.

In that workshop, Mrs. Devorah Levin, LMHC described the profile and some of the tactics of abusive men and spoke of the secret terror, distress, and confusion of wives who live with a man who controls, manipulates or abuses them. She explained various warning signals of potentially controlling relationships that may surface during the dating process or early in marriage.

An event special for bochurim and young married men will take place on Sunday, February 10 (30 Shevat) at 8:00 PM, on recognizing potentially controlling behaviors an attitudes during dating and early marriage.

Dovid Kohn, LCSW, CASAC will present a similar workshop for men about Recognizing potentially controlling behaviors and attitudes during dating and early marriage.

Kohn, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Addictions Counselor, is a Clinical Supervisor at The Safe Foundation, Inc.

Domestic Abuse, whether emotional, physical or otherwise, is unfortunately a reality for men as well. The abuse can take many forms of power and control, including using intimidation, isolation, threats, coercion, putting the other spouse down, and other violence which can make them feel petrified in their own home. And of course, this negatively affects the children too.

Sometimes, the warning signs are there at the very beginning, but they are not understood or they are minimized or ignored or excused. They may even be read as care and concern which masks the underlying problematic understandings of a healthy marriage.

Education and awareness of these behaviors and attitudes which sometimes can be detected early is an important tool for daters.

Rabbi Levi Garelik, a posek in Crown Heights who deals with unfortunately troubled marriages, strongly encourages young men to learn about the devastation of domestic abuse and how to prevent it.

This event will be held at the Rubashkin residence at 1349 President Street. This session is relevant to bochurim, young married men and those who want to learn more so that they can be a support to someone who is in this situation. Suggested donation $5.

To find out more, visit adaiad.org

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Opinions and Comments
(1/31/2013 11:26:57 PM)
kol hakavod
20% of homes experience domestic abuse. This includes physical, verbal and psychological. Education of both men and women is the only way to combat this problem.
(1/31/2013 11:55:25 PM)
Actually, cool.

I wonder if there will be a third session in which someone can point out how a controlling spouse sets off a chain reaction with the other spouse using counter-controlling behaviour, setting off a circular destructive force, not unlike the spiral of a toilet bown flush, and down the drain the potential for meaningful relationship goes.

Abuse is an abused word. But certainly the lack of respect for the other spouse has offender and victim on both sides of the gender table.

(2/1/2013 12:19:40 AM)
I am a male and married to an ultra feministic abusive wife. She's controlling, demeaning and manipulative. Often I feel worthless despite my efforts to be a good father/spouse. These types of women exist. As much as you wish to make as if abuse is only male to female, you are wrong. Especially in 2013, where women were "liberated" and they are no longer house wives but career women, and their only liability is physical strength. In Psychological realms, they can be equally as capable of abuse as a man and perhaps more. And they even have the luxury of blaming their abuse upon their husbands on the time of the month...
(Of course I'm not suggesting that all women are abusive, just that plenty are capable of abuse and too many are)
(2/1/2013 12:35:35 AM)
Wow finally!
Thank you Adai Ad for addressing the relevant issues and providing helpful tools to curb them. Adai Ad is really stepping up to the plate and providing skills and knowledge to young adults like me and empowering us.
I took the First Points course and the presenter and the course were very informative and helpful, and everyone was sensitive and caring.

Thank you Adai Ad,

A First Points Alumna
(2/1/2013 12:55:07 AM)
Is a recording available?
Is a recording of Devorah Levin's talk available?
(2/1/2013 1:03:50 AM)
I hope these include role-playing potential situations that take place in a marriage and journal keeping or note-taking. Sitting and listening goes in one ear and out the other. most people don't know how to generalize the information and incorporate skills into real life unless they are trained versus talked to.
(2/1/2013 1:07:21 AM)
Out of towners
Can They Broadcast Live So People Who Dont Live In Ny Will Be Able To Participate
(2/1/2013 2:13:16 AM)
Wonderful idea
The more understanding of these things we have before marriage, the more we can hopefully prevent the trauma of toxic marriages and divorces.
(2/1/2013 2:23:37 AM)
Mrs Perl Arbor
#2 Including Ghezher homes
(2/1/2013 2:58:47 AM)
it is an idealogical mindset of americans, (universal at large) concerning Domestic Abuse, the man is targeted. Obviously, the male, the more muscular, the powerful one, the one that protects the family from harm, is the one that may at times be at fault,,,,,

HOWEVER, no qualms about it, when you speak of psychological, emotional pain, hurt, abuse, the woman is looked at, there is the understanding from the female part, that she can play around with the emotions of a man, much worse then any kind of physical abuse that a man can cause.

I say this for the one simple reason, why is this for men only?

I am at a loss here,

nevertheless, I wish the group much success hoping it will bring much Sholom Bayis to all that needs it

(2/1/2013 4:31:48 AM)

thank you # 2 "exactly"
(2/1/2013 4:32:39 AM)
There is absolutely NO WAY I am letting my husband go to this event!!!!
(2/1/2013 8:12:55 AM)
out of town
Could a video be posted please?
(2/1/2013 8:21:17 AM)
long overdue
20% of homes? Maybe 50%? My family, my friends, my neighbors are all jealous of my marriage. So it appears. My husband is an amazing actor. I live with a selfish,abusive, dominating, manipulating,controling husband, who puts me down,every moment that he could. Noone would imagine. I fake it, and hide it so that my children can have a happy, secure, and protected enviroment. Usually it's the men who act like animals. Ocasionally it's a woman.
Hatslacha Rabba on this long overdue work.
(2/1/2013 8:31:48 AM)
I felt so confused in the beginning of my marriage, when the physical, emotional, and verbal abuse began. I was afraid to tell anyone. This is long overdue! Thankfully after years of being in an abusive marriage,I got out. I and my children went through therapy to heal from the abuse we suffered.
People need to wake up! This is a real problem. It's about time the community is starting to take steps to stand up to this type of abuse. Education is the key. Wish I had known more before I got married!
(2/1/2013 8:53:28 AM)
controlling women?
(2/1/2013 9:19:06 AM)
Domestic violence and abuse is 50-50
It has been known for at least 30 years that domestic violence is equally prevalent in both sexes. Women abuse and beat their men about as often as men do women, and women kill their men *more* often than the other way around. And yet few people seem to care about it; there are many help lines and shelters for women and almost none for men, and while wife-beating evokes horror husband-beating is usually seen as funny. Comment #1 is evidence of that.
(2/1/2013 9:54:51 AM)
Read the article before commenting.
Although in most cases the problem is on the man side, there more then few case when in its with the women.
(2/1/2013 10:20:33 AM)
#2, 20% seems too high
I've heard similar numbers, but that's saying 1 of every 5 marriages has abuse. Sounds too high, like #3 said, "abuse" is an abused word. I trust the speakers will not be frightening new couples, where they spend the first months of marriage wondering if their spouse is a monster.
(2/1/2013 10:25:32 AM)
Controlling men
Controlling men are simply "frum" men being mikayiem the Mitzvah Asei of "Vehu Yimshoil Boch" :-) :-)
(2/1/2013 10:26:41 AM)
ur labels/attitude may also be the problem
#4, if she is abusive, it's a crime - and i know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of abuse. BUT, you use a lot of derogatory labels - "ultra feministic" and "liberated", "career woman (like it's a dirty word)instead of housewife"? - ever hear of the work homemaker - she's married to you, not the house! ? You need to change your attitude about women - when you use these kind of insulting labels, it makes one wonder if it's really your wife who is abusive or your domineering mindset at play. What exactly are women being "liberated" from? - and do you suggest that women should live a life that is the opposite, i.e. enslaved? I am adamantly against any form of abuse, verbal, emotional or physical - but the labels you use are a red flag, and call to question your veracity. These labels indicate a problem with how you view your wife and a real lack of respect for her...are you misinterpreting reactions on her part due to a lack of respect and value for her on your part as abuse? It's hard to tell....but those labels speak volumes, and not in your favor!
(2/1/2013 10:55:15 AM)
to #15
#15. Please get help. There are plenty of places (outside ch) that you can go to. There is no reason you have to suffer.
(2/1/2013 11:32:44 AM)
Adai Ad is the best!
(2/1/2013 11:33:13 AM)
#4 - your attitude might be the real problem
#4, abuse is criminal, in all forms and i empathize, having experienced it myself. But the labels you use to describe your wife and to which you attribute blame speak volumes and raise a huge red flag about YOU. "ultra feministic" and "liberated" and "career woman instead of housewife" -WOW, that kind of derogatory stereotyping brings into question whether or not you are the victim of abuse, or a very domineering disrespectful man - NONE of these terms apply to your claims of abuse. Is it abuse you are experiencing, or merely that you don't think your spouse is compliant with your demeaning view of women and their proper role in your entitlement? Are you really abused, or is your ego getting in the way? If she isn't good to you, if her behavior toward you IS abusive, that's NOT okay, and the blame lies within her personality as an individual....but that isn't what you've expressed here - you seem to have a very unhealthy disrespect for women, and what you expect from your wife. Perhaps working on your attitude might change your outlook on whether or not you have experienced abuse, or perhaps a reaction to your own behavior. And again, i must emphasize that abuse in any form is reprehensible and not to be tolerated...I am just questioning, based on your own words, whether or not you are experiencing abuse, or something different altogether?
(2/1/2013 12:01:37 PM)
Hey Yosef
You are the best. Believing in it since day one!
(2/1/2013 12:18:18 PM)
#15, #16
I too spent years in a very unhealthy relationship - abusive, controlling, demeaning, but not physically, for the most part; I was married to someone who knows how to maintain the "good guy" act in public and to his friends. Unfortunately, as hard as it is to try to make such a marriage work (and it cannot in the long run without a loss of dignity, peace and self-esteem) because of misguided beliefs, when you finally reach the point where divorce is no longer an option, but a necessity, it is almost as hard getting out of the marriage as it was living in the hell of it. There seems to be no support, no understanding, and the stigma of leaving a marriage is still alive and well in our community.
Kudos to having workshops on how to recognize this kind of behavior before committing to a relationship - it's crucial to be aware and savvy to any telltale signs of an abusive personality. The nature of the shidduch system is such that, overall it works for the normal person, but is also a great place for abusive people and those with personality disorders to hide behind - weren't we all on our best behavior while dating? I never saw the abusive traits before the marriage...but there were other signs of instability, and dysfunctionality, and i brushed them off, naively so - I was sorely unknowledgeable about it. i hope these workshops go a long way to preventing pain and heartache and damage.
(2/1/2013 12:24:00 PM)
Go Devorie. You are truly amazing.
(2/1/2013 12:26:53 PM)
an abusive woman will NEVER change, vs, a man
I have been a victim of abuse from a female in a marriage believe me the more you open your eyes you will see how many abusive woman their are that will claim they are being abused by their husband. nebach to all that are stuck in their marrige and i support you to GET OUT!! it will NEVER change
(2/1/2013 12:42:04 PM)
to 22, 25
A women needs to respect her husbands role as a man who needs to support the family. If she watches TV and then sees woman having extra curricular activities and careers and... that can easily lead to abuse. A Lubavitch family with 6-10 children can't afford to have the woman have a weekly art, craft, dance class and expect the husband to come home early from work so she can materialize her dream career and hobbies... That leads to the husband not being equipped with ability to bring proper parnassa... and then she complains that he's good for nothing. A woman MUST be prepared to be at home (to maintain the functionality of the family), however old fashioned that is, so the husband can work his brains out to keep the family's finances above water. If the woman is uniquely qualified to bring double the income of the man, that's a different story, but for a woman to constantly harp on her husband's absence due to fighting for financial survival and then expect to be able to be out of the home equal the amount as hours as the man, is abuse. At the end of the day, the buck stops by the man. If the family can't make ends meet the husband will be blamed, not the wife.
(2/1/2013 2:18:08 PM)
What is disrespectful behaviour - abusive
Shouting at a spouse is a big sign of disrespect - and often control. Control happens when the "victim" is scared to do anything wrong or he/she will get shouted at - or "victim" spouse is scared to disagree because he/she will get ridiculed - which is abuse,
(2/1/2013 2:21:54 PM)
number thirteen is hilarious!!!
but in all seriousness these courses and these people are simply amazing!!! instead of sitting down and complaining or pointing out the negative, they decided to take the initiative and try and dress some of the problems in any way they can. I can't say KOL HAKAVOD with big enough capital letters to adequately express how amazing i think adei ad is. I just wish they would post some videos to their site, or maybe some speech transcripts, or offer online classes for those who are out of towners such as myself. I would even pay a small fee or subscription for such a thing. please consider it! thanks!
(2/1/2013 3:03:01 PM)
Mazel tov!
what took the community so long?
(2/1/2013 3:18:01 PM)
As a wife
I don't think this is necessary. I have a very healthy relationship with my husband. I would never let him go to something like this... EVER!!!!!!!!!
(2/1/2013 3:24:32 PM)
My friends wife is an abuser
its unfortunate, the guy does everything she asks because she threatens to take the kids
(2/1/2013 4:04:58 PM)
To #34
"U would never let him go" doesn't that sound controlling to u?
(2/1/2013 4:51:04 PM)
to #34 #13 LOL
Funny - I dont have this issue therefore I wont LET him go.
i.e. I have this issue and am very controlling
(2/1/2013 6:45:09 PM)
My ex-wife was amazingly controlling and abusive
My ex-wife was amazingly controlling and abusive. In so many ways, it's hard to begin describing it. Thank G-d, I put my foot down, and we divorced. Now I'm happily remarried, almost 3 years, to the most amazing woman. :)
(2/2/2013 12:14:11 PM)
It's probably necessary for other people, you sound like a controlling person.
(2/2/2013 4:03:22 PM)
#22 Brings Out A Good Point
The man may have a legitimate complaint.. or not. Your comment was insightful.
(2/2/2013 8:32:51 PM)
Warning Signs-Re Men & Women
Men, who when single, like to deride basically good, refined women and laugh about them with their friends will end up wearing down their wives spirits with disrespect- it's a must. As for women, I have lived in Crown Heights for many years, sharing apartments with other girls. After my friends got married a new era started where I had to have strangers for roommates. Some turned out to be gifts from heaven, others made my life such misery that less than a year ago I literally fled from my apartment and decided to live on the basic necessities to afford a place of my own. In some cases, these women were rather new to the community and showed a very different face to the world than they did at home. The ONLY thing to go by was a sense of intuition based on little or no tangible evidence, that I ignored. Whether you are a man or a woman dating someone, respect your intuition if you feel uneasy- it's your own personal GPS from Heaven...
(2/2/2013 8:55:21 PM)
he doesn't hear me! it is asperger's
thia article l'd found in the jewish press by dr miriam adahan,friday,oct 12,12 page f3
when we first marries,l'd throught he had some nutty things,but let it pass,basicly he just wasn't there,being a b.t,no family,loneiness just was overwheming,l throught that was the way it was suppose to be,it was hard,'cause means a lot to me,it's now 30 years,and l just call this home a tradgy,l did call dr,adahan,she didn't get back to me yet,there's no simcha here,l had suggested reb mendel marozov to my husband,'cause l can't get through for intutitive counceling,he calls me bully and frankly if l didn't take controll,nothing would get done,l can write you a book, l finially lost my cool and said with all your brains,your dumb,stupid,he lost and l've tried very hard to get him someone to work with him
(2/2/2013 9:12:12 PM)
These courses are needed as there is a crown heights man running around saying his wife abuses him and must be forced to go back to him. And this community believes him!!!!! Some people honestly believe wives are possessions that are owned by their husbands.
(2/2/2013 9:22:10 PM)
An abusive husband/spouse, is one who yells and shouts at his wife, puts her down for no good reason, at any time, any place, as well as infront of the children. An abusive husband is one, which his wife has fear to talk with him and converse about any nessasery topics, and fearful of what his reaction might be, whether it be verbal or emotional. Such a kind of husband will never want to except the fact that he is abusive, and brushes it off when he is told so, never feels the need to opoligize nor has any remorse for what he does. Therefore his wife suffers throughout life,unless she has a support group or unless he finally agrees to get help and changes his behavior fully.

Kol hakovod to adaiad.
where can one get to see the talk by devorah Levin?
(2/2/2013 9:28:43 PM)
Take it easy
34 is joking, take it easy.

Also, I don't think every time someone shouts at their spouse they are being abusive.
(2/2/2013 11:31:17 PM)
Please post the recordings
For those of us who cannot attend in person. Please post these talks where they can be listened to. After fianally leaving a very bad marriage, I am now dating. I am experiencing some very confusing things in this relationship as well, along with the good. I would like to know the signs, for some of us it is very hard to distinguish if we have never had healthy role models or experiences. But I now more than ever caution is at the forefront when there are children involved who need to be protected. So please post these talks for everyone in need to be able to access them. Thank you so much.
(2/3/2013 8:43:43 AM)
Perspective is necessary
A misconception regarding abuse has existed for a long time. 20 years ago it was child abuse. Any force/restraint used upon children, whether for discipline or not was/is termed "child abuse" and the offender, or the target for revenge, can be arrested by police and charged with abuse.
Perspective is needed. There exists a distinction between true abuse and abusive actions. Every person man woman and child has did/does express abusive behavior occasionally. One a person is pushed to the edge of his discomfort he/she may lash back with sharp words, threats or even physical violence. All these fall into the category of abusive behavior, exist in everyone's palate of moods and behaviors and none of these are tell-tale signs of an abusive relationship.
Abusive relationship is usually wrongly defined. People usually define it as sharp words or behaviors. The true definition is, however, that the spouse is living with dread and a constant fear not stemming from own's inadequacies but inflicted by the other spouse, through threats, control etc. The fear that if "I don't comply now, he/she will do even worse to me."
Abuse is not about any of the following: control over money, swearing, belittling. These are all abusive behaviors, (which are wrong but are not grounds for separation/divorce, rather are matters that need to be tended to) real abuse is about making on'es spouse live in dread, fear etc. and that DOES NOT exist in 20% of homes.
(2/3/2013 10:11:01 AM)
About #'s 34 and 13!
These people are joking and making light of a difficult subject. Sometimes you just have to smile a bit more.
(2/3/2013 11:26:34 AM)
Psychological issues
Yes, there abuse and there is no excuse for it, but remember that some of these spouses are very sick and need medical help. There is a very good book called 'I hate you, don't leave me' about people with borderline personality disorder. They seem perfectly fine and functional to the outside world and are monsters at home. No one would believe it. The author warns the other spouse to collect evidence since these types of people will file false police reports etc.. and they WILL be believed. They are very convincing and capable.
(2/3/2013 12:08:54 PM)
the men that are abusive to their wives . feel inadequate and have self-loathing, it stems from their childhood. they have a lack of empathy toward their wifes feelings. no matter how much their wife does for them, they will always find fault and criticize. they will scream at her in front of the children. you walk on egg shells around them. never know what will tick them off.They want to wear you down so they can control you and they also feel better about themselves. there is verbal abuse, silent treatment and punishing. t he world revolves around their feelings and needs They have to realize they have a problem. before they can help themselves... Most do not.
(2/3/2013 12:20:13 PM)
the women that are abusive to their husbands . feel inadequate and have self-loathing, it stems from their childhood. they have a lack of normal decency toward their husbands feelings. no matter how much their husband does for them, they will always find fault and criticize. they will scream at him in front of the children. you walk on egg shells around them. never know what when they`ll attack next.They want to wear you down so they can control you and they also feel better about themselves. there is verbal abuse, silent treatment and punishing. t he world revolves around their feelings and needs They have to realize they have a problem. before they can help themselves... Most do not.
(2/3/2013 6:58:47 PM)
to #47
You're wrong - repetitious belittlement, insults, cursing, threats, screaming, raging and denigrating behavior IS abuse, emotional and psychological - verbal...are you of the mindset that defines abuse by asking, "but does he actually hit you?" Is that the only criteria for defining an abusive person? Insisting that the "fear factor" is what defines abuse is naive and simplistic - the behavior itself is abusive and not determined by whether or not the victim is cowering in fear! Are you therefore suggesting that unless someone is living in fear and dread then it isn't abuse??? How convenient for the perpetrator - I heard this very excuse from an abusive spouse - "what? I'm not abusive! i don't see anyone cowering in a corner!" Trust me - it was abuse, by all definitions!

And to make a fine distinction between an "abusive person" vs. "abusive behavior" may be great for a philosophy debate, but for the recipient of the abuse it is irrelevant and ludicrous - the damage is no less regardless of what label you want to put on it. In fact it's a great excuse for someone to hide behind..."I'm not abusive, I just act abusively sometimes"! It may be useful to the perpetrator, or for the therapist if there is one... but it is an injustice to the victim... A slight comparison may be had with how the law distinguishes between murder and manslaughter - one is an intentional act and the other is by accident - this distinction may define how the courts deal with the criminal, but it makes zero difference to the victim - dead is dead! And the crime is only manslaughter if it occurs ONCE, repeated crimes of the same nature are no longer an accident! Real abuse is rarely a one-time event and therefore is NOT an accident! Acting out abusively once may be a very regretable error - the same behavior repeated after that, it is a deliberate CHOICE!
Or more appropriately, one can ask - if you are trying to argue a distinction between an "abusive person" and someone who "behaves abusively", therefore, can one say that there is a difference between a child molestor and one who has child molesting behavior???? Would you accept that distinction? I don't think so....

And then there is this prevalence to think in terms of shared responsibility when it comes to abusive relationships... Abuse is NOT a shared responsibility! To suggest otherwise gives the abusor an easy excuse - "see, it isn't my fault - she/he made me do it" or "I wouldn't have done it if she/he hadn't done ___", etc. That's why couples therapy doesn't work for abuse - unless someone is willing to take FULL ownership of their wrongful behavior they will never change - NEVER! Because changing this kind of behavior is extremely hard....and no, I do not agree that everyone is a potential abuser, or resorts to abusive behavior once in a while! The majority of people do NOT cross that line! The "abusive person" AND the person "with abusive behavior" do not need extreme circumstances, the simplest of things can push them over the line because they don't see "the line" as a boundary to stop them, but rather an excuse to cross over it.
(2/6/2013 10:28:31 AM)
Rebecca says:
# 13 and 34:
You don't let your husband go?
Is he so obedient to you?
Please tell me your secret, is it punishment or he loves you so much he bends to your demands?
You must be quite a woman to have such a meek husband.
(2/11/2013 8:10:50 AM)
please post online
Yes, these should be on line and then
Every parent should make sure their child watches before the first date.
Every shadchan should make sure every client watches before the first date.
And every person who is dating should be able to "break off" dating with no pressure to continue if any danger signs are detected. If that is on the first date, fine, if while engaged, well as you can see from the above, better a broken engagement than a divorce. And if after a wedding? Umm...do any of you know what it is like to be in an emergency room with a beaten person? Yes, it DOES get THAT BAD! Save yourselves and get out! It isn't the easy way, it is the only way to secure your life!
(2/12/2013 6:46:39 PM)
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