Articles by Raffi Bilek

Give Us your Shoes for Shalom Bayis


Shana and Avi* had only been married three years, but already it seemed like they were headed for divorce. All they ever did was fight. The tension in the house was constant, and they could hardly remember why they had gotten married in the first place. As far as either could tell, the only reason they were staying together at this point was for their one-year-old daughter Malka, whom they both loved dearly. But Malka had an unusual medical issue that took a lot of time, energy, and money to address. Shana and Avi were physically, emotionally, and financially stressed.

It had been suggested to them a number of times to seek marriage counseling, but that was simply never in the cards. Their insurance had told them it wasn’t covered, because it was not a medical issue – at any rate their deductible was astronomical – and they couldn’t afford to pay out of pocket. They were getting increasingly overwhelmed, resentful, and hopeless.

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How to Get Your Kids to Brush Their Teeth (and Other Stories)

tooth brushing

As a therapist, working with parents and children is one of my favorite duties. I have developed a comfortable parenting style and philosophy from the training and reading I have done, both Jewish and secular (see below for some of my favorite reads), and I have had the privilege of helping many parents improve their own parenting as a result. So it was with more than a little embarrassment that I caught myself doing something that I knew was ineffective and counterproductive, something that I commonly teach others not to do.

Let me start with this question: How do you get your kids to brush their teeth every night?

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How to Be Married to a Woman


My article, “How to Be Married to a Man,” recently published in the Where What When, earned me a lot of head nods and a couple of high-fives from male readers. It also led some women to indicate that perhaps I could offer some comparable tips to the other gender. (That would be the male gender. I am spelling that out for the men, who, of course, need things made explicit for them, because they don’t do things like “infer” from what you said.) In recognition of the great need, I present you with this article about how to be married to a woman. And this time, I can claim a lot more credibility, since I (a man) am married to a woman

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How to Be Married to a Man


You may be thinking that I, as a man, am not the right person to be writing about how to be married to one. After all, I clearly have no experience. However, it so happens that I have a very close connection to someone who does have lots of experience in this area, and together we have collected some relevant psychological data.

The points I will share are grounded in the assumption that men and women have dissimilar ways of doing many things. (I know that not all men do it “the man way” and not all women do it “the woman way.” We’re talking in general.) Here, then, are a few tips for wives who are trying to survive and thrive through the experience of being married to a man.

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