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Hagai Avisar

Psychologist and couples therapist

Author of The Good Husband

I am an Israeli-born psychologist and couples therapist who has been in practice since 1987. I moved from Israel to Melbourne, with my Aussie wife and two kids in 1997.

With my passion to support young families, I have specialized over the years in helping couples with their relationship issues. As an enthusiastic educator and therapist, I provide unique perspectives and effective solutions through counseling and workshops.

In recent years I have developed an interest in helping men with their relationships. I noticed an ever-increasing gap between the high expectations from family men and the poor support and empathy they receive from society. In response to this gap, I published in 2022 my book The Good Husband, in which I offer married men guidance on how to use their masculine strengths to benefit their families.

Over the years I have initiated and supported various social projects for parents and families. As an adoptive parent, I set up a network for adoptive families who raise children of African origin. 

About

Why I created the Good Husband project

As a psychologist and couples therapist,  I have witnessed over the past 30 years, countless men who struggle with relationship issues that leave them feeling powerless and inadequate. When men feel a loss of power, they tend to get angry, or shut down and avoid. Their partners then feel even more frustrated and angry, to which men react with further avoidance. As the cycle worsens, men withdraw quietly into their grief and shame. They resign to that sense of helplessness and defeat. Some may develop symptoms of depression and anxiety which are often masked by anger. To deal with their hurt they may escape to alcohol, drugs, pornography or workaholism. 

These men deserve our support, but instead, their masculinity is regularly tarnished in the media; they are portrayed as victimisers and women as victims. There is a clear gender gap in empathy and advocacy. Family men need encouragement and guidance, not more shaming and blaming. The vast majority of family men want to be at their best for their family! For this, they need our moral and practical support.  

About 40% of marriages end within 10 years, resulting in much suffering for children, and for their parents and grandparents. Most of these breakups are initiated by women, with men often feeling puzzled, shocked and heartbroken. Sadly, in too many cases the father-child relationship is harmed. 

We need to urgently address this social trend and help men restore their power in their families. This is what I set out to achieve with The Good Husband project. 

My story

 (Extract from the Book)

I grew up and studied clinical psychology in Tel Aviv, Israel. This is where I also met my wife Judy, who migrated from Melbourne, Australia. When our kids were 5 and 6, we moved to her hometown to be closer to her family.

After twenty-five years together and several ups and downs in our relationship, we reached a stage in which we had drifted apart, and the marriage was beyond repair. Our children were young adults, and the option of separation was viable and appropriate. I can gratefully say that our friendship and care for each other have remained strong.

I regard my long marriage as a corrective relationship experience that helped me heal from my traumatic childhood experience. At age eight, I was placed in an institution for children from dysfunctional families. I experienced abandonment and neglect, and along the way I honed my resilience and Warrior spirit. My marriage taught me that a partner could be your best psychotherapist. We heal through a secure and committed relationship.

I am grateful for a rewarding and meaningful marriage. Together we did good things for our families and our community. For example, in Israel, we helped set up a parent helpline, started a community of adoptive families for children of Ethiopian origin, and supported the Ethiopian community.

When a marriage is unraveling, it is often the result of many complex factors. Unfortunately, most of those factors are not known to us at the time. Only with the perspective of time can we realize our mistakes.

I wish I could say with pride that I did a good job using the tools I share with you in this book. I didn’t. Wisdom and awareness grow over time. I would have done things differently had I known what I understand now. But I have no regrets if I can pass on the insights and tools I desperately needed at the time.

And if you wonder about my ‘hero journey’ from that powerless child in an institution to where I am today, I believe you can find the answer somewhere within and between the lines of this book.

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