What did Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore do in Kabbalah marriage counseling? Are those red string bracelets supposed to keep them tied together?
—Brick Wall, via the inbox
Yes, the two have, reportedly, sought counseling that uses the principles of Kabbalah. Another famous couple tried that, too: Madonna and Guy Ritchie. But just because those two divorced doesn't mean that Moore and Kutcher haven't gotten some pretty reasonable advice:
I interviewed a true expert in this field, Chana Ginsburg, a Kabbalah educator, lecturer, therapist, marriage counselor, life coach and founder of the site KabbalahofLife.com. She tells me that there is no monolithic way that such marital counseling gets delivered.
But, if the advice that Moore and Kutcher are getting is any good, it'll revolve around a universal set of principles studied in Kabbalah: the relationship between God and his creations, or God and the rest of the universe. Kabbalah adherents believe there are all kinds of parallels between that relationship and marriage; understand the higher principles, and you'll have a better understanding of your relationship, or so the wisdom goes.
"It helps people transcend above immediate self interest, to see a bigger picture and relate to their marriages in a deeper way," Ginsburg tells me.
For example: Suppose (just suppose) one member of the couple is cheating. A Kabbalah-studying counselor may point out that even God and his creations have rules for interacting with one another—the 10 Commandments being some of them. There's a framework, in other words, and married people need to adhere to their own agreed frameworks if they expect their divinely-forged union to work.
"We have to find ourselves within the frameworks that are given," Ginsburg explains.
Or, if a spouse is, say, too controlling, another Kabbalah belief might come into play.
"The way God goes about concealing his vision of his perfect relationship with mankind is that he hides himself," Ginsburg explains. "He hides himself so that mankind has the complete freedom of choice" about whether to embrace him, Ginsburg says. Similarly, a controlling man may need to "hide" or tuck away that controlling part of his nature in order for the couple to more freely embrace each other.
Did the couples counseling for Moore and Ashton work? Well, according to reports, the counseling happened over the summer, and rumors of a split haven't exactly died down since then.