ORADELL, N.J. — Professional Relationship Counselor Richard Drobnick sometimes walks in the door of his Oradell home and starts complaining about how he just worked a 17 hour day.
His wife Morissa, who is also a professional relationship counselor, always gives him the same response:
"I love you so much and I know how hard you work for the family."
Her response is dripping in sarcasm, but it also gets to the heart of what the couple teaches at their business, Mars & Venus Counseling Center, which has offices in Teaneck, Ramsey, Oradell, Ridgewood and Denville.
"In a relationship, men most need to feel appreciated for what they do," Morrissa, 56, explained.
"And women need to feel that they are the most cared for person in their husband's life," Richard, 65, added.
The couple named their business after the old adage "men are from mars and women are from venus." Their goal is to help couples communicate through the myriad of differences between men and women.
"Communication is the number one issue for couples coming into therapy," Richard told Daily Voice. "Men and women have different sets of emotional needs and each side needs to be able to express them and also validate their partner's emotional needs and concerns."
Morissa said she didn't need psychoanalysis when she first met Richard at a bar in Teaneck in 1983.
"I just thought he was smart and very cute," Morissa said. "It was completely intuitive."
At the time, Richard was working to grow his private counseling practice, which he had started in Teaneck in 1982. Morissa had just graduated from New York University with her masters in clinical social work. When the couple married in 1985, Richard encouraged Morissa to join his practice as a child counselor.
They have worked side by side since then, growing Mars & Venus Counseling Center to six offices and also raising two daughters.
But despite 33 fruitful years of marriage and extensive backgrounds in relationship counseling, the couple admits it is still hard at times to practice what they preach.
"Just because I know the right answer doesn't mean I don't make any mistakes," Richard said. "The hardest relationship you will ever have is a monogamous happy marriage."
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