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Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 2/24/06



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Dear Rachel,

I hope you will acknowledge my letter even though it is hand-written, as I don’t have access to e-mail.

“One-Sided Love” (Chronicles 12-30) started his letter with, “Why do men cheat?” He went on to answer his own question, “Because they get absolutely no love from their spouses.” I take issue with his claim.

Allow me to relate my story.

At the age of 19, I married a nice working boy. We went on to have a large beautiful family Baruch Hashem, as well as financial stability. We really had everything going for us – till one day my husband started looking for some excitement in his life. He needed a “change.”

He found that change in the face of the Internet – where chat rooms, porn, and anything else he desired was available to him with the click of a button.

Throughout our marriage I gave my husband respect, love and affection in abundance, but sadly it was not good enough. So ignoring all the risks and taking the chance of ruining everything we built up together over the years, he entered the sleazy world of chat rooms – which led to dating and traveling with non-Jewish women.

He knows that I am fully aware of everything he is doing. But I have chosen not to act upon this, as I refuse to take any part in jeopardizing my children’s future or my children’s lives.

If chas v’shalom this becomes public knowledge, let the downfall of our family be due to his stupidity and his lack of will power. He has to realize that he alone will need to give an accounting to his family, friends, and to the Ribono Shel Olam.

So you see, to generalize in this way [see opening paragraph above] is wrong and naive. A Yid who has made Hashem and the Torah part of his life does not act in this way. The Torah prevails and the truth always wins.

I daven to Hashem to give me strength, to give my husband the help he needs, and above all that Hashem should look after my wonderful children – that they should come out of this intact.

Thank you for all your wonderful inspirational articles.

Dear Other Side,

A wise old saying comes to mind: Given the opportunity to toss our bundles of troubles into a communal heap and choose another’s, we would each retrieve our own Who can know what lurks “behind the scenes” of what may appear to be a rosy exterior?

One-Sided Love spoke his mind in a fit of frustration, viewing his dilemma solely from his own perspective. A person immersed in his/her own tzoros can find it difficult to focus beyond his or her immediate exasperation.

As for your own painful predicament – not for naught have many chareidi community leaders come out strongly against the use of the Internet in private homes. Though ostensibly the argument centers on young impressionable and curious minds, the yetzer hara is known not to discriminate – the most mature of man can fall mindless victim of its wiles.

Ironically, the sophisticated filtering systems available on the electronic market today are meant for the benefit of parental control. Who would dream of monitoring the parent, a (respected) household figure?

I commend you for your brave struggle, which can’t be an easy one. In the natural order of things, your partner should be at your side working with you in raising your children and instilling in them the Torah values that will guide them throughout their lives.

Undoubtedly, many readers would advise you to “throw the bum out” – yet how can an outsider decide what is in your and your family’s best interest? And who can really know what ticks in the minds of men who behave in such irrational manner? Today it is the Internet environment that offers the easy escape route – yesterday it may have been the secretary/receptionist/intern in his daytime surroundings. Some individuals have deep-seated unresolved issues that they are running away from. You say that you pray for Hashem to give your husband the help he needs. In your wisdom, you recognize his desperate need for help. If it is at all feasible to enlist a third party to intervene – to convince your husband of the folly of his ways and to steer him in the direction of serious counseling, there could yet be hope for a turnaround.

In these unfortunate scenarios, a spouse’s betrayal is devastating to the loyal, loving wife. You come across as a levelheaded, mature and strong woman. And even as it is hard to imagine your children being oblivious to the non-existent emotional ties and lack of natural warmth between their parents, a mother’s love and guidance can more than make up for this void.

Bringing a child into the world involves a three-way partnership – father, mother and our Father above. The earthly father may have shirked his responsibilities with reckless abandon – but you can rest assured that your heartfelt tefilos are not lost on the Father of us all.

Me’ayin yavo ezri/ezri meyim Hashem

Whence will come my help / my help is from Hashem This affirmation of G-d’s constant protection is highlighted in the 121st Psalm – appropriate to recite in trying times.

I wish you much hatzlacha, nachas, and harchavos hadaas.

About the Author: We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories via email to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 4915 16th Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11204. If you wish to make a contribution and help agunot, your tax-deductible donation should be sent to The Jewish Press Foundation. Please make sure to specify that it is to help agunot, as the foundation supports many worthwhile causes.

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