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Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 6/12/09

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Dear Rachel,

My husband is slowly killing me!

My husband and I read your column every single week in The Jewish Press – we never miss it, and I’m hoping that you will print this letter and respond with some practical advice so that my husband will see it and hopefully wake up from his destructive behavior.

I will try to give you the most information I can, in a way that will not give my husband the feeling or inkling that it was I who wrote the letter. I need it to remain anonymous – for us, our children and for our extended family.

Rachel, my husband and I have been blessed by Hashem with the most magnificent family. We have a beautiful home and even more magnificent children. Some are married. We are even grandparents at our young age.

The relationship I have with my husband has always been an excellent one. I have always shown the highest regard for him and have always made him feel like he is the king of this family. It is something our children have seen as well. Our home is a peaceful one – I make sure of that.

Our children look up to their father, as he is someone to look up to. He is a learned man, has a chavruta every day, davens three times a day with minyan, gives shiurim, dispenses charity with a generous heart, and there is so much more! He does so much good.

My husband is also crazy about me. I have provided for him a secure and loving home and he has provided for us in a more than decent way. Just to give you a picture (not G-d forbid to boast), I am an attractive woman.

However, as you and the rest of the world have heard many, many, times, his yetzer ha’ra (Internet) has gotten a hold of him in the past two years, in a strong way. We have a TV in our home, yet I must tell you that the Internet is what is ruining our lives.

My husband does not know that I know what he does when his boredom takes over. Unbeknownst to him, I have so many ways of checking on him. Women are so smart; men just fail to realize it.

My husband has met (over the past two years that I am aware of) with different “people” to get some satisfaction. I should mention that we have a very nice relationship. We regularly voice our love for one another and enjoy an active intimate relationship.

For all that, there are those two weeks out of every month that are very difficult, especially for men. On the Internet, you can find filth with strangers and it is so readily accessible. I am not naive by any stretch of the imagination!

I know with 100 percent certainty that my husband has on several (at least 10) occasions met with people for extra activities.

When I find out about them, I get mad but I don’t get even, and I don’t bring it up to him. I rationalize mentally that some men are just this way and need attention any way they can get it. Please remember that my husband does not know I know. Not only do I pretend everything is fine, I act even nicer to him.

The hurt that I feel is indescribable. The betrayal is overwhelming. Yet, somehow, I put it out of my mind and allow him to move forward, letting him believe that he is outsmarting me.

Lately, I noticed that my husband has been trying to do teshuvah and has refrained from meeting people, yet the yetzer ha’ra is pushing him hard. The challenge is there every single day! His activities are less, yet I am always on the alert. What an unpleasant way to live! I hate him and love him at the same time. He is simply betraying me daily looking for filth! I am afraid of him bringing some disease home!

Please do not assume that I am perfect – I am not and have never claimed to be. I know your initial reaction will be that my husband needs help. Rachel, you must realize this is far from simple.

There is no one, and I mean no one, whom I can turn to at this most difficult and painful time in my life. The embarrassment that this scenario would cause him is immeasurable! I could not possibly talk to his parents, his rabbis (he is close with several), his brothers or sisters, my parents, our children, our friends… THERE IS LITERALLY NO ONE TO TURN TO! Professional help he will say he does not need, and I would have no way of approaching him anyway for he does not know that I know what he does in his “spare” time.

Truthfully, this could have been going on for years, without my realizing it. I had no reason to question him. He is so cunning that he would never upend himself and let on to this behavior. Little things, though, have cropped up that have only recently begun to make sense. Like when he uncharacteristically remarked, “Why are you picking up my cell phone?” – and I would be thinking, “Now what could have been so private?”

Now I know. He was hiding something. Calls from people he should not have been communicating with, being a married person.

I first became suspicious when I heard a strange message from a woman he knew, and that made me want to look over his shoulder.

With the summer carefree months looming ahead, my heart sinks with trepidation as to what lies ahead.

By the way, in public conversations, my husband will proudly mock people with his exact deficiencies. How ironic! And what a hypocrite!! Better to stay quiet.

Sign me…

Wife in silent suffering

Reply to follow…

Submit your letters or comments on published letters to rachel@jewishpress.com

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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