web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 8/19/11

By:

Chronicles-logo

Share Button

A Reader’s Response to Lonely at the Core and Finally Free To Do Something About It

(Chronicles 07-22 and 07- 29)

 

Dear Lonely at the Core, and Dear Rachel,

With all due respect, I want to chime in with my take on this very heartbreaking story. With great sadness, I too am in this boat, albeit with some differences. A few months ago, after eight years of marriage, I discovered that my husband has been involved with the filth you have presented (massage parlors, meeting people from Craig’s list, trying to engage total strangers). I was shocked, horrified, disgusted, and as angry as can be.

I could not eat, sleep or drink for a week. Although I had no prior experience with addictions, I somehow came up with the idea that he is addicted to this “stuff.” At the time, my husband thought he was going to get into big trouble at work, and I guess he felt his life was crashing down around him.

Unlike many others, I did not completely isolate myself and promptly told two people  – whom I chose with care – letting my husband know in advance. Not that he agreed, but I told him it was not his choice and it was something I needed to do.

Somehow we found “Guard your Eyes” (a network of religious Jews struggling to break free of inappropriate behaviors rooted in lust addiction. [See Family Issues 03-25 and 04-20-2011]) I also had a strong instinct to approach our rav and have my husband tell his story. I believe it was crucial for him to verbalize the wrongs he had done, and to feel a sense of embarrassment in doing so.

I am grateful that my husband did not deny what he had done and did not blame me. Thankfully, neither did I. (This problem had started way before me and if I understand it as an addiction, it is beyond me and my control.)

One very important part of what I want to say is that this problem must be addressed as Sexaholism and/or Sexual Addiction, which needs outside intervention to be conquered. My husband now attends SA meetings (and I go to SANON meetings). As I was told early on, people with this sickness are usually coming from a place of very deep pain, and all the years of addiction certainly doesn’t help.

My husband also said he did not realize that anything he was doing would hurt me or affect our relationship, so long as I didn’t know. As erroneous and unwise as this logic is, he really believed it. The faulty thinking becomes a part of the problem. By deluding their brains and consciences, they allow themselves to justify their actions and inactions; it is their “Addictive Thinking” (see Understanding Self-Deception, by R’ Abraham J. Twerski, M.D.) that allows them to lead such a hypocritical existence.

I can so relate to the message in the words “Lonely to the Core…” As human beings we crave connection and intimacy. Though I had no clue about what was going on, I did know that my husband and I were not “best friends,” that a connection was missing. Even “sick” spouses yearn for intimacy but sabotage their chance of finding true intimacy by immersing themselves in an illusionary existence. And though we “well spouses” may suffer from some level of difficulty with intimacy, it in no way justifies our spouse’s despicable behavior.

In conclusion, I’d like to reiterate the part about sex addiction being at the core of the problem. Often addicts need to hit “rock bottom” before being ready to seek help. For my husband it was the thought of losing his job and being exposed. At times this bottom is reached when a wife establishes her own firm boundaries, adamant in not allowing herself to continue in such an unmanageable situation. These boundaries are not meant as a threat as much as to empower the woman so that she can set up her core values and be true to them.

I am learning that the better way to communicate is to first understand what it is that I want, that I think and that I feel. Communicating with my raw feelings and emotions (of pain, but not necessarily anger) enables me to set my limits.

Try not to destroy your spouse with your words. As difficult as this may sound, he may actually benefit from someone who believes in him and who feels him worthy of being rid of this horrible affliction.

You may say, for example, “I am hurt to my inner core; the behaviors that you have partaken in go against my definition of marriage and I will not allow myself to be in a situation that disregards my core values of marriage, morality, etc. I do appreciate all the good you have done to sustain our family life. I believe that if you get the right kind of help we can address the true root of this problem. But I will nonetheless have to do what is right for me, if you are unwilling to do your part.”

Thank you for allowing me the chance to use my own dreadful experience to possibly help another member of our beloved Klal Yisrael. May we all be zoche to grow towards “true intimacy” with our loved ones and with our loving G-d.

Reaching Out to the Core

 

Dear Reaching Out,

This column has addressed the topic of sex addiction in the past, but as real as this sickness may be, in our society today it seems we are habitually attaching a name or excuse for every deplorable act perpetrated by humankind. Adults are no longer held responsible for their detestable misdeeds inevitably blamed on “something or someone in his/her past” or an addiction of some sort, which is “out of her/his control.”

What, pray tell, was the thinking before the “addiction” took hold? Should a grown man or woman not be held accountable for his/her conscious choices?

Your husband, you state, felt that as long as you were in the dark about his extramarital activities they wouldn’t hurt you. Unlike you, Lonely at the Core had it out with her husband years ago, yet he deliberately chose to ignore her pleas and her pain, continuing to lavish attention on women outside of their marriage while withholding affection from her.

Moreover, as we have read, all the years of unbearable suffering has left this woman devoid of any feelings for her husband. Though damage to a relationship is often repairable, sometimes the harm done is so devastating as to render the relationship irreparable.

Hopefully, you will continue to make progress. Thank you for taking the time to “reach out…” so that others may learn from your experience.

* * * * *

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.

Share Button

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.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 8/19/11”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

Regardless of age, parents play an important role in their children’s lives.

Marriage-Relationship-logo

We peel away one layer after the next, our eyes tear up and it becomes harder and harder to see as we get closer to our innermost insecurities and fears.

Gorsky-041814-Torah

Some Mountain Jews believe they are descendents of the Ten Lost Tribes and were exiled to Azerbaijan and Dagestan by Sancheriv.

Baim-041814-Piggy

Yom Tov is about spending time with your family. And while for some families the big once-in-a-lifetime experience is great, for others something low key is the way to go.

A fascinating glimpse into the rich complexity of medieval Jewish life and its contemporary relevance had intriguingly emerged.

Dear Dr. Yael:

My heart is breaking; my husband’s friend has gotten divorced. While this type of situation is always sad, here I do believe it could have been avoided.

The plan’s goal is to provide supportive housing to 200 individuals with disabilities by the year 2020.

Despite being one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the U.S. – the estimated Jewish population is 70-80,000 – Las Vegas has long been overlooked by much of the Torah world.

She was followed by the shadows of the Six Million, by the ever so subtle awareness of their vanished presence.

Pesach is so liberating (if you excuse the expression). It’s the only time I can eat anywhere in the house, guilt free! Matzah in bed!

Now all the pain, fear and struggle were over and they were home. Yuli was safe and free, a hero returned to his land and people.

While it would seem from his question that he is being chuzpadik and dismissive, I wonder if its possible, if just maybe, he is a struggling, confused neshama who actually wants to come back to the fold.

I agree with the letter writer that a shadchan should respectfully and graciously accept a negative response to a shidduch offer.

Alternative assessments are an extremely important part of understanding what students know beyond the scope of tests and quizzes.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-363/2011/08/17/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: