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Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 11/24/06

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Readers React To ‘A Disappointed Husband’(Chronicles 9-29) (Part 3)

Dear Disappointed,

When two people stand under the chuppah and are “tying the knot,” committing to love and cherish one another through thick and thin, it literally means that a couple should be like one – respect each other throughout their marriage, no matter what life may throw their way.

Their love for each other should grow and not diminish over the years. You wrote that you took your wife, the mother of your beautiful children, on a much-needed getaway, and instead of bonding with her like a normal couple should when they are away and have some private time together, all you can say is that she is disgusting in your eyes and that she turns you off. Moreover, you are embarrassed to be seen with her. What is wrong with you?!

Men are generally given to be attracted to outward appearances, oblivious to what lies underneath the glamour. Unfortunately, the tznius level of many of our women leaves much to be desired, placing obstacles in front of the “blind” who don’t appreciate what they have at home and don’t realize that it is all a façade.

Do you know that women thrive on love and attention? Do you realize that a few loving words, a small compliment, can mean the world to a woman? How much of this medicine do you “spoon-feed” your wife? You can be sure that your disgust and disappointment comes through in your mannerism and tone of voice. It is not what you say as much as the way in which you say it.

I live in a predominantly Chassidic neighborhood where women are mothers of large families. I see these women taking care of themselves. They wear beautiful sheitlach, frequent beauty salons, and work out to look good − killing themselves to shed the few pounds after each baby.

Forgive me for saying this, but I find that the same does not apply to the majority of men in the frum sector of society. Once they are already married, many neglect their appearances and carry plenty of “excess baggage” around. Does this mean that our women should look elsewhere at well-groomed men, chas v’shalom?

To all the “disappointed husbands” (in particular, you) who look for greener pastures elsewhere and fill their heads with empty and forbidden images: Don’t yearn for what you don’t have. Appreciate what you do have: your beautiful flower − your wife. Nourish it and give it abundant love and attention, and in time it will yield wonderful results.

Treating your wife like a queen will make you a king of a human being!

A disappointed reader

Dear Disappointed Reader,

As the last two columns brought to light, readers have had plenty to say on this subject. Along with your wallop of a rebuke, “Disappointed Husband” is likely finding himself with more food for thought than he bargained for. Hopefully, he is digesting it well and doing some serious meditating.

Too many of us are easily swayed by outside forces and live to regret our susceptibility and foolhardy ways. Fortunate are those who wake up in time, who learn to appreciate what they’ve almost thrown carelessly away.

The following letter, dear readers, has had me wavering between posting it for public view and disregarding it. (Anonymous submission via regular mail precluded a personal reply.) My better sense argued that to tune it out would be a travesty of what we hope to accomplish here. Furthermore, its message may impact strongly (and positively) on all the Disappointed Husbands out there.

Dear Rachel,

Please print my letter so that your readers can get a view of the “other side.” In response to a “Disappointed Husband” – I am that ‘wow’ woman. I too have five beautiful kids, but my husband is just like you! Just like you, he doesn’t care about his spouse!

And guess what? I’m having an affair!

Would you prefer me − the sophisticated, dress-to-kill from shaitel-down-to-shoes kind of wife the type that gets looks from all the guys down the streets?

What do you really know?

Dear Know,

Your words are few, yet the weight of your burden is keenly felt. Your letter reveals practically nothing of the how, what, where and when of the malfunctioning of your marriage, but your anger and pain is palpable. Since you have asked for no help or advice outright, I hope you will pardon my intrusion.

Please take some downtime to ask yourself what benefit you have truly gained − beyond fleeting moments of exhilaration, brought on by the attention and flattery showered upon you by a feckless male who is using you shamelessly for his self-gratification.

Try to emerge from your fantasy world long enough to take a good hard look at how your beautiful children are faring, while their mom is preoccupied with maneuvering a secret double life. Don’t be fooled into imagining that they suffer no want while you bury your head in the sand and give your heart to an outsider. Children are smarter and more perceptive than you may think.

Fooling yourself into believing that “no one will know” and “nobody sees” can, G-d forbid, result in disastrous consequences for you and your family, to reverberate for years to come. Why take a chance on losing the real and lasting treasures of your life and being left with nothing but heartache? Cut and run − as fast and as far away as you can, from a situation that can only complicate matters for you. Instead of seeking to take revenge on your spouse, seek help and guidance from a competent professional source.

And last, but by all means foremost, perhaps you have been unaware that the Torah describes ‘Adultery’ as a transgression to be avoided − even at the cost of sacrificing one’s own life.

Husbands, take heed − of your wives!!!

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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