web analytics
April 21, 2015 / 2 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 8/24/07

By:

Chronicles-logo

We encourage women and men of all ages to send in their personal stories by e-mail to rachel@jewishpress.com or by mail to Rachel/Chronicles, c/o The Jewish Press, 338 Third Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215.

To all women, men or children who feel that they are at the end of their ropes, please consider joining a support group, or forming one.

Anyone wishing to make a contribution to help agunot, please send your tax-deductible contribution to The Jewish Press Foundation.

Checks must be clearly specified to help agunot. Please make sure to include that information if that is the purpose of your contribution, because this is just one of the many worthwhile causes helped by this foundation.

* * * * * * * * * *

Dear Rachel,

Thank you for printing the letter from “Wishing it could have been different” (Chronicles 6-29). She was responding to my letter (Feeling Hopeless, Chronicles 5-4) and I thank her for her solidarity. I often ponder whether there are other women in such a predicament. I am in the midst of intense counseling with a sex therapist (our third). It is most painful. My husband doesn’t seem to absorb what he is being taught. He tries to do his homework but feels burdened by it, and most often any words of advice are forgotten within a week. If he is told to do and/or to document a specified gesture daily (to quote you, “a sporadic upswing”), he does so on one day of the week.

He recently suggested that we cancel counseling, for he fears admonition. I sense that he feels badly, but he expresses himself minimally and displays little ability in analyzing or discussing his emotions. There are no precipitating factors. In all other areas he is smart and successful and has many friends. He doesn’t have a need for or want intimacy. I am his assignment. And with this revelation, my hope withers.

At the present time, to me, the sex therapy is as if we’re teaching a man without hands to write. His emotional maturity is that of a child. He is content without intimacy and cannot be taught to need something he is comfortable doing without.

You write: “when you went for therapy, there was some slight improvement. This would indicate that ‘asexuality’ is a conditioning of the mind, as in ‘mind over matter’…” I take your words with hesitation and hope. Is the success a gray area? Am I being pessimistic or realistic by thinking that I cannot make my husband into something he is not?

The letter from “Wishing it could have been different” reaffirms my apprehension. There is little to no improvement, albeit he is aware of the severity of our situation. Although I’ve been reassured it isn’t me, I feel like a failure.

I want to add a closing remark. Last week, I met a friend I haven’t seen in a long while. With a tinge of envy, she commented on how wonderful my life is. Society, take heed: You truly never know what goes on in your friends’ or family members’ lives.

Thanking you for a most remarkable column,

(Still) feeling hopeless

Dear Still,

You wonder if there are other women in your predicament, and I suspect there are many. I can think of a couple of reasons for not hearing of them. For one, the privacy/embarrassment issue. No mystery there. For another, and this may surprise you, many of these couples end up settling into a laissez-faire lifestyle: while she may be missing the intimacy part, she is thankful and appreciative of his other qualities, does not take it personally, and has learned to “roll with the punches,” so to speak.

Frankly, considering your husband’s emotional makeup, he deserves some credit for going the therapy route, though with some griping.

Pessimism is not the way to go. One can be realistic and optimistic at the same time.

The following letter describes another (optimistic) sufferer’s strategy for coping.

Dear Rachel,

I was shocked to read the letters about “asexuality” within the community. My story will perhaps help others. There is no diagnosis, nor a clear medical or psychological reason why my husband stopped being interested. It was a shock at first. There were many feelings of resentment, anger, and other issues that emerged as a result.

I’ve come to a certain peace about my situation, but I also realized that if you want something in life, you have to go for it. I needed to overlook a lot of insensitivity, get past the bitterness and try to rebuild our relationship.

Here, in a nutshell, is what I’ve learned:

1. Any wife deserves to be touched, hugged and to feel “loved.” This is not a right that should be compromised. Often, I have to ask for this, but for now I must accept the fact that my husband’s feeling towards physical intimacy is robotic.

2. There is no “time line.” Many factors led me to make the decision to stay in my marriage. Over the years, my husband has become emotionally responsive to me. This only happened when the bitterness, shock and anger were dealt with, and, as I said, I came to a certain peace about the situation. I just keep inching forward, towards the goal of hopefully having a somewhat interested husband.

I still have to plan which evening we have relations, but I optimistically look towards having somewhat of a physical relationship one day. Everyone has his/her nisayon, but no woman should feel the need to give up the goal of her right in a marriage.

To men out there: A kind word, a show of appreciation, a touch on the shoulder, mean so much to your wives. Don’t give up being sensitive. Keep working on the emotional part, and hopefully the physical aspect of your relationship will change.

Good luck to all, and thanks for providing a forum for what’s “not supposed to be talked about…”

Still trying, with Hashem’s help

Dear Trying,

Kudos to you for staying the course despite the hardship involved. It must be said, however, that no two people are alike and what works for you may not necessarily work for another.

In the meanwhile, some readers have expressed an interest in connecting with the wives who first introduced this topic here (see Chronicles 5-4, 6-29). Regrettably, those letters were sent anonymously by regular mail, making it impossible for me to establish that link.

If these writers are amenable to being placed in touch with the interested parties, please feel free to make that request via e-mail to this column. Achdus is a potent force – sharing experiences can be therapeutic and work wonders.

Thank you both for caring and sharing.

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.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 8/24/07”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Rav Aharon Lichtenstein
My Encounter with Rav Lichtenstein
Latest Sections Stories
Schonfeld-logo1

The teenage years are not about surviving. They are about thriving.

Twenties-041715-Hat

Every moment was a gift. I held each one, savoring.

Teens-Twenties-logo

We arrived in Auschwitz on Thursday, January 30, 2014. My seminary was taking us to see where the prisoners were kept. When we got there, I stepped off the bus in complete and total silence. I was in the back, and when we got to the gate I hesitated and started shaking uncontrollably. I couldn’t […]

From the moment Israel was declared a Jewish state, it has been the subject of controversy and struggle.

Now that Pesach is over, we return you to your regularly-scheduled pressing questions:   Dear Mordechai, Can I use a nose hair trimmer during Sefirah? Harry Lipman   Dear Harry, Yes, as long as your nose hairs are so bad that they’re affecting your job. Like if you have a desk job, and they interfere […]

It is very natural for kids to want attention and to be jealous of each other, especially when there is a new baby.

During the Second World War, a million and a half Jewish soldiers fought in the Allied armies, the Partisan units in Eastern Europe, and the anti-fascist underground movements in Western Europe and North Africa. These Jewish fighters won over 200,000 medals and citations. The Museum of the Jewish Soldier in World War II in Latrun, […]

The 2-day real estate event will take place in Brooklyn on April 26 and 27.

She wasn’t paying attention to what the child did when the mother was not in the room. Rather, her main focus was on what the child did when the mother returned.

The Mets at least have hope for the future with some good young pitchers.

French thinkers of the Enlightenment were generally not pro-Semitic, to say the least.

My Jewish star was battered, indeed it was a wreck
But I picked it up anyway and put it around my neck
To know that hatred mangled it was surely very painful
But just the same to me it is still very beautiful.

A compulsion is a repetitive action. But what underlies the compulsion is an obsession or fear.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-74/2007/08/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: