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Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 11/02/07

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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.

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More Advice For Lonely Mom (Chronicles 8-31)

Dear Rachel,

Thanks for a great newspaper with many great articles.

If this lonely stay-at-home mom could possibly change her stay-at-home status, I think it would be very helpful. A walk (yes, even alone), swimming, exercising, or volunteering at a local hospital or senior citizen center, or helping to package food for Tomchei Shabbos … the list is endless.

If she still has little ones still at home, it would be worthwhile to find a babysitter or a frum neighbor who could use the money.

All the above might raise her self-esteem in her own eyes and maybe even the rest of the family’s.

Some people join a library. (There is so much available these days) to actually make one look forward to going to bed earlier, using that time to read.

A Fan in Montreal

Dear Rachel,

I am an admirer and avid reader of your column. I like your common sense and realistic approach in dealing with today’s problems. However, I don’t think you fully addressed the problems of “Lonely.” Also we did not get a full picture of how she deals with the problem, if at all.

I have a friend whose husband is very cold. But his wife is very warm. She takes initiative in their marriage. She also constantly communicates with him. Although they had some difficulty at the beginning of their marriage (especially since she came from a divorced home and thought that divorce is the only solution), she had good mentors who taught her to work things out.

She is happily married for 30 years and raised five beautiful children. She is reaping the reward of her efforts and enjoying seven grandchildren. I think it would be helpful if the lonely wife makes an effort to prepare dishes that her husband likes and to communicate that with him. She can try to get him more involved, perhaps, in her daily choices (ask for his opinion on things etc.). I don’t think she can expect to see overnight results. I believe it takes about 20 years to see real changes.

Another issue is that many men and women from Chassidic homes who never witnessed any closeness – touching, hugging and kissing by their parents for tznius reasons and Taharas HaMishpachah – remain with the impression that display of affection is sinful. It’s a lengthy process, to deprogram oneself from that mindset. But it can be done in a tzniusdik manner, by continuous communication, without nagging.

I also think it might be helpful for her to volunteer someplace (with children or seniors), where she will be appreciated and hugged. This may help fulfill some of her needs for appreciation, warmth, etc.

Keep up the good work.

An Avid Fan

Dear Rachel,

In response to that woman who wrote that she wants to divorce her husband who is an excellent provider because she is very lonely, I was in that very position and I, too, thought that the world was coming to me. I, too, thought that I will get divorced and I will remarry Prince Charming. Well, unfortunately all you get are lowlifes the second time around.

I am divorced for four years already, and guess what? Nobody is interested in marriage. All they want is to fool around. I came to the conclusion that the normal guys are still married and the losers are hanging around.

At my Shabbos table, I have four unhappy children crying for their father’s Kiddush. They cry for their father’s zemiros and just for his basic presence. And I deprived them of that. Can you imagine the guilt I feel? I brought children into this world and they are miserable! And it’s my fault! It is my fault because being lonely is a very poor excuse! Now I’m even lonelier than ever! Even if I were to remarry, that person will not be my children’s father. They will have to deal with siblings they didn’t ask for and a man who will hopefully be good to them, but who knows?

Listen to me. If you want romance, be romantic. Put out scented candles. Put on a very attractive nightgown and trust me, your husband will be over you. If not, you do the initiating. Men need affection too!!! Don’t be the idiot that I was. Don’t destroy your home – it’s not worth it.

You think that you will solve the problem by getting divorced, but you will be creating new ones. You think that you will not be lonely anymore, but you better believe that you will be very, very lonely. How will you answer the millions of questions that your children and friends will ask? You will shed hundreds of tears – it’s not worth it. Trust me, there will be plenty of sleepless nights on your part.

As for my ex-husband, he remarried within a few months. Can you even imagine how jealous I was? He married a beautiful woman (there are plenty out there). Don’t be a fool. Save your marriage. You become an aggressor. Kiss him, hug him and

Don’t Let Him Go!

Dear Readers,

Allow me, on behalf of Lonely Mom and others who suffer in silence, to express my gratitude to each of you who have taken the time (and the courage) to write – you have contributed to this column in a big way.

Those who air their grievances here often feel very much isolated and alone. Being let in on how other individuals cope under similar circumstances is doubtless of tremendous help and support. Experience is, after all, the best teacher, and who better to offer a remedy than one who has “walked in your shoes” and has a firsthand understanding of your pain. And, needless to say, even an objective opinion or advice given with a caring heart is always welcome in this forum.

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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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