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November 21, 2014 / 28 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Dear Hopeless’

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 11/14/08

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

Dear Rachel,

I have a very serious question I would like to ask you. I am a 21-year-old single girl going through the so called “shidduch crisis.” Although I know that my bashert is on his way, I have a hard time not knowing when it will be.

I am a typical Bais Yaakov type, am from a frum, solid home and never got into trouble. My shidduch dates are only with boys who are learning. I am interested in getting married to someone who appreciates Torah and has yiras shamayim.

About two months ago I came in contact with someone from my neighborhood, via the web. He is 17 and would be classified a “bum.” I can’t reveal more about him for confidential reasons. Anyhow, we became chatting buddies on the web and I didn’t think anything was wrong with helping someone out.

To make a long story short, we fell in love. This love is a unique relationship only known to him and me. It started out with us meeting occasionally but has unfortunately led to a relationship where shomer negiah (for the first time in my life, not his) is not kept. WHAT SHOULD I DO?!

I am completely head over heels for a guy who is obviously not for me. He is obsessed with me and I never experienced such love in my lifetime. I know that this has got to end because I am 100% definitely not marrying him.

My parents would never allow such a husband for me. He has some maturing to do, and yiras shamyayim is quite slim in his books. But how can I break his heart (though I’ve told him a million times that this is going to end eventually because of technicalities). My heart cannot handle such a blow, and I know that his can’t either.

We both have been working on becoming closer to Hashem because of this. He has started to go to minyan three times a day and learns more. He calls me every day to remind me to daven minchah and we talk about G-d very often. We both are from very frum solid homes so we know that by touching each other we are doing a horrible sin, but we cannot control ourselves.

I have read your columns in the past and have found them very inspiring. Please, Rachel, help me begin the long journey of heartbreak after finding what feels like a soul mate. I await your response as I continue to meet with him (even during the days of repentance).

Hopelessly entangled…

Dear Hopeless,

It may not be easy to do the right thing, but by no means is your situation a hopeless one. In order to sort out your muddle of emotions and to differentiate between reality and fantasy, you must first come back down from the clouds. For lack of column space, let’s cut to the quick.

When you state at the outset that you are “interested in marrying someone who appreciates Torah and has yiras shamayim” and that you are “100% definitely not marrying him,” your mind prevails over your heart. You are furthermore cognizant of his lack of maturity and express your belief that your bashert is on the way, even while admitting to being somewhat frustrated in not knowing when exactly he will show.

Then, with a sudden about-face, your heart gains the upper hand. “We both have been working on becoming closer to Hashem…. He has started to go to minyan three times a day and learns more. He calls me every day to remind me to daven minchah and we talk about G-d very often.”

My dear young lady, you have fallen under the spell of a guileful 17-year- old – even as you set out to help him, he has liberally helped himself to you. If you don’t put an immediate stop to the fooling around, you may find yourselves in real trouble.

You revel in his adulation and attentiveness and are captivated by his sweet talk. (If not for human nature being what it is, there would be no shomer negiah to abide by.) Your friend is playing the strings of your heart and arousing all your senses. The high you are experiencing (which you interpret as “love”) becomes harder and harder to resist.

In your current circumstance, you are unable to think clearly and rationally. However, one aspect cannot possibly escape your awareness: A boy at 17 is way too young to make a lifetime commitment.

If you have a decent relationship with your mother, take her into your confidence. No need to divulge intimate details – she will get the drift and advise you with candor and wisdom. In any case, your best course is to get out of town for a while, to stay perhaps with long-distance relatives. If your “guy” is truly serious about his feelings for you, he will understand the need for a timeout. Should he fail to understand, there is even greater urgency for you to pack your bags.

Your letter contains a glimmer of light: “We both are from very frum solid homes…” His background can work to your advantage down the line. For now, you have but one option: to give each other time and space. This will allow him to prove his sincerity about you and about his religious observance. If your “love” for one another survives the test of time, all may not be lost. A four-year gap in age – despite his being the younger – is not unheard of.

At present, however, his very young age and the conditions you found him and find yourself in make this association a risky one, to say the least. A note of caution: Feeling sorry for somebody is a lousy reason for hanging on and can only lead to regret and unhappiness.

“If you love it, set it free. If it comes back, it is yours. If it doesn’t, it never was.”

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 5/04/07

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007

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,

I have become an avid reader of your column and greatly appreciate your attention to SSA. I am a typical “Bais Yaakov girl.” I got married two years ago − young, sheltered and innocent. My husband is a kind honest person, but he has a sexual problem. At first I was always the initiator and he’d make me feel like sleeping with me is a favor. Then I stopped asking, albeit the intense loneliness.

I had my first baby recently. During my pregnancy my husband slept with me twice. We live together like good friends, but nothing more. We’ve been to professional counseling. He likes me and truly doesn’t want to leave me. I do not turn him off in any way. He has been labeled an “asexual.” Homosexuality has been repeatedly ruled out.

Is there something like “asexuality” really out there? How does one’s partner survive? He has been treated with medication but has no drive to take it. My loneliness is hurting, and I am questioning my endurance.

Feeling hopeless

Dear Hopeless,

Couples who are married for several years and take one another for granted are much more likely to confront the type of situation you describe. In a young marriage such as yours, one would need to examine the background of the individual with the problem − what he has been told, his beliefs about a woman, and the ideas he has formed of the adult intimate relationship.

Your husband’s problem can stem from a deep-seated fear of expressing affection and of allowing himself to get involved in a mutually loving intimate relationship.

A good therapist should be able to get to the root cause of his inhibition and help him overcome his fears − but he first must acknowledge and accept that he has a problem and that his behavior is not “normal.”

Physically affectionate gestures between siblings and between parents and their children, etc. can be termed “asexual.” When a husband or wife harbors no desire to be physically intimate with the other, something is amiss − and it needs to be dealt with in order for the marriage to thrive and survive.

One can argue that the degree of desire may vary in intensity from one person to another − one partner’s sensual temperament, for instance, may exceed in potency from the other’s. As in every facet of a marital relationship, compromise − coming to a happy medium − is the key to wedded bliss.

Since you did take the big and serious step in the area of commitment, you owe it to yourselves and to your child to work at making things work out between you. Patience − especially yours in this case − is a key factor. In the interim, practice being a kind, giving and caring spouse. A harmonious relationship out of the bedroom cultivates a closeness and compatibility in private.

Dear Rachel,

Good thing for anonymity − I feel almost silly writing this letter. But you’re the only one I can turn to with my thoughts. Besides, if it wasn’t for your column, I may never have had them in the first place. Allow me to explain.

One of our sons is soon turning three. He is an adorable little tyke, soft spoken and tender natured − with a mop of curly hair that cascades down his back. (As our tradition mandates, we wait until his third birthday to give him a haircut.)

When we recently exclaimed, “You are such a big boy!” − he shocked us by saying, “No, I’m a big girl!” (He has even asked for pink underwear!) Then again, from among his siblings, it is hardly surprising that he identifies most closely with his sister, the only one with hair like his − and the only girl in our family.

My husband and I realize he is just a toddler and that his reaction most likely stems from simple childish innocence. But with all the craziness in today’s world, I wouldn’t mind reassurance that there’s no need to be alarmed.

Am I being paranoid?

Dear Paranoid,

Hopefully you are not obsessing about this non-issue.

(It is amazing how the wider world impacts on our lives.) According to my professional contact, “transgender” is a term that applies only to a psychologically impaired adult. Most of us will in fact recall trying on a big brother’s or sister’s clothing in our childhood − just a normal passing phase that is neither a result of genetic influence nor symptomatic of a chemical imbalance.

As long as parents do not encourage or push children in this type of behavior and establish healthy boundaries between fantasy and reality, their children will outgrow their childish play.

While you allow common sense to prevail, watch how quickly your little one will consider himself to be just “one of the boys” once he sports a brand new yarmulke on his new “do.”

May you and your husband reap much nachas from all your children!

Confidential to the Roses: May the fragrance of your blooms forever permeate your luscious garden.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-58/2007/05/02/

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