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October 26, 2014 / 2 Heshvan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Disappointed Husband’

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 1/19/07

Wednesday, January 17th, 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.

* * * * * * * * * *

Reactions To Disappointed Husband And His Critics (Continued)

Dear Rachel,

My take on Disappointed Husband is that he is obviously feeling left out and unloved and may well be justified in feeling so. There are halachic and common sense rules that state that a woman must remain “attractive” to her husband. The actual lashon the Chazal use is “lo tisganeh al ba’alah.” There is even a heter to wear makeup during Niddah times. The late Rav of London, Rav Padwa,z”l once gave a hard hitting drashah against the snood/robe syndrome, which he said has been known to cause men to stray.

It is also clear that the woman is suffering, either because of the husband’s attitude (I do not like his paragraph about “fancy women” which is over the top) or simply because of the massive pressures of motherhood, etc.

Counseling is an absolute necessity to help the woman out of her issues (which may or may not be about him) and to help him to help her. He must also be part of that process to reconcile his needs (which are very real) with being a mentch towards the wife who does so much for him and the kids.

The glamour will then automatically return.

A Concerned Reader

Dear Concerned,

My thanks to all of you who have written to express your concern and advice.

The consensus is that home is where man’s heart should be and that a woman’s way to her man’s heart rests not in her culinary expertise alone. But woman by herself cannot carry the weight of responsibility in keeping their union in tip-top form. We all owe it to our loved ones and ourselves to keep in shape and do our utmost to please our partners – for whom we have pledged everlasting devotion at the outset.

In other words, husbands are equally obliged to stay fit, attractive and attentive to their other halves. Read on.

Dear Rachel,

I am not the type of woman to write to a column, but I need and want help for my situation that I’m not even ashamed of.

I am a married, frum woman, mother of four. I am also a “wow” woman whom other men notice. My husband and I are married 18 years. I love him and he loves me. He let himself go years ago. He’s gained a lot of weight, doesn’t care about his appearance and has developed some disgusting habits along the way. I’ve lost my attraction for him. I love the flattery and attention from the looks I get, and guess what? I’m having an affair! With a man I knew 20 years ago. He is also “happily” married, but his wife doesn’t pay “attention” to him. We are not in love. Our respective families are a big priority to us. We are simply using one another because of what we are lacking from our respective spouses.

Why should I have to suffer because my husband doesn’t keep himself attractive for me? I’m tired of hearing about women who don’t keep themselves attractive for their husbands. What about the men who don’t care about their own appearances? I don’t like what I’m doing and I want to stop, but I’ve been attracted to this guy for years and he called me one day. Even though he’s married, he wants me. I’ve never lied to my spouse about where I’ve been or what I’ve been doing during daytime. I just didn’t tell.

My children are in school all day. They have no clue. I’m the same loving wife and mommy when I’m around them.

Tell me how I can appreciate my “king” at home so I don’t have to live this secret life.

Please print this letter. I’m sure I’m not the only woman out there who feels like the shoe is on the other foot.

Anonymous but not ashamed

Dear Anonymous,

Justifying your unfaithfulness to your spouse is pointless – there is zero tolerance for transgression of the sins of adultery, murder and idolatry. Rationalization only allows you to carry on your liaisons without the accompanying burden of guilt.

Most puzzling is your affirmation of your love for your husband. And yet you claim to feel no shame in stooping to an unethical mode of behavior to gratify your physical needs of the moment.

Did you ever attempt to communicate your feelings to your husband? In the event that you did and it didn’t garner any positive results, did you give marriage counseling any thought or serious consideration before taking up your secret trysts?

What do you suppose your husband’s reaction would be should he stumble upon your infidelity? How would you feel if you were to discover that your husband was being unfaithful to you? If the mere contemplation of such scenarios makes you shudder, then chances are good that you will come to your senses and get your act together.

The first thing you must do is to take off the blinders that offer you short-term vision and to start focusing on what’s in it for you in the long run. Your quest for gratification through forbidden means is hazardous to your long-term well-being and will certainly not solve your marital woes.

Ask yourself how you will go about explaining the stain on your neshamah in the Heavenly Court and defending your foolhardy risk of jeopardizing the outcome of your soul’s ultimate spiritual journey.

As for your potbellied husband, if he declines to get off his rump despite an earnest plea on your part, taking the matter up with a competent therapist will help you decipher the root of your ills and provide you with the realistic options available to you. Resorting to immorality as revenge or self-appeasement is not a viable alternative.

I wish you a speedy refuah shelaimah for all your ills.

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 1/12/07

Wednesday, January 10th, 2007

Readers React to Disappointed Husband (9-29) and His Critics (11-10/17/24)

Dear Rachel,

The letters in response to Disappointed Husband consisted of back-and-forth quibbling about love versus attraction and polished but empty career women versus frumpy but loving homemakers.

The main problem is that women these days are stretched too thin.

Society marries men off at around 22, often without concrete plans for supporting a family. Their wives are thus being forced into the workplace to cover the expenses. Between self, work, home, and the large number of children that we Baruch Hashem are having, many women are overburdened and must compromise priorities. When weighed against the mortgage and the children, the husband is often the first to be neglected.

We have to work our men harder. Women are falling apart picking up the slack, and the Jewish family is suffering. The time has come to balance our aversion to “materialism” and insistence on young men’s spiritual growth with an honest acknowledgement that the cost of supporting a frum family these days is in the six figures and climbing. Boys should be rushed through GED programs if necessary and sped into lucrative jobs, like marketing and the sciences, so that they are financially prepared to marry.

Money issues have turned the shidduch scene into a competition over whose parents have the deepest pockets. And now, as the letters to your column prove, they are eating into ourshalom bayis. Let’s take care of them.

A Realist

Dear Realist,

That we live in a materialistic world that goads us into wanting it all is unfortunately the way it is. Consequently, fortification of our spirituality is a dire necessity to counteract the inducements we are confronted with. But there is that fine line that allows us to take advantage of modern day conveniences – which in turn actually serve to provide us with more time for spiritual reinforcement. Simply stated, anything taken to an extreme will prove harmful rather than beneficial, whether it is overindulgence of materialism or staying the learning course despite financial exigency.

The focus of the letter that prompted readers to state their points of view centered on the traditional family – man of the house as wage earner, woman as homemaker. All the same, women in the workforce (unfortunately the focal point of our Disappointed Husband’s concentration) are here to stay – and are, by and large, making significant contributions to the business world.

There is no blanket solution for all families. Each has to base its decision on its own special and individual circumstance. Generally speaking, you make a valid argument. A couple embarking on a life together should be prepared to meet the needs of a growing family. Among a father’s responsibilities is to ensure his son’s preparedness for life’s journey – both in a ruchnius and gashmius capacity.

Dear Rachel,

I have some questions to ask of the woman who touts looking good for the hubby all the time. Does she wear her best clothes when she is cleaning the oven? When she gets up in the morning, must she rush and present herself in a glamorous way before she can say good morning to her husband with whom she just shared her sleeping quarters? Does she suggest that we wear our Shabbat best when taking out the garbage?

There is a time and place to “dress up and to dress down.” Must a woman wear makeup 24/7 – even when she is giving birth? Following the birth of my son, I was told “could you dress up for visitors who will come (to the hospital) to see you?” a half-hour after a 12-hour labor and delivery ordeal, by my late step-mom!

The fact is we cannot always look like kings and queens. As long as we are presentable and maintain cleanliness, there is nothing wrong with wearing casual clothes around the house. Do we wear ball gowns while bathing the kids, cooking, cleaning, or engaging in other mundane chores?

The notion that women are to be “made up” morning, noon and night is unrealistic and fanciful, as well as unhealthy. (Our pores need to breathe.) And why all this concentration on “packaging?” With trust, kindness and respect between spouses, we set the right example for our children. Is it beauty and perfection that we want in the home, or real life?

As for the original letter writer who started this hot debate, my main concern is how the husband treats his wife, not the robe that she wears.

May Hashem bless all our homes and help us build Bayit Ne’eman B’Yisrael.

Living in the Real World

Dear Living,

Many of our readers seem to associate the robe and snood with sloppiness and unsightliness. In truth, there are women who wear a snood well, even while others wouldn’t be caught dead in one. Robes, too, can be most flattering and stylish – or ill fitting and unattractive. It all depends on the wearer. If she takes pride in her appearance, she will look good whether she wears designer labels or hand-me-downs.

A husband who genuinely loves his wife will love her all the more when he is greeted at the end of his workday by the mouth-watering scents of homemade fare and bright-eyed children fresh from being bathed. Some flour dusting on his wife’s robe or wet rolled up sleeves won’t bother him a whit.

For, as you say, at the end of the day the qualities of the virtuous wife will override the artificial exterior of the woman whose every hair is in place and who won’t risk damaging her freshly manicured fingernails.

A word of caution to women whose husbands prefer that they dispense with the robe and/or snood: you must not have any hesitation in deferring to your spouse. Maintaining shalom bayis and creating an aura of good feelings that come from pleasing one another are top priorities.

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

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

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.

**********

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!!!

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 11/17/06

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

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.

********

Readers React To ‘A Disappointed Husband’ (Chronicles 9-29) (Part 2)

Dear Rachel,

I generally find your columns cogent and insightful. Consequently, your response to Disappointed Husband was quite… disappointing.

After you gave him permission for a perfunctory pat on the back, you assailed him. For what reason? He simply wanted his wife to get her physical act together, to resemble the woman he married and once desired. Why did you make him out to be a villain? There is no crime or sin in wanting one’s spouse to look and remain attractive, especially when lack of appeal is due to one’s own neglectfulness.

You had absolutely nothing constructive to say to his wife regarding her abysmal failure to live up to her responsibility in their marriage, to remain attractive to her husband. There simply is no justification for neglecting one’s personal appearance and health and to eat one’s way to obesity.

Your excuse (the stresses of motherhood and parenting) is lame. It’s an excuse, nothing more. Everyone has stresses in life, and the difficulty in raising a family is no license to completely neglect one’s physical appearance. When a married woman spends her day outfitted in a robe and snood and does nothing to curtail her weight and improve her appearance, can you fault a husband for looking at other women who dress attractively?

Snoods should be banned from the Orthodox market. They are hideous. Robes are meant for bedtime or awakening. No mention was made about the negative health consequences of obesity. What example is set by the caring and doting mother who gives her all for her children but neglects her own health?

Why not tell it like it is?

Dear Why,

You are quite right. Obesity is a health hazard. This column has previously addressed this and other issues that you raise. Disappointed Husband’s focus on the physical facet of his existence, however, seemed to outweigh his concern for his wife’s emotional well-being − which could potentially place their marriage and her health at risk.

Bravo to the self-motivated kind − but a wife who spends the better part of her life nurturing her family, only to have her husband hardly paying her any heed − let alone appreciation, has little incentive to pull herself together. Make no mistake: a woman instinctively knows whether or not her husband is really “there” for her. When he is home but his heart is elsewhere, the comfort of food can (for some) counteract the pain of eating her heart out.

Enough said. The following letter should more than satisfy your call to “tell it like it is.”

Dear Disappointed Husband,

Oh gosh, I don’t know what to say. I am one of those sophisticated women whom you lust after. I once was a warm inviting “Mommy” like your wife, who had visions of building a strong parent-child relationship with my children. But the bills piled up, kids kept coming, and eventually we needed a second income.

Now I spend most of my day at the office, and when I leave I usually take work home with me. When I come home, I am too tired to greet my children − and because of my uncomfortable attire, I am physically unable to return their enthusiasm and pass around hugs.

I have not had a meaningful conversation with my husband, let alone any intimate moments, for as long as I can remember − because tshe minute I’m in bed or able to relax, I’m fast asleep from exhaustion. Supper is usually something put up in the morning or just takeout.

How fortunate you are that your wife provides a secure home for your children. You can be sure that they are healthy and thriving in her love. She has a hand in dressing them, playing with them and preparing meals for them each and every day of their lives. And when she cooks them supper, she has you in mind as well.

I, on the other hand, could not say I have half the abilities or accomplishments of your wife, who seems to be a very special woman, putting you and the children before herself. What can I say about myself… other than that I am a beautiful empty vessel.

I am sure my husband is starving for a wife to greet him warmly and patiently as he comes home from work; for a wife who will care that he has supper prepared to his liking; for a wife who will have spent her day instilling her hashkafos in his children − and most importantly to be waiting eagerly to spend time with him.

Instead, I worry about my jewelry, clothing, shaitel and shoes…

You could not have been more fortunate to have such a selfless human being as your spouse. Your children are lucky but could be luckier − if they would see a strong bond of appreciation between their parents. Your wife, who has been selflessly playing her role as a mother (and loving it) is not so lucky. She will continue her chesed without emotional support until her children are grown up and mature enough to thank her, or until her husband recognizes that he has had every man’s dream all along.

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 11/10/06

Wednesday, November 8th, 2006

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.

* * * * *

Readers React To ‘A Disappointed Husband’ (Chronicles 9-29) (Part 1)

Dear Rachel,

I was very surprised when I read your answer to the husband who is turned off by the way his wife looks. I am a married woman with two children, and while I know it’s easier than caring for five children, I take care of myself and expect my husband to take care of himself too. “Disappointed” is not asking for her to look like a supermodel, but to at least lose some weight and put herself together. Every Shalom Bayis class that I have ever attended has discussed the need for both the husband and wife to maintain themselves and look good for their spouse. The fact that she is in the same snood and robe every day shows a lack of caring for her husband.

I work outside the home full time and never put on a robe when I get home. On Friday night I always get dressed to honor the Shabbos and my husband. How hard is it to put on a nice shirt and skirt as opposed to a robe to put yourself together for your husband? By the same token my husband puts himself together and makes sure to keep his weight in check.

While men should not be looking at other women, the fact is that he does work in the business world and will see well-dressed, pretty women. Her children are not babies (he mentioned they are of camp age), and therefore the baby weight excuse is long gone. Taking care of oneself is the Torah way. She should make it a priority to cook healthy meals and to make regular exercise a part of her life. There are many ways to work in some exercise without expensive gym memberships. I go bike riding with my kids, take walks around the neighborhood with friends and work out to videos right in my own home. All it takes is 30 minutes, three or four times a week to make a change in her life. I am sure that her husband would watch the kids for a half hour while she exercised.

I am married for over 17 years, and my husband is still very attracted to me and does not have the need to look elsewhere. He has what he needs right at home.

Boruch Hashem, happily married

Dear Happy,

Good for you! You obviously have what it takes to keep yourself (and your marital union) in top form. As life would have it, however, different circumstances call for different strategies. (Read the letter that follows)

In truth, we have really no way of knowing what transpired between Disappointed Husband and his wife all this time. An ongoing lack of attention/communication, for instance, may have contributed to their current unfortunate situation.

What is certain is that both man and woman have an obligation to take care of themselves, and that husband and wife are to have a genuine concern for one another. (When a woman feels loved and appreciated by her man, she will more likely take steps to please him.)

Past columns have addressed the need for wives to look after themselves (i.e., Chronicle of 8-4). Even the response you refer to alludes to a wife’s responsibility in self-maintenance. To quote from my reply, “By neglecting to maintain an attractive appearance for her husband, she runs the risk of having him drift away, mentally (if not physically as well).”

Let us all exert every effort to motivate our partners to feel and look their best – and suppress the inclination to sit in judgment of another in whose shoes we have not walked.

P.S. A becoming Shabbos/YomTov robe can be as fitting to the occasion as a “nice shirt and skirt.” It is but a matter of personal preference and comfort.

Dear Rachel,

I would like to add a few points to the letter by a Disappointed Husband (Chronicle 9-29), which I think you answered well. I am a fat woman – obese through no fault of my own (medical problems). However, we did go through a very difficult time accepting it. We revamped our marriage by doing our utmost to respect one another. I have limited ability to do household chores. My husband helps out and does so gladly because I try to keep him happy.

If all you care about is having a body for a wife, I pity you. Look how long it took you to realize that your wife, as you say, is neglecting herself. Where were you before you went on holiday? Have you not been neglecting her?

Do one thing and say one thing every day to make your wife feel good. She will be surprised to begin with, but I am sure she will begin to try and reciprocate.

Suggestion: Try to obtain Rebbetzin Braunstein’s tapes on Shalom Bayis.

Good Luck in the New Year

Dear Good,

You have taken your G-d-given challenge and have met it head on with fortitude and intelligence. Instead of wallowing in self-pity and wishful thinking, you have zeroed in on the real test of true love: appreciating and treasuring the beauty within. May you and your husband grow old together and continue to focus on the good things in life conferred upon you by the Ribono Shel Olam.

Thank you both for your wonderful tips and pointers in how to improve the quality of married life.

Confidential to Besta Shvesta: May you continue your long-standing tradition of dressing your best in honor of Shabbos to please your husband (while exercising your good-natured tolerance for the robe wearers who grace your table) – for many more years to come. Happy Birthday!!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-41/2006/11/08/

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