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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Lonely Mom’

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

Wednesday, October 31st, 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.

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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.

Chronicles Of Crises In Our Communities – 10/26/07

Wednesday, October 24th, 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.

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Dear Rachel,

The following is in response to “Lonely stay-at-home mom…” (Chronicles 8-31). I am an avid reader of your column and wish you brachah and hatzlachah in your important work! Thank you.

Dear Friend,

I don’t know you, but I know your pain. To be married and lonely can feel like the worst emotional curse. As married women, it is normal for us to expect love and affection. When our expectations are not met, we are faced with a harsh, painful reality – life not treating us the way it is supposed to. And it hurts badly.

The agonizing loneliness leaves us feeling desperate for any sign or signal from our partner that will tell us if we are loved at all. The mere fact that you crave affection and feel lonely means that you have a heart that wishes to receive. And if that is the case, you also have a heart that can give.

You probably tried giving to your spouse early in your marriage but got frustrated, because “emotionally cold” people usually do not know how to release love either. My husband has other issues that also affect our marriage, but I certainly know what “cold” means. And it’s not much better to hear “I love you” in the bedroom and then be screamed at the next day or be shown disrespect in front of your children. So if your husband is “decent” to you, don’t minimize this. I’m not attempting to downplay your pain, but as Rachel so aptly put it, your cup may be half full.

When I’m down, I think of my single friends who are not only unmarried, but don’t have children either. Use your emotional energy to give to your children. Make eye contact, hug and kiss them. A noted educator once told me that it’s not enough to love them. Don’t underestimate the power you have in your home to instill the much needed love and warmth. A healthy dose, even from one parent, will enable them to grow into normal, productive adults.

Believe in yourself. It’s not easy to summon that inner strength, but I’ve embraced this as my test in life, ever since I have concluded that being single is not less lonely than being married to a cold man (except for not expecting the love anymore).

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee of getting married again (especially with children), and as Rachel noted, you definitely trade one set of problems for another with the family all split up and kids bounced back and forth for visiting, etc.

Allow your friends to fill some of that lonely space – a couple of solid friendships that are mutually supportive (and I don’t mean using your friends to talk about your rotten marriage; find a good therapist to unburden yourself to if need be). Friends who truly care can be there for you and lighten your day. Being there for them will open your giving heart again without you even realizing it! Ignite old friendships; make time for a lunch date with a friend. It will give you that extra boost you need to face the challenging household.

A talent or hobby you enjoy is also great as an outlet. So put the music on during the day – that always helps. And when the pain strikes at night when you put your head on the pillow (and I know it will), think of all the people who do care for you – who would reach out and give you the hug that you need. And you’ll probably develop a deeper appreciation for anytime that anybody does do something nice for you.

Ultimately it’s obviously your decision to stay or to go. (By the way, my husband and I actually switch off weeks with the same therapist. It’s less threatening than going together.) As you may have already done, try communicating to your husband that you believe in him, that he has the ability to make you happier (no doubt he feels like a failure inside, which for men is a trap they find impossible to escape sometimes), and that he needs to learn the right tools, even if he hasn’t yet.

I ask myself the same question you do: will I regret my decision to stay when I am old? I don’t know, but at the moment it’s one day at a time. I daven to Hashem to help me make the right choices – and I pray for you, that you find enough other resources to comfort your aching heart and make your life bearable and at times joyous again. Yes, a happy mother is a happy child, though of course much easier said than done.

I know you are lonely, but you are definitely not alone.

Also lonely but so far staying in it too

Dear Also Lonely,

Thank you for your moving words and for sharing your pain – painstakingly written in longhand. It is obvious that you have a giving heart.

You also submitted a touching poem that you composed, but the column’s space limit prevents me from including it here. I will save it for a future column.

The many reactions precipitated by “Lonely Mom” and her forerunners (Feeling hopeless 5-14; Wishing it could have been different 6-29; Still feeling hopeless 8-24) testify to the fact that despite the loneliness, she is far from alone.

Stay tuned.

On an entirely different note: I would like to inform my wonderful reading audience that the Agunah in Agony (chronicle of 9-21) has Baruch Hashem been freed – as she herself puts it, “3 years, 3 months and 10 days later, Chasdei Shamayim!” MAZEL TOV!!! May your heart know of no more sorrow, only the strains of sweet melody.

To the big-hearted readers who reached out with offers of help – there are no words. G-d bless you all!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/chronicles-of-crises/chronicles-of-crises-in-our-communities-82/2007/10/24/

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