Part 20 – The Battle for Your Wife
I thought that once I got married, my days of sexual immorality would be over. I quickly realized that being a good husband has many spiritual challenges. Instead of always giving into my sexual urges, I now need to constantly fight them, and to channel them correctly.
Not only must married men fight every impure sexual urge, they must win every time. The welfare of their family depends on it.
On top of that, we married men face an almost insurmountable challenge in today’s world: the internet. No other generation in Jewish history had to deal with this. The internet is the cheapest, most accessible, and simplest form of pornography than anything in existence. It is the ultimate place for clandestinely meeting women online and forming pseudo or actual relationships. Today’s world views this as normal. Having female friends on facebook, YouTube, or MySpace is considered borderline at best. It is not considered a form of adultery to engage in cybersex or to view pornography online. It is socially acceptable to talk with people in chat rooms. We convince ourselves that as long as you don’t actually do ‘the deed’ with someone else, you are not technically committing adultery. Unfortunately, there have never been more forms of “not technically committing adultery” than there are today they are destroying countless marriages.
For a married man this is by far the most dangerous way he can break the laws of shmirat habrit. Internet relationships and cyber porn are the biggest threats to a marriage today.
What makes this threat all the more toxic is the level of inappropriate internet usage among married men.
U.S. Congressional testimony, based on national scientific studies, determined that the majority of Internet users seeking help for problematic sexual behavior online are married men.
These studies have determined that pornography consumption is directly associated with the following: decreased marital intimacy and sexual satisfaction, infidelity, increased appetite for more graphic types of pornography and sexual activity associated with abusive, illegal or unsafe practices, devaluation of monogamy, marriage and child rearing, increased marital distress, an increasing number of people struggling with compulsive and addictive sexual behavior, and risk of separation and divorce, Hashem forbid!
When a child lives in a home where an adult is consuming pornography, he or she encounters the following dangers: decreased parental time and attention, increased risk of encountering pornographic material, increased risk of parental separation and divorce, Hashem forbid, and, increased risk of parental job loss and financial strain. Just the other day, one of my co-workers was joking with me about the first time he experienced pornography. It was a video he stole from his uncle’s attic when he was 11. Now he is married and has three sons. He realizes how his kids love to explore, and they discover places you wouldn’t think they could find. Today, it is the children and not the adults that get more and more computer savvy as time goes on. My friend told me that his biggest fear is what he will do when his children turn 11.
According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 62 percent of the lawyers polled said the Internet had been a significant factor in divorces they had handled during the last 12 months. Additionally, the following observations were made by the lawyers with regard to why the Internet had played a role in divorces that year:
68 percent of the divorce cases involved one party meeting a new love interest over the internet. 56 percent of the divorce cases involved one party having an obsessive interest in pornographic websites. 47 percent of the divorce cases involved one party spending excessive time on the computer. 33 percent of the divorce cases cited excessive time communicating in chat rooms. Given these statistics, we should view our spouse’s activity with the same worry we view that persons relationship with an “old friend.”
I know this is asking a lot. We men like a certain amount of space we can call our own. To give our wives a magnifying glass over our computer is a pretty extreme measure. But with divorce rates at 70%, and the top cause of divorce being the internet, the situation is critical and the measures you need to take to protect your family are drastic.
What could be a greater way to show our loyalty to our loved ones than this? When your wife goes out with her friends and all they talk about is how much time their husbands spend online, your wife will be grateful. When one of the wives pensively asks, “I can only imagine what he does online?” your wife will appreciate what a wonderful man she has.
The good news is this: if you filter your internet, or simply not use it at home, the odds of your marriage being successful and joyous instantly double!
More than half of married cybersex users lose interest in relational sex, as have one-third of their partners. Spouses of pornography users often report being repulsed by the user’s sexual pursuits. Constant internet porn users continually make excuses to avoid sexual intimacy with their spouse. She ends up feeling hurt, angry, sexually rejected, inadequate, and unable to compete with computer images and sexy online women.
76% of all husbands who had an extramarital affair have used Internet pornography. 80% of people who have engaged in paid sex (i.e., prostitution) use Internet pornography. Pornography revenue is now greater than the combined revenues of all professional football, baseball, and basketball franchises and is almost twice the combined revenues of ABC, CBS, and NBC.
It’s bad enough that the internet has destroyed the happiness shared between a husband and wife. When you add kids to the picture, the consequences of internet porn are outright tragic.
The following negative effects could impact children in homes where a parent’s compulsive and/or addictive sexual behavior is occurring: decreased parental time and attention both from the husband and the wife who is preoccupied with the behavior of the husband. Encountering pornographic material a parent has acquired. Overhearing a parent engaged in phone sex; Increased risk of parental separation and divorce; Increased risk for consuming pornography themselves and beginning this process all over again; Exposure to the objectification of human beings, especially women; Witnessing and/or being involved in parental conflict; and witnessing and/or experiencing stress in the home related to online sexual activities.
A child of a single parent or a divorced parent is twice as likely to end up in jail, and three times as likely to engage in criminal or self-destructive behavior like drugs, alcohol, or petty-theft and vandalism.
These facts cannot understate the importance of focusing your energies on your wife and away from the internet. A married man cannot engage in internet porn, no matter how tempting it is. Not only is pornography, in all of its forms, a detestable sin against Hashem, it is the core reason why there are so many divorces and unhappy marriages going on right now. It may be the core reason for the strife between couples still married. The RamBam states, in Mishneh Torah, Laws of Tsuva, that a man’s sins against G-d can be forgiven on Yom Kippur, but his sins against his fellow man are not. To receive forgiveness, one must ask the person and receive it. Our sins against our family are sins not only against G-d, but against people as well.
I am a recovering sex addict. For over 2 years, I have actively kept myself off the bad sites. I have done this through web filters, giving my wife total access to my computer so she can check where I have been online, and through personal restraint.
Still, there are times where all I want to do is go onto these forbidden places. It is usually viewing a sexy web ad on a “good” site that sets my urges off. It is so difficult to overcome the desire to click on the ad, or on to another site with more.
What stops me is my family. After researching these stats I know what porn is – the destruction of my marriage. I love my wife. I have a wonderful son and I couldn’t survive a day without seeing him. Going on to one site will begin a process that will destroy my family. It’s that simple.
Resisting these urges also brings my family closer. The bond between a husband and wife is a spiritual one. The more I exert myself spiritually for the love of my wife and son, the more spirituality Hashem blesses our relationship. Our bond to each other becomes closer and stronger with each spiritual victory. Shmirat HaBrit truly brings peace to the family.
It is a joy that is beyond almost anything imaginable. It is a love that we all strive for with our loved ones, and with HaKadosh Baruch Hu. This love is not possible if one is hooked on porn and not making any effort to change. You get one heart in life. this wonderful gift that Hashem gave us can only be attached to one specific love at a time.
It is of the most critical importance that you install a good internet blocker. If your blocker can prevent you from getting to porn, it most likely can block your children. Give your wife the password. Manually enter into the blocker the keywords and sites you like the most. In merely communicating to your wife that you are going to fight for her, you are telling her how important she is to you. This is one of the best ways you can tell your wife how much you love her, and what being with her means to you. Your wife will return this affection to you 10 fold – I promise!
On a national level, the sin of pgam habrit has severely suppressed the growth of the Jewish People.
Just two generations ago, a couple would get married, have 2.2 kids, and celebrate their 50th anniversary together. Today, the allure for marriage – even for a day - is gone. A lack of sexual morality is the core reason why people are not getting married. It is causing mass devastation on the Jewish community. The 2007 census of the Jewish People revealed that the U.S. Jewish population has decreased over the last year. In a country with no form of deadly anti-Semitism, how can this be?
The statistics for Israeli youth are no different. Where is the physical link between Shmirat HaBrit and national defense? Stagnant birth rates among the non-Haredi public in Israel has upset the demographic balance between Jews and Arabs living in the Land of Israel. It is this demographic imbalance that has been the chief argument for the State of Israel to evacuate huge swaths of Land and bring our enemies that much closer to our civilian population centers.
Let’s try an exercise. Which are the two regions of the world that use the most pornography? America and Europe.
Which are the most promiscuous empires known to man? Rome and Greece.
What was the most promiscuous nation in the Torah? Egypt. Egypt represents impurity. Egypt represents every ideal that goes against the core of what it means to be a Jew.
Let’s review the list of emotional calamities associated with too much internet porn and other forms of sexual immorality in one’s life and compare them with the value systems of the Jewish People, and contrast them with the nations who have tried to destroy us: First is the devaluation of monogamy. Where mistresses, and extramarital sex have been a part of virtually every western empire, including the United States, the Torah specifically includes the commandment, lo tinaf, or don’t commit adultery. Not only is this a Commandment, it is one of the 10 Commandments. It is also one of the seven universal laws incumbent upon all men, Jewish and not-Jewish. Extramarital romance of any kind is seen as an abomination. Next, decreased satisfaction with a partner’s affection, and physical appearance. While the Talmud requires a man to be physically attracted to a woman in order for him to marry her, we do not place emphasis on a woman’s physical appearance. Each Shabbat we sing Ashet Chayil, A Woman of Valor. At the end we sing, ‘false is grace, and vain is beauty, a G-d fearing woman, she should be praised.’ Jewish values do not place emphasis on a woman’s looks. The body is seen as nothing but a mere placeholder for the soul and it is the soul that defines a person. It is a woman’s modesty that has kept the Jewish People strong since our national birth. Since the first Jewish couple, where Sarah had a higher level of prophecy than Avraham, it is the women who are on a higher natural spiritual level than the men. The men were complacent in the sin of the golden calf, but the women refused to participate. It was the men who listened to the 10 spies’ evil report and surrendered their place in Israel. The women wanted to press on and enter the Land. One of our greatest Rabbis, Rabbi Akiva, would have been content to remain a simple shepherd all of his life. It was his wife, Rachel, who convinced him to pursue a life of Torah. She was a wealthy woman who gave up everything for the sake of her husband. Over the last 2,000 years, how many tens of millions of Torah scholars have increased their Torah knowledge and brought Divine light into the world because they learned from the works of Rabbi Akiva? We have this through the sacrifices his wife made? The Talmud specifically attributes Rabbi Akiva’s greatness to his wife. For a Jew to see a fellow Jew as merely a physical object is the deepest abomination imaginable. To deny the spirit of someone in favor of their physical makeup runs contrary to our very existence. Jews get their name from one of the twelve tribes of Israel. Jews are descendants from the tribe of Yehuda. The tribe itself contains the very Name of our Creator! At our essence we are spiritual beings and not physical objects. It is the nations like Egypt, Greece, Rome, Europe, and the United States that have tried to convince us otherwise.
Excessive porn leads to doubts about the value of marriage and a decreased desire to have children while viewing non-monogamous relationships as normal and natural behavior for married men. The nations of the world have upheld these values since Egypt and Greece. Our nation stands in direct confrontation to these debaucheries. The first mitzvah in the Torah is the commandment that Hashem gave to Adam, Be fruitful and multiply. Over the last 20 years, the growth of the Palestinian population in the Land of Israel and the growth of the Jewish population in the Land of Israel have been virtually identical. Despite Arab claims to the contrary, the Palestinians are not changing the demographic nature of the State of Israel. It is true that statistically, the secular population growth of Israel significantly lags the Arab population growth, the population growth among the religious communities in Israel more than makes up for it. It is estimated that the average Haredi family in Israel has more than 8 children. The religious community takes very seriously every mitzvah, including the mitzvah to be fruitful and multiply. Core Jewish values include marriage, monogamy, fidelity, loyalty, and lots, and lots, of children. This mitzvah has maintained the Jewish People through every exile, as it saves the Jewish People to this day! It is only now that we have all assimilated into Western culture that we consider 2 children as the normal family. In Jewish terms, this is not the case. Hashem said to us in Sefer Devarim, “I have set before you life and death, Choose life! We can be like the Holy in Israel who strengthen the Jewish people with this mitzvah, or mimic the nations of the world and literally waste away.
The values of ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Europe and the United States place supreme emphasis on the body and physical pleasures. The Jewish world has combated each and every empire from then until now by placing our focus on the neshama, the soul. How do we do this today? How do we escape the bonds of the world we are living in and regain our spiritual identity as Jews?
We remember the Exodus from Egypt.
Every day, we are to recite six remembrances after our morning prayers. The first two remembrances both specifically state that we have to keep in mind these miracles all of the days of our life. Both of them have directly to do with leaving Egypt, and standing before Hashem and receiving the Torah at Sinai. Every day we are commanded to remember that we are not like the nations of the earth. We are commanded to focus on breaking the boundaries of what we see, and to focus on a spiritual existence. We are commanded every day to stand before Hashem at Sinai. We must all constantly leave our immediate surroundings and resist the temptation to be like everyone. We must remember that we were once slaves, like those individuals who are slaves to their passions. We were once idolaters, like those people who profane the Holy for impurities. G-d took mercy upon us. He brought us out of Egypt, and out of Greece, and out of Rome. He gave us the Torah, which is the perfect manual on how to escape the physical lie we see before our eyes and to focus on Him and His universe. Each day we successfully resist the temptation to so much as look at an immodestly dressed woman, we are not merely averting our eyes. We are reliving the Exodus of our ancestors. We are revealing Hashem’s Oneness at Sinai. Gradually weaning oneself off of a sex based existence is the true key to freedom. Each day we break free of our surroundings to follow the Torah is a day where we escape Egypt and stand before Hashem at Sinai.
David Fink is the Editor-in-Chief of the daily investment newsletter, Real Wealth Recon. In 2008, his Real Wealth portfolio MADE MONEY, outperforming the three major indices by 38%, and the average Hedge Fund by 25%. For $99 a year, you get David’s daily market commentary, instant emails for every trade he makes, total access to David’s portfolio, and a weekly review of the major articles published around the world. Why hand over your hard earned money to someone in a suit saying “trust me.” Keep your money and trust yourself. Join the elite investors who are making money this year, and tell Wall Street: YOU’RE FIRED!