If you are not married or about to get married - please don't read this. It is not for you.
I would like to relate to a recent post about the 11 thousand plus divorces that took place in Israel this past year. I would like to talk about the people who are still married but not so happy about it and are waiting to be a statistic in coming years.
I have been observing male discourse for a long time. What do men talk about?? If they are more serious and frum - Torah. In my neighborhood, many of the men are serious learners and so many of the conversations revolve around Torah. BARUCH HASHEM!
Other men talk about money, work, their cars, houses, investments, politics, sports etc.
What do I NEVER see men talking about?? Themselves. Their problems. Their difficulties. Everyone, it seems, is trying to put up a front that everything is just fine. Under control. It's NOT COOL to be weak and having trouble.
Herein lies the problem.
This is a conversation that will never take place. It wouldn't even start.
Moish: "Hey, Yitz, how are you? You look so SAD today. Is something bothering you? I would LOVE to hear and have PLENTY of time". [I told you that the conversation will never start].
Yitz: "I AM sad. It is my marriage. My wife [Moish thinks of Yitz's wife - A very attractive, well put together, personable woman in her late twenties] doesn't like to have sex. Not only that - she never lets me touch her or touches me. We are living a passionless, distant life. There is constant friction between us. The kids are suffering because even though they don't know what is going on in the bedroom - or better, what ISN'T going on - they feel the tension and distance between my wife and I. When we do have relations it is mechanical, done at her insistence fully clothed, and a painful chore for both of us."
Moish: "Oh boy. That must be incredibly difficult. How are you managing??"
Yitz: "I'm not."
Moish: "Would you like to share more??"
Yitz: "Yeah, thanks. It is sooo hard to feel rejected, unwanted and unloved. It is even harder not to be allowed to show love to my wife. She rejects me not only sexually but in many other ways as well. It is soooo difficult to cope. Nobody knows, there is no support from the community like there is when people go through other types of suffering. I don't want to get divorced but I don't see how I can stay married."
Moish: "So painful. I love you Yitz. I wish I could help in some way. Is your wife willing to go to therapy. I heard of a really good therapist."
Yitz: "No. She refuses. She says that it's not "tzniyus" to talk about sex. She won't even talk about it with me."
Moish: "You know Yitz. I am going to speak to an expert on this matter and tell him your case and maybe we will be able to find a solution. In the meantime - keep strong. And remember - I love you and Hashem loves you. We all need nisyonos in order to grow. The word "neis" means banner. Something elevated and raised. When you withstand a nisayon you are elevated and perfom a neis - a miracle".
Moish gives Yitz a bear hug and asks him to keep in touch and when he wants to talk he should contact him.
This will never happen. Nobody admits marital problems. Nobody has time to listen. The phone and emails beckon. People aren't comfortable talking about feelings and weaknesses.
But I have some news - a LOT of people are suffering SILENTLY.
I have been encouraged to expand upon this, so bl"n, to be continued.
In the meantime, if anyone would like a listening ear, they can contact me.
I don't charge.