Q. Although an addiction is an addiction and needs to be dealt with, one problem is the wives of married sufferers. They must give what the Gemara says they must give - to save their husbands from sin. All too often, wives feel resentment at giving themselves over because of many reasons, like the husband doesn't do enough around the house, he doesn't buy her things, etc... The reasons are endless. She may have her own psychological problems. Nowhere in your site do you deal with this. I heard that a big Rebbitzen in a bungalow colony said to the women there that they better give themselves to their husbands because there is a lot out there that is available, and if they don't have it at home they are going to look elsewhere.
A. Thank you for sharing your concern. I agree this may be a problem, but unfortunately our site is geared mainly towards men so even if I would put up something about this on our site or Chizuk-list, not many women would see it. Maybe we need more people like that Rebbitzin you mentioned, to make the women more aware of this.
I want to also point out though, that although these two issues may look related (addiction and sex with spouse), they are mainly not. When trying to deal with the addiction, it is important to remember what our sages said: "There is a small organ in a man, if you feed it - it is hungry, if you starve it - it is satiated". (See also here). So in a sense, limiting it at home can actually help someone with an addiction to heal. It is true though, that it is harder having no outlet when trying to heal from the addiction, but sometimes that is just the medicine a person needs. Hashem knows each person's strengths and abilities, and it could be that he gave you this issue with your wife because he knows you are not like other men who will seek it elsewhere if they don't get it at home, but rather you are someone who will understand that "the less you feed it the less you need it" and this may actually help you heal quicker than otherwise.
In any case, often these issues (where spouse doesn't want sex) need to be resolved with marriage counseling, addiction aside. If she makes up too many excuses why she doesn't want to be there for you, I highly suggest marriage counseling. It can only help. Again, this is regardless of your addiction, so even if you are embarrassed to bring up the addiction with the counselor, it doesn't really make a difference to solving this issue.
I must explain what i meant when i first wrote you about my wife. it's not that she's not available at all, it's that she's not available as much as i'd like. and if i can be straight, she has an aversion to being touched. and i believe this is due to HER problems with her mother who touched her inappropriately (i don't believe in a sexual way, just inappropriate touching in general). she refuses to discuss this. i've been to marriage counseling with her, and she never discusses this, although she slipped and mentioned it to me once, but then took it right back and said she didn't mean it. i'm telling you this so you don't think it's my imagination. you might say, your taavah for her is what's killing you, and i've thought about this. but the gemara says while a person should control this taavah, even if you're married, it also says a wife should save her husband from sin. When i confront her about this, she tells me basically, without using these words exactly although that's the connotation - 'go play in traffic'. well, in the past, i used to say, fine, i dont need you, i have the movies, if you're not there, i know exactly where to go to please myself (i think i told you already that i never sinned with another person). i am now in a bind.i have made sort-of-a little kabbala (bli neder all the way) not to go there anymore. what do i do now?? i feel really stuck and frustrated, and it's been this way for 24 years.
i told her i wont go anymore for counseling until she promises to talk about the REAL issue - and she wont. so we haven't gone to counseling in years, because every time we went, she'd change the subject. and the only therapist that i liked, made her cry and she wont go back to him.of course he made you cry, therapy is TOUGH! i've been through it myself and it's very hard work - if you do it right. and to take the therapists words to heart hurts a lot.but, if we want to heal properly, we must go through that pain.of course, we cant' do it alone, but still, we must have that pain - lphum tzaara agra. and we said it first - before any sports trainer.so here i am, the same place with my wife that i've been for 24 years, sexually speaking, of course for me, my personal situation has improved because of certain caring Jews....
have i rambled enough? please give me your thoughts on these matters. she always told me to find someone to talk to - but who would i talk to about these things? anonymity is great.
May I ask a few questions? Please answer fully even if they are VERY private or embarrassing. I am trying to help you and I don't know who you are anyway :-)
a) Approximately how often IS she available to you?
b) What gets her to be available?
c) Did your wife ever experience an orgasm? do you know how to please her?
d) If she does, do you please her each time, or once in a while?
Here are the answers: mikva night she's available and wants to get excited (i do know how to excite her and she does have orgasm). if i ask her at other times, she'll say yes but usually says she doesn't want to get excited. sometimes when i ask her she is too tired, or has too much on her mind, or is too stressed, etc. she almost never asks me.it's like she couldn't care less if she has sex with me or not. and once a month is enough for her. and when she'll say yes but doesn't want to get excited, it's like a kosher form of masturbation - kosher because it's with my wife and masturbation because it's like she's not there.
Thanks for answering. I may be able to help somewhat. There is a well known frum marriage counselor in Jerusalem that helps many frum couples, and one of his main approaches is helping the man learn how to properly make love to his wife. I have seen some of the "talking" videos he made, explaining these things according to our Sages, and explaining how a man needs to please his wife. So maybe I can convey some of what I remember.
It's good that at least on Mikva night she enjoys herself. That means she is sexually normal. The fact she doesn't desire or ask for sex at other times is also 100% normal. That is the way MOST woman are. Chaza"l even go as far to say that a woman should NOT ever ask for sex from her husband. It is considered "Azuz". Instead, it is the man who should initiate it.
It is also 100% normal that she doesn't care to become excited and have an orgasm most of the times. Most women are happy with an orgasm only once in a while, but they are still willing to be there with their husbands. It is GOOD that your wife says "yes" even when she does not want to get excited. Your concern for it being a "kosher form of masturbation" is somewhat true, however, for someone struggling with an addiction to masturbation, let's not jump too many levels at once. I think it's safe to say that you can still do this to release tension when you feel weak or needy. See also this FAQ page for some more info along these lines.
It is important to understand that women don't need sex as much as men, they need "emotional closeness". If you want to get your wife "into it", she needs to feel your love and caring first. Be neat and clean, and have fresh breath. Compliment her, show her a lot of appreciation... Buy her flowers for Shabbos... You may also need to be more "spontaneous", instead of "asking" if she wants sex, just start initiating it when the time is right. A woman also gets aroused much slower than a man. Start by whispering warm words in her ear, caressing her hair, and slowly working down to other places... this can get her into it and she will WANT to have an orgasm. But this doesn't have to be always. It can be done once in a while, especially Friday nights. If your wife doesn't seem to be in the mood to go until the end after you initialize, don't push it. She doesn't need to get an orgasm each time like a man does.