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Sharing With a Partner

Could sharing with a partner problematic thoughts serve as a trigger?

GYE Corp. Sunday, 22 January 2012

The GYE set me up with a partner... I gather that we're supposed to tell each other exactly what we're thinking and want to do in our lusty moments (I got that from your posts). My question is, if we're at the same level, is there not a danger that we could trigger each other?

Dov Replies:

Thanks for asking. Well, if a guy is sharing his craziness with me in such a way that it's clear that he is using me to help himself surrender, it's rare for me to get triggered. Actually, his shedding of shame and prioritizing honesty will help me to do the same when I need to, rather than hold onto 'privacy' (secrecy!) and "struggle with it" it out of 'self-respect' (shame!)... After all, for me, Lust is not purely a moral issue that I can really successfully control anyway, is it? I am sick in the head, body, and heart. So that shame just has to go anyway! It is priority #1. And what better way to get past it than admitting my sickness fully, whenever possible, by helping someone else do the same?

On the rare occasion that I do get triggered, I stop the guy and tell him that I am getting triggered and have to stop listening to the details - I usually ask him to keep talking but just leave out the gory details. And that usually works fine for him, cuz it is about taking the actions needed to admit the truth - not necessarily being heard by any particular person, it seems.

(Disclaimer: Sometimes people can sense that the person who is sharing is not breaking through shame at all, rather, it seems that they are actually engaging in a type of creepy 'exposure', advertisement, or showing off. Just because admitting the unadulterated truth about ourselves to another is in our best interest, does not make it into a 'rite of passage' or gang initiation, and it is certainly not a badge of honor. It is just the truth and need not be made a big deal of. I have gotten the creepy feeling (rarely) in meetings - and I walk out. Or if it's on the phone, I just stop them or take the phone away from my ear. Depending on the relationship we have, it may or may not be possible to talk about the problem when I sense it.)

So, it is not a complicated issue. Just do what your heart tells you and daven to Hashem for a straight heart.