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My Dad Has a Problem

How do I confront my Dad about his addiction?

GYE Corp. Tuesday, 07 February 2012

Someone emailed us:

While leaving my house late Saturday night, my father asked me to log him off from his Facebook (as he had just started an account and he is not exactly a computer whiz). Something dawned on me. Why does he want me to log him off?

I pretended to log off in front of him.

He left. I sent my wife to bed and I told her I have some work to do.

I entered his Facebook to get the biggest shock of my life.

His profile was full of shmutz, pictures that women had sent him.

As I was browsing his posts, I got to something that will haunt me probably for the rest of my life. "I NEED A GIRL FRIEND" he had posted on his wall. This from a 62 years old man who has just gotten back with his wife. I burst into tears and went to a back room so my wife couldn't hear me.

Through the night I woke up twice and I cried myself to sleep again. I can’t believe my eyes, my life and who has raised me. I feel soooooooooooooooooooooooooo sorry for my mother. I wanted to confront him and go to his house and start screaming at him. I spoke to my younger brother on sunday and we don’t know what to do.

I am a wreck.

I have not been answering my dads calls the past couple of days but I need to confront him and give him a shock. I have the halachic problems of kibud av and I can’t consult anyone for a proper hadrachah as it’s really embarrassing.

I need help and I need it urgently at whatever expense. Please guide me.


GYE Answers:


I feel your pain and confusion. First of all, you need to take care of yourself and get out of the anger, resentment, and the desire to control things. This is really not in your hands, and you'd be in a much better mental state if you surrendered this situation to Hashem, asked for His guidance, and let go of the need to "control". This is step number 1.

We find in Chazal that Rachel died on the way to Eretz Yisrael as a punishment for having caused her father anguish over the stolen idols. Can you imagine? Her father was worshiping idols, and she was just trying to stop him, yet she was punished for causing him anguish! So although you must look for ways to help your father, it must still be done with respect - and without the feeling that you need to be the one to get him under control. He has an addiction to lust, which is a disease. And just like if your father had cancer you wouldn't yell at him or try to control his cancer, all you can do is look for the best doctors and let him know that help is available.

You can write your father a letter, if you want, or tell him in person, that you now know he struggles with a powerful lust addiction that is probably destroying his life. You can explain to him that you are not judging him, as this is one of today's biggest nisyonos and unfortunately many people have been caught up in the 50th level of Tumah, especially due to the anonymity and accessibility of the internet.

You can explain to him that it is a progressive disease that only gets worse, and it destroys the person's marriage, family life, Yiddishkeit (if he's frum) and his connection with reality... Any red lines he might have previously had, are slowly crossed, one by one, as the disease progresses.

You can tell him that there are thousands of people in his situation today that have gotten help through SA (sexaholics anonymous), which is a 12-Step fellowship. There are groups in every city around the U.S and the world. Go to and search for groups in his area.

Tell him you love him and you love your mother as well, and you know how much pain this causes them both. Tell him that help is available, and you sincerely hope that he goes for help so you can have a father - and that your mother can have a husband.

If he is religious, many of the tools on our website can help him as well. You can guide him to and encourage him to download and read our handbook (maybe print it out for him).

Hatzlacha Rabba.