Problem of Attraction
I haven't acted out for a few weeks, but I don't find my wife attractive. She's pregnant and doesn't wear makeup at home. What can I do?
First of all, who decreed that a man must be always attracted to his wife? Hashem gives each person what they need for their tikkun and journey in life. Specifically those of us who warped our minds with shmutz, need to re-learn what REAL love means... We grow old together with our wives. Love cannot be based on physical appearances. We aren't supposed to love our wives like we love "steak". Think about it: Our wives had our precious children for us, often at the expense of their physical form and beauty. We should be thankful to them for that, not resentful!
Another thing to keep in mind: If you were on an island alone with only your wife, would there still be a problem of attraction? Our wife needs to be the only woman in the world in our eyes. Internalizing that will help us to Guard your eyes well, and then we will start to really feel it too.
Here are some useful resources:
- See this article on the site.
- The Chosson Shmuz can also help. It was made specially for people who have seen shmutz (and warped their minds somewhat)...
- The movie "Fireproof" can be helpful in giving us the right perspective.
(For the password to the Chosson Shmuz and the movie, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org if you're married, with your username).
A few excerpts from our members on the forum:
It's a big challenge when you don't find your wife so attractive but there are some points that might help you:
1- Every person has positive and negative aspects about them. You can learn to appreciate the pretty things about your wife even though you are not pleased with other things.
2- You can learn that there is nothing as exciting and fulfilling as actually looking into the eyes of a person who is totally given to you and loves you honestly. These treasures will not be achieved by connecting to anyone else, no matter how 'hot' they are, and will not be improved upon in any way by your wife losing twenty pounds or getting other additional accouterments.
3- Love needs to come from giving, not from taking.
4- We can't escape our destiny. You will only find happiness through acceptance. That means to surrender to God's will for you in this life. Accepting life on life's terms. Once you accept, you will find inner peace -- and even love for your wife...
I have a similar issue. The only answer I can see is to realize and internalize that no one gets everything they want in life. And to just appreciate what I have. I could lose a lot of the great stuff I have in the blink of an eye and I have to believe that God knows best what I need. Maybe having this is itself a kapara for all the illicit pleasure I had in life, midah kneged mida...
Please know that its possible to have eyes only for her, but you have to really want it and daven for it. It's brought down in sefarim that Hashem lets a wife find grace in her husbands eyes if they are zoche. PLEASE Daven for it and you will see how things will change. I GUARANTEE IT!
Before marriage we acted out and had no wife to blame. We thought marriage was the answer and we all get our bubble burst. We cannot blame our wife (who was pretty enough for us to marry) for our lust issues.
Are you just nervous that your wife will never lose her baby weight before the next one, gain another 30 pounds, keep it till the next one and then another 30 etc.?
Well, it's a real concern. Not one you can do much about either.
There is a way out, but it takes work. The truth is that most good things in life take work. The work that needs to be done is to learn how to be attracted to things that are not physical, things that will hopefully become more beautiful as time moves on. Learn to be attracted to positive traits, like kindness, compassion, sacrifice, love and so on. It will enhance your marriage tremendously. It need to be worked on, you need to do exercises that promote this thought process. You can try making list of all the positive aspects of her, start with say 15 and add a new one every day for a fill month. Then work on putting them in order, i.e. if you could only have one which one would you choose. There are many other such exercises that can have a powerful affect on how our outlook in life.
No matter how pretty a wife is there is always going to be a prettier one somewhere. It's important to understand that often we exacerbate the issue when we are entrenched in the world of internet. Seeing woman that are the stuff of dreams (yes, I am referring to nightmares) engaging in all type of fake acting and then comparing and contrasting them to our poor wives, highlights the flaws or imperfections that are there.
Yes, many wives are not the prettiest in the neighborhood, many aren't like they initially were when we married them, but when one loves a person in a real and not just superficial way, those feelings shouldn't make a difference. It doesn't mean to bury our head in the sand and deny facts, it just means that we don't care, because it doesn't effect true love. (Obviously this is a level and understanding that isn't reached overnight)
But when joined with pornographic content, it trains us that it is entirely about physical beauty, and it constantly highlights the differences between the pieces of dirt on the screen and our loving wives, making appearance take a much higher value and play a bigger role than it would otherwise.
So instead of trying to remove these feelings and then to feel it possible to give up porn, it works the opposite way. Give up garbage, and then we can start seeing our wives in the light they deserve.