Einav Hita'aso: What is the Ikkar of Marriage?
Someone posted on the "Married Men's Forum":
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After getting a lot of good feedback from the above post, Steve responded with the following:
Guys, it's all in baby steps. One moment, one day at a time.
I had an experience a few Shabbossim ago that I want to share. On the way home from shul Shabbos morning, I saw from not too afar a friend of mine out walking with his wife & kids. His wife is VERY attractive to me, in contrast to my wife who is very overweight. So of course, I started fantasizing about her as I had done in the past, before joining the 12 steps. Then I stopped myself and did like I'm trained now to do, and I asked Hashem, "OK, where are we going with this? What PAIN, i.e. what resentment or fear is going on in the back of my head that is causing this lust hit?" I know that if I refocus on resolving that pain through changing my perspective on it, the lust 'byproduct" will go *poof*.
I was really taken aback when I realized that, honestly, there was NO pain AT THAT MOMENT! I was actually HAPPY, I was not experiencing any pain that could be fueling the lust right then. So then I asked Hashem, "WHY? What was MISSING at that second that made me slip?" And that little quiet voice answered "you should not be thinking about someone else's wife, you should be thinking about your OWN wife. You don't appreciate her enough."
So I immediately began walking home with my eyes focused downward, and my thoughts focused inward, and I started listing my wife's good qualities and thinking about how good she is TO me and FOR me, and with our kids, etc, like I suggested before. I got more and more great feelings of love and respect for her with every step. And as I approached home, I saw her sitting on our front porch waiting for me, and I smiled widely and fell in love with her all over again, literally. I was SOOO HAPPY to see her, and to see that she was WAITING for ME; I was important to HER!! She asked me why I was beaming, and I told her the truth, that it was because I was thinking about how wonderful she is, and then I find her outside looking for me. Imagine how FANTASTIC that made her feel, and how good it felt for ME to be able to give her that joy! We had a VERY sweet, intimate moment right there, just enjoying feeling good together, standing 8 feet apart. I am getting chills even now, just reliving it.
That's what I mean. Absolutely NO physical expectations or agenda. Just GIVING to each other, one precious moment at a time.
Then I realized and THANKED HASHEM for putting Mrs. Skinny-Minny in my path, for me to learn this lesson through. And I realized how close I came to blowing His opportunity to connect with my wife. Imagine how I would have felt and treated my wife if I had spent those previous 2 minutes fantasizing about someone else's wife, then saw mine sitting outside. I would have been resentful, maybe even gruff, as I rushed into the house to avoid the contrast in my brain (as I had done many times previously).
Thank you all for giving me the opportunity to share and relive that.