Nedarim That Really Work
We thought we had Yiras Shamayim, but for some reason when we get a lust attack the Yiras Shamayim doesn't seem to work very well. But don't feel bad. It doesn't mean you don't have any Yiras Shamayim. When Rav Yochanan Ben Zakai blessed his students before he died he said, "May your fear of heaven be equal to your fear of man". And his students asked him: "Rebbe, is that all?". And he answered:"Halevai!". And even Rav Amram Raban Shel Chassidim (Kidushin 81/a) wasn't able to stop himself when faced head-on with lust, without resorting to drastic measures.
We all know that AFTER the fact (when the desires have been quieted), we are much more willing to do what it takes to stop the NEXT occurrence. So here's an idea that works very well with normal frum addicts who (a) have some Yiras Shamayim and (b) are at a light-to-medium addiction level (this doesn't work well with high levels of addiction). The idea is to make a Neder that AFTER we act out (on our bottom line behaviors) we will do something painful. Will we keep this neder? Most frum addicts would. After all, it is AFTER the acting out. The desires have already been silenced and we feel bad. We don't want to throw away the rest of our Yiddishkeit, correct?
Here is an example of two Nedarim that we recently helped someone set up for himself. He told us that now that he made these Nedarim he feels a new freedom in his life!
1) I am mekabel upon myself b'neder for one month that if I have any sort of sexual encounter with any person besides my wife, then I will donate $2500 to GYE from my next month's salary and I will tell a close friend what I have done, for each day on which I did this sin.
2) I am mekabel upon myself b'neder for one month that if I if I am intentionally motzi zera livatala while fully awake, or if I intentionally obtain adult sexual material of any sort, digital or printed (i.e. DVDs or Magazines), with the intention of arousing myself, or if I intentionally go to - or search for - any websites or web pages, pictures, videos, chats or forums, for the purpose of viewing adult sexual content or messages or facilitations of sexual encounters, or if I initiate contact with - or respond positively to - any woman other than my wife for a sexually related purpose, or if I partake of any illicit sexually oriented services of any kind, then I will donate $500 to GYE and tell a close friend what I have done, for each day on which I do any one - or more - of these things. If I forget that I made this neder and do one of these things, I will only donate $100.