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How are we different?
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A platform of recovery for Jews who find themselves struggling with addictions to pornography, masturbation or other sexual problems. Post anonymously about your struggles without fear of anyone finding out who you are. Ask questions, post answers and be inspired! Get tips and guidance from the experts who moderate this forum, as well as from fellow strugglers.
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TOPIC: How are we different? 1942 Views

How are we different? 15 Apr 2019 15:06 #340596

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Hi Guys, 

its been a few few days since I joined and I have to say that this site is a true inspiration and encouragement for me. There’s a lot more here than I expected!

That being said, Before I go into what I’m going to ask I want to give a little background of my situation. I don’t consider myself a full blown addict in any way. Since childhood I’ve struggled with looking at inappropriate pictures and women on the street (who doesn’t!) and I’m my early teens I discovered masturbation. I’ve never been a chronic masturbator as my guilt would usually hold me back. But I did fall into it every now and then. When I went to EY I visited some Internet cafes and that’s when I saw pornography for the first time. Again I would fall into it here and there but never did it on a constant basis. 

At this point my head was very dirty and I would check out every woman on the street. Time came to start dating and my head was filled with thoughts about sex. When dating a girl I would think about having sex with her a lot. 
I met my wife and we got engaged, everything was pretty smooth and when we got married I stopped masturbating for a good year or so until i went back to my here and there falling into it as when I was single. 

Basically in in a nutshell, I’m a guy who looks at women in the street (always) and thinks about sex a lot, occasionally looks at porn, pictures, or reads/listens to erotic things and occasionally masturbates. 

Now I fully understand that this is wrong according to the Torah and I always felt bad about these behaviors and that’s definitely what keeps it in check and holding me back from doing it more often. 

My question thay I’d like to pose here is from a mental health/relationship point of view. I get the feeling from many people on this forum about how damaging lust can be to a persons marriage and to their general well being overall and how it’s not living life, etc, etc..... 
I am wondering if this is so, does this mean that every non-Jew is not living life? Are they not capable of having a real relationship? Like I would say about 99% of non Jewish men are lusting, masturbating, looking at porn on a pretty frequent basis.

So basically I’m trying to understand why are we different? Why do we need to be so clean just to be mentally healthy and enjoy life. Why do we need to be so clean in order to have a good marriage?

Re: How are we different? 15 Apr 2019 15:52 #340597

  • cordnoy
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Newbie wrote on 15 Apr 2019 15:06:
Hi Guys, 

its been a few few days since I joined and I have to say that this site is a true inspiration and encouragement for me. There’s a lot more here than I expected!

That being said, Before I go into what I’m going to ask I want to give a little background of my situation. I don’t consider myself a full blown addict in any way. Since childhood I’ve struggled with looking at inappropriate pictures and women on the street (who doesn’t!) and I’m my early teens I discovered masturbation. I’ve never been a chronic masturbator as my guilt would usually hold me back. But I did fall into it every now and then. When I went to EY I visited some Internet cafes and that’s when I saw pornography for the first time. Again I would fall into it here and there but never did it on a constant basis. 

At this point my head was very dirty and I would check out every woman on the street. Time came to start dating and my head was filled with thoughts about sex. When dating a girl I would think about having sex with her a lot. 
I met my wife and we got engaged, everything was pretty smooth and when we got married I stopped masturbating for a good year or so until i went back to my here and there falling into it as when I was single. 

Basically in in a nutshell, I’m a guy who looks at women in the street (always) and thinks about sex a lot, occasionally looks at porn, pictures, or reads/listens to erotic things and occasionally masturbates. 

Now I fully understand that this is wrong according to the Torah and I always felt bad about these behaviors and that’s definitely what keeps it in check and holding me back from doing it more often. 

My question thay I’d like to pose here is from a mental health/relationship point of view. I get the feeling from many people on this forum about how damaging lust can be to a persons marriage and to their general well being overall and how it’s not living life, etc, etc..... 
I am wondering if this is so, does this mean that every non-Jew is not living life? Are they not capable of having a real relationship? Like I would say about 99% of non Jewish men are lusting, masturbating, looking at porn on a pretty frequent basis.

So basically I’m trying to understand why are we different? Why do we need to be so clean just to be mentally healthy and enjoy life. Why do we need to be so clean in order to have a good marriage?

We're not here to convince you that you, your wife or your marriage have a mental health issue. if you think your life is fine, continue on. if you're here to learn how to guard your eyes, mind, etc., ask. Why should we convince you that you have a potential problem? Some will say that it's our duty to set you straight. maybe. maybe not.

​I personally am not enthralled with the philosophical question: why are we lusters different than the non-Jewish ones, in terms of a healthy marriage? It can be debated, and that's fine, but what do you want?
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Re: How are we different? 15 Apr 2019 16:17 #340600

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I’m looking for the truth. Is it true? If yes does that mean every non Jew has an unhealthy relationship? If not, how are we different?

I'm trying to understand. Not looking to be convinced nor am I happy with what I do. I just need a deeper understanding

Re: How are we different? 15 Apr 2019 16:44 #340604

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Newbie wrote on 15 Apr 2019 16:17:
I’m looking for the truth. Is it true? If yes does that mean every non Jew has an unhealthy relationship? If not, how are we different?

I'm trying to understand. Not looking to be convinced nor am I happy with what I do. I just need a deeper understanding

I think the key question is are we using lust as a pacifier, for any human that is not a healthy behaviour, and a behaviour which will most definitely progress to something worse.
Aka -  Mischadeish075

Re: How are we different? 15 Apr 2019 17:03 #340608

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I think one difference, at least in terms of how it could impact a marriage, is that a frum person's spouse probably has higher expectations of their husband than maybe a non-Jew's does. We have put ourselves out there as Torah Jews and for a spouse to find out that her husband was not what she thought he was and the respect she may have had for him was unjustified would probably be very disturbing. Non-Jews, both men and women, engage in all manner of activities in their life prior to marriage that frum people generally do not. I think the standard is simply lower. Most things in life are relative. The same behavior from two different people is judged differently based on expectations in most areas. Its also possible that some non-Jews have different expectations from marriage altogether. Some are "til death do us part" and others may hope for that, but in the back of their mind, be thinking if it didn't turn out that way it wouldn't be the end of the world because lots of people get divorced. Frum Jews of course get divorced too but I don't think its at the same rate and I do think almost all Frum Jews enter marriage assuming its for life.  

Re: How are we different? 15 Apr 2019 17:19 #340609

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very nice thought fmf!
ur thought can prob be combined with mggsbms (what on earth does that stand for) meaning that a a certain point, even non jews will not tolerate the effects of mb etc. but so true!!
p.s. anyone know the average divorce rate by non jews in usa today? prob. quite high and if its not, its because the marriage rate is in the pits.
Last Edit: 15 Apr 2019 17:20 by higher.

Re: How are we different? 16 Apr 2019 00:56 #340621

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Simply cannot judge Jews by non-Jewish standards.

Our role is to keep 613 Mitzvot.

Their role is to keep 7 Noahide commandments.

As for looking at women on the street, I understand 
It is an issue for me as well.

I will look at everything naturally for up to 3 seconds, because I need to know what approaches...is it human or a dog, is is probably friendly or a threat.
For self-preservation one needs to know if the approaching person is a drunk, high, walking in an aggressive way etc.

But once I have ascertained my initial impression na dthat really is under 3 seconds, then I look away.

Simple as that.
Try it.
It can be done.

Of course, I go home and think "I wish I could have looked at that attractive lady" but I also know 100% that it would harm me and be counter productive.

So see a walk down the street not as a challenge, but as an opportunity, to guard your eyes and increase your kedusha.

Re: How are we different? 16 Apr 2019 05:23 #340626

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I’m looking for the truth. Is it true? If yes does that mean every non Jew has an unhealthy relationship? If not, how are we different?

I'm trying to understand. Not looking to be convinced nor am I happy with what I do. I just need a deeper understanding

Well why not ask the same question on 'all' of Judaism? are we really better people then non-Jews? we have 613 commandments and they only have 7?
The truth is that all of Judaism is idealistic, meaning, the more Mitzvos we keep the more we are connected to Hashem and therefor the more truthful we are, the more Mitzvos we keep the more selfless we become, the more Mitzvos we keep the more holy and godly we are, and the more Mitzvos we keep the better people we are.
So now, of course the more we keep our minds and eyes the way Hashem wants us the better it is, and the better life we will have, and as we all know, that one of the worst parts of a lustful thought is the 'selfishness' about it, "what good can 'I' get from her?", "how much do 'I' enjoy her", and all we see there is what we have from it. while holiness is 'selflessness', meaning, its not what 'I' have from it, its not about 'me'. and of course we see that the more a person is holy/selfless, the less lustful thoughts enter his mind, or at least when it enters he knows that its not right and he tries to get rid of them as much and as soon as possible.
So back to your question, yes Hashem gave his Torah, and through it he is teaching us to be better people more truthful and more holy, and yes Jews do feel proud of their Jewishness, knowing that with it Hashem wants the best for us.
So the more Jewish we act the better our lives will be, and especially when it comes to relationships between husband and wife, the more holiness and selflessness we bring into our marriage the better is, %100!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And especially now that Pesach is coming, its a Yom Tov of FREEDOM, 'going beyond our own limitations', that is what truly brings us joy!

Re: How are we different? 16 Apr 2019 11:46 #340628

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There are a couple of things i would like to address on this thread
Firstly I have heard a few A.A. speakers talk against porn and masturbation as not being spiritual behavior and a form of infidelity against their wives - these are non Jews talking about something that they’re not addicted to.
its an assumption to say that 99 percent of non Jews do it just like I wouldn’t say that 88 percent of Jews do it.
another point i would like to raise is that my experience with SA has shown me that those chronic porn masturbators who disclose this addiction to their wives have just as hard a time with their goyishe wives as the Jewish ones do
so really I feel there are a lot of generalizations in this thread which have little to do with reality.
as my sponsor told me once God hates lust whether it’s a Jew or a non Jew who is lustin’
whats more of an interesting topic for me is why God created something that he hates but I think it’s easy to chalk that up to the awesomeness of free will and bechira 

Re: How are we different? 16 Apr 2019 15:33 #340633

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ColinColin wrote on 16 Apr 2019 00:56:
Simply cannot judge Jews by non-Jewish standards.

Our role is to keep 613 Mitzvot.

Their role is to keep 7 Noahide commandments.

As for looking at women on the street, I understand 
It is an issue for me as well.

I will look at everything naturally for up to 3 seconds, because I need to know what approaches...is it human or a dog, is is probably friendly or a threat.
For self-preservation one needs to know if the approaching person is a drunk, high, walking in an aggressive way etc.

But once I have ascertained my initial impression na dthat really is under 3 seconds, then I look away.

Simple as that.
Try it.
It can be done.

Of course, I go home and think "I wish I could have looked at that attractive lady" but I also know 100% that it would harm me and be counter productive.

So see a walk down the street not as a challenge, but as an opportunity, to guard your eyes and increase your kedusha.

As I said, from a spiritual point of view I don’t have any questions. I know we are held to a higher spiritual standard and I have no issues with that. 

My my question was regarding overall mental health and relationships. 

Re: How are we different? 16 Apr 2019 15:41 #340634

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.
Last Edit: 16 Apr 2019 15:50 by Newbie.

Re: How are we different? 16 Apr 2019 15:49 #340635

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GrowStrong wrote on 16 Apr 2019 11:46:
There are a couple of things i would like to address on this thread
Firstly I have heard a few A.A. speakers talk against porn and masturbation as not being spiritual behavior and a form of infidelity against their wives - these are non Jews talking about something that they’re not addicted to.
its an assumption to say that 99 percent of non Jews do it just like I wouldn’t say that 88 percent of Jews do it.
another point i would like to raise is that my experience with SA has shown me that those chronic porn masturbators who disclose this addiction to their wives have just as hard a time with their goyishe wives as the Jewish ones do
so really I feel there are a lot of generalizations in this thread which have little to do with reality.
as my sponsor told me once God hates lust whether it’s a Jew or a non Jew who is lustin’
whats more of an interesting topic for me is why God created something that he hates but I think it’s easy to chalk that up to the awesomeness of free will and bechira 

This is definitely more in line with what I was asking. 

It definitley surprises me to hear these facts. I was under the impression that most non Jews (maybe not porn) view lusting or masturbating as a non issue and that most do it. 

However I guess after giving it some more thought and based on what you’re saying thay has to be the answer. 

Now as far as to why hashem made it, I feel like there’s a very simple answer. If ppl would have no lust at all we would not get married or have sex. Ever. I mean understand that even with your wife it needs to be controlled and can’t be purely physical but there’s no denying that it’s needed in order to have sex. I mean you can’t tell me that ppl would have sex out of pure emotional love. There needs to be a drop of a driving force behind it but at the same time with love and emotional intimacy. 

Re: How are we different? 16 Apr 2019 15:53 #340637

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I agree and so does the Gemara :-)
Which is why there is room for healthy lust in intimacy with my wife - but as someone who abused lust and can’t use it like a normal person I have to be very careful how and when I use it.

Re: How are we different? 17 Apr 2019 00:03 #340666

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Hi Newbie, I would like to share my thoughts on what you wrote, if it resonates with you is good if not please disregard 
I found myself thinking and asking myself and others all sorts of questions and parodoxies that I saw in this WHOLE HUGE THING CALLED LUST!! 
Let me explain, when we (I) find ourselves living life a certain way and relying on certain feelings to help us feel better (usually subconsciously!) that it's so much a part of our life - almost as if it's part of our make up!!! And from one day to the next were told that this thing called LUST is actually screwing our life and sucking out any realness and emotional closeness of our marriage!! 

Then where do we go?! What now?!! How will we live?! Or rather how will we not live?!?!?! 

So we look (subconsciously again) for all kinds of questions and parodoxies and reasons why this is not the answer to all the problems....

(I don't think you really think (in an undefensive state of mind) that most non Jews WHO ARE IN NORMAL HEALTHY MARRIAGES watch porn and masturbate!!!

So my friend take a deep breath and remember that we don't have to conquer the whole world and surely not TODAY!
Take it step by step, day by day and as a side note probably a good idea to hang out a few minutes a day on the Balai Battim forum
Last Edit: 17 Apr 2019 00:05 by Mosheisgood.

Re: How are we different? 17 Apr 2019 13:44 #340684

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whats more of an interesting topic for me is why God created something that he hates but I think it’s easy to chalk that up to the awesomeness of free will and bechira 

I have the same question if someone can explain it please come in.....
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