27 Kislev 5782 / Wednesday, December 01, 2021 | Torah Reading: Mikeitz
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Electronic Adultery

Many men think it’s normal to correspond with female friends on Facebook or in a chat-room. The Evil Inclination tells you that cyber affairs are not adultery...


The Battle for Your Wife, part 1

I thought that once I got married, my days of sexual immorality would be over. I quickly realized that being a good husband has many spiritual challenges. Instead of always giving into my sexual urges, I now need to constantly fight them, and to channel them correctly.
Not only must married men fight every impure sexual urge, they must win every time. The welfare of their family depends on it.
On top of that, we married men face an almost insurmountable challenge in today’s world: the internet. No other generation in Jewish history had to deal with this. The internet is the cheapest, most accessible, and simplest form of pornography than anything in existence. It is the ultimate place for clandestinely meeting women online and forming pseudo or actual relationships. Today’s world views this as normal. Having female friends on facebook, YouTube, or MySpace is considered borderline at best. It is not considered a form of adultery to engage in cybersex or to view pornography online. It is socially acceptable to talk with people in chat rooms. We convince ourselves that as long as you don’t actually do ‘the deed’ with someone else, you are not technically committing adultery. Unfortunately, there have never been more forms of “not technically committing adultery” than there are today they are destroying countless marriages.
For a married man this is by far the most dangerous way he can break the laws of shmirat habrit. Internet relationships and cyber porn are the biggest threats to a marriage today.
What makes this threat all the more toxic is the level of inappropriate internet usage among married men.
U.S. Congressional testimony, based on national scientific studies, determined that the majority of Internet users seeking help for problematic sexual behavior online are married men.
These studies have determined that pornography consumption is directly associated with the following: decreased marital intimacy and sexual satisfaction, infidelity, increased appetite for more graphic types of pornography and sexual activity associated with abusive, illegal or unsafe practices, devaluation of monogamy, marriage and child rearing, increased marital distress, an increasing number of people struggling with compulsive and addictive sexual behavior, and risk of separation and divorce, Hashem forbid!
When a child lives in a home where an adult is consuming pornography, he or she encounters the following dangers: decreased parental time and attention, increased risk of encountering pornographic material, increased risk of parental separation and divorce, Hashem forbid, and, increased risk of parental job loss and financial strain. Just the other day, one of my co-workers was joking with me about the first time he experienced pornography. It was a video he stole from his uncle’s attic when he was 11. Now he is married and has three sons. He realizes how his kids love to explore, and they discover places you wouldn’t think they could find. Today, it is the children and not the adults that get more and more computer savvy as time goes on. My friend told me that his biggest fear is what he will do when his children turn 11.
According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 62 percent of the lawyers polled said the Internet had been a significant factor in divorces they had handled during the last 12 months. Additionally, the following observations were made by the lawyers with regard to why the Internet had played a role in divorces that year:
68 percent of the divorce cases involved one party meeting a new love interest over the internet. 56 percent of the divorce cases involved one party having an obsessive interest in pornographic websites. 47 percent of the divorce cases involved one party spending excessive time on the computer. 33 percent of the divorce cases cited excessive time communicating in chat rooms. Given these statistics, we should view our spouse’s activity with the same worry we view that persons relationship with an “old friend.”
I know this is asking a lot. We men like a certain amount of space we can call our own. To give our wives a magnifying glass over our computer is a pretty extreme measure. But with divorce rates at 70%, and the top cause of divorce being the internet, the situation is critical and the measures you need to take to protect your family are drastic.
What could be a greater way to show our loyalty to our loved ones than this? When your wife goes out with her friends and all they talk about is how much time their husbands spend online, your wife will be grateful. When one of the wives pensively asks, “I can only imagine what he does online?” your wife will appreciate what a wonderful man she has.
The good news is this: if you filter your internet, or simply not use it at home, the odds of your marriage being successful and joyous instantly double!
More than half of married cybersex users lose interest in relational sex, as have one-third of their partners. Spouses of pornography users often report being repulsed by the user’s sexual pursuits. Constant internet porn users continually make excuses to avoid sexual intimacy with their spouse. She ends up feeling hurt, angry, sexually rejected, inadequate, and unable to compete with computer images and sexy online women.
76% of all husbands who had an extramarital affair have used Internet pornography. 80% of people who have engaged in paid sex (i.e., prostitution) use Internet pornography. Pornography revenue is now greater than the combined revenues of all professional football, baseball, and basketball franchises and is almost twice the combined revenues of ABC, CBS, and NBC.
It’s bad enough that the internet has destroyed the happiness shared between a husband and wife. When you add kids to the picture, the consequences of internet porn are outright tragic.
The following negative effects could impact children in homes where a parent’s compulsive and/or addictive sexual behavior is occurring: decreased parental time and attention both from the husband and the wife who is preoccupied with the behavior of the husband. Encountering pornographic material a parent has acquired. Overhearing a parent engaged in phone sex; Increased risk of parental separation and divorce; Increased risk for consuming pornography themselves and beginning this process all over again; Exposure to the objectification of human beings, especially women; Witnessing and/or being involved in parental conflict; and witnessing and/or experiencing stress in the home related to online sexual activities.
A child of a single parent or a divorced parent is twice as likely to end up in jail, and three times as likely to engage in criminal or self-destructive behavior like drugs, alcohol, or petty-theft and vandalism.
These facts cannot understate the importance of focusing your energies on your wife and away from the internet. A married man cannot engage in internet porn, no matter how tempting it is. Not only is pornography, in all of its forms, a detestable sin against Hashem, it is the core reason why there are so many divorces and unhappy marriages going on right now. It may be the core reason for the strife between couples still married. The RamBam states, in Mishneh Torah, Laws of Tsuva, that a man’s sins against G-d can be forgiven on Yom Kippur, but his sins against his fellow man are not. To receive forgiveness, one must ask the person and receive it. Our sins against our family are sins not only against G-d, but against people as well.
I am a recovering sex addict. For over 2 years, I have actively kept myself off the bad sites. I have done this through web filters, giving my wife total access to my computer so she can check where I have been online, and through personal restraint.
Still, there are times where all I want to do is go onto these forbidden places. It is usually viewing a sexy web ad on a “good” site that sets my urges off. It is so difficult to overcome the desire to click on the ad, or on to another site with more.
To be continued.

Dovber Halevi is the author of the financial book, How to Survive the Coming Decade of Anxiety. He writes for Breslev Israe and The Middle East Magazine. He lives with his wife and two children in Eretz Yisrael.

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  4 Talkbacks for this article    See all talkbacks  
Yisroel1/1/2018 3:34:53 PM
  Forgotten victims
anon3/19/2012 11:26:57 AM
  thanks a million!
Raizy3/28/2010 5:29:39 PM
  Web Site To Help "Electronic Adultery"
Anonymous,3/23/2009 4:12:01 PM

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