Help! Husband OTD

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  • #1844225
    sara s
    Participant

    My husband is 30…he is not young and he is
    Drifting from his roots….I have four small children and I am
    Distraught…is this a common situation…how different is it to
    A child, since children you do unconditionally love…Can a family survive like this?

    #1844402
    kingdavid
    Participant

    Is this internet nisyonos related? If yes, please reach out to GYE (GuardYourEyes)

    #1844464
    yld
    Participant

    Sounds really hard, i suggest you speak to his Rav.

    #1844471
    1
    Participant

    It’s not relatively common, but you’re not alone. Is he employed? Are there underlying issues like depression?

    #1844503
    dan2
    Participant

    I second the suggestion of reaching out to GYE. If there is addiction involved you might do yourself a lot of good if you search an anon program. Anon is for friends or immediate family of the addict

    #1844520
    mobico
    Participant

    While not common, this does happen. It is very hard on the wife and children no matter the course of action. No one can offer you helpful anonymous advice here. Your first step should be to confide in a mentor who knows your husband; a Rav who is experienced and wise and knows your family would be ideal. You have our empathy and may Hashem grant you strength, wisdom, and courage!

    #1844521
    philosopher
    Participant

    You should reach out to get the help your husband needs, whether it’s a Rav or GYE. If your husband wants to change he will when he gets help. If he doesn’t want to change there’s nothing you can do. You then have two options, if he still wants to stay, you can keep the family intact which it can be exceptionally hard living with such a husband, but it’s a better environment for the kids where you can control the environment way more than if you take the second option which is divorce.

    Remember, ultimately there’s nothing you could do to prevent him from living the life he wants, it’s his bechira.

    I feel your pain and hopelessness. Stay strong and may you have a complete yeshiah.

    #1844540
    Gadolhadorah
    Participant

    Why do some immediately assume that an OTD problem is rooted in Shmiras Ha’einayim???

    There are many reasons why young men and women go OTD and while the “internet” may be a factor in some cases, there are so many other possible causes.

    Speak with your local Rav and also seek input from a frum therepist as to how his behavior is affecting your family and relationships.

    #1844580
    kopst
    Participant

    I feel your pain as I have a family member that went through a similar process. If you have a good relationship with your husband, I suggest that you find a Rav that works with couples going through similar struggles. It is not an easy process moving forward, but it is possible to salvage your relationship. Much hatzlacha!

    #1844586
    unommin
    Participant

    You think that the rabbi is where you should go for a husband who may be going OTD? You didn’t say the problem, but it could be that the rabbi is the last person you want. Especially his. The rabbi may be part of the problem.

    #1844587
    Kilaolomchasdo
    Participant

    That sounds very challenging. That sounds like a true nisyayon. As others have suggested, try speaking to his rav/mentor (unless of course, you feel that would be counter productive). Just know that this unfortunately isn’t as uncommon as you think. I heard a shuir by R’ Shaya Cohen of ZA who mentioned that he’s dealt with many adults in families that go OTD. I recommend you try to contact him if you can.

    Also, I’m not sure why some are jumping to the conclusion this is internet related, but if it were, that wouldn’t mean that he’s “going OTD.” If someone chas v’shalom struggles with holding themselves back from speaking lashon harah, we wouldn’t describe them as going “OTD.” That’s just called the yetzer harah getting the best of them.

    #1844602
    Avremelb
    Participant

    Mrs. S, I’m sure it is very difficult to watch your husband drifting from his roots. In addition the insecurities and lack of certainty that comes along with it. You have four children together and this is not easy.

    It’s important to note that Judaism is incredibly powerful and beautiful. I’m sure that there are elements of Judaism that still very much appeal to him. If we were able to pull away enough layers it will uncover the strong connection he has to the aibeshter.

    Since you’re asking, I would suggest two things. First, to work on your relationship with him. I’m not suggesting in any way, that a weakness in the relationship, or anything like that, is causing him to drift. He’s a grown man and is responsible for his own actions. That being said, strengthening the relationship is probably the most powerful thing you can do.

    Second, please don’t judge him. I’m not justifying his actions. Nor am I suggesting that you endorse his behavior. It’s that Removing judgment will allow you to have true empathy. His feeling that U are empathetic will likely cause him to be more open to your suggestions and work things out together.

    Posting this must have taken a lot of Courage. I commend you for that. The aibeshter should bless you, your husband and your four beautiful children with heath, parnasah and a loving supportive family unit.

    Hatzlachah!

    #1844637
    joeljacob
    Participant

    Im a father of 5. I went OTD at age 29. We still live together 5 years later. I can’t say it was always easy but things got better with time. I think the key is respect. Simple respect to another human being. If there is a mutual respect everything can and will work.
    However, If you’ll approach this, like some commenters here suggest, like he has a “problem” i can guarantee you things will go down the drain very very fast.

    Its ridiculous how people immediately assume either a GYE issue or mental disorder etc. I don’t blame them because thats what the rabbis say. Truth is, some people, especially those who drift away later in life, become OTD for intellectual reasons and after a long painful journey. Yes internet may be what helped us reach our conclusions, but we are perfectly healthy in all matters.
    In such cases the only thing that may work is ‘convincing arguments’. Everything else is a waste of time and energy.

    Good luck.

    #1844691
    yld
    Participant

    The same thing doesn’t always work for everyone. sometimes you just have to face reality. if he is going off the Derech then you have to do something fast!

    #1844640
    emiller4025
    Participant

    I grew up Hasidic. I lost my faith in Judaism a few years ago, at the age of 23. It’s been several years now and I still live with my wife and kids in the center of the Hasidic community. Aside from wearing a yarmulke outdoors, I am completely secular. My wife and kids are still frum. My kids attend Hasidic schools. We’re making it work.

    #1844889
    philosopher
    Participant

    emiller4025, if you don’t mind my asking, what compels you to live within the community and stay with your family? Do you care deeply for them that makes you stay or is it out of familiarity? I have a relative that went OTD, he lives at home but comes and goes as pleases. He doesn’t have a normal marriage with his wife, but they do it to keep the family intact, and from his side, why not? He can still do as pleases. So I wonder if such a dynamic is in all families where the father has gone OTD.

    Don’t take my question personally, I’m just trying to figure out why someone who doesn’t believe in Judaism stays in a frum environment.

    #1844917
    HIE
    Participant

    Much credit to you for posting it here.

    Empathy and deepening your relationship will only be beneficial.

    Also know that R’ Elya Brudny is there for Klal Yisroel.

    #1844999
    emiller4025
    Participant

    philosopher, I stay because I love my kids, and they need to live near a Hasidic school. I can’t bear the thought of not seeing my kids regularly. I have no attachment to the community. Even when I occasionally take my son to shul, I don’t go to the shul I used to daven at.

    Over the past few years, I got to know many others in mixed marriages. Often, if the marriage itself is fine, and the frum spouse feels it’s not an averiah to live with a non-frum spouse, they will try to make it work for the sake of the kids. Some will even try to make it work, solely because they love each other.

    #1845045
    Defend Chabad
    Participant

    Visit Lubavitcher Rebbe’s tzion. 226-20 francis lewis blvd. cambria heights

    #1845241
    rational
    Participant

    DC, leave the lady alone. There’s enough nonsense out there these days.

    #1845252
    HonestOpinion613
    Participant

    If you are chasidish maybe you want to contact R shmiel neiman from Monsey. I don’t know him too much but from the parsha that happened a few month ago I got the impression that everyone agrees that when it comes to Yungerleit that are struggling with yidishkeit he understands them well. especially if your husbands nisyonis comes becuase of kedusha nisyonis and lacking satisfaction and the goyish world is pulling him because it makes it look that there he can enjoy … (this is the most probable reason) he should be able to give you good advice.

    You probably may want to also search for support groups for your scenario . i am sure there are a lot of them because the problem is more common than you think.

    #1845271
    yld
    Participant

    Rational, the lady asked and DC answered. whats the problem?

    #1845236
    bsharg2
    Participant

    sorry to hear about this
    some who go OTD do come back

    #1845631
    rational
    Participant

    The unfortunate lady asked for (and is receiving) serious and considered advice, not for mishegasen.

    In response to others who automatically assume that someone who is OTD has left for the physical taivos of the secular world, this is a patently incorrect assumption.

    #1846039
    Defend Chabad
    Participant

    @rational
    What’s the problem with you?! Tens of thousands of people have experienced miraculous recoveries after having visited the Ohel. People here have been giving all sorts of answers that won’t have any visible effect, while I’m the first one that’s mentioned something actually real. It won’t help you to look for the logical and @rational solutions…. In a case such as this we have to think spiritually, meaningfully. Responses based off of what simply make sense to our sechel enoshi aren’t always the most best.

    Besides, what is with your use of the term ‘poor lady’? Just because someone is going through a momentarily hard time, they become a nebach case? I think your a ‘poor guy’ dismissing by idea outright. Does someone become labeled a ‘poor lady’ just because stuff aren’t going there way for some time? We make the best out of our situations to help us grow. I think that your labeling her ‘poor’ and ‘unfortunate’ are definitely more offensive then what I wrote. These are challenges, but if you look deeper you see that they’re really opportunities. There is a story with someone that was planning on marrying a shiksa but before he went ahead with his plans, his rabbi convinced him to go by the Rebbe by Sunday dollars to receive a brocha. When his turn came , he told the Rebbe what he was about to do, and the Rebbe told him “I actually envy you”. The man was not expecting such an answer, so he asked the Rebbe to explain. He said that a person’s connection to Hashem is like a ladder and every nisayon, that you encounter brings you up one rung on the ladder. This man’s nisayon would get him incredibly higher. This is indeed enviable!

    Every challenge can either be viewed as an obstacle or as a springboard for spiritual growth. This woman is not unfortunate; she is enviable.

    Rational, if visiting kivrei tzaddikim is considered mishegassen to you, then you need some serious self – evaluation.

    #1846086
    bsharg2
    Participant

    I would look into Project Makom. They have helped many frum Jews who have gone OTD to come back.

    #1846090
    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    Don’t leave your house! This has nothing to do with the topic of the thread, but don’t leave your house!

    #1846144
    yld
    Participant

    RebYidd23, if it has nothing to do with the topic of the thread then why mention it? You could have started your own topic about ‘don’t leave your house.’ Please next time keep to topic. Also, the lady is waiting for answers, its not fair to start writing something so off topic.

    #1846217
    Yserbius123
    Participant

    @yld I think his comment is relevant because people were suggesting leaving the house to go pray at a certain place.

    #1846394
    yld
    Participant

    Yserbius123, then why did Rebyidd23 say that its nothing got to do with the topic of the thread?

    #1848112
    knaidlach
    Participant

    I suggest you speak to someone who deals with these type of issues.
    i would suggest:
    Rabbi Shais Toub.
    Rabbi Manis Friedman.
    Rabbi YY Jacobson.
    There are many more. unfortunately not all Rabbis know how to deal with this.

    #1848127
    knaidlach
    Participant

    joeljacob
    every case is different and every ones personality is different. what works for one does not necessarily work for someone else.
    plus, you said it works for you, but thats only a bedieved, you also agree had you been OTD before marriage you would not look for a frum girl to marry, and your wife would not of looked for an OTD boy to marry, because its not ideal and there are issues and problems.
    she has to talk to a rav or a frum therapist that had succeeded in this field.

    #1848285
    PuhLease
    Participant

    SERIOUSLY?
    You’re posting HERE for advice? This is NOT a medical or psychological website, and frankly, NO ONE here is qualified to give you advice. NO ONE here truly knows the situation. Get OFF the Internet, and go speak to an honest go God REAL HUMAN BEING.

    #1848424
    rational
    Participant

    CD, it was illuminating to see how so much gibberish can be written by one person.

    Your angst and paranoia were enough not to read what I wrote. I did not write “the poor lady”. But I guess that people who think mishegassen see what they want to see and actually believe it. Next time read, think, and then write, in that order.

    #1848619
    👑RebYidd23
    Participant

    This is not a good time to go and speak to someone in person.

    #1848629
    yytz
    Participant

    OP: Sorry to hear about your situation. Among married couples in which one spouse becomes a BT, it is common for the other not to go along with it, but in many cases the marriage still works out. As long as he’s not getting in the way of your own observance (like constantly treifing up the kitchen or something), it can work. Really depends on the situation. Hatzlacha!

    #1849033
    Defend Chabad
    Participant

    Rational,
    I was referring to the term ‘Unfortunate’ which I associated with the word ‘poor’. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

    #1849118
    Milhouse
    Participant

    “Rational”, what you’re saying is not at all rational, it’s apikorsus. Someone with that attitude cannot possibly help this woman, because it’s an example of the exact same problem she already suffers from. Going to a tzadik and asking him to daven for you is what Yiddishkeit says to do, it’s what our ancestors have done since the beginning of our people.

    Kolev went to Chevron to ask the Avos for help. Yirmiyahu went there as well, and also to Moshe Rabbenu, to inform them of the churban and demand that they raise a ruckus in Heaven. The Jews on their way to Bovel stopped to invoke Rochel’s tears. This is the Jewish way, and we believe that it is an effective way to get a yeshuah from Hashem.

    Nobody can know in advance whether it will work in any specific instance. The gemara in Rosh Hashana says that every Jew knows that when a Jew gives tzedokoh in order for Hashem to help him, and he doesn’t get the help he asked for, it’s not because Hashem couldn’t help him, or didn’t hear him, it’s because Hashem in His wisdom decided otherwise, and therefore he will not be deterred from doing the same thing again the next time he needs help.

    #1851111
    RYT26
    Participant

    I don’t know the way your husband is going OTD but I read the posts from the other writers. Most people go OTD because of emotional reasons.
    There are some unfortunately who read apikorses on the internet have sefeikas in emuna because of it
    You did not state the reason. I am a ger and am familiar with with the claims of the apikorsim. For a FFB chasidishe yingerman these claims can be very scary and make them go OTD. Really they are stupid claims and easy to answer. Atheism is the most irrational religion out there.

    #1867831
    Yeshivishrockstar
    Participant

    RTY26, do you mind enlightening us why the claims are easy to answer? I’m frum, with strong emuna, but I have some good questions which aren’t “stupid”.

    #1867858
    RYT26
    Participant

    A lot of the things people claim are easy. I dont know what your questions are.

    #1867885
    ☕️coffee addict
    Participant

    Rockstar

    What questions do you have

    #1867874
    The little I know
    Participant

    The OTD subject is quite complex, and the efforts to shoot simple explanations or general advice are, perhaps well intended, lame efforts. It is presumptuous and more often false to point a finger at Internet and shmiras einayim issues. The rush to find his Rov is frankly ridiculous, as it is strange to expect that he actually has one that can impact him. So let’s try some generalizations that are actually valid, and seek avenues for remedy.

    First question. When we say “Off the Derech”, we must then offer a definition that identifies the issue and is broad enough to include most who are OTD. What is the “Derech”? Until we answer that, we only know the individual is leading his life in a different direction. Maybe he is making more sense than we are, and the problem is us. And we should not forget that our “Derech” includes an awful lot of frank hypocrisy.

    Second question. We each have a philosophy in life, and it guides us in making choices, especially those about lifestyle and beliefs. What is his? How does it differ from ours?

    Third question. What do we know about experiences in his life that contributed to his making such choices?

    What we do know is that he has chosen to abandon the “Derech” in which he was raised. For some reason, it has been experienced as painful enough to him that escape was his preferred defense. Trauma? Systemic hypocrisy? No, it is unlikely that he is seeking to run into the welcoming arms of secularism or free expression of taavos. He is running away. What is he running from?

    It is a sad generalization that an overwhelming percentage of our rabbonim are ill equipped to handle such issues. A erudite pilpul based on Chovas Halevavos would be interesting to many of us, but likely to bore him. Few rabbonim have experience in connecting with someone shut down.

    Lastly, many of us, particularly the best intentioned rabbonim, would jump to intellectual arguments to convince him that he has made bad choices in “going OTD”. Such efforts are a total waste. It is an exception that such escape occurs for logical reasons (as noted by an earlier commenter). Nearly every single situation involves the emotion, not the intellect. The Rov experienced in this might be effective. The best magid shiur, Rosh Yeshiva, pulpit Rov, etc. is unlikely to have such skills and talents, as they are less often needed for their positions.

    Someone mentioned Reb Elya Brudny. He is one that has a huge heart and incredible sensitivity besides amazing insight. He is also inundated with tzoras Yisroel, and accessing him, and others in similar positions may be difficult. There are others that share Rav Brudny’s maalos, but are busy with Klal needs. And much is needed to provide the guidance for the trip back to the “Derech”. And the individual needs to want to return. And until there is desire, all efforts are futile.

    #1869368
    n0mesorah
    Participant

    I think there is a big mistake here. If a young person has a fair question or grievance against their community, it is very emotional. If they grow up and get married because it helps the emotional part, it could all come crashing down when they realize that everyone is avoiding the question or complaint. A lot of people who are disconnected from the community due to obvious emotional difficulties, actually have piercing questions underneath all their baggage. If they did not have a serious problem with being Jewish, they would find another community to accept them. May Hashem guide us to ultimate joyfulness.

    #1869908
    Yeshivishrockstar
    Participant

    I also want to add Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan’s “If You Were God” on the subject of evil and suffering.

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