Rabbi Shmuley has made it his life’s work to fight divorce.
Topic: A land of broken marriages
Shmuley Boteach: Like I said I’m a child of divorce. I’ve spent my whole life trying to fight divorce and strengthen the bond between husband and wife. And I don’t know if we’re making a lot of progress there. Gosh. America is just a littered landscape of broken marriages, broken relationships. It’s really sad. We’re becoming a very lonely country. New York Times reported 51% of all women now live alone. I mean those are frightening statistics – that 51% of women now say that they’d rather be on their own than with a man, that means they’re really giving up on love. They’re just, you know, “I’ll live my own life. I mean I’ve tried this. It hasn’t worked out. I’ve only gotten heartache from relationships.”
Topic: A common problem
Shmuley Boteach: Let’s say a couple hasn’t made love in a year, which is very common. One out of three American couples are platonic. So most people would tell you, “Oh go to a hotel for the weekend. Buy sexy lingerie.” Well what if you’re not even motivated to do that? Or what if that’s just going through the motions? I mean what I do is I look at the erotic mind. Why . . . How could a man be in bed with a naked woman who is his wife and not feel excited? What changed in his mind, in his view, in his perception of her? And if we could alter it back to its original conditions, we could restore the attractions even if they never go to a hotel.
Topic: Doing it for yourself
Shmuley Boteach: I was counseling a husband and wife, and I said to this wife, “Be nice to your husband. Speak to him respectfully,” because she always yells at him and puts him down. And she says, “No way. I’m not gonna do that until he treats me better.” I said to her, “Well aside from the fact that if you’re both gonna wait for the other to start, this marriage is going to disintegrate,” I said, “Are you telling me you’ll only do the right thing if someone gives you an incentive? Aren’t you supposed to do the right thing no matter what, even if it has no impact? Even if he doesn’t deserve it? It’s not for him! It’s for you! You want to be a good person, don’t you? You’re not becoming good for him. Don’t let him make you into a person that you don’t wanna be.”
Recorded on: 09/05/2007