The Roving Eye

A husband who guards his eyes bestows on his wife the wonderful gift of inner peace; the husband who gazes at what he shouldn’t, puts his wife through unbearable torture…

6 min

Rabbi Lazer Brody

Posted on 12.05.24

Strengthening our personal holiness and modesty is stressed during the Shovevim period.

Sharon’s question shows just how deep a husband’s failure to guard his eyes injures his wife. The husband will be held accountable for every single one of her tears…

Dear Rabbi Brody,
I have never written a letter to sites like this before but I feel it is something I should do in hopes to get some wisdom. I know you probably get thousands of emails but I ask that you please whenever you find a spare moment send me any words of advice you have. I have expressed my problem several times with my husband hoping he would be able to calm my fears, but it’s just getting worse and harder to open up about this since I deal with it so often and feel like bringing it up causes strife in the home. I don’t know who to talk to anymore. I would go to our local Rabbis but we are new to the community so I do not feel very close yet to spill my heart to them and also don’t want to be a burden or make my husband look bad at all!!! I love him and do not know if he is doing these things or not and I don’t want to taint his image especially if he is innocent!
I do not know you personally but I often listen to your teachings and read articles and know you would have some wisdom on this matter. So here goes. My husband and I have been married for about two and a half years. When we were about to get married we both told each other about our pasts he told me about a porn problem he had dealt with in the past but that he was over it. It didn’t really bother me at the moment but shortly after we got married I started to become very fearful that he was looking at other women. All of this was very hard because I was also starting to cover my hair and dress modest so I felt unattractive and undesirable to be honest.
I guess when I was wearing the short skirts I didn’t care that other women were, but then when I covered up it started to really bother me and make me insecure. I want his eyes to be only for me and he says they are but I have a hard time believing him. It seems like I didn’t fear when we were dating but after we got married there were a few times I thought I caught him looking at something while we would be out. So I guess that started the fear. Or maybe the reality that we were married and I had given him my whole self kicked in, and so I didn’t want him to be able to see that intimate side of any other woman whether through speech or dress or anything.
Then one day after we moved into our new apartment and had only been married about 3 months I stumbled upon the internet history and it had some bad things in the history that looked like they were more recent. My husband said that it must have been someone at his work who had gotten on while he wasn’t there because the guys there would sometimes get on others computers. I searched through the computer and found other things that were on there from I guess before we started dating that he had just forgotten to delete.
I was really hurt to find all of it. I think that was when the reality of his past sunk deep into my heart and crushed me. In the first year of our marriage my husband would stay up really late on the computer. Doing what? I have no clue. I started regularly checking the internet history. Now that every once-in-a-while check has become an obsession! On the surface we look like a happy couple and my husband would probably say we are, but I am dying inside. This fear is killing me. It makes it hard for me to desire intimacy. I’m always scared during intimacy he is thinking of another woman.
I feel like I don’t let him breath and I’m suffocating him because of my fear. It has grown out of control and I wonder if I’m the only women dealing with this. I don’t even want him to go to the store for fear he will see the magazine covers when checking out. I don’t like to leave him alone at the house for fear he will look at something. One of the best things we had together when we were dating was communication. We could talk about anything and be so open. Now I feel like he has shut himself out of my life and it breaks my heart to feel it is could be my fault because of the fear.
I have made him not want to open up because he probably feels like I will judge him. And I don’t want to but I do judge his every move now because I am so scared. I want to overcome this so much but then I deal with fear that maybe the reason I can’t is because there is something really going on under the surface and I feel it inside. I don’t know what to do. He has given up everything to be with me and to think this is how I repay him by trying to control his every move when he is with me????
I was reading some articles on your website and women were talking about their husbands that dealt with porn or men who had in the past. These women were saying they had these “nagging fears in the back of their mind all along” and husbands that would deny everything. That sounds like my problem. Whenever I have found something in the past not necessarily a porn site but still inappropriate things he denies it and says he doesn’t know how it got there. Then I think of how loving my husband is to me and how much he sacrifices and wants righteousness! I know he wants to do what is right! The thought that I am doing this when he could be very well telling me the truth is very hard! I wouldn’t know what to do with myself!
I feel like I can’t be a good wife or mother because of this fear. I do not want to waste my life and marriage away! We have two beautiful sons ages 4 years and 2 years and I don’t want them growing up seeing me like this. The fear grips me so I can’t give to my husband like I should. It makes me always suspecting and expecting.
I search and hope I don’t find something in the history but if I don’t want to find anything why do I keep searching??? I just want the truth but when he says he is telling me the truth I can’t accept it as truth, I always feel like he is lying. I don’t know anymore. I want to think we live in a perfect world with no immodesty, but the truth is we can’t go to synagogue and not see immodest women these days! That thought breaks my heart. I don’t know how to except the world we live in. I don’t know how to except that humans have to fight bodily lust especially men. I can’t internalize that my husband gets tempted! It kills me! I don’t know how to handle the thought!
This is also really hurting me in my own area of modesty. I am starting to resent being modest because I feel my husband doesn’t really find the modest thing attractive. He tells me he hates immodesty and loves the way I dress and that I save myself only for him but I still have a hard time believing him and feeling beautiful. Why can’t I just believe him! I want to encourage and uplift my husband but the fear makes it so hard. Please if you have any thoughts I am in desperate need of help!
Dear Sharon,
You have to take all that negative energy of worrying and peeping and looking over your husband’s shoulder, dreading, worrying and stressing yourself out. From this moment on, move the negativity into positive energy. Channel it into prayer to Hashem and strengthen your emuna. The first order of business is rather than spying on one another, spend quality time with one another. That means, taking a walk together, talking, enjoying one another; probably the best thing you could do is to have a learning partnership in the Garden of Emuna.  This book will give you the tools you need to deal with the issue.  I would also suggest – in fact implore – that you speak to Hashem for an hour a day.  Pour your heart out, explain to Hashem your situation, and ask Him to help your husband.  A wife’s prayers on behalf of her husband are tremendously cogent, and especially personal prayer is very cogent.  There can be nothing stronger.
As to your personal modesty, you don’t need to compete with cheap gutter beauty. By retaining your dignified appearance as a regal daughter of The King, you invoke ever so much Divine compassion and assistance. Be strong, and don’t be tempted to compete with vulgarity that’s miles beneath you. I urge you to hear our CD, Your Beauty.
Be patient in prayer.  Like anything else, it has a price tag and you have to start accumulating as much as possible.  Look for the good points in your husband and don’t pry looking for the bad.  The Gemara promises that if someone does something wrong behind closed doors, then Hashem exposes them in public.  Let Hashem be the policeman and not you.  Let your husband benefit from the warmth of your smile, and let him feel that his real place of comfort is you.  The woman is the home, but if he feels like he’s coming home to the KGB, then you’re almost forcing him to look at other women with your own two hands.  This takes a lot of inner power but with emuna you can succeed.  Ask Hashem to help you be a smiling, beautiful and loving wife and that your husband’s heart should be directed only towards you.  With Hashem’s loving help, I’m sure you’ll succeed.
One other thing is that the Garden of Peace would make a nice gift for your husband, especially the chapter on personal holiness.  If he starts guarding his eyes, I can literally promise him an increase in income and a much sweeter life in this world and in the next. 

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1. ben

12/31/2009 daily Chizuk e-mails, a vibrant forum, anonymous phone conferences, hundreds of tips, stories and priceless advice from the Renowned addiction expert, Rav Avraham Twerski. Hundreds of testimonials of people’s lives turned around!

2. ben


daily Chizuk e-mails, a vibrant forum, anonymous phone conferences, hundreds of tips, stories and priceless advice from the Renowned addiction expert, Rav Avraham Twerski. Hundreds of testimonials of people’s lives turned around!

3. ben


This website can save you (or your husband) daily Chizuk e-mails, a vibrant forum, anonymous phone conferences, hundreds of tips, stories and priceless advice from the Renowned addiction expert, Rav Avraham Twerski. Hundreds of testimonials of people’s lives turned around!

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