Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Arguments during niddah

29 May, 2008

Question:

Thank you for your wonderful website. Here is my question:

I have been married for a couple of years and recently I figured out a pattern in my marriage where many times when I am a niddah, my husband and I will have an argument. We have little disagreements when I am tehorah but a hug or kiss from my husband dissolves the situation immediately. When we aren't able to touch, the arguments are much harder to resolve. I don't know if I'm supposed to take this as a bad sign, or if there comes a certain point where keeping these laws just becomes too detrimental to a marriage, or what I'm supposed to think. It's very hard feeling like I'm only in a normal marriage two weeks out of the month.

A few days ago while niddah my husband and I had yet another argument, so I decided it's finally time to write and get some advice.


Answer:

We appreciate both your question and your choice to address it to us.

Healthy disagreements are part of a healthy marriage.  When a couple argues, each member can make bids to keep the tone constructive and to prevent the argument from escalating.  It is when we are too caught up in our own hurt and anger to remember our affection for our sparring partner and soften our tone that we are most liable to hurt and be hurt, and least likely to hear each other out. 

Viewed in the above terms, your observation is that your husband's affectionate touch works reliably to relax you both and diffuse tensions during arguments.  You miss that when you are in niddah.  Rather than a harbinger of abnormality or a bad sign, this is a good sign about the positive nature of your physical connection to your husband. 

Instead of viewing halachic restrictions on touch as too detrimental in this regard, you can view them as a challenge: to identify non-physical ways by which you can signal to each other mid-conflict a desire to cool down.  Facing this challenge can only be to your benefit, as it will provide more options for resolving arguments at every time of month.  For example, a well-timed compliment, time-out, deep breath, secret signal, or joke can work wonders, especially if you are both in on it and the goodwill behind it.  We suggest that you talk this over with your husband at a time when tensions are low and see what you come up with together.


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