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

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Difficulty with not touching

4 February, 2013

Question:

Thanks for taking the time to answer me.

I have been married for about two months now and find it impossible to keep niddah to its full extent. Although we do not have relations and I sleep in a separate bed, I find it depressing to be prohibited from touching, hugging or kissing my husband. I cannot do it. We have tried. I do not see the reason for not being allowed to touch my husband. Not being allowed relations is hard enough and I do not want to be suffering half of my married life.

When we try keeping niddah we end up feeling distant. I start hating everything about Judaism (I know it might sound immature but it makes me feel that way.) My question is… how bad is it if we are trying hard enough and we won't sleep in the same bed, and won't have relations whilst I am niddah?


Answer:

Mazal tov on your recent marriage!

We are sorry to hear how challenging the niddah period is for you. You are not the first couple to find keeping the harchakot difficult. We hope that with time and practice you will find these laws easier to observe.

According to most opinions, affectionate physical contact while niddah (such as hugging and kissing) is a Torah prohibition. While it is not as severe a prohibition as intercourse while niddah, it still is a serious trangression.

Try to find other ways to keep up the emotional closeness during the niddah period to "fill the void" left by avoiding physical contact – text each other, leave sweet notes, cook a nice dinner, buy a token gift, etc. Take advantage of the niddah time period to build your emotional connection. Physical closeness is certainly not the only way to feel close to your husband – a deep emotional connection can be even more powerful than a physical connection.

If you are trying to conceive, you should feel some measure of relief if you become pregnant and have a relatively long period of time without becoming niddah. Conversely, if you are taking birth control pills, you may extend your cycle to increase the amount of time you are tehorah between periods. This is generally done by continuing to take the active pills without a break – it would be best to discuss this with your physician or get back to us for more details if relevant.

We hope these suggestions prove helpful to you. Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions.

B'Hatzlacha!


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