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

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Taking on niddah laws 12 years into marriage

30 November, 2015

Question:

I have been married for 12 years and have recently decided to observe the laws of niddah. I just felt like this is a good thing to do… This is harder for my husband to accept and I am not sure how to get him to support this. Do you have any advice to help us ease into this transition?


Answer:

We give you a lot of credit for taking on this mitzvah.

Even if your husband does not wish to observe this mitzvah out of respect to halacha, he should be willing to accommodate you somewhat out of respect to your wishes to observe this mitzvah. We understand that this will be a difficult transition for you and your husband, and it is important to keep open the lines of communication during this period in order to help smooth out any friction. Sit down and discuss what you hope to take on, and be specific about how it will affect him. Express your appreciation to your husband for any steps he takes to accommodate you.

You can also bring home books on mikveh and the laws of niddah for him to peruse or read together with you. This will give him a better idea of what to expect. For the laws of niddah, we would particularly recommend A Lifetime Companion to Jewish Family Life, by Dr. Deena Zimmerman (the director of this website) and The Marriage Covenant, by Rabbi Elyashiv Knohl. For the philosophical side, you might want to look at some of the books listed on our site and see which approach you feel would resonate with him.

Finally, it is okay (and possibly even recommended) to take things one step at a time. This means that you do not have to commit to observing every last detail of taharat hamishpacha at this stage. It is easy to be overwhelmed with all the myriad details. It might help you and your husband adjust more easily if you take on this mitzvah in stages. Working with a local rebbetzin/teacher/yoetzet/mentor to help guide you during this process can help you prioritize or come up with a plan on how to proceed.

Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions.

We wish you much hatzlacha!


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