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

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Togetherness and scheduling conflicts

31 January, 2005

Question:

What is the appropriate conduct when the husband or wife wants to travel either the night when she's due to toivel or during her permitted days? For example, if one of them wants to visit family out of town to attend a Torah type weekend? Given the cycle of (at least) 12 days off, 16 days (give or take) on?

What about going out for the evening? For example – given the fact that I was so tired during the week, pretty much all we had was our weekends – and if my husband wanted to go to a melaveh malkah or simcha and come back late, I felt "cheated", since I'd obviously not have the attention I'd want.

Are my feelings appropriate? Thanks.


Answer:

There is nothing inappropriate when it comes to feelings. The most important rule is that a husband and wife should be in agreement and in sync with fulfilling each other's needs. Some couples prefer to be spontaneous, and some sit down and create a schedule, so that they can make sure to devote appropriate time and energy to their marital life, despite scheduling challenges. 

The mitzva of onah is an obligation on the husband to satisfy his wife's needs. However, ideally the couple should agree on times when they both feel comfortable and willing. I suggest you discuss your feelings with your husband in advance of events or other obligations, and see how you could get around these difficulties. You might suggest leaving the party a little earlier rather than not attending at all, or making sure you have some private time together prior to other activities. 

Onah is a special mitzvah not only on mikveh night, but also on Friday nights and on the night preceding a trip by the husband or by the wife during the wife's permitted days.


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