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

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Ba’al teshuvah husband

26 September, 2005


I have been very happily married now for 4 months B"H. However there is one thing that causes me major pain and upset. I grew up in a modern orthodox home… and was shomeret negiah most of my life and never engaged in premarital sex. My husband grew up in a completely non religious home and has only recently over the past couple of years become dati.
Before we got married and since I asked him to tell me about his experience and he really did not want to speak about anything from his past as he said it is not a part of him anymore and he also didnt want to hurt me with something that wasnt relevant to him anymore. I really dont want to hurt him either by pushing him to tell me, and I know that he is a completely different person now,but I assume that he has had pre marital sex and I cant help but feeling hurt knowing that hes experienced such intimacy with someone else especially when it was always so important to me to "save" myself for my husband ……..
My husband is the most loving amazing man, and it shouldnt matter and yet i cant stop thinking about it…..

any advice?


Your question is one which is important and relevant especially now, during the month of Elul, when our focus is supposed to be on tshuvah. There is an explicit halacha which states that a person is forbidden to remind a ba'al tshuvah about his past. Putting a sinful past behind you and moving on is difficult, and is more difficult when it comes to more serious transgressions. A ba'al tshuvah is considered a new person with a new chance to do things over again in the eyes of halacha, and aside from people he has hurt directly, whom he has to compensate in some way, no one should remind him of his past.

This task is particularly difficult for a spouse, who would like to share in an open relationship and sometimes prove their love despite their partners past. The best way you could show your love and trust in the new person your husband has become is by allowing him to leave his past behind him and seeing him as a new and whole person, the person you fell in love with and married. By really seeing him as a new person, you don't have to feel self conscious about anything he did in the past, which should not reflect on the man he is today.

We wish you ktivah vachatimah tovah, may we all merit to become real ba'alei tshuvah.

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