17 May, 2006
I am a kallah that is in the middle of Kallah classes.
From what I hear from friends and others (like many who write in to the site) being a Niddah is a terrible state to be in. Comments I've heard are:…it's so hard….frustrating…upsetting…difficult…can't wait until these are finished…feel like crawling into a corner…etc.
How is it possible to be a good and happy wife while going through all of this? I dread becoming depressed, upset, resentful and / or bitter about halacha. I want to view this as my mitzvah that I am happy to do, and I want to be a good and happy wife even when I'm a niddah. Are there people who handle being a Niddah OK? Or does every woman have a very difficult time?
Also, I hear so much of what you CAN'T do — are there advice or ideas that you can give me about what I CAN do? How are some positive and interesting ideas that can make being a Niddah more bearable and possibly even enjoyable?
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Mazal tov on your upcoming marriage!
Here's the deal: Marriage is not easy. It's ongoing hard work on the relationship, on yourself, on recreating yourself and your marriage, and when kids join that big juggling act it becomes even more difficult. Yet all over and all the time people are doing it, and not only because it is a big mitzvah or because of the pressure of society – but because the opportunity to create a world of your own with a man you love is entirely worth all the hardship.
Hard does not mean sad, depressing, frustrating upsetting and difficult – all of those are only a question of perspective. When in the forefront you see the bigger picture, which shows that you are creating and building a life with your chatan, the difficult times can certainly be fun to tackle. From personal experience, I cannot say niddah is one of the more fun aspects of the relationship, but the great feeling that we are basing our life on a strong Torah foundation gives more depth and more meaning to our relationship. Unfortunately, there are women out there with serious problems – infertility, elongated periods etc. – but I believe for most women who deal with normal menstrual cycles it is a matter of knowing to take life in perspective, and make the best of the time apart. In this context I can give you two tips I find work for me:
The first: Go out and have a good time. Some couples will save for a romantic dinner after mikveh night, but it might be wiser to get out when you are niddah, instead of staying home where your yearning for each other is greater. This is the time to get together with friends, to go for a walk, to see a movie. Have friends over on the Shabbat you are niddah. Spend more personal time together when you are not in niddah, and you can enjoy each other's company fully.
The second: Keep busy. When you have a school or work related project, take advantage of the time you are in niddah for late nights and busy hours. Save the house painting for the first two weeks of marriage – it is a fun project to do together and does not require physical contact. Engage yourselves in joint activity which is not romantic. This way you can enjoy each other's company and get work done as well!
Behatzlachah taking on this wonderful task of marriage!
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