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

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Mikveh during difficult time in marriage

15 December, 2015

Question:

My husband and I are going through a very difficult time right now. We have been arguing a lot, and honestly I feel very hurt by him. I know our marriage needs a lot of work. We have not sought marriage counseling because we cannot afford it.

Anyway, my question here is: I am supposed to go to the mikvah tonight? I really feel very hurt by my husband and do not feel like I can nor want to be intimate with him. I am resenting that he assumes we just will, because how can we not on mikvah night? What should I do in this type of situation?


Answer:

We are sorry to hear of your situation.

You are not required to be intimate on mikveh night; in fact, you are not allowed to be intimate if one member of the couple is angry at his/her spouse. You should immerse on time in order to leave yourselves the possibility of physical contact, even though you are not interested in being intimate right now.  Should you change your mind and welcome an embrace, or should you want to give one, you would be able to act on your desire.  

While touch cannot solve problems, it can be a resource for a couple facing them.  Sometimes even the smallest of gestures (like a hand on the shoulder), can soften anger.  Men in particular can find it difficult to verbalize their emotions when there is conflict.  The lightest touch may communicate a willingness to work through difficulties when words fail.

We urge you to seek help and actively work on repairing your relationship. There are therapists and organizations that offer subsidized or low-cost therapy. Alternatively, you may find it helpful to speak with an experienced rabbi, rebbetzin, or mentor.

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

B'Hatzlacha!


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