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

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Niddah at wedding

21 July, 2003

Question:

I was married recently and although things are much better, I still feel some resentment.

Although my chassan and I had carefully planned and were using birth control pills, I got my period just days before my wedding.

This initially caused enormous stress and difficulty (where we would live, not knowing how long the separation would last).

Fortunately, we stayed with friends who provided us their home at very short notice. Neither my husband nor I could even tell our families because we are both newly frum.

Even now I look at the wedding pictures and feel some anger over this.

My question is this…was it some sort of punishment we went through this? We laugh about it now, but at that moment it was the worst feeling in the world.


Answer:

Mazal tov on your recent marriage.

It is understandable that unexpectedly getting your period a few days before your wedding was very disappointing and caused a lot of stress.

We cannot know why something like this happens, and it would be mistaken to see yourself at fault. We suggest you redirect the feeling that this may have been a punishment and instead try to reflect on what you can learn from your experience. For example, think together about how you supported each other when facing this challenge and how you would like to deal with adversity as a couple. Another point to consider is the kindness of the friends that helped you and what that can teach you about assistance to those in need. Your first week of marriage was not what you imagined, but it can nevertheless turn into a springboard for reflection and growth.

A suggestion we once heard from a couple who had been in this situation is to frame the experience as having two weddings – your public wedding (that’s the one with the pictures) and your private wedding (after you immersed in the mikveh).

We hope that, with time, you will be able to look at the pictures and remember your wedding fondly as a beautiful celebration with family and friends. That you had to change your plans and delay your private union does not diminish the holiness and the joyful moments of your chuppah and wedding.

It is wonderful that you are already able to put what happened in perspective and laugh about it. Humor provides a great way to relieve tension and can help us recognize the unpredictable nature of our lives.

Wishing you many years of love, friendship and laughter together.

This response was updated 8 July 2022.


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