A woman in her late 60’s once shared with me about the loneliness she felt decades ago when she couldn’t consummate her marriage for months.
There was no one she could ask or talk to about what was and wasn’t happening. She didn’t take Kallah classes—they weren’t a “thing” yet. Her parents were Holocaust survivors and, as with many of her other life challenges, she didn’t want to burden them with her pain, especially as they rejoiced with the marriage of their precious child.
As the woman told me the story, she kept emphasizing how there was just no one for her to call with her predicament. There was no Google. She didn’t feel comfortable asking her friends. She wasn’t close with her shul Rebbetzin. Her husband was really frustrated and felt bad about himself, but he didn’t know who to ask either.
After months of trying to figure things out, they were able to have intercourse and eventually build a healthy sex life. But the process leading up to it was a time period she looks back on with profound sadness; not because they couldn’t have intercourse right away, but because of the long, lonely journey.
I often think of this story because when we look at the Jewish community today, it’s easy to focus solely on the work that needs to be done and miss out on the bigger picture of progress of how far we’ve come. [Read more…]