Marriage – Older Couple

I’m happy to write that I recently met the woman of my life. After the failed marriage of my younger years, I feel I have at last met my true soul mate! We look forward to marrying in due time. My question is that my fiancé is postmenopausal and will no longer be going to the mikvah. I know that the laws of family purity are an important means of renewing the marriage relationship, but our marriage will not have this, even at the start. Will that mean our marriage will lack some of the vitality of a Jewish marriage? Is there anything we should do about it?

The Aish Rabbi Replies:

Mazal tov on your upcoming wedding first of all! May your marriage be truly fulfilling and may you and your future wife enjoy many happy and healthy years together.

Once a postmenopausal woman goes to the mikvah one time, she does not have to go again. (If she experiences further spotting she may have to ask a rabbi.) At that point she is always permitted to her husband.

I think we can appreciate that the need for family purity that younger couples have does not apply to older ones. Younger people tend to focus more on the physical aspects of marriage. If they would always be permitted to each other, they would view each other too strongly in a physical light and would not spend enough time developing the spiritual side of their relationship. They would also eventually get tired of each other. Separation means that each partner longs for the other for part of the month – rather than getting tired of one another and looking for thrills outside of the marriage.

Older people, whose physical drives are not as strong, already realize that the spiritual is the primary part of their relationship. They do not require a constant reminder of this. For them the physical relationship will naturally be no more than a complement of the spiritual.

Thus, if your wife is beyond the age of using the mikvah, you will be fine following the Torah’s system – one which addresses the needs of both younger and older couples. I am sure you and your future wife will build a proper Torah home with the right degrees of both spiritual and physical bonding. My blessings again that it be at the right time and all will go well.

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