That comment made me so unexpectedly angry that it took all my self-control (of which I clearly have perhaps too much) not to create havoc in my apartment by breaking everything in sight and screaming until I am hoarse (the primal scream!)
What I have to say about this is not an intellectual discourse about hilchos niddah or our obligation to keep it. I know what the halachos are and I know what I am supposed to say about them. But this is how I really feel just now:
After not being hugged or kissed or even having my hand held for 34 years, anyone who thinks I will give them up for any time after I am married has another think coming. That includes G-d. If He wanted me to spend half my married life not being touched He should have made me get married at least a few years ago when I would not have minded so much. I am at the end of my rope I tell you. I am finished with being pure. I am done with being Good and Holy. You can forget it.
I can agree to refrain from sexual intercourse for half of my married life if I ever have a married life and I can agree to go to the mikvah so that when we have sex it will be “kosher.” But most of you people- you have gotten thousands of hugs and thousands of kisses either before or after you got married or both. How often have you cried yourself to sleep because no one has ever caressed your cheek? Have you ever gone for 34 years without being kissed? The thought of keeping all those harchakos and not being touched half the time even after I get married makes me enraged. Any obligation I used to feel to keep those halachos has been wrung out of me and what is left of me has been left to dry in a private hell of loneliness and sexual deprivation. My spirit is broken. Damn it, if I ever get married I will get all the hugs and kisses to make up for lost time even if I cannot always have sex, and if God does not like it then He is the one who can go to hell.
The only people who can legitimately give me chizzuk about keeping all the halachos of taharas hamishpacha are people who were never ever kissed until they got married at least at the age of 35 (it will be my birthday soon. 34 will come and go and I will still be “never been kissed.”) If you got married when you were 23 and now want to tell me that even after I am married I should “be strong” and “do the right thing” then just shut up. Tell it to the juniors at Stern College not to me. I am broken. The only thing stopping me sometimes from doing something drastic to hurt myself physically or emotionally is the teeny tiny hope that perhaps I will get married after all someday. But give up being touched even after that? No way. You may as well tell a marathon runner “congratulations you have reached the finish line. But no water here. You have to run another 26 miles for that.” Forget it.
Update: Already I am not sure how I feel about what I wrote in this post. It is a big struggle and a terrible question for me. I want to have a marriage with kedusha but when I think about effectively being shomer negiah half the time even after I am married I feel dead inside like God has taken something away and I am not myself anymore just an empty shell.
I don't know.