Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Mrs. Bluth,

I’m horrified at myself that I’m actually writing to you about this! I am sitting here like a stone, not knowing what to do, where to turn for help. I’m mortified to even be telling you what a terrible bind I’m in!! Everyone thinks I’m a happy newlywed, having gotten married three weeks ago, but no one can grasp what is really going on. Please, please don’t print this letter or, if you do, because I really think I am not the only young woman newly married who may be going through the same thing and may benefit from your sage advice, I beg you to change everything so that no one will be able to recognize me. I am so very miserable, alone and have only you to turn to so no one will know what I’m going through.


I got married just after Shavuos to a really nice guy whom I enjoyed dating (we went out six times) before I accepted his proposal. My parents and his parents decided we should have the wedding right away before people went to the country and camps started. We had an amazing wedding and everyone said what a perfect match we were. But after we went home to our new apartment and were alone, the terror set in and, needless to elaborate, I could not be intimate with him. I ran into the bathroom and cried because I was so terrified at consummating the marriage. My husband gently coaxed me out of the bathroom and said it was okay, that he understood and that we would try again.

At the sheva brachos, my husband was very discreet so no one was the wiser that we had not consummated the marriage. But no matter how gently he approached me I could not be with him in that way. It is now so many weeks after and he has run out of patience with me. He wants me to go see a therapist and get help. He claims he still loves me but he needs his wife. He is willing to wait a little while longer before we have to let our parents know what is going on and if things don’t get better between us with the therapy he will have to think about a get!

I am so terrified and mortified about what has become of my life I am seriously thinking about all sorts of ways to end this misery. Please, please help me!!!


Dear Friend,

Step back a moment and dry the tears. As you can see from the heavily altered letter, many identifying factors have been changed so that your identity remains hidden. In order to try and ease your mind I will, however, address a multitude of issues that may be responsible for your predicament, speaking to that point that other young newlyweds may be in need of help as well.

When young adults set out to find a life partner, there is a lot of research required in satisfying that quest successfully. Both young men and women need to educate themselves in what feelings are healthy and what they need to expect after the ring is on the finger (chosson and kallah classes are a must, given by reputable and credible people who are sensitive to and respectful of the young people they mentor). It is wise to ask them any and every question you have, voice any fear that troubles you at these sessions. This helps dispel any misconception borne of ignorance and hearsay.

That said, at this point I will address you situation specifically. Your marriage has gotten off on an extremely crippled foot. What I gather from your original letter is that you have had little education on what to expect in the way of intimacy post-wedding. You also seem to be very naive in the difference of male/female anatomy and how that anatomy functions naturally. That may be the cause of your fear and anxiety. Another issue I have with your letter is the fact that you ‘liked’ your husband enough to accept his proposal? I would be amiss to say that this is enough emotion on which to base a desire to marry someone and be intimate with them. There needs to be a super power surge to want to be connected to that person in a very specific way that goes far above just ‘liking’ him. And it didn’t appear to happen to you. Which brings me to the next hypothetic observation, that possibly you were too young or very immature at the time of your marriage and your husband being a few years older than you, was exactly where he should be emotionally and physically.

So here we are. I think your husband is very caring and gallant to have put his needs aside in trying to understand and help you overcome your obstacles in being an equal partner in your marriage. I agree with him that therapy is in order not just for you but that he too, should participate in the sessions. I wouldn’t throw in the towel on this marriage just yet! I am optimistic that you both will benefit from therapy to overcome this rocky beginning. So, hopefully, in the not too distant future, we can wish you both a total and complete “mazal tov.” Please keep in touch, I am enclosing a phone number where I can be reached. Please let me know how you are doing.


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