Marriage Can Wait

So says this anonymous writer of an opinion piece on

And I agree. 

She mentions about boys and girls getting married young.  But, reading her story, and between the lines of her story, I think age isn’t the critical factor here.  Because, given what she says, I don’t think age alone (i.e. not changing anything but the age of the couple) will solve the problem she mentions.  The communication problem isn’t strictly age related. It’s also upbringing related.  I’ve mentioned before that I think the lack of interaction between boys and girls, even at a young age, is critical to the problem. 

Boys and girls are just not taught how to relate to each other. This is something that can only come from experience. Even without physical intimacy, “dating” in high school serves a tremendous purpose of teaching interaction skills.  Boys learn how to deal with girls, how to talk to them.  And, yes, I think this is a good thing, what sort of things turn them on and what don’t.

And not just inter-sex interaction.  Boys and girls have to be comfortable talking about sexual issues.  Because if they aren’t, they won’t be when they have to be.

When someone comes from a culture where talking frankly about sex is verboten and taboo, and where talking to the opposite sex is also frowned upon, when it comes to those times when talking to the opposite sex about sex is absolutely necessary, they can’t do it. How much intimacy is lost, how much of this girl’s problems/complaints might have been solved/remedied if she came from a society that didn’t make her embarrassed to tell her husband what she wants/needs from him in order to be sexually satisfied? And how much better if her husband had come from a culture where he could sense that something was wrong with their physical intimacy?  If he were educated (if not in a formal sense, at least in some sense) of what’s good and what’s not, and how to tell if someone’s enjoying it?

I know many people may think what I’m saying is crazy/vulgar, but I think the point is valid. Communication flows from openness, but when it comes to the most intimate and core parts of marriage, certain segments of the community place a taboo on talking about these things that makes it (1) impossible for the newly married man to come into the relationship with any knowledge and (2) extremely difficult for the couple to talk about so as to gain knowledge together.

Like I said, this may have as much to do with culture as it does with age/maturity, but is just as crucial to the health/success of a marriage.  I read her comments as saying she was not being satisfied by their physical relationship. Whether she means not reaching orgasm during sex, or not feeling as touched/loved as she wanted doesn’t matter. She’s talking about a lack of knowledge on her husband’s part on how to interact with her physically, and a closed door of communication that leads him to run to the rabbi with questions. I read between the lines that she maybe asked her husband to do something for her in the bedroom that made him uncomfortable, and he ran to the rabbi to ask if he could.

That’s problematic (bringing the rabbi into the bedroom) on several levels, wouldn’t you agree?  A man and woman should be comfortable talking about their sexual life and behavior.  A man or woman shouldn’t be ashamed to tell the other what’s working and what isn’t.  Nor should they be embarrassed to ask for something new, or perhaps something they’ve been told is “wrong.”

This is partly on the guys to pay attention and partly on the girls to ask (if that’s where the deficiency lies, which isn’t always the case).  And it’s hard for the girl.  If this is her upbringing, she may see herself in a sexually subservient position to her husband instead of as an equal.  And that may inhibit her from asking for certain things.  Which is bad.


Received via email from Kenny; see also DovBear and my comments there.


2 responses to “Marriage Can Wait

  1. The letter is pretty scary. I feel terrible for the girl. I still can’t believe that some people think her complaint is stupid.

  2. Very interesting, and sad. Age in iteself might not be the determining factor in whether marriages like these are happy ones. Some people may be suitable for marriage at an early age. But if everyone is getting married so early, then surely many of them will be too young.

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