This is a very interesting thread for me because I didn't practice taharat mishpacha for the first two years of marriage (we didn't live in a country where that was really possible, but I know about the dedication many women have to this part of their lives overcoming many more obstacles than I had - but I guess I didn't think it was that important). Then we moved to a place where mikvah was very accessible and nice so I decided to try it and since we talked about trying to have a baby, i thought it would be especialy important to conceive "in purity" and also to make the TTC time more romantic so the sex doesn't become a routine performed just to TTC. Anyway...
me&3, you said:
"when I told him last night that I couldn't give him a kiss goodnight, he poo-poohed me and told me not to be silly. How do you think I should address this?"
When the seperation time came my husband had the same reaction. to deal with it, I made a deal with him that went along like this "let's try this for three cycles, sticking to the rules (which I explained as simply as possible) and see if the sex is better and the relationship as well". He agreed reluctantly, but my husband would be interested in almost anything that promised more sex and better sex, etc. LOL - so this worked for him. After 3 months, I'm not sure how much he believed it was better, but he and I had both become used to it, so we kept at for about 2 years.
This brings me back to my question. We were okay with the taharat mishpacha and I think maybe I enjoyed it more than he did because of the sense of space, anticipation and the very spiritual mikvah experience. Finally, we decided to really ttc and stopped using birth control. I got pg in 3 months and all was good. Then had our ds (almost a year ago). Because of how it all went in the end and the birth by c/s which left me more devasted and depressed than I should say here, I became a little, hmmm, angry with the medical establishment, this spilled into my view of the world and changed the way I see a lot of things with regards to the way men and women are treated differently in society, etc. I think/hope you understand where I am and why. On top of this, I still haven't menstruated, but then I didn't go to mikvah after the postpartum bleeding and lochia, etc all stopped, either. I wasn't in the state of mind or body for it when all the discharge stopped and though I thought about it, I haven't gone back, because something in my mind is telling me that this isn't really right anymore for all the feminist reasons you mentioned, Amy. (Another reason is because sex hasn't really been so important to me since ds was born, much to dh's disappointment, since we wouldn't have to seperate for niddah periods during this time
So my question is this: what is the compelling arguement in support of the practice of taharat hamishpacha, or that the seperation during the niddah period specifically is not another way to say that women are lower on the scale than men? How do I reconcile my growing "feminist" feelings with my wish to live and raise ds in a traditional Jewish home? Sorry for the rambling here, there is so much going through my mind and I know I am still very much not myself in the sense of how the c/s has affected my life, so i don't know how much sense this makes. But i really would like to talk about this topic.