Evaluation and treatment of unconsummated marriages among Orthodox Jewish couples.Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy 2004, 31 (4)

David Ribner and Talli Rosenbaum


Orthodox Judaism expects new brides and grooms to engage in sexual intercourse on the first night of marriage or soon thereafter, despite stringent norms forbidding premarital physical contact. Any delay for more than several weeks in consummating a marriage is seen as problematic and worthy of rabbinic or professional attention. This article examines traditional Jewish sources for this emphasis on marital sexuality, defines the problem of unconsummated marriages, discusses issues pertinent to evaluation, and suggests appropriate treatment strategies. Our focus includes both the Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) elements of the Jewish community.