Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Tired of an unhappy marriage

unhappy couple %photo

Unhappy couple.

Assalamu Alikum,

I am a 35-year-old guy married for 14 years. We have 2 daughters aged 12 and 10.

My parents had arranged my marriage to my wife. Right from day 1 we have never loved each other, and in the early days it came to light that my wife had actually wanted to marry her sister-in-law's brother. But my mother in law persuaded my father that this was not the case and it was vicious rumours that people had made up.

She got her visa about 3 months after marriage and joined me in the UK. Right from the start I always felt that she didn't want to be with me, as she was more interested in my brothers and brother-in-law than me. She would always laugh and joke with them and be withdrawn with me. There have been several times when I have seen her standing very close to my brothers and I can honestly say flirting with them.

These mannerisms of her have left me really embarrassed with my family and one occasion my sister said something along the lines that it's a good job that she is married otherwise she would be god knows where! I didn't challenge my sister as I knew exactly what she was implying.

However now it has come to such a stage in my life that we don't share the same bed and havent had normal relations for a good part of the last 7 years of our marriage. I have been holding in my feelings for so long that I have become quite a recluse and my relationship with my family has become quite formal. They know what she is like but till today no one has voiced it to my face and I know they must feel bad for me that I ended up with such a life partner.

Also my relationship with my children has started to suffer. I don't like talking to them and upon returning from work I just stay in my room, and we don't eat or do anything together as a family.

I really don't know what to do how to make things right or where to go from this stage of my married life. I sometimes just want to walk out and leave them be. I know my children are hurting at seeing me like this as I have always maintained or tried to maintain a happy environment at home, but now I just don't have the energy to do so. I want to walk out and live the reaming part of my life away from this situation.

Please remember me in your duaas and any practical advice my brothers/sisters can give me will be greatly appreciated.

Jazakallah,

- Khaled


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15 Responses »

  1. Salaams,

    Brother, I can't imagine staying in an unhappy marriage as long as you have. It's clear you've made every effort to be a dutiful husband and accept your wife as she is, with the hope that things would improve over time. I'm sorry that your hopes never came to fruition, as it appears the marriage has only gotten more strained over the years. I am not sure that I could offer any advice that would miraculously turn around something that's been slowly growing from the very start- namely your wife's unhappiness with you as a husband and your resultant distancing from her.

    At this point, what do you want to do? You've given more than a fair shot toward things working out, but so far it's failed. Do you want to stay in this marriage? Quite honestly, it sounds like you and your wife will both find more happiness to part ways amicably. Have you and she talked over this option honestly, as mature adults? If not, maybe it's time you did.

    Regardless of what the two of you decide to do going forward, I think you need to make sure that you are not reacting to the children based on what you've experienced with your wife. They are just as much a part of you as they are her, and they deserve to get the best treatment from you as such. Build your relationship with them based on who they are as individuals, not on who their mother is or how she has made you feel.

    I think you need to start trying to spend more time with them, doing activities that you and they both enjoy. Keep in mind that they will spend more time in life with you as an adult than an actual child, and your investment with them now is going to pay off in that future. You don't want to be an older man who is estranged from his adult children and grandchildren, just because things went sour with their mother. Keep your focus on the big picture with them, and make your time with them count.

    Finally, if you are finding it harder and harder to do the things that normally came easily, and feeling less pleasure in life, it may be that this situation may be causing you to suffer from clinical depression. This can happen to anyone under stressful circumstances like the ones you've described. You don't have to struggle, and with professsional help you can find a way to feel motivated and positive about your future. If you ignore it hoping it will go away on it's own, you may find that it actually becomes increasingly unmanageable and further impacts your life in a negative way. Don't let it get to that point.

    -Amy
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

    • I am in the same boat, married for 10 14 years with two children 11 and 6. Thanks to Allah for revealing the fact by accident that she was cheating with family enemy guy who is married for years. Since that moment my life is shattered..meaningless, every morning and night is nothing but sadness.. I am still in merriage due to children but do not talk to wife, share bed her, food anything else. I am just hanging in there due to children who is also aware of fact that there is something wrong but how do they understand and how do I explain. I am still being selfish due to my love towards children and still part of the merriage. I told my wife that I will NEVER be able to forget or forget what she did to me especially from 5 times prayer.
      I have no courgae to walk out of merriage, talk to family or do anything else. I am just going day by day and see how long I will last and the merriage. May be until both children grow up..may be never but live as machine who just earns and feed the family..no love, no affection..
      Khaled, I do not think your situation is so bad, atleast she did not cheat or cheating..be there for children as much as you can and try to spend much time with them. I am sure you would have helped my children so why not yours..tht is how i take it. I do community service all the time and if I can serve my children with some pain..why not..so do your best. Hopefully your good deeds will be rewarded here or later..

      • I am doing the same thing, me and my husband living together like a room mate, I don't know what he wants to do, he keep saying he wants more time, I don't know if I can do this any longer. The problem is my husband is under bad influence, he's single idiot friends have been giving him bad advice, if it wasn't for them then today I wouldn't be in this situation. Now he's also doing drugs cause all his friends do it. I am worried about him, he won't listen to anyone. His good friends don't hang out with him anymore, because of his behavior and kind of people his involved with, he's drinking, doing drugs and having sex with random girls. Until he doesn't leave low class bad influence friends he will not change and work on our marriage. He's setting a bad example for the kids, that's for sure, right they're still babies, soon they will understand.

        For you it must be hard your kids are old enough to understand and see what's going on. You shouldn't live your life just for the kids, if nothing is happening between you and your wife I think you should leave. Usually guys don't wait that long if their wife wives hasn't been loyal to them. I'm still hanging there cause I know my husband he's not that bad, he's under bad influence and he doesn't wanna get divorce and he loves his kids and he knows he's not gonna get another girl like me, I know any women in my situation would've left by now, but I don't want to leave, this is a challenge for me. I know it's going to be hard for me to trust him again but I have faith, allah will help me to trust him again. I pray to allah that all his bad influenced friends would disappear from his,life, insh'allah!

        I hope you find piece and happiness in your marriage if you decide to stay, insh'allh! I wish guys were like you...

        • Salaams,

          I'm just curious, would you look at things differently if by chance those "bad influence friends" of his did disappear, and these behaviors continue? Have you thought about what you would be willing to do if that were to happen?

          Sometimes when we are in unhealthy relationships it's easy to think that outside circumstances are causing the ones we care about to behave as they do. We want to believe the best in them and see them reach their potential so much that we are willing to believe that they can't control what they are doing because external influences are too strong.

          It's a lie. When people want to do the right thing, they won't let circumstances stop them. They won't let them be influenced by the wrong people. They won't let their nafs con them into making sinful choices. I hate to say it, but if your husband wanted to be faithful to you, and sober, he would. At the very least, he would seek out help for his problems if he feels too weak to do it alone. But from what you're saying, he's not even doing that much.

          Eventually, all of the excuses and circumstances to blame will run out. Then and only then will the truth come out: that this WAS his problem all along, and he IS the only one who is responsible for changing it. Do you really want to wait until the truth is undeniable and realize you've wasted all this time? You have the option of seeing the reality for what it is now, and begin realizing that the quality of your life and that of your children is too precious to be hinging on someone else's poor decisions.

          -Amy
          IslamicAnswers.com Editor

      • Salaams,

        If I may say so, I do not think you're doing your children any favors by choosing to stay in your marriage. It's clear from the things you've mentioned that you have a lot of resentment and unforgiveness about your wife's actions, and it's naive of you to think that your children will not eventually pick up on this. They may already be aware of the underlying bitterness you're harboring, and believe it or not that does have an effect on them as well. Not only that, but you are being an oppressor to your wife by telling her you will never forgive her, but yet you keep her in marriage. The Quran states that husbands are to retain their wives in kindness, or release them in kindess. You are not doing either.

        Quite honestly, the choices you are making each day are choices of someone who believes they are an endless victim. Yes, she wronged you. However, you have the choice to respond in a way that shows your children you value yourself not to live the rest of your life chained to her sins. If you want to continue doing what you're doing, I imagine your children will come away with the idea that this is "normal", and allow themselves to be victimized by others in the future...or worse- victimize others themselves so as to keep from being the one who is hurt (as they saw you being as they grew up).

        Now, you tell me, does that seem like a plan that's in the best interest of your children?

        -Amy
        IslamicAnswers.com Editor

        • Thanks for reply.
          The harderst decision is to stay or leave. It has been more than 3 years since she was caught and yet I can not decide what to do..children, community shame, family, her future, her parents, my parents, me, her current happiness, future plan..lots of considerations but tough to decide. I left it on time and let it decide..whatever it brings.

        • That's deep sister Amy. This almost leads me towards the confusion I'm experiencing these days. I'm thinking and trying to do some research so I can do the right thing but am very confused.

  2. Hello Brother,

    -- I agree with Amy on several points, that you really need to talk to your wife and have a frank conversation. You need to ask if she is invested in this relationship and wants to improve it. Speak from the heart, and dont use blame words, such as "you are so selfish" but use words like "it hurts me when you do....and i feel lonely because we are not intimate, etc" . I dont know, but say it in a way that doesnt make a person feel like defending themselves.

    -- Also, dont let your argument effect your relationship with your children. Have dinner every night with them. Ask them how their day was, and make sure to do something/an activity/ help them with homework, whatever with each child. Make it your goal to be a good father no matter what your wife and you are going through.

    Start with something simple such as hugging them and kissing them when you come home from work. You can include your wife in this if you are able to.

    Your kids are a blessing from Allah, so take care of them, go for a walk together, play a game with them, teach them some quraan, whatever. Invest in them, so when they are older, they come back to you with love, respect and affection. Its never too late to change your relationship with them.

    -- As for your family, try to repair that as well. talk to your wife about her bahviour- but still go visit them and make sure you call and see how they are doing. Family will always be your family, dont let something like this ruin your relationship. I am sure they miss you as well and want you in their life.

    -- Also brother- I am not a relationship expert- but have you tried dating your wife? Flirt with your wife - and just do one nice thing a day for her. Tell her a compliment, make dinner and tell her to relax, take her out every friday night - just you and her, text her i love you at work, get a bubble bath for her ready, give her a masage, buy her a new dress, whatever- treat her like a woman you are trying to woo. You never know, what will come from one nice thing a day. Its the small things that create affection between people. You start a positive thing, and inshallah positivity might come back to you from her.

    My final advice- take your wife out for dinner and talk to her from the bottom of your heart and see where both of you want to go from there.

    Samira

  3. assalamalaikum-'
    Th root cause f this relationship s less sexual contact and intimacy between the couples-
    and i feel lonely because we are not intimate, etc"

    STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT SEX IN ISLAM-
    http://www.zawaj.com/straight_talk.html
    QUESTION
    My husband does not like foreplay, kissing on the mouth, or much of anything of that sort, but I would like him to have a desire for these things with me. I have told him several times in a humble way, but I am very shy to tell him again and I feel embarrassed to ask him.
    He is religious, though, and may listen to religious advice. Are there any sunnahs that he can read, about playfulness with one’s wife, in regards to the intimacy that leads to intercourse? I am hoping that by understanding and following our Prophet’s (SAWS) example, my husband will not feel shy anymore, inshallah.
    ANSWER
    In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,
    Foreplay between the spouses before actually engaging into sexual intercourse is immensely important (especially for the wife) and a vital ingredient for a happy and prosperous marriage, that which should never be neglected.
    The husband should sexually arouse his wife before having sex. It is indeed selfish on the husband’s part that he fulfils his sexual needs and desires, whilst his wife remains unsatisfied and discontented.
    Failure in satisfying the wife can have terrible consequences on one’s marriage.

    It should be remembered that, just as Islam has given the husband his right of sexual intimacy, and extreme emphasis has been laid upon the wife to obey her husband in his request for sexual intimacy, at the same time, Islam also recognizes a woman’s need for love, affection and foreplay. It is quite common in men to demand their sexual rights, but they should also see whether they are giving their women their rights in bed.

    In conclusion, it is important that your husband fulfils your right of foreplay and kissing. It is not something that he should be shy or reluctant about. Some individuals regard practices related to foreplay to be “inappropriate” and consider abstinence from such activities to be from piety (taqwa).

    However, this is totally incorrect, for who can possibly be more pious, pure and God-fearing than the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace), yet not only did he encourage foreplay, etc, but practically engaged in it with his wives

  4. Salaam..

    Bro i know exactly what you mean. .I was married for 14 years. .2 daufhters....stayed just for the sake if my daughters....bt i became depressed....and it started to affect my daughters...

    Its at this point you call it a day.....i think if you are happy safe and content then you will be able to give your children the love compassion and life thry deserve.......Allah does not approve of this way of living...if u can not furfill you rights to each other then leave and allow each other to love your children. ....Just because ypur not under the same roof does not mean you cant be a good father.

    Me and my ex are better able to love our daughters and give them the time and love they need....=)..we are all much happier akhamdulillah...

    My duas are with u bro. .

    Hina

  5. I think you should talk to your wife alone, show her what is happening, tell her your unhappy and this is a bad imact on the kids and if this is continiues this way then you gonna end up divorce.
    You see I am als having trouble in my marriage, I also have 2 kids, 3 and a half and a 1 and a half, only difference is I'm a wife and my husband is cheating on me, even though I am young and attractive, but I am trying my best to make this work by not arguing with him or talking to him about the trash he's dating, I'm doing my thing, keeping myself busy, being happy, trying to get a job, be more independant, make myself important and trying to have lots of fun.

    Try to find out what she wants, why she's behaving this way then tell her what you want and keep your kids away from all this. You need to spend more time with the kids, have fun with them, do stuff together, take them hiking, bike riding, swimming and etc. Right now you need to focus on your kids, you can't have this affecting your childrens.
    Also go for counseling, that helps sometime. if you wanna make your marriage work then you gonna have to make all the changes in yourself first, even though you are the victim, but thats how it works, you can't change your partner, you have to change yourself and when they see you have changed then they make the changes in themselves, if that doesn't work then I say you leave.
    Good luck!

  6. Also make yourself unavailable, go out with your friends, enjoy your life, don't be miserable, show her your fun and a happy guy.

  7. I found this article since I was searching for something similar.

    I've been married for 7 years. Eventhough it's an arranged marriage but I didnt want to get married to any one else either. My wife came from a poor family and I accepted her without any dowry etc. which is by the way very common practice in my home country and dont accepting is a big-deal. But Allah has given me everything so I wasn't after any money to whatever.

    My wife joint me in USA in about a year. Allah blessed us with two children. I tried helping her from preparing food to cleaning up house to changing kids diapers. But for some reason, my wife became super clingy and she would wanted to go everywhere I go. She would get upset if I dont take her with me - if I'm working on computer she would come sit right there and I got no self-time. I tried explaining to her she wouldn't listen.

    The other thing that kills me is she makes fun of me if I fail in doing anything rather than giving me her support. I dont know how others feel about this, but this is huge for me. She failed her driving test three times and done nothing worth noting in her life but I never discouraged her, I always encourage her to try again and work hard, but in return I get this? I think she is a bit jealous of my success in life and find little things to prove that I can fail too....I never claimed that I'm better than her by any means..

    My worst fear is I will cheat on her one day - as I need/deserve some love too. I feel like broken all the time.

    • Assalam O Alaikum brother "ManProblem",
      Bro, what ever your differences with your wife, try to find a way to solve them. Cheating is not a solution; I don't know how you think that will solve any problem. Turn the table around and would you say that it was justified if your wife did that to you?. Try to sit her down, take her out for dinner/lunch or just go on holidays (ideally just the two of you and leave kids with family who can look after them) and discuss this matter with her calmly and tell her how you feel about all this. Buy her some books or articles to read on the role of a wife in Islam and if things still don't improve then involve parents from both sides. If you need detailed answer, please log in and write it as a separate post and it will be answered on it's turn iA.

      Muhammad1982,
      Editor, IslamicAnswers.com

    • Brother you need to sit your wife down and talk to get, tell her how you feel about her such behavior, show her if this continues you will end up divorce and I'm sure that's not what either of you want.
      I think maybe she feels insecure cause your more successful in life than her, she probably feels like a failure. Talk to her and explain to her that a man got a have his own space, she can't be intruding all the time. She needs to behave like a women, tell her you need to support eachother in life, not make fun. If she change her attitude, you will spend more time with her.
      I hope everything works out for you. Insh'allh!
      Marriage isn't easy, me and my husband were having problem, we separated for a month and now alhamdulillah everything is ok. We're focusing in our relationship, we're spending more time with eachother, helping eachother with the thing we lack in our marriage.
      Just have faith everything will be ok, inshallah.

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