Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Depressed husband has no sexual desire

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Viagra pills

I am in a marriage with a man whom I chose and we both deeply love one another. The problem is that he suffers from depression which causes him to not only lose his libido, but his ability to perform sex. Its a continuous struggle as we go weeks without sex because of his problem.

Getting medicine like viagra does not help, because it will allow him to have an erection but does not increase his libido or desire. I am at a point where I want to leave the marriage because as a Muslim, marriage is one of the few things we can enjoy in this world. If I cannot partake in a healthy sexual relationship with my husband should I leave?

The real question is this: We are both practicing Muslims, but with his sexual inadequacy he suggests and allows that I can go to other men for sexual satisfaction since he cant provide it. I am very much against this option as I see it as adultery.

We are in a dilemma. We can stay together and I can go elsewhere for pleasure, or we part ways and I look for another man to satisfy me sexually. There must be a solution without us leaving one another. Please help!

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20 Responses »

  1. Salaam Dear Sister,

    I really understand your situation as I worked for a charity dealing with depression for two years and during that time I spoke to many couples who are in your situation.

    What many people don't understand about depression is that is a real illness with scientific and biological causes and solutions. Sometimes we make the mistake of holding the depressed person responsible for their illness and we feel like it’s an attitude problem or a thinking process. This is totally incorrect. Depression is an invisible, life threatening illness much the same as Cancer and should be regarded as such.

    I understand that you are frustrated with him, and you are not alone. Many carer's become frustrated with the people they care for, and I have spoken with hundreds of carers who grow to resent those they care for - it is a natural feeling to wish for a healthy person, to wish that the person you married came back to you. However, when we marry, we make a pledge to care for our husband / wife no matter what and that includes making sacrifices such as sexual activity. His health and wellbeing is your responsibility.

    The solution would be to cure your husband of depression which is no easy task. Depression has two conclusions. The first is suicide, the second is cure. That’s the real picture here - that is where depression goes. To cure depression one needs a combination of medication and talking therapy (counselling). There are many types of therapy and the right one depends on the level of his depression. Things that assist recovery include sunshine, healthy food, exercise and laughter, being reminded that we are loved, being reminded we are important to the people around us. You will need a combination of all of these things to bring about positive change successfully and quickly. If he is sitting around the house, taking medications only you are looking at 3-5 years of depression which will gradually increase over time.

    There is also a great need to take care of you. Living with a depressed person has a great affect on your life. I can see from this question that you are already suffering consequences, so I would advise that you too take measures to take care of your mental well being whilst he is going through this process.

    On the subject of sexual activity and releasing the pent up feelings, if the feelings are very powerful, erotic massage as a couple can be very effective, as your husband may be able to stimulate you without using his genitals. If you have the patience to work at massage for a long time, you may be able to stimulate him. Failing that, you can try going it alone to release yourself which is acceptable if it is used as a preventative measure, protecting yourself from greater sin.

    To add to all of that please remember that depression is a life threatening illness which requires both members of a marriage to help it to heal. Depression is dangerous as depressed people don't share their feelings which most of the time revolve around suicide. Whatever you try with your husband, please be sure to be loving, understanding and caring for the whole time and do not show disappointment to him whilst he is vulnerable like this.

    Talking therapy increases depression recovery rates by 60% and males are renowned for neither talking about their feelings nor going to a doctor when they are ill. Please do your best to assist his recovery - it will be the best investment of your time that you will ever make.


    • Assalamualaikum sister Leyla,

      may I know what kind of therapy ? is it the same to take counseling between to physiologist and psychiatry ?
      I have depression after the divorce coming from emotional abuse, its been a year with ups and down, I already taking few pills trying to find out the fit one and now i am taking zoloft, it feel better but still I don't know what i want and having no self confidence and esteem. I through the day without contentment
      I really wants to get back to my old me but seem like hard to be at the place I was. I only pointed that I missed my old me and wants to get back.

      • Salaam dearest sister,

        MashaAllah you have come very far, it is incredibly difficult to recover from such things mentally, and I want to say well done that you went to the doctor and you tried these medications. People who are dedicated to recovery do recover and I want you to know that.

        What you are describing to me is basically that your original way of being, or thought process, has been dented and damaged by your experience. You have acknowledged this and taken steps to remedy it, however of course, if you are not expressing your thoughts and getting to the bottom of them - they will continue to flare up like any other illness. Yes, we take anitbiotics, but antibiotics are assisted by healthy food and drinks yes? You will feel very assisted by counselling - probably very uncomfortable and not nice at first (often honesty and exploration of feelings can be a painful experience) however after a few weeks you will start to feel a breakthrough in your own ability to control your thoughts and get back in touch with the original you.

        Talking therapy is counseling. There are many different types of counseling, and most likely if you have already been diagnosed with depression and have found a medication that you are happy with and feeling benefit from well done. Really and truly I want to say well done, because you have come very far already though you may not realize it. There is much light ahead of you and you would feel great benefit from one session a week with a therapist which can assist that medication with emotional help and support. In the UK you may get therapy for free with your GP though there may be a long wait - however there are many charities which will see you for a low fee. Make sure the person /organization you speak to is properly qualified as there are many charlatans out there - look at the qualifications and make sure your counselor has completed at least 4 years of study to achieve their status as counselor.

        Counseling is when you sit in a room with a counselor and talk. There are two main types for depression, one is straight forward counseling, and the other is CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). Counseling is good for resolving feelings, gaining strength and confidence and getting back in touch with feel good emotions and letting go of the past. CBT is time limited (i.e its 8 week or 10 weeks long) and focuses on a specific outcome such as stopping smoking, overcoming panic attacks and things like this. A good counselor will assess you first, and then recommend a technique that is best suited for you and the outcomes you seek to achieve.

        Psychiatry, is when a person is experiencing hallucinations, is seeing or hearing voices and they need to be hospitalized and removed from society in order to be treated.

        Psychology is the study of the human mind from a student perspective, such as studying memory and learning, or studying criminals and their childhoods and discovering a new discovery such as relationship between our parents and our adulthood.

        Counseling (also known as psychotherapy or talking therapy) is when a qualified counselor talks with you to help you release emotions, find new emotions, resolve feelings, gain strength and achieve closure.

        • Waalaikumsalam sister,

          I have PTSD too which makes me get panic a little like lose the ground or something when i meet/talk with a kind of narcissist person (manipulative, control and mind games ). trying to find what makes me happy again but can't find it, I feel disconnected with Allah SWT though I do ibadah practically, working, takes the pills but still it feels like I lost the soul. I still having emotional attached to the past. Its like I hate it but I love it too. do you know what any alternative i could do ?

          jazakallah khairan sister

          • Salaam Dear Sister,

            A panic attack is when your body goes into what's called "fight or flight" mode whilst you are standing still and there is no real danger. Your body produces loads of adrenaline, getting you ready for a battle of survival. The affect of this is a bit like drinking 20 shots of expresso all at once, and then standing still.

            Because you are not running, or moving- you body takes the impact of that adrenaline release - and your heart will start beating at a terrific pace (remember, like drinking too much expresso). That release is supposed to make you run away, or have a fight. But, because you are not running or having a fight your body has to disperse that adrenaline someother way and it becomes toxic. Later on, your body will release a "calming down" hormone, which will make you feel sad, emotional and tearful. This is pure biology at work.

            Whilst this biology is going on, your brain works in a different way. Your brain is there to make sense f what is going on, so your mind will create explanations for things so that they make sense. For example, if you look at an image that has parts missing, your brain will fill in the missing parts so that you can see a full picture. When you are having a panic attack or adrenaline buzz, your brain will create explanation for you and later, when you are feeling emotional it will do the same thing. So what happens is a person can have a very stressful day at work, operating on strong adrenaline which makes them operate at high efficiency, and then come home, get in the bath and as their calm-down hormones get released they may feel very tearful. Now the brain will create reasons for that, so the person may attribute their tearfulness to a movie, or a moment in their past, or because someone shouted at them...the brain makes sense of it for us.

            In your particular case of panic attack, you have identified your "trigger" - you have identified what it is that switches on this adrenaline-panic-reaction, and your body has learned to respond to this trigger in a certain way. I think that CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy - which is a form of counselling) would help you to manage your triggers and responses and keep them disciplined.

            PSTD and depression can be defeated and can be overcome with comittement. You don't have to suffer even one more day because of what you have been through - no sister, you don't have to suffer anymore. You must take a stand, take charge and comitt to fixing it and come out strong on the other end.

            I have seen it happen, I know it happens, I have witnessed spectacular transformations of people who have overcome their past's and abuses with strength and faith.

            You must have faith. You must have faith in yourself - you must know, the same way that you know "this IS my hand" and you know "this IS my leg" you must know that "I CAN live a happy life" and "I CAN overcome anything" and "I WILL recover and be happy and love" and once you believe - you can do it. And nothing or noone can stop you.


  2. Waalaikumsalam sister Leyla,

    Thank you for giving me explanation about how it work as I have all the things you have mention. Emotionally I feel broke up when I arrived at home after work even though I don't have a stressful job it just i don't like to work or be socially in these time so when I am working and have to be social with work mates it takes big energy to do that and when at home I feel emotionally tired/exhausted. so when i am not working or alone can't think/feel relax just blank..
    InshAllah I will make a commitment to take counseling. One thing that I still on my mind about I don't like his attitude but I love him though he don't love me. I try to ignore/block this feeling but its like something heavy in my heart to carry on. I don't know again how to get rid off this feeling, I do salat and make dua every time I feel so heavy to carry the missing feeling or I love him though even I still with him it was painful can you give me a few line words for what I feel ?

    Jazakallah khairan sister

  3. Salaam Sister,

    The tiredness you are feeling is from the depression, which is characterised by fatigue and lack of energy. This is a chemical thing, and people who work / participate in society and take medications have a greater recovery rate than those who don't so mashaAllah, again you are scoring high on all the things that can be done to recover.

    Regarding your feelings, very often, when a person is in a traumatic / abusive situation, what they will do is try to bond with the person who is abusing them. The reason they do this is because they know that by keeping the abuser happy - it will increase their chance of survival in the situation. The victim of abuse (that is you in this case) will look for kindnesses in the abuser and hold on to those kindnesses in order to learn what makes them kind, what makes them happy. This develops into a bond between victim and abuser as the victim's survival depends on the abusers happiness. When the victim succeeds in making the abuser happy, the victim feels safe and comes to depend on the abuser's happiness for survival.

    This is all very toxic, and once escaped from the dangerous situation, the victim is left with all of these feelings and ways-of-being to re-organise themselves and make sense of what has happened to them. They may feel like they don'r recognise themselves, that they cant explain why they felt the way they felt, why they acted the way they acted.

    The reason you feel this way is because for the duration of your relationship that was what was necessary for you to survive. There is a famous but heartbreaking experiment that was done with a scientist and a dog. The dog, an amazingly loyal, loving and obedient creature, was raised with love by a man fro childhood, who then beat him to death with a stick. During the beating, the man would stop at intervals and give the dog his hand. The dog would still lick the owners hand (a sign of love and obedience) even when the owner was hurting him. The dog's love was his only defence mechanism. By loving the people that hurt us, we protect ourselves from facing the reality that this person is seriously hurting us because that reality is too painful to accept. And by loving the person who hurts us we help ourselves to accept it and by showing love, we hope that we can stop the abuses that they are doing to us.

    Once out of the situation we are left with a big empty gap. Suddenly, our thoughts are no longer consumed with the person because for a long time the whole mind was occupied with "will this make him happy", "what mood is he going to be in" "should I cook this or that" "should I tell him this or that" - and for the whole time, most likely you were completely consumed with thoughts only of him because being able to see his point of view is the only way you can prevent abuse. Of course, as is usually the case, nothing works - and the abuse still comes regardless and this wears you down and wears you down, but the stress keeps you going even though at the time we cant identify that it is stress giving us this energy.

    You feel love because as a human being, you can't help it my sister. You have been through the emotional version of a washing machine on fast cycle, and whilst your mind and feelings have adopted this love and thoughtfulness of him so that you can survive - your psychology and attitude will take time to adjust to this new definition of "abuser" and "liberation". A good practice for you would be to replace words that you use for this man with "abuser" so you can teach yourself that this is what he was and this is what it is. Those "love feelings" are actually "methods for survival" and this confusion and lost stage you are in is "recovery stage".

    Practice seeing yourself and your situation in this way and inshaAllah you will find much strength. Here it is again:

    "I was married to an ABUSER and the feelings I felt for him was my body's WAY OF SURVIVING. Now I am LIBERATED and AM IN RECOVERY STAGE, and with help and commitment I will RECOVER COMPLETELY"

    By practising your language in this way and accepting that what you have experienced and continue to experience is Trauma and its's after affects, you should being to feel that little flick of light begin to glimmer inside.

    You were married to an ABUSER and the feelings you felt for him were your body's WAY OF SURVIVING. Now you are LIBERATED and in RECOVERY STAGE, and with help and commitment you will RECOVER COMPLETELY.

    I really believe you will make it. I really really believe you can do it - you are already so strong to survive abuse, go through the separation, recognise these things, take medications and work in spite of your experience. You are very powerful. You're going to make it.


    • Waalaikumsalam sister,

      Thank you again and you were right again about having brain washed, have to survive from not having criticize, bad mood, entertain, etc my mind became drain well done job.. I still have emotional dependent to him think that he is the who understand and complete my weakness.

      To be honest I feel so tired to do recover now, I feel I have to run from something I don't know... just tired..can't do relax mind too now because.. I am expecting to be the problem solver in my family as I used too in the past ( broken family ) also I am in family expectation especially from my mom as she already old enough and wants to see me marry again though i have told them I will but please don't expect me too much with my condition now but they can't understand.
      I feel like I want to ask them can I have my own time now.. .. I have tried to think Allah SWT blessing for me so i can be a grateful person but still can't get rid off this rush and tired feeling. so tired...

      Jazakallah Khair

  4. im a girl at the last of her teens.married to a husband double my age.b4 marring me he devoiced a wife with children.
    its not been long just a few months that v have been married i love him more then very much.
    i thing he has some spell on him weired things happen around him when enters the bed room his head starts to ache and a few others things too.
    i talked to a man(roohani ilaj) known to my friend who deals with magic he told me my perception is correct
    he also told me many things that he knew about but they were just between me nd my husband!! he knew them word by word.
    god knows how!
    now my husband can not satisfy me sexually and its getting worse day by day
    what do i do??
    im turning desperate
    now that man(roohani ilaj) said to me if u choose to do zinah do it with some one who is trust worthy .im not a good muslim but still i cant do such a big guhna.
    but im very desperate!!!!
    i can never do this!!
    my husband knows my problem nd he thinks its dirty to finger me!!!
    y am i stuck!!!
    what do i do!!!
    v r a newly wedd couple and i am not satisfied!
    isnt his responsibility to satisfy me!!!!
    iz it ok to do zinah in such a situation!!
    he thinks im dirty!
    he is not ready to take medicine as he fears the situation will go worse!
    an as i cee it he wont b able to do any thing after 3 years!!
    is it my fault he was married b4???
    is it my fault that his whishes were fulfiled b4!!
    y do i have to pay 4 it!!!
    what do i do
    i know he has magic on him!!!
    is it my fault!

    • Hiba, please log in and write your question as a separate post. Just to give you a quick answer, this man who advised you is evil and is giving you some very bad advice. Zinaa is a very serious sin, so don't even think about doing that. Your husband needs to see a doctor to find out what is the problem. It could be something as simple as high blood pressure.

  5. Salaam,

    For the woman who asked the question in the beginning before the discussion, i just want to say that i am a muslim man who had suffered from depression for about two years, and i can empathize with what your husband is going through. Even though i am not married, one of the biggest things that i remember is have absolutely no sex drive when my depression was at its worst. Please, try not to think of leaving your husband just because he has no drive. If the marriage was really a genuine one and if you really do love him, stay by his side and help him get through this. Yes it will take time, and to be honest, i think that what you guys are going through is a trial from Allah, and though it might be hard, you have to try your best to be patient. Had i not been patient, i would be dead today. I waited as long as i could and i sought help, in any way or form from anyone, as long as they were trustworthy, and slowly but surely i got better (also with the help of some medication). It is important to support him in his vulnerable state. yes it is hard not to have sex, but just think of how long you had to wait before you were married. You did it once, you can do it again until your husband figures out wat the problem is and becomes himself again. If you take away anything from what ive said, and i hope you have, the one thing i stress the most, is to have patience. Not only am i happy again and doing well, i also graduated from university earlier this year, and was also admitted into pharmacy school. When i was depressed, the most i could ask for was just to hold out for another day and find a reason to live, i didnt expect to graduate or get into pharmacy school. Be patient, keep making dua, take whatever help or support that comes your way, and don't let yourself or your husband ever lose hope, not matter how hard it is to keep it. Have patience and Allah, inshallah, He will give you something many times better than what you asked for.

    Good luck, and take care

    • Assalamualaikum brother,

      did you get addicted from the medicine of the depression ? can you live normal without it ?

      • You don't get addicted to antidepressants, depending on which one you take and how your body reacts to it, you might get some different side effects, but no I did not get addicted to antidepressants. The thing about antidepressants though is that it takes a while for it to work. Don't expect it to make you feel better right away, it takes some time before it works and for you to feel better. It took me about 1-2 months before i felt a real improvement.
        For me, after i got better, i kinda just stopped taking the medication abruptly even though my doctor told me not to because if you stop abruptly, as opposed top tapering off the medication, there is a chance that the depression might rebound. And yea I do live normally now, i don't have that empty hole/despairing feeling anymore. Also the desire to better myself and make goals returned so i'm really glad that i'm back to normal. The way i see it is that Allah can help you in ways that you don't expect, so if the resources are there, then i would go for it.

  6. It must taken a lot of courage for ur husband to tell u to go to and fnd someone to sleep with! Sister u need to take him to a doctor and let him get a check up. Depression is bad and once he fnds out tat ur sleeping arnd with someone, he might just kill himself. So please don't do anything u might regret. Right now forget ur needs and focus on ur husband and his problems. See a doctor and let him examine ur husband. Inshallah he will get better soon.

  7. Assalam Walaikum sisters,

    I am a muslim women who got married before 4 years in 2006 and it was a arranged marriage . There was 1 whole year between my marriage and engagement. After my engagement my husband used to call me in india eveyy day and he used to speak for hours. I was working in an organisation during that time.After some months i realised that he was becoming harsh to me during the calls but i ignored it .

    Then after my marriage the very first we tried to have sexual intercourse but we did not know how to do it and we just slept. During the first few months after our marriage we didnt perform intercourse but did only the thing which triggerred intercourse during that i thought my husband didnt know how to do it and was still in the learning process . He used to talk to his mother every day from america(where we lived after marriage) and used to fight with her for no reasons. This happened every day he used to call her every morning and night and fight then again call her back and convince her and call her every ten ten minutes so on. The major issue was he was only concerned about his brothers in india and wanted them to improve in their career he was more trying to be like a father to them .He stopped even having the little desire what we used to have and his organ never used to grow big and he never showed any sexual desire for always he was under pressure may it be job or his family back home.And i was the only person who would just cook and be with him in all the difficulties during the 3 years thinking that his sexual problem mite solve one or the other day . Still he was good to me although he used to scold harshly and beat me several time but still he would come and convince after some hours.And also he would take me to different places to travel and also to varoius retaurants he will not hesitate to spend money .

    Recently his mother was ill and we went to india to visit her and she went to comma state by the time we landed in india and passed away after a week.After that he behaved very badly to me and started abusing and beating me in front of all the relatives saying that i was only with him for money and luxurious life and also that i did not do any service to his mother during these 4 years . I was really shocked to hear such words from him for me .He forgot all these day i was with him in America during the bad and good times and took care of him like a kid although i did not get the basic sexual desire from him.Allah knows better.

    My parentsintervened in these issues and were really shocked to know about my sexual life . They questioned my husband about it but my husband abused and scolded them and told them to not enter their home or any family issues . He accused my parent of not taking care of his mother (Allah knows better) and also all sort of accusations on my mother father and my family.

    Inspite of all this happening i stayed with him thinking that he had no one with him and he is depressed now and he mite die or become seriously ill if i leave him. His behaviour is not the same every day .I sacrificed my parent home , stopped speaking to them frequently or visiting tehn when i was in india. Although everyone in my family adviced me to take talaq from him. I remanined with patience thinking that if we go back to america he will be with me alonE and he will be ok as before.i DID NOT WANT TO GO THROUGH THE TERRIBLE process of talaq .Although in india he threatened me every day i will give u talaq and u can go to ur parent home and he will beat me . but i still remained patient and waited for the time to arrive.

    The time came and we both came back to america.Now he has no job and less money and he is still the same and no change in his behaviuor. HE still starts accusing me and threating me of divorce .when i finally agree for divorce he says that he will commit suicide and die if i go out to the masjid and ask for divorce and inform anyone.He is not the same every day .One day he speaks nicely and i feel he is recovering the end of the week he again beats me and tries to prove the same thing.Also i get angy at him during the quarrel and also he keeps asking for death and saying i dont want to live and i want to go to my mother.

    Please help me as to how to deal with him i am finding it very difficult.

    • Muslimah, divorce him. Get out of that situation. No husband has the right to beat his wife, and no woman should remain in such a situation. I don't care if his impotence is making him depressed, or whatever. There is no excuse for taking it out on you. You say that he speaks to you harshly and beats you but "still he was good to me." You are fooling yourself. He is not good to you. As for his threats of suicide, it's just emotional blackmail. You should not allow such threats to control your behavior and your life. You said that everyone has advised you to divorce him. Listen to them.

      Wael Editor

      • Jazakallah khair for the response .

        I am not strongly prepared to go through the divorce process . Also it is one of the thing that Allah swt hates the most. Also it is quoted in the quran that "No harm can touch u until Allah has destined it for u" is this something that Allah has prescribed for me i am so confused. I am feeling it difficult to leave him in this situation when it is just 7 months that his mother has passed away.Also will i not be a burden to my family and will not bring a disgrace to my family for their daughter to be divorced.Rite now my husband is going thru several problems financial , job and the loss of his mother. may be if sometime passes by nad insha allah if he gets good job will my life become better Allah wills. I dont know .I dont know how to behave with such a husband whether to stop talking to him be silent and do my work without being really interactive with him.

        Please advice.

        • I see now that you are emotionally stuck in your situation. You are looking for confirmation of your decision to stay, and you are not prepared to hear any advice that does not agree with your choice. You are desperately seeking justifications, in the process misunderstanding the concept of Qadr, misquoting hadith, and running on "maybes". I do not blame you. You are the victim in this bad situation. You are not being respected or given your rights as a wife. But in making the choice to continue, you perpetuate your own victimization.

          I cannot give you the confirmation you seek. I believe that staying in this abusive situation is a mistake.


  8. salaam,

    my husband have same problem ,he is also suffering from depression but i love him so much ,he doesnt even show his interest in me by kissing me or in any other way,last time when we slept together was 2010 ,even we sleep in different rooms now not because i want to sleep in different room but he feels uncomfortable ,i feel so bad and his depression is effecting me badly ,he is taking medication but he drinks as well ,and he cant stop drinking which is making his situation more worse ,sometimes i feel very angry as he doesnt listen to me,now it is out of my control ,i can stay without sex but atleast he should say nice things to make me feel secure ,he should appreciate my efforts but instead of doing that he is doing more silly things ,it is embaressing if i tell these things to any one in my family thats why i was searching the islamic views and i found this page .just to get any good advice ,i dont want to go away from him but it is too much for me now .any idea?

  9. A big sign that he is not himself is that he suggests you have sex with other men. This is a proof that he is not himself. And when he gets well he will never forgive you

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