Islamic marriage advice and family advice

How can I get our marriage back on track?

Salam Alaikum!

We have been married for 9 years now. We are in our 30's - I'm in late 30's and she's in her early to mid 30's. It was a love marriage. We both met while going to university. We both are now working professionals.

Back in college, she appeared to have the potential to be a good wife (at the time). Her family seemed to observe Islam and Islamic values (like mine). I shared with my family my intention of wanting to get married to her. My parents approached her parents. Both parties appeared to like each other and we ended up getting married without any significant hurdles. I hoped to live happily ever after..but it didn't quite turn out that way.

Before we tied the knot, I saw a simple innocent girl in her with a clean heart. I can safely assume that she thought of me to be a great guy as well. So what happened afterwards? Well, I don't know. All I can share are the symptoms and current events and hope that someone out there is able to triage and suggest a cure.

Honestly, I'm not sure what happened or where things went wrong, but we seem to have been fighting over anything to everything right from day one. We do not seem to agree with each other on much of anything. She always had an issue with my opinion, and I might not have been a big fan of  her over-feminist point of view either.

She is career-oriented, independent and opinionated (not that there's anything wrong with that). She's born and raised in the US; while I came here as a student and ended up settling, so there's some difference in the environments we were raised in (if that matters). If I were to sum up things in a few words - she has had some anger issues in general, she is loud-mouthed, she cusses; she is very good and pure at heart, doesn't lie, doesn't hide anything; she is not a big fan of kitchen or cooking; she is not intimate at all with me (blames that we fight a lot, and that causes her to be angry and makes her lose the  intimacy); she does not want to have kids (says we can't have kids until we stop fighting); she gets mad at me over the tiniest things and starts screaming and cussing - does not matter if there are friends or family around us; she is charming, funny, and sweet to others; she has turned into a social butterfly overtime; she thinks I neglect her, but then I see her glued to TV or texting on her cell most of the times when she's home; ..

This year has been very torturous and painful. A lot has happened. She left home and never came back. We met a few times with the intention of working things out  with no progress; also went through some self-realization - acknowledged our own faults and genuinely apologized to each other. She is still mad and does not want to come home..

To make a long story short (though it is very difficult to put things in writing; wish I could discuss it with someone) - after she left, I ended up realizing and learning about where I went wrong or might have been unfair. First of all, I truly believe that we're both at fault. I think what happened was that we went into a vicious circle of reacting to things that annoyed us about each other. Neither one of us showed enough patience or acceptance to the other. Ultimately, that pushed her away and she started to spend more time with her friends or in social activities, while not being intimate with me at all. Then, that would cause anger and frustration within me, and even if she'd ever come back to discuss things, I'd be too upset to be able to have a one-on-one with her. This would then get her aggravated, and she would go back to her TV serials and texting over the phone. That in turn would then boil my inside and trigger me to neglect her and so on...

You get the gist of it..!? This is what we had been doing to each other all this time. I cannot believe how stupid have we been - both of us - not just her.

I wish I had this figured out much earlier..

Anyway, here's the problem:
We stopped talking sometime last year; we gave each other a silent treatment for several weeks; then late 2015 early 2016 she told me that she wanted to stay at her parents' for a few days (telling me that she wanted to clear her head). I told her there's nothing wrong with that - in fact, I used to always encourage her to spend time with her parents. So I thought it's a good thing.. Turns out, she ended up staying at her parents' for a few months, eventually got her own apartment (because she couldn't stand her parents being in her face and telling her everyday to go back to her husband). It has now been a few months since she left.

Initially, she'd stop by our house at times after her work to talk (which is a good thing), but she'd get too angry too often, the discussion would go south, and she would leave. Had she not gotten angry or potty-mouthed, I probably would've tried to listen more and things might have turned out fine, I think. I also tried to approach her many times, and as a I realized some of my mistakes, I would beg for her forgiveness and tell her that we should both learn from our mistakes and start fresh instead of dwelling the past.

She ended up telling me that all the love she had for me has disappeared and that she cannot live that married life anymore. Now, if I even dare to approach her, she's very angry and hateful towards me. She threatened to file for paperwork as well, which I clearly opposed - because, honestly, for whatever reason, I am still in love with my wife - especially when I know we both made mistakes that have brought us to this point. So I cannot solely blame her for everything, and willing to share the blame and work on things. However, in order to work on things, she needs to be willing, and she doesn't even want to see my face or pick up my phone. She kept asking for space for a few months, and according to her anytime I approached her, it violated that space. So I finally let it be and stopped contacting her - it has now been a very painful 4-5 weeks of no contact in hope that she would wonder why is this guy not chasing me anymore - but I hear nothing from her. The last communication I had from her was an email, where she admitted that she had anger issues and also a lot of anger built up over the years - so it is hard for her to forgive me - and if she cannot forgive me, then she cannot willingly be in marriage with me - and that she does not know how long will it take to heal anger-wise and to forgive me. Basically, she's left me in this state of uncertainty. I don't know if she will ever get rid of her anger or forgive me or come back.

I don't know what to do at this point of time. I am very confused. I do regret deeply about some of the things I did wrong - we both do. We both have acknowledged all the things that went wrong, and even genuinely apologized to each other. I guess I was nice enough to forgive her; how come she is not able to forgive me. Why has she built a wall around her and made her so inaccessible..What do I do?? We've already tried out counseling (which she's not willing to do anymore), she's too mad so trying to talk to her would just make things worse, I have involved her parents but she doesn't listen to them anyway so that's useless. If you tell me to divorce her; well, frankly that's an easy way out. I want to address the situation, not jump off the ship. Besides, I still believe that both of us are good-at-heart people who once fell in deep love with each other. We just handled thing naively, but now that we have learnt from our mistakes, we need to apply that to work on our relationship.


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3 Responses »

  1. Assalaamualykum brother. I am sympathetic towards your situation. The only advise I can give you is to try to fight for your marriage. Approach her kindly, apologise and promise to be a better person. Some females just want to be pampered. If no solution, maybe you should try to call in both family members to discuss it and have witnesses that you have tried to save your marriage. Of she does not accept, then you know you tried and Allah knows best. Keep the faith in the Almighty and maybe he has something better for you. Whatever decision is reached brother, may Allah swt grant you sabr and contentment of your heart and grant you happiness. Aameen.

  2. Brother I have a friend who's gone through the exact same situation. Here's what he did:
    He called his violent ex wife's bluff very calmly saying that if she wanted Khula (mutually agreed divorce), both of them can go tomorrow to the court. He said he was tired of fighting and being sad all the time with her. He wanted to give and receive happiness and intimacy. She was not in the right mental state to be a loving wife. He left to sleep in the guest room and continued to do it for a few days.

    After some time the wife approached him and invited him back but he now had realized his error. His wife had abused him emotionally and verbally enough times to cross the boundary of integrity and self respect. He asked for the Khula adamantly and now is living peacefully.

    He misses her sometimes but now was able to realize his error of holding on to someone who was only a selfish abuser. The moments he didn't speak up when he should have/wanted to and just let it happen (as he thought his wife would love it) were his biggest regrets.

  3. We should follow some of the ways of our elders.

    Say what you mean and mean what you say.
    And try to keep things to the point.

    This is also hard to here but a lot of times a person should be silent as opposed to arguing.
    Pick your battles.
    What is more important?
    Being right or being happy?

    How did our elders stay together for numerous decades?

    They came from a time that if something was broken, you would not throw it away, you'd fix it.
    And that's something both your wife and you have got to do

    Forget about feminist and consider humanist.

    Tell me what are the biggest things that set her off?

    What are the biggest things that set you off?

    What are the things you want her to do?
    What are the things she wants you to do?
    Are there ways of meeting in the middle?

    Is your wife a person who would listen better, I'd you listen better? And vice versa?

    Should your wife get mad at you for forgetting to take out the trash.
    Would you:
    Ignore her?
    Apologize and take out the trash?
    Scold her to stop nagging?
    Crack a joke and then take out the trash?

    The last one would be better.
    You two would get a laugh and the job would be done.

    Your wife is not mad cause of too much trash build up.
    She was mad because she felt you did not value her by following her request

    And all this time you probably just forgot to take it out.

    You did not feel your wife's request unimportant
    You just forgot

    And I'm sure you feel frustrated when your wife forgets to do the things you ask her. Instead of shouting or coldness, try to introduce humor.

    I'm not a person who loves the idea if divorce
    I was divorced than married again (my ex comited greencard fraud )

    But divorce should be used as a last resort.
    But if all else fails
    You know what to do
    Good luck

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