Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Unhappily married to an older man… feeling trapped.

unhappy wife

Trapped in an unhappy marriage

Alright, here it goes. I will give a bit of my background information to help you guys understand the reason for my choice. My first proposal/engagement had broken off from misunderstanding and lack of communication on my part and because of that my parents were really hurt by this. Then I got my second proposal (btw he lives in Pakistan while I live in the West) and when I had saw his picture I didn't feel comfortable because he was older than me by 10 years. I told this to my dad and he tried to convince me (many times may I add) that it is okay and that he and mom have almost the same difference and because of my last break off I was sad that I would hurt my parents again. So I halfheartedly agreed to talk to him and tried to convince myself that it is okay.

We talked for 5 months but it was always a casual talk. And then I was sent to Pakistan for 3 months before my marriage. When I was there we talked on the phone and the more I talked the more I picked up things I didn't like about him and it turned me off from him. Also I hated it and still do, when he says perverted jokes. It is not amusing. Than I found out things about him that put doubts about how truthful he was being about what he has told me e.g. His age on official documents is even more than what I was told. Also I had seen him once before my marriage in person and I did not feel any spark. Nothing.

Then we got married and than it just became annoying. I stayed with him for a month and then came back to the West. While I was there I would hate having sex everyday and when I would imply I don't want to, he would jokingly bring up the Islamic rule that a woman can't refuse her husband. Sometimes I felt okay about it but all the time it was fustrating. I came back home and sponsered him and it's been almost over a year and his paperwork is complete and he is to come soon. The closer the days come for his arrival the more I dread it. I have become so depressed about everything that I even have suicidal thoughts (don't worry; I fear its punishment too much to actually commit the sin) and think of my death as my only way out. I sometimes feel he prioritizes coming here above everything else. He once admitted that he wanted to marry someone from the West and nothing else mattered, which bothered me. But I also understand why.

I am so turned off by him. I try to convince myself of the positives and forcefully convince/build my feelings up for him only for him to say something upsetting and crash it back down. I am tired of this constant building. And because of all this I cant help but think back about the guy I did like and how I could have been happy with him. My husband's and my views are, most times, worlds apart because of our age difference but more importantly on how we were raised with different societies and culture that it is frustrating and just a really big turn off from him. Furthermore it bothers me that his sex drive is so high that that is what he seems to think about most times. I know how guys are but to such an extent....

I feel like I am being so ungrateful to God because marriage is a blessing but I cannot help feeling this way. I have cried so much to the point that now I sometimes become numb and desensitised to the whole thing or I become so bitter and angry that I become someone unrecognizable, because by nature I know I am not like this. I was told by many people that he was a good person and I believe them. Objectively he is not a bad husband for the most part; I just can't see myself with someone like him. I have tried talking to him about somethings he does that I don't like and he stops for that moment only to start it back up again.

This one action of his bothered me a lot though. While we have been apart he told me to send very "personal" pictures over the net and I obeyed him the first time but I came to the realization that something like that is on the internet, where nothing is safe/secured and became scared. So I voiced this concern to him not once but many times but he just didn't care and thought he knew better! Things like this make me want to ignore him forever.

I want to talk to an adult but I don't want them to think negatively about him. It has come to the point that when someone even mentions him I get annoyed. As a wife I should love but I just can't. I don't know what to do and what to think and how to feel. Please some advice?


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29 Responses »

  1. I'm sorry you are going through this, but i honestly feel you wont be happy. If you aren't happy now with his behavior what makes you think you'll be happy later on? You CAN refuse him of sex, he's just being odd. I would advise you to talk to your parents. Partially, i also believe you should've told your parents you didn't want to marry him. I understand you didn't want to upset them, but how is you being miserable making them happy? Talk to them and talk to and imam or sheikh, pray and take some action.

  2. Rosey,

    Never, ever in a million years send an inappropriate photo of yourself via the web to anyone...including your husband. Often people get rid of their computers and think they have erased the contents of its hard drive. A tech savvy individual can find things on a computer that an individual thinks they have erased. It may not bother your husband that a nude photo could end up in the wrong hands but you very well should be!

    My dear sister, I do understand that you wanted to please your parents in regards to this marriage however why did you not consider pleasing yourself? Here you are, married to a man who is quite a bit older and possibly older than what he led your parents to believe. You have little in common and you are miserable. I strongly urge you to go and speak with your parents about how you feel about this man and this marriage. If you ever needed to speak up for yourself it is now.


  3. Assalaamualaikam

    I think it's important to ask yourself "why did I marry this man?" - was there anything that you or your parents particularly liked about him, did his deen or character impress you, or was he simply there at a time when you felt you had to marry? If there was something that you liked, that might be worth focusing on in trying to have less negative feelings towards him.

    He is who he is, and may never be like the guy you wanted to marry initially. But, how do you know that the other guy would have been right for you? It's common for people to idealise people or things that they have lost, and it might be that part of your difficulty in developing a good relationship with your husband may be due to comparing him to an ideal which he can never match up to.

    Why not try to improve the relationship between the two of you, through conversation and shared experiences? Even if he is in a different country, the two of you could talk by email. You could share your news with him, tell him a bit about where you live, ask him to tell you about his life, share pictures or articles that interest you and make you smile - by getting to know him more in a way that means sex is "off the table", the two of you can inshaAllah get to know each other as people and see if you like and respect each other then.

    It sounds like he may be very focused on physical intimacy - there's no requirement for you to have sex every day, and you definitely shouldn't send explicit pictures of yourself over the internet. My general approach to online pictures is to only have pictures of me online that I would be happy for my mum to see. You could maybe exchange pictures of you both fully dressed (with hijab if you feel more comfortable, in case someone else sees), rather than sexual ones; he needs to get to know you as a person.

    An age gap in itself doesn't mean that a relationship can't work; The Prophet (peace be upon him) and Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) had a significant age gap between them, but still had a loving and fulfilling marriage. It might help for you to read about their married life, and how they built their relationship.

    Ultimately, if you feel you cannot be happy with this man, you have the right to separate from him and request divorce, but before you do so, it may be worth giving this relationship a chance to develop before making such a big decision. Pray to Allah for guidance and aid, and trust in Him to guide you to what will be good for you in this life and the next.

    Midnightmoon editor

    • Marriage is a bond which is made by allah and the shaitan is who will try to break it.
      10 years is not big difference people fell in love with even older guys.
      Whatever you could have done you were bound to get married to this guy so do not think about past because you cannot change it.
      Suggestion - Talk to him, try to make this marriage work since marriage is allah gift.
      Pray 5 times and force him to pray as much as you can.
      Pray to allah as he is the one who can change hearts.
      Have kids , because a man will do anything for his kids.

      But if all the things fail and you find him doing or asking you for any haraam thing then you can ask your parents.

      I pray for you.

  4. Dear Concerned,

    I think one should move on in life. Marriage is all about love and respect for one another. When you love someone you are able to easily handle their bad habits and work through them. But once this love & respect disappears for whatever reason life becomes a living hell.


  5. a Islamic site, showing a picture of a women with her breast uncovered.....SHAME ON THE EDITOR "WAEL"

    • If you mean the image on this post, I did not select it myself, but I actually thought the caption was kind of funny and it did not strike me as obscene.

      Wael Editor

      • Yes I mean the image of the caption,you might have not selected it yourself, but I believe, you have the authority to pull it down. This is a great site & the editors are doing a wonderful job, educating the readers on every aspects of Islam via Q&A, including the importance of hijab & full head & body covering for females, but what message are you giving to the readers by allowing & defending the picture of a woman in non Islamic dress on your Islamic website???

        • I see your point, but what she is wearing is no more provocative (and probably more modest) than what most women wear in the Western world and even in the Muslim world. I guess I didn't zoom in on her breasts the way you seem to have done. Also, I wonder why your immediate response was to blast me, instead of just suggesting politely that the image be replaced. I tend not to take people seriously when they approach me the way you did.


          • Perhaps it is not provocative for men in the west or non-muslim countries to watch women with their breasts not properly covered, as they have become used to it. Honestly I don't have a habit of zooming on, but felt odd to see this pic on such a nice pure site & went ahead and commented on it, a little too harshly than required and I am sorry for the same.

          • BRO WAEL,

            Have you asked your moderators to block my posts?? A very worried girl by user id miss friend whose question was posted on this site after a long time,she had a counter question to her post under the header : Nose Job issue. In this society why face beauty matters.

            As no one was answering it, I gave her a appropriate reply without using any inappropriate language or personal attacks, still my post was in moderation for almost 10 hrs and then it disappeared and this has not happened for the first time, am I a victim of vendetta ?? What is the criteria for moderating post?? I have read posts from people discussing their sexual preferences & bedroom intimate details getting through. I have reposted my reply for the benefit of miss friend.


          • Your comments are not blocked but are moderated. I have published the comment you are referring to.




        It has come to my notice that my post on :How to Stop Masturbating? was approved today by the moderator, it was displayed for some time on the site (7-8 hrs ago) and then it was deleted for some unknown reasons. My post is neither abusive, nor inappropriate, nor attacking someone, nor a sales pitch for a product, neither I am advocating eating some herb or chanting pagan mantra(verses),this is just a breathing exercise to lower anxiety & helps in controlling masturbation habit for our Muslim questionnaire and readers who are struggling with the habit.

        Still someone is deliberately & mischievously,deleting it after it was approved by the moderator, THE SAME POST WAS ALSO DELETED ON A DIFFERENT QUESTION PAGE AFTER IT WAS APPROVED BY THE MODERATOR 2-3 DAYS AGO, WHICH SEALS THE MATTER THAT IT'S BEEN DONE INTENTIONALLY.

        Why would anyone, withhold a suggested cure from a youth who has posted the question and from the hundreds of readers & may be thousands if the readers decide to share this.

        I want to give a message to that person/s that. what you are doing is a grave "SIN", please introspect

        "It is prohibited for a scholar to withhold knowledge from one who seeks it . Some scholars add that the prohibition applies only if there is no other scholar available to teach that knowledge. [Khadimi, Bariqa Mahmudiyya Sharh Tariqa Muhammadiyya; Munawi, Fayd al-Qadir Sharh Jami al-Saghir]

        The most well-known hadith on the matter is: “Whoever is asked about knowledge and withholds it will have a bridle of fire placed on him on the Day of Judgment.” In some narrations there is the addition, “with respect to religious knowledge by which Allah benefits people.” [Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, Sahih Ibn Hibban, Ibn Maja]

        Thanks, May Allah guide you.

        • I feel it's inappropriate to advise people you don't even know to take anti-anxiety medication to stop masturbating. You are not a doctor, and these people are not your patients. Some of these medications have side effects. The use of such a medication is not a long-term solution to any problem.

          To say that I'm doing a sin by moderating your comments is ridiculous. Frankly, the more you post, the more I am inclined to ban you altogether.


          • Salam Brother Wael,

            If you read my post completely than it's clear, it's not promoting anti-anxiety medicines but suggesting simple yoga breathing exercise to help control masturbation. Anti-anxiety medicines are also not available without doctors prescriptions . Breathing exercise has never been known to cause any side effects,Yoga is around in USA & Europe for a long time, scientific studies done in the west for decades have proved that yoga has many health benefits & helps in reducing stress & anxiety, it's more popular now & practiced by millions worldwide than ever.

            You have been receiving hundreds of questions from Muslim youths struggling with masturbation and begging for help, as there is no known cure medically so they are seeking any kind of help. These days they are been told to refer to previous Islamic advice answers, can't say how much of it is helping them.

            I am not asking readers to join a yoga class, neither are these awkward yoga postures which needs supervision, but a easy breathing exercise to do, with the help of a video, by trained Yoga experts. It helps in lowering anxiety & in turn helps control the addiction, Insha-allah

            This is your site, you have all the rights & the means to ban me, it's up to you, but I think, you also have a responsibility towards the readers & those who post questions.
            If some alternate suggested cure which helps youths to come out of compulsive sins, is not proved to be harmful to the body or haram, then this information should not be withhold from them on this forum, especially when so many of our youths are stuck & desperately searching for remedies.

            I can remove the anti-anxiety drugs part of my post and
            repost it which has only details of simple breathing exercise,with your permission,

            I really love this site and appreciate & admire the efforts you & your team put in to keep the show running, I am sorry If I have been a pain in the ..:)

            Waiting for your response, thanks.

          • I don't have a problem with the yoga or breathing exercises. Those are good suggestions.


    • The picture? Her breasts ARE covered, what picture are you looking at?

      • I am looking at the picture on this page of a woman with uncovered head & a figure hugging frock/dress. The upper body shape can be seen, her breasts size can be clearly seen. Covering isn't simply placing cloth over their body it has to be loose clothing.

    • Salam Brother,

      The picture above is a woman in her kitchen washing dishes. Her boobs aren't hanging out of her dress and she has a beautiful smile on her face. Instead of focusing on this picture...why not reply to the poster in her query about her marriage and how unhappy she finds herself? God willing you might be able to offer her some constructive advice from your own perspective hence gaining the reward of Allah whilst doing so.


      • Perhaps I came across too strongly, I found the picture of a Christian lady in an un-islamic dress out of place on an Islamic website, we never see a hijabi Muslim woman's image on a Christian missionary site, do we?? I don't know what advice to give to this sister, all I can say is we are all different yet we have a tendency of comparing. We generally tend to focus on all the bad things & shortcomings first rather than on good things and this is where we commit a mistake.No one is perfect in life, the key to happiness in a marriage is to focus on the good qualities of your spouses & ignoring bad ones (Sister wrote, objectively he is not a bad husband for the most part),comparison is the killer of martial bliss.

        The Prophet Muhammad [صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم] overlooked his wives' shortcomings, and tolerated their unreasonable behavior. The books of ahadith are replete with examples of how he ignored what he did not like about their actions, with a smile and patient silence.

        Sexual gratification is the foremost reason why men get married, and they make serious mistakes right in the beginning, which cause the greatest blows to their marital relationship. Muslim men should fear Allah regarding how they handle their wives during intimacy.

        Narrated Jabir Bin Abdullah [may Allah be pleased with him], "The Prophet [صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم] did not allow sexual intercourse before fondling (the wife)." [Abu Dawood]

        Imam al-Daylami [may Allah be merciful on him] records a narration on the authority of Anas ibn Malik [may Allah be pleased with him] that the Messenger of Allah [صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم] is reported to have said: "One of you should not fulfill one's (sexual) need from one's wife like an animal, rather there should be, between them, foreplay of kissing and words."
        [Musnad Al-Firdaws of Al-Daylami, 2/55]

        • Salam Brother,

          Indeed it has been a very long day and as I read your have put the biggest smile upon my face. How on earth can you look at the picture and determine that the woman depicted is of the Christian faith? Nothing about her determines her faith. She is a simple woman washing her dishes. Allah hu alem.


          • Sis, it's indeed a very long day and I still can't keep myself from laughing to what you wrote in your previous post "boobs aren't hanging out of her dress "...hahaha.. She looks & has dressed like early 20th century conservative Christian housewife from the bible belt, I may be wrong, I agree.

        • As-salamu Alaykum,
          Most likely it is an American housewife from the 1950s, not necessarily from the Bible Belt. For most Americans, this image would represent a more conservative period of time, the dress is considered old-fashioned and somewhat unattractive by today's standards, and I do not think the image would evoke anyone's interest or desire. Having said that, I do think it would be nice to see more "Islamic" images that represent the nature of the site. There are lots of ways to go about that, but I know from personal experience with websites and magazines that choosing artwork is also a time-consuming job that requires a lot of thought and planning. There is also the issue of copyrights and finding stuff that is available either cheaply or free. Someone could probably start a very successful business by creating packages of interesting yet Islamically acceptable photos/art for use on Islamic websites. Insha'Allah those who have a talent for this are paying attention!

  6. Assalam alaikum Sister Rosey,

    Sorry to hear about the issues you are having in your marriage. I do pray that matters sort themselves out, inn shaa Allah.

    A few things stood out in my mind from what you wrote:

    - comparing your husband to your ex-fiance
    - your husband prioritizes coming to the West
    - your husband is encouraging you to send nude pictures of yourself
    - your husband doesn't seem to give your feelings much importance and makes intimacy feel like a chore

    Regardless of who you are married to, thinking of someone else who may or may not have been a better spouse will put your marriage in jeopardy. You are in this relationship, so good or bad, work on this marriage--regardless of the outcome.

    Your concerns regarding your husband are valid. A lot of what you have described sounds all to familiar.

    I truly believe you need to do some soul-searching and decide what are some things that are not negotiable or perhaps deal-breakers. If your husband is valuing coming to the West a little bit too much, I would definiately be worried. Who is paying for the sponsorship? What work will he be doing when he comes to be with you? Are the both of you discussing the finances or is it expected from you? You never mentioned anything about finances, but I had to wonder because as a wife, maybe one reason who are not developing any feelings for him is because he is falling short of taking care of your needs.

    Sending nude pictures of yourself is a big no. This really sets off alarm bells--a husband should be worried about his wife's honor and not encouraging this behavior and worried that someone may get a hold of these pictures. I would tell him "no" flat out.

    The way you feel about being intimate with your husband speaks volumes. You make it sound like you hated being with him everyday as if it some horrible chore. He really needs to work on considering your feelings, talking with you, and not jumping to his satisfaction. The only way these matters can be sorted is if you talk to him respectfully about your concerns and tell him how it is impacting how you feel. Your feelings should matter to him as much as his feelings matter to you. You could always start the conversation with "I want to have a loving and successful marriage with you and I need your help..."

    Marriage is hard work--yours may be harder than average because of the cultural difference. I don't think the age difference is a big deal, because if he cared about your needs and took charge of you as a husband should, you wouldn't think twice about the age difference. Understand what you want, what you have a right to and then be ready to discuss these things with him and don't hold those matters in. He is your husband afterall and both of you deserve the best from each other. It could be that if you work through these matters (though it will be challenging), you will have one amazing marriage afterwards.

    I pray that you are able to think clearly, focus on your marriage and find joy/happiness inn shaa Allah, Ameen.

  7. AOA,
    I highly recommend that : ''do not get pregnant before u sort things out and make ur mind clear about what u want to do''.

    Also, discuss it with ur parents without any delay.

  8. Read carefully,
    Rosey, apart from the religion you belongs to, I guess you are not a Muslim. even if you are a Muslim, the answer I am going to give you will help you insha'Allaah. Read carefully below,

    If you are a Muslim:
    1. Pray 5 times a day, if you do then it is already okay.
    2. Now you know your husband very well. If he wants sex (I know he wants a lot of it). Then instead of defensing yourself turn the table on the other side. Yes! Don't think the opposite think the same appeal. In your heart think that you want sex more than him. And it will move you closer to Allaah(Subhanahu_wa_ta'ala). If he hits you during the course then this is something you should be concerned about. And then you should try to stop him. If he don't listen to you then you should seek the law (Islamic law) in this case. And you definitely need an adviser (both the Islamic and the court law).
    3. If condition no.2 implies to you, the sexual violence then you should search on the net what the Islamic laws says about sexual violence and what the Pakistani court laws says about it. If there is a way then you will be on the safe side.
    4. If condition no.2 and no.3 do not imply to you then you should try to communicate and build a relationship with your husband both mentally and physically, and it will involve your heart and as well as your brain. You should think wisely. How to tackle him. If you think he is a fraud then you should not cheat on him. You should then do something which is favorable to you like instead of feeling annoyed by him think opposite. Make the most out of his company. He surely is rich I guess. Make it useful for yourself.
    5. If he is too old don't be bothered by that. If you don't feel okay in his company don't be bothered by that. Don't defend yourself. Instead play wisely. Do something that makes him happy. Don't do any thing that makes him doubtful.
    6. If things don't work. Your prayers will lead you a way out and it always do.

    If you are a non-Muslim:
    All points above from 2-6.

    And let me know if you need any more suggestions by simply replying to this post.

    Allaah Knows the Best!

  9. Salaam Sister Rosey, Im a mentor for convert muslims and i see this kind of situation a lot. I really feel sorry for you. Im a convert/revert of 20 years and Alhamdulillah i found Islam before i found the muslims is all i can say. Reading through the posts on here (about the women in the pic is a should show you the level of maturity in the community) I would sincerely advise that you tackle this situation head on and be strong, its your life and no-one has to live an unhappy life to appease someone else. You have to fulfil certain obligation with regards to your parents but they do not OWN your right to choice ONLY YOU DO. I would sincerely advise you to speak to someone who could advise you and potentially your family with regards to this. If you need any help let me know and i will help you iA. Abdullah

  10. Assalam-o-alakeum!
    I have the same feelings towards my husband and i feel equally turned off whenever he is around. i tried to make things work but over the period of years he has been so careless towards me and our two kids. he did not work or earn. i had to find a job and now he and his family are making an issue out of it.
    he wants to take away kids from me and black mail me as much as he can. i am so distressed, what must i do

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