Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Unhappy Marriage?


Al Salamo Aleikom,

I have a question that has been confusing me for a long time, I might write a long post but that is due to the fact that I am keen to make what is correct so I highly appreciate your patience.

I am a Muslim mother of 3. I have been married for 14 years and am now 38 years old. Throughout my marriage I have realized the big difference between my character and my husband's. I cannot say that he is a bad Muslim but he has a weak personality and character and on the other hand I am a women of strong character.

Allow me to briefly introduce my husband. He is a very peaceful and religious man. He prays, fast and read Quran but he is a very passive and inactive person. He has no ambition and is very lazy. He does not like to socialize, to change his routine or promote himself and throughout the 14 years of marriage he has been fired from different jobs 4 or 5 times due to his poor social skills.

As a father he is warm and loving but not firm, and as the kids have grown they know how to manipulate him for their own benefit.

As a husband he is always depending too much on me. Not only am I a women who needs to take care of the house and kids but moreover has he wanted me to be a man that carries all the responsibilities and tasks instead of him. I had become independent and learn how to do everything alone without his help and even people know that I am the one in charge of our life. He is hesitate and does not see me like a women that needs to be treasured and kept safe but always treats me like a fellow man. For example when we have a handy man coming to fix the tap, instead of telling me to go in while he stays with the man he tells me to not stand with the man until he takes his nap. When I object and tell him that I am a women, he says that he sees no problem in that and that there is no harm done in standing with the handyman alone. Since I am living in the Middle East I see how men around me look at me as an easy bate because I am a woman with no strong man.

Me on the other hand I am 11 years younger than him and have lived most of my life in Europe. I see Islam and marriage from a different perspective .I love Allah and throughout my life I have had many enlightening experiences that has made my love to Allah grow. I try to practice Islam and become a role model for Muslims in my job and at home and keeping the bond between me and Allah clear and simple. I have my flaws like everyone else but I am keen to try harder even when it is hard.I might not memorize the same amount of Quran he does, but I guaranteed that my fear from Allah is huge.

I have strong personality and I am very ambitions. For the first 6 years of my married life I was not working and took care of my children hoping that my husband would “protect” me and make me feel like a “queen “ and beautiful women.

I stood beside him a lot and during his drops I was always there until he become dependent on me and I gradually became a fellow man. Not because I want to but because I had to. I had to do errands I had to reach for jobs I had to fix the car and he was always hiding behind me.

When I started working I felt better, shortly alhamdullah my career bloomed and I became more and more successful while he constantly lost jobs. I had to leave my job to relocate many times to find him a job. On the intimate level he was always withdrawn and I was always shy to tell him that I needed more passion and feel like a wanted woman. But due to traditions and culture I kept quiet.

A couple of years back when I reached 35 I suddenly felt I had enough. I was not happy at least not as a wife or a woman. I kept looking in Islam that he says he practices so well. Is this marriage? That I need so much and it is tabooed to .How many years have I waited for him to act like a man. Him being kind and peaceful is good but what about my needs as a woman? Is this marriage that Islam talks about. I hope not.The prophet Muhamed (PBUH) was a loving, caring and affectionate man and was treasuring his wife. I gathered my courage and spoke to him and my family about my feelings.

When I confronted him 2 years ago his reaction was despair because he is unable to go on his own, he started turning my kids against me telling them your mum wants to leave me. When we later spoke openly he said this is married life and people are like this and that I need to accept it. My family was passive, although they do not like him they told me not to get a divorce to have him near the kids and to have him support me financially. I even got an advice to spice up my intimate life by putting him some “stimulants” in his tea. They told me to wait till he died and wait to become a widow instead then I would be accepted by the society.

To me this phase was downgrading and painful because I felt alone and not understood. I am not breaking down because he is not sharing his bed often enough but because I no longer see him as a man.

I have been tormenting myself for 2 years now, trying to make it work. My pain is still the same but now I am resenting him even more. I do not want him near me and try to keep a smile to be nice. I am unhappy. When I confront him and break this deadly silence I get the same reaction:”
What else do you want? I do not hit you or beat you uo and you have a roof above your head. Stop being greedy”

I am not the kind of woman who is weak and scarred to move on alone . I do not fear what people say but what I DO fear is Allah.I do not want to use words that hurt him like “please be a man “ because I do not want to hurt him the way he is hurting me.

I believe that Dunya is a phase but I do not see why I need to downgrade myself. I have other struggles and can’t believe that Allah created marriage to make us unhappy. I have the feeling that Allah is merciful and does not want us to suffer. We have other battles every day. He created me weak and emotional and I try so hard to resist that.

Does Allah see this is a marriage? I tried so many times to talk to him. Of course I am the one taking the initiative in talking, otherwise he will just live as if everything is ok. He has noticed that I am reluctant to him but he is too afraid to even confront him. Many times have I told him that I need a man who takes initiatives and takes care of me and love me? Or at least treat me like a woman.

He says he loves me but his actions are like a helpless baby. I do not want be married to a baby. I feel that I want to shout out and screaaaaaam out loud of frustration. This has affected me severely. I used to be sociable and happy now I am withdrawn and silent with a constant pain in the heart. On the physical level I have constant health problems and when I go to the doctor they tell me the main reason is stress.

Moreover in my job I show great progress Alhamdulillah and get compliments from people around me, for my character, looks and success and unfortunately the only source I should hear that from is completely helpless and he basically does not see that in me.

I have started to fear myself. Many years ago I thought I was young and impulsive, but now I am 38 and I still have the same needs. What does Islam say about this? I am a woman that needs to feel desired and valued by her husband and I am tired of being a man.

The latest thing is that he is tired of paying the children’s tuition fees and wants to immigrate. The interesting part is that he wants me to take the kids to the county I grew up in, in Europe to have the children educated for free.He told me to go explore while he stayed her in the country till I have everything settled. Now again who is the man?

Putting into consideration that I already contribute with some of my money to the house although he can support us without my help. Lately he has frankly asked me to help supporting the house. I used to help willingly now I am reluctant and am not comfortable with that.

I have expressed myself repeatedly but I have had enough. No matter what he does it has no longer any meaning. I am tired and fed-up.

I am confused. Do I just need to accept this and live in frustration for the rest of my life being deprived from my female side ? My mum wants me to pretend he does not even exist and move on. For me the burden of not having my needs met is one thing , but having to act and pretend I am Ok and giving him all his rights is even harder on me.

Is it Haram to think of a divorce? What if I get tempted? What if I have enough? What if I stopped giving him his rights because I cannot see him as a man?

The amazing part is that each time I confront him with my pain he still acts completely surprised as if he has no clue what I am talking about , trying to convince me that I am hallucinating and that we are OK.

I am tired of having my feelings and needs underestimated .I am tired of people telling me what to feel, and I am tired of having people tell me what to do when the only one suffering is me.

I have no plan to make any ugly moves, on the contrary I would like us to treat each other with respect not only for the sake of the kids but because we must be civilized. He is the father of my kids and he can be a friend but he does not fill the “husband “part in my life. He has occupied it for many years but is still unable to fill that spot. I’d rather having that spot unfilled with hope that someday I would find someone, or even be alone but spend more time focusing on my kids that being sad and depressed.

If I manage to immigrate and find a job I would not need him or my family to support me financially so my only concern is …is it Haram?

I keep praying to Allah to give me strength but I know I am weak and will become weaker every day.
I really appreciate you reading the whole mail but I am in desperate need of true, Islamic and honest advice.
Gazak Allah Kheiran

Seeking Allah's Mercy

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14 Responses »


    • Irrelevant comment.. why not you write something which is relevant. I understand you are trying to promote good things but this is not the forum for it.

  2. OP: On the intimate level he was always withdrawn and I was always shy to tell him that I needed more passion and feel like a wanted woman. But due to traditions and culture I kept quiet....... I even got an advice to spice up my intimate life by putting him some “stimulants” in his tea.

    What kind of stimulants are you talking about? Did it work? Overdosing on these things may cause serious health problem.

  3. Salaams sister

    I have never felt so much pain, emotion and frustration in an email as much as I have read in your story today. Alhumdhililah you sound like a wonderful woman who has unfortunately but of course QadrAllah married a man who is not compatible with her. I can totally understand where you are coming from but a lot of what you have said relates to our expectations in relationships with the creation not the Creator. As woman naturally we are more emotionally attached to having certain feelings from the people around us and when those people let us down our hearts break all to easily because of the expectations we had of the person and in your case the institution of marriage. Yes your husband is right there are many marriages like this and I can guarantee you many men treat their wives like they are men too. However that does not make it right. Men who treat their wives like this come across despicable and weak and as a result lose respect in the eyes of their wives creating a loveless marriage. My dear sister I think you should sincerely make isthakhara dua to Allah swt and ask him to guide you on what to do. You are still young and this is a lifetime decision IA. Make lots and lots if sincere dua. Divorce is allowed in Islam but I advise you do not reside in a country where people will judge and hurt you like the Middle East. Move away if you feel divorce is the right path and start an Islamic life afresh elsewhere. Will make lots of dua for you.

    • Asa,

      I agree with this sister. You sound as if you are a very caring and warm person who has struggled to find happiness for herself and your family. Your husband sounds like he needs to find his way on his own. Divorce is never easy; but it sounds like you have tried for so long; explain to your children what a good marriage looks like; you wouldn't want them to fall into the same way.

  4. Asalamu alaikum,

    Hope you are feeling better from the time you posted this, and if you still feel the same then my opinion is you have the right to divorce and no harm in doing so. The man is the provider, as well as protecting you, loving you, emotionally and physically. Every money you earn is yours 100% and your husband has no right to take/demand money from you so you could support the family whilst he hiding behind his women.. Society that is driven by culture and tradition are the worst type of people. Nothing wrong with divorce and you not the first, and I assure you, you won't be the last. So let people say what they like cos your happiness, well being does not depend on them. You should have left him 10 years ago. Time is very precious, so do what your heart is telling you.


  5. Asalamu alaikum sister

    You sound like an intelligent strong lady who has been patient for a very long time. Longer than you should have in my opinion.
    It is human nature to mould ourselves around a partner, it sounds to me like your husband saw you early on as an independent person, able to work, talk well, achieve, manage a household etc. He probably latched onto that and became (forgive me) lazy, knowing his wife can 'handle' it.

    Ive seen this in many marriages and I don't think it to be acceptable. If you have already ventured down every avenue to try and get through to him about your anxieties, I think it's about time you put your foot down firmly. You don't need a child, you need a husband. If he is making you that depressed, and you have no joy with him, divorce is the answer. You shouldn't have to settle and make do and be sad for the rest of your life.

    I hope you find happiness InshaAllah

  6. dear sister
    kindly make istikharah and then make your arrangements for moving to your native country along with your children. there is NO disobedience in this as your husbands's consent is with this. in this way u both will get the time re think about your priorities. infact from the way i see your husband is actually seeking this way of solution. instead of jumping fro a divorce go for the separation(in a way) and im sure u you both will come to the conclusion after that.
    and surely, Allah knows the best

  7. I feel sorry that you're going through this. The good news is that much of what you say has been solvable. If anything the lack of communication, your perception of things, and mutual body language have not worked out well for your marriage.

    When two people get together they create a pattern. You may think that the other person is a certain way but the truth is that they are partially that way, the other part is that they are reflecting behavior based on what they are getting. So your marriage, and him in turn, can change a lot if you create a new pattern. Do not agree to something and later feel resentment for it. If he asks you to stand by another man tell him that in Islam it is not considered good for a man and a woman to stand alone together then don't do it regardless of the consequence. This will annoy him but he will deal with it and you won't be annoyed and he will be more manly.

    It is that when he asks you something like this and he gets it that reaffirms the pattern that he can do this and that it will happen. If you were helpless and made him do everything a new pattern would form where he may leave you or work a lot more because you wouldn't be pulling your weight.

    If he asks you to go to your home country with the kids, tell him that he is acting as your protector and he can't protect you if he isn't going. Tell him it is your right to receive this protection as his wife and he must fulfill his duties. Now, any time he agrees to something thank him for it. Say, I really appreciate what you did here on everything that he likes.

    Introduce your issues with the marriage in a compliment sandwich. For every 2-6 nice things you complement him on add one thing that you would like to see change. And say what needs to be changed, don't name call him and say, you suck and I hope you change this. Say, I like this, this, and this, and I hope you can change this because it's bothering me.

    As for perception I recommend making some changes. Allah is in charge of outcomes. You may say that he lost the job whereas you succeeded in yours but it could be that he is awesome at his jobs and they ended and yours could've ended too except you moved before that happened. Sure, his personality and skill will be a factor in whether he is kept in a job or not but he does not have total control here.

    The second perception change I recommend making is stop thinking this man should know how to be a man that you think is a man. He thinks he's already a man and he runs an equal partner relationship whereas you want him to take the lead. For this you're going to have to tell him to take that lead. Similarly, you're going to have to describe what you want in bed. Just because it's taboo doesn't mean you never share and then feel resentful that he doesn't know what he's doing. Unless you say what you want, he's not going to read your mind and act it. But he will read your body language and feel that you think he sucks. So here I recommend talking about what you like and how you like it. Encourage improvement instead of shutting down after 1 try.

    Lastly, this husband is a test. You do currently have a decent man on your hands. And he is disadvantaged at social skills but for every disadvantage there is an advantage. He is not a man with superior skills seeking out other women behind your back. So, unless this marriage is at a point where you're committing more sin than good try molding one change at a time and be open as to what you want.

    Oh one other thing, you need a chart of responsibilities. Write down what you're comfortable doing and what you expect from him. As him to do the same and then come together and look at what both of you wrote. Inshallah things will work out for you. Salam.

  8. Assalamualaykum,

    My husband gave me divorce by saying 3 times Talaq in 1 time. At that time I didn't know that I was pregnant. After 5 days I came to know that i was pregnant. Later on, I had a miscarriage and my husband know this thing very well. Now, as I confirmed with some of people, they said that if husband says Talaq in 1 time, it is not valid as per Islam and also, Talaq is not counted as valid if woman is pregnant. My husband wants to take me back home. So, please help me to resolve this issue of my life. Can I go with him again without Halala?

  9. Dear Seeking Allah's mercy

    It's almost a year since you posted this
    Would you update us on your situation?

    There is so much pain and frustration here, and no human being should have to put themselves through a marriage like this.

    Allah swt is merciful and wouldn't want anyone to live like this. Pls don't listen to those who say Allah hates divorce. That's only when there isn't a need. The Companions of the Prophet swt divorced if marriages weren't working out.... and they were the best of this ummah... married to other Companions!!

    Why do we forget this and endlessly tell people to work on marriages that are no longer salvageable?

    Wishing you and your family all the best.

  10. Dear sister,

    I know it has been more than a year since you posted. I sincerly hope you got out of your sitiation. I can relate 100% to you. When I was reading your post, it felt as if I had written it. Last year I was going through the exact same thing, the great uncertainty about getting a divorce. Eventually I made my decission and left him. I prayed a lot to Allah, also istikhara prayer. It was the most difficult decission of my life, and what made it even harder was that my parents did not support me in the beginning. But what kept me going was the firm believe that Allah does not want me to suffer in a bond which He created for love and comfort. I knew deep down in my heart that I was not displeasing Allah, although I had been told by many that I was. I strongly believe that Allah gave me the courage and wisdom to get a divorce. Now a year later I have never had any regrets about my decission. Infact I feel I should have done it much sooner. It took me 2 years from the day when I knew I wanted to divorce till I finally pushed through. Those 2 yrs have been the worst years of my life. I had been fighting my own feelings and thoughts, doubting myself, became so insecure. Then when I finally got stronger I fought against society/culture, my parents. I lost so much of myself during this process, and all because I did not have the courage to listen to myself when I knew what was right for me. Never silence your inner voice, if it leads you towards Allah then it most certainly is Allah who is guiding you. Im going to be honest, things are not easy. It is very hard sometimes but Alhamdolillah Im at peace and I do feel that happiness is finding its way towards me. I have come so much near Allah during my journey, Alhamdolillah. So this alone is a sign for me that getting a divorce was indeed the best thing to do.

    All the best my dear sister, may you have found peace and happiness 🙂

    • Most of marriages don't give peace .some people compromises at first marriage itself and some compromises after few divorces n remarriages .

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