Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Wife doesn’t want to consummate marriage due to fear of getting hurt.

Assalamu alikum,

I have been married since 31 Oct 2010 but we couldn't consummate our marriage because my wife is afraid it is going to hurt her a lot.

What can I do?


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35 Responses »

  1. Assalam O Alaikum brother Nissar,
    Sorry to see you going through all this, all I have to say is that speak to your wife, be patient and assure her that it's normal as a lot of women go through this. I would like you to read the replies to the posts below which I am sure are going to help you Insha Allah.

    May Allah (swt) help you both solve all the problems including this one. (Amin)


  2. 31 Oct was 10 months ago, there's being patient for her and then there's being totally out of order. Does this wife think it's possible for young and healthy man to not want to have intercourse? This wife might be scared, but 2/3 months without allowing your husband his right is really pushing the limit isn't it?

    I don't know many men who would show the kind of patience you have shown, come what may, so I rate you for that, but that said you got to come down pretty honestly with her. Tell her as it is, either I get my right to halal intercourse, or I'll marry someone else and fulfill my completely halal desires and rights with that woman.

    The only reason why I would show more than a few months of patience is it the woman suffered some kind of traumatic experience, sexual abuse or even rape, but even then these women need to be slightly less selfish and not think about themselves only, a man wants intercourse and whilst he can be patient, 10 months? Don't you think you're better of setting this straight before agreeing to marry? So that he can marry someone who isn't going to make him wait for his right?

    • Almost certainly she has some kind of trauma in her past. The answer is not to give her an ultimatum. She needs therapy to help her recover from the underlying trauma. In the meantime, the husband can introduce her to other forms of intimacy, short of intercourse. She can pleasure him with her hand, for example, so he can get some relief and enjoyment.

      Wael Editor

      • yeah but for how long? When ever i try to close to my wife for intercourse she push me away im married for 3 months now, i have an idea of getting married for second one... But i will wait for few month more patiently

        • Like I said, it's not just about waiting. You both must get to the root cause of her fear of intercourse, and address it. That might require consulting a physician, or psychological counseling.


    • John, you clearly do not understand women & you clearly don't understand rape. Unless you yourself have been raped by an adult man, stop giving bad advice against women!

      May Allah forgive your ignorance & arrogance.

      This man's patience is the biggest hope this couple has for a healthy sexual relationship. If he reacted ANY WAY other than giving his wife patience- for instance, if instead he decided to be forceful, he would RUIN any chance he has for getting this woman to trust him.

      For men, how much sex matters. For women, HOW you approach sex matters. So many impatient men "take their marriage right" at the expense of ruining their wives forever! We women do not forget untrustworthy actions easily, they stay in our hearts forever & protect us from feeling love for our perpetrator.

      If a husband takes the role of perpetrator he loses his wife forever. Emotionally I don't see how a woman could trust that despicable behavior ever again!

      Advice to this man: Find a way to talk about sex w your wife that she feels comfortable. Decide WITH HER what actions she can take to feel better about starting a sexual relationship w you. whether that means talking to a therapist or a women's group or whatever, find some course of action that SHE is comfortable with. If you find your wife won't even discuss sex with you, perhaps she needs a group of women she trusts to guide her through this.

      Maybe it would be beneficial for her to speak w other married ladies. Often other women can relate & fix the problem. But they must be women your wife has a respect & trust for.

      My hunch is that she wants a normal husband-and-wife relationship too she just is timid scared & doesn't know how. When you find yourself losing your temper remember that this is only a sign of her purity, and purity is a delicate flower. Ripping its pedals off by force is never the right method, this only kills flowers & robs them of their beauty.

      Promise her that her safety & comfort are your 1st priority. Try to spend some time in bed together, getting to know each other. Make sure she can say 'stop' when she wants & that you obey. Do this, & she will slowly get used to you & build trust for you.

      Remember that your patience now is an investment in the healthy sexual future you two surely have together as husband & wife.

      • Kate,

        You give good advice which is why I have only taken out specific words you used instead of deleting your entire comment. This website has a code of conduct which prohibits name calling and offensive words. I trust you will respect the rules of this website next time you write here inshaAllah.

        SisterZ Editor

    • I feel sorry for your wife if you have one! Such a disgusting to hold.

      • meant to say disgusting attitude to hold.

        • Stop this feminist ranting . Nobody understood what John really said and started posting their ignorant comments (Mostly women) .

          I completely agree to what John said . 11 months and still nothing . John is right 2 or 3 months is acceptable but 11 months !!! . This man has a lot of patience . Brother , I would advise you to leave this marriage . Your wife shouldn't have married if she was so fearful of sex . I would advise you to find another woman who values you . Your current wife has already earned a lot of sins as she is denying your right and on the other hand you have earned rewards because of your patience .

          Tell her to marry a sterile man or a man who is asexual , in this way she will always remain a virgin . Divorce your wife and find another woman(there are plenty of woman who has a normal libido ) . Life is too short to waste on these people .

          • A Muslim Man,

            If all men thought like you I honestly wonder what upheaval this world would be in—a chaotic mess indeed.

            Physical intimacy is not everything in a spousal relationship; it’s a component of it. If you can’t understand your spouse in their hardship, are you even worth it?

            Our prophet PBUH was extremely kind and gentle with his wives; have you men ever thought how he would approach this situation—with an ultimatum or divorce or with love, kindness and nurturance to help his wife break the ice?

            If this woman has undergone some sort of trauma which is resulting in her lack of intimacy and if this brother looses his patience and divorces her can you imagine what she’ll feel (possibly even loose all trust in men?) Would you rather not help your spouse seek counseling or therapy and get to the core of the problem, instead of discarding her because isn’t giving you “intercourse”? You men honestly need to set your priorities straight, I don’t know what you think of women but whatever the view is, it’s distorted.

            -Helping Sister

          • i'm entitled to say what I want.

          • Dear A Muslim Man,

            You completely lack any ounce of compassion. I seriously hope that the woman you marry does not have any physical or psychological problems, because if she does you will drop her like a hot potato.

            Read the question carefully. This wife does not WANT to remain a virgin; she is scared that it is going to hurt too much. So your solution is "tell her to marry a man who is sterile or unsexual".

            Perhaps you should use this holy month of Ramadan to reflect on your attitude toward the opposite sex. Ask Allah SWT to infuse your soul with compassion, empathy and respect for others.

    • Apopologies for yet another post but I just wanted to add the following:

      My previous post is directed to both a Muslim man and John.

      @ John:

      You state in your post,

      “…but even then these women need to be slightly less selfish and not think about themselves only, a man wants intercourse and whilst he can be patient, 10 months?”

      These women need to be slightly less selfish? SubhanAllah, I think the person being selfish here is you. Like I stated in my above post, if you can’t stay by your spouse in times of grief and hardship, you are definitely not worth them in times of happiness or at all for the matter of fact. If Allah forbid this happened to me and my husband decided to divorce me for the lack of physical intimacy without even trying to help me I’d thank Allah swt for not consummating my marriage with such a man—a blessing in disguise is what I’d call it.

      You need to learn to bring softness to your heart; I see that you’re filled with hostility. What’s the cause I don’t know but I can definitely see the effects of it and their not pleasant!

      -Helping Sister

      • I think it all depends on the background history of the to WHY she has taken this long?

        Because - okay yes some women have gone through trauma and hence if such is the case , then this brother needs to be very understanding and not give her an ultimatum like Wael has already pointed out. They both need to seek help and take things very slowly if some bad past has made the sister this way.

        However, I understand where John is coming from, and sisters...he does have a point IF all this is only due to being 'scared' ...I personally know ladies who had no trauma issues but have made their husbands wait (as well as make them very frustrated) because they were just scared its gonna 'hurt' them. Seriously...yes it gonna hurt somewhat and all ladies go through it...but there is no other way of dealing with it. It has to happen through intercourse sooner or later and whether we like it or not, its gonna be 'somewhat' painful for a virgin. These women who make their men wait absolutely ages to get their rights the end of the day...what are they running away from? It has to happen sooner or later! And if not..then the brothers have a point in that why do women who are 'that' weak marry when they are clearly not ready for it. You shouldn't marry if you find it impossible to give your spouse their right and its been 10 months that ur refusing.

        A muslim man, instead of advising him to leave her, wouldn't it be better for this brother to first try to talk to his wife and try make it work? 11 months have passed without him consummating the marriage but how do you know the brother has approached his wife and done everythign the way he should?? The questionner has put VERY little detail so we dont even know if he approaches her the right way or arouses her before wanting to consummate the marriage. If the brother does all that correctly, and tries to resolve the matter and the wife still refuses, THEN your advice of considering divorce or a second wife would be understandable.

        Was salaam

        • Faith,

          Making one’s husband wait for 11 months without any physical intimacy clearly suggests to me that there is something more to the problem other than the “it’s going to hurt” issue. This is just a defense mechanism that his wife is using to repress her problem and not allowing it to surface. Every woman fears having intercourse due to the highly popular concept that it’s going to hurt but with time they open up to their husband. This woman has not despite 11 months passing by. By this time one is able to bond and trust their spouse so clearly there is something else other than trust or being scared—a much larger problem from the way I see it.

          The approach both A Muslim man and John have suggested is wrong and in my eyes dehumanizing. Your wife isn’t a sex object nor is she there to just fulfil a man’s sexual desires. Marriage consists of numerous criterion that enrich and stabilize it—one of the most important being understanding (that clearly these two men lack). I’m not saying that men shouldn’t expect physical intimacy at all after marriage but if there is some hindrance (especially if it has to do with sexual trauma) then being compassionate and empathic is important—this shows how much you love your partner. You don’t stay when things are going your way and are well but leave when things go bad and turn sour. You remain with your partner throughout, in both good and bad times.

          The brother who wrote in has not given us sufficient information nor has he suggested that he has tried talking to his wife or took her for counseling—would it suffice that he divorces her without trying his best to make it work? Is that what Allah swt and our prophet PBUH told us to do?

          John states in his post:

          “The only reason why I would show more than a few months of patience is it the woman suffered some kind of traumatic experience, sexual abuse or even rape, but even then these women need to be slightly less selfish and not think about themselves only, a man wants intercourse and whilst he can be patient, 10 months?”

          I’m assuming John has limited knowledge in this aspect as only someone who is ignorant would make such a claim, but women who are sexually abused often suffer from PTSD which is very distressful and can be detrimental to one’s relationship if not treated through counseling/therapy. I just fail to understand how someone can call a rape victim selfish for not opening up after some time—as if it’s so easy to forget what happened in the past and just move on. Rape can be an extremely painful and traumatizing event that can shake ones roots—this brother fails to understand that.

          A Muslim man states in his post:

          “Divorce your wife and find another woman (there are plenty of woman who has a normal libido ) . Life is too short to waste on these people.”

          I don’t even think I need to explain what is so wrong about what he has stated—it’s self explanatory.

          For these reasons I seriously believe these two brothers need to re-evaluate their perception of women and life in general. This isn’t just the first time I’ve seen them reply in very negative and hostile ways.

          -Helping Sister

  3. Salaam Nissaruniversal,

    I am sorry that you are facing this fear so soon in your marriage.

    The male and female approach is very different and I would guess that whatever your approach has been to date, has not inspired the two things that a female needs for this to work which is: trust and arousal. Whilst a male can reach arousal rather easily, for a female a number of things need to be occurring: emotional closeness, feelings of security and safety and trust in her partner.

    For her trust levels to be high you must approach the process slowly and gently, and make sure she feels very safe in your hands. The best way to go about this is to create an environment where there is a great deal of intimacy (which is emotional closeness) and built up her arousal levels with the environment (warm, safe, private, comfortable, soft lighting) and with the way you are interacting (being physically very close, eye contact, gentle contact - such as stroking, massage, having a bath together and so on) and your conversation (which should centre around feelings of love, and closeness and being physical as husband and wife).

    As her trust and arousal increases, so will her desire to consummate the marriage with you. It is very important that this first experience goes well - so my advice to you is to approach the whole act in a manner that puts her, how she feel and how comfortable she is at the centre. Make sure she is OK, make sure you are taking your time and not rushing anything, and be gentle with her. If, during the first experience, she feels SAFE and that you have prioritised how she is feeling: then the second and third time will be a breeze.

    It is the case that the first time is a painful time for the female, so any patience, gentleness and care you show will reduce her anxiety. When she asks you to stop - pause your movement, try to resist being pushy or demanding. You should also know that she is likely to bleed afterwards and that she will feel vulnerable so please do show a lot of affection afterwards, and hug her and show love towards her.

    We have all been there, so you are not alone and this is not an uncommon scene - especially where the couple barely know each other before marriage. If you approach the act in the "correct" way, you will set the tone for your intimate life, inshaAllah, and have a strong union where everyone is satisfied.


    Editor, Islamic Answers

  4. All you guys who are saying, "Divorce her," let me ask you something. Suppose you are happily married, you take good care of your wife, you work hard, then one day you are on your way home from work and you are mugged. You try to fight back but the muggers beat you ruthlessly, breaking a few of your bones, and they slash your face with a knife.

    You are taken to the hospital, and your wife comes and stays by your side until you recover. After your recovery, you find that you have recovered physically but you have been traumatized emotionally. You are embarrassed by the scar on your face, and whenever your wife tries to be intimate with you and her hands touch the places where you were beaten or bones were broken, you have flashbacks to that incident. You find that you cannot get aroused.

    You visit a doctor and he says that the cause is psychological, that you are suffering from PTSD. You pray and make dua', hoping the problem will go away, but after a year it has not gone away.

    Now, should your wife divorce you? Does that seem right to you, that she should abandon you because you have suffered a trauma? Instead of trying to understand, and help you get the care you need in order to recover, and being patient?

    "By the time, surely humanity is in loss, except for those who believe, and do good deeds, and strive together for truth, and strive together for patience." - Surat Al-Asr

    I was not aware that Allah placed an 11 month time limit on patience.

    Before you say, "It's not the same," indeed it is. Most likely the sister in this post has suffered some traumatic incident such as sexual molestation. That is also an assault. It is exactly the same situation. As Leyla said, we don't know the specifics of her past nor of her marriage, but whatever approach the husband has taken so far is not the right one.

    We must understand that men and women are different in fundamental ways. If anyone wants to have a successful marriage, then he has to relate to a woman according to her nature, not his.

    Furthermore, every human being is different. The challenge and joy of marriage is to learn about this other human being, to compromise, to make her needs as important as our own, to let down our barriers and walls, until the two merge and become one unit, one family. That's the whole idea. That's why Allah says we are each other's garments. Think about a garment, how it protects and beautifies, and how it is the closest thing to a person beyond his own skin. It's a beautiful metaphor.

    Wael Editor

    • Wael,

      Those two (and they know very well who they are) who have shown no compassion to the author of this post hardly even shown any compassion to anyone on this site.

      Their replies makes me shudder. Do these people not think that one day they too could be in a position where they may desperately need to be shown patience, mercy and compassion?

      May Allah soften their hearts and the hearts of us all, aameen.

      SisterZ Editor

  5. brother.
    talk to your wife, if she has been raped etc ['iyaathanbillaah], then be patient.

    However, if she hasnt had such experience, and she got married to you just to be best freinds for life and a conforter, listener, then why dont you marry a second wife in oder to have your sexual needs fullfilled, and stay with your wife at the same time.

    im not sure if she should be jealous of you sleeping with another woman since she doesnt cohabit with you.

    like i said, if she has been molested/sexually hurt at young age, raped etc, then be patient with her.

    if not, then get yourself a beautifull teenage muslimah as a 2nd wife to enjoy yourself.
    and get the best of both worlds as they say.

    i Ask Allaah to remove the fear from your wife.

    and also, be gentle when around know your wife best.

    Allaah ma'ak.

    also, Leyla above has the absolute BEST ADVICE.
    if you are going to take one persons advice and leave the rest, THEN TAKE HER'S and turn a blind eye to this arguing.
    listen to Leyla.

  6. Wow, Those two men have no idea (John and A Muslim Man). I'm a 29 year old female. I've been married for 3 years alhamdolillah. My husband and I still haven't consummated our marriage because I suffer from this "fear of sex". With me, it is a mixture of psychological issue, along with vaginismus - involuntary tightness of muscles. I have been seeing a psychotherapist for a year and a half now, and I am working through it. Insha'Allah I hope to be able to get over this problem one day soon as both my husband and I want to have children very much. My husband has been very patient and understanding and i'm alhamdolillah blessed that Allah gave me someone like him. I dread to think what my life would have been like had I met the likes of you two.. Yes, physical intimacy is an important part of marriage but that doesn't mean that there is a certain time limit and if you don't achieve it, you go looking elsewhere. Trust, love and mutual respect stand for something too. Our prophet pbuh was infinitely patient, do you think our prophet would have turned his back on his wife had he come across this problem? Of course not! I sympathise with all women who suffer from this condition, it is not something we choose to suffer from. I desperately want to overcome this problem and move on and insha'Allah I will when Allah wills it. What gets me is the fact that you guys think WE the women are being selfish. Yes, we should think about our husbands, maybe it isn't fair to make them wait, but it's not as simple as saying "yes" or "no". It's a gradual process, but verily with hardship comes ease, insha'Allah. If only all men were as understanding as my husband, may Allah bless him, and our marriage insha'Allah.

  7. Salam,

    I married in June2013 & facing the same problem with my wife.
    From the above suggestions given the best is to talk to her to make her comfortable BUT the problem is if i will talk to her about intercourse she will scared and start shivering and become hyper.
    She will say marry another woman but not leave her(divorce), she says she hate kids & do not want children.
    (first night she said I will see her dead face or i will go to grave if i do it as a curse).(IMAGINE THAT FOR FIRST NIGHT)

    I ask her the root problem but the answer she will give i feel is not satisfactory, she will say she cannot have intercourse without love, i say love will develop after we develop intimacy.....she will sometime say i am not her dream man and her dream man is an Actor.
    She would feel jealous of other girls taking to me, she does not want me to go away from her even for 1 day but still she says she does not love me that is why i feel that the answer given by her is not satisfactory.

    I need help i have patience (Alhamdolillah) i cannot discuss this with anyone.

    Even if i ask her to give me pleasure without intercourse she will refuse for example if i want to kiss her she will lie like a dead body without motion and emotions.
    Also she has irregular bleeding 20 days in a month and she is taking medicine for that, all the test are ok but doctor suggest this is becasue of tension.
    Once i suggested that after 10 days of menses(maximim) if there is any discharge you can do intersourse but after listening to this she become hyper..............
    The one quality i like about my wife is that she is a pious muslim and helpful in other relations with her inlaws like my mother & she cooks. she will say 1 will do 99 things EXCEPT 1.

    • humbleman, your wife sounds kind of nutty, actually. She says she doesn't love you and you should marry a second wife, but she's jealous of you looking at any one else and can't bear to be away from you. Meanwhile she says her dream man is an actor... I don't know what to say brother. She sounds mentally unbalanced or extremely immature. How old is she?

      From her reaction to physical contact, I would guess that she has been sexually molested in the past. But it's only a guess.

      Wael Editor

    • Assalaamualaikam

      Alhamdulillah you have found a wife who is pious and welcoming with your family - I hope that you will be able to develop a strong relationship and be happy together inshaAllah.

      From what you've written, it sounds as though your wife has a lot of anxiety and psychological distress about the idea of physical intimacy, but that she does care about you. If she didn't care, she wouldn't be upset with other women being around you, and she wouldn't make an effort to build relationships with your family. Some of what she has said, like not loving you or wanting an actor, may well have been said out of distress and to push you away in that moment (either for your own wellbeing as she sees it, or as a defence to distance herself from a potential source of distress) - try not to take it to heart, and instead look on it as a sign of her distress.

      There's no way for me to know the cause of your wife's distress as I don't know her, but as Wael said, past abuse may be a possibility. Other potential causes could be psychological trauma from her medical investigations, knowing someone who was abused, knowing someone who had severe complications of pregnancy or childbirth...

      I would urge you not to let this issue jeopardise your relationship by becoming the most important aspect - the most important part of your relationship is your shared love of Islam and how you can grow in your faith together.

      Maybe have a talk with your wife about the issue in a more neutral setting, like in your living room, fully clothed, with a cup of tea (or whatever you prefer) - rather than challenging her about it, express sympathy for her distress, acceptance that physical intimacy isn't something that's going to be quickly established, and reassure her that you are committed to your relationship and to her wellbeing. You could then ask her if there is anything she would like you to do in order for her to feel less distressed, and suggest that the two of you seek counselling, or that she speaks to her doctor about her fears. Rather than selling it as a way to get closer to physical intimacy, discuss it as a way of helping your wife recover from distress.

      She may not agree initially - if so, don't push it just now, but maybe raise the issue again in a few weeks, saying "we've been trying what we agreed on but things haven't changed - maybe we should think again about seeking outside help".

      It can be infuriating at times to be the partner or relative of someone experiencing severe distress and anxiety, but when you feel that, step back and remember that it's much harder for the person themselves - try to be patient and not to show your frustrations to the person. Find another outlet, like a sport or hobby, that you can use to get rid of your negativity and regain balance - some people find a creative hobby like woodwork or gardening helps, as it produces something positive and tangible from the negative feelings.

      I pray that you and your wife are able to work through this and emerge from this trial stronger and closer to each other and to Allah. May He guide you both to what is best for you both in this life and the next.

      Midnightmoon editor

  8. W/salam,

    Well i have now reached a consensus with my wife, i will not do anything physical till she feels comfortable.
    Now she is like my friend. She said thanks to me from her heart and she says she respect me a lot.

    I want to tell her that i want to love her and to place her above Friend.

    At first i thought i am only one having this problem but visitng at this site i know i am not alone and this gives me courage.

    Remeber me in dua & tell me any specefic dua for such scenario.

    I will write next when everything is solved (Inshaallah)

  9. Salaam

    Thanks to all for their input. I went through this issue recently with my wife.

    You are all somewhat wrong and I must say some of the sisters Re getting pretty personal.

    True vanginismus has only really been treated with a handful of protocols namely Matheson and Johnson study please Google it. It requires therapy with a sex therapist not an imam or marriage counselor or your friend or the local feminist sister. The therapy can take six months or six years depends on the active participation of the party. Also best case scenarioa indicate you can use anti anxiety meds to cut the anxiety and encourage the exercises using glass inserts etc.

    Many covariables and Trauma may not be the cause. Some people are just nervous and scared that's all.

    I FOUND great therapist we made great progress sadly some mullahs and her dad got involved ended her therapy took my wife away and that was that. Waited six months at home for her to come back.

    I guess I wasn't patient enough hahaha what a joke!!!

    Bro you gonna have to divorce her cause she is not being responsible with any illness people have to be responsible don't fall victim to the selfish feminist rant going on here.

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