In this counseling answer:
• Marriage counseling will help the both of you pinpoint your areas of weakness. It will guide the both of you to honestly and openly talk about your feelings towards each other, about your marriage, and what the both of you think should be done to ensure a more positive future.
• Have hope that your relationship with your wife could become a positive one.
Salamu ‘Alaikum Brother,
Thank you for sending us your question. I ask Allah (swt) to help you overcome the difficulties you face in your marriage, and help you and your wife find a common ground between the both of you to instill a deeper understanding and appreciation for each other.
Certainly, marriage is not easy, and it could certainly be more difficult if you both started off negatively. You mentioned that you were forced into this marriage. I am sorry to hear that and can understand how difficult it may be to deal with such a difficult test. Since this marriage took place, however, three beautiful and innocent human beings resulted from this union. Since these children came into this world, their physical and emotional wellbeing becomes the full responsibility of their parents. You as their father and your wife as their mother must do anything in your power to ensure your children’s wellbeing. Certainly, that does not mean that you should stay in a less than satisfactory marriage. However, it does mean that your marriage needs to be worked on.
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What happened in the past is done. Now, we must look to improve the future. You have mentioned that since 2006, you feel that you and your wife do not understand each other and have different ways of looking at life. The differences between you and your wife have caused a lot of distress and frustration within you. You must have an open and honest conversation with your wife about this. Talk to your wife about how you see your future and the future of your family and hear her side of things; attempt to connect with your wife.
Contrary to what we all have been exposed to from mass media, there is no such thing as “falling in love.” Love is a verb, and it requires hard work and energy to reach true love amongst two people. Since you started this marriage on a negative note, you may unconsciously always expect negativity in your marriage from the day it started until now.
In order to honestly try to make any relationship work, you must change the way you view a difficult situation and expect that good will eventually come out of it. In other words, have hope that your relationship with your wife could become a positive one.
You must attempt to “love” your wife by getting to know her strengths/weaknesses, likes/dislikes, her dreams, etc. Spend quality time with her and seek to make her laugh. Such small changes can go a long way in your relationship, and certainly, a relationship that is void from any positive emotion is a dry and difficult one. Connecting with someone after years of emotional distance will take time, but do not give up; try it for a few weeks or a couple months. Give it time, and nurture any kind of progress no matter how small it may be.
If time has lapsed and no change has occurred, I would suggest that the both of you participate in marriage counseling. Marriage counseling will help the both of you pinpoint your areas of weakness, and guide the both of you to honestly and openly talk about your feelings towards each other, about your marriage, and what the both of you think should be done to ensure a more positive future. I ask Allah to help the both of you overcome your differences and gain the courage to nurture each other and your family.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.