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Husband Masturbating Instead of Having Sex with Me



Reply Date

Apr 17, 2017


Dear Counselor, I have been married for nearly 3 years now and I have two beautiful young girls. My husband and I have always had a good sex life. The problem is my husband used to masturbate before we met, and after we got married, he promised me to gave it up. He told me he really didn’t need to do it anymore and would rather have sex with me than masturbate. But I found out recently he has begun to masturbate again. The problem is that he never did this regularly and then all of a sudden he is. It also makes him less in the mood if I’m trying to put the moves on him since he’s had his release recently. I feel like I am so totally unattractive that he's rather doing that than being with me. Please Help



As-Salaamu ‘alaikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Bararkatuhum,


This question is hard to answer, not because there is no answer but because it is his problem, not yours. Your problem is that he is making his problem yours, Thus, it is hard to answer because we cannot control other people’s behavior.

That said, I still do address the problem: I see 3 different perspectives on it:

1) What is the solution to his problem?

2) How to deal with other people’s problems when they make them yours?

3) What is sex in marriage for?

Masturbation is haram. Haram-ness should be enough to stop a Muslim from doing wrong, out of trust in Allah’s Wisdom, fear of His Punishment, and love for obeying Him. Doing haram, specifically, is a big deal because the haram things land you in Hell. But, apparently, that is not enough for your husband to stop, but maybe he does not know. So, out of love for him, enlighten him.

The best way to correct people (especially one in power) is with proofs from hadith and Qur’an, i.e., don’t just say something is wrong, prove it. You can write to the scholars on this website for those proofs.

Beyond that, Allah designed us to need to know the reasons for things because we have to choose. Unlike the angels and plants and animals and solar system, we have to choose to obey Allah; those things obey Allah (live in their fitra) without the ability to disobey.

To choose, we need to know the reasons for things so that we can agree or disagree, except with the haram. When Allah Says something is haram, that is different. In that case, we are not free to choose; we are supposed to obey, even If we don’t know the reason(s) for the thing, out of trust in Allah that He knows what is right for us and out of fear of His punishment if we disobey.

That said, even when we know the reasons for things we still disobey because Allah created the world and shaitan to deceive us into thinking that we need something when we do not need, i.e., we desire it, so we thank God for His Mercy and Forgiveness when we fall into that trap. After we realize it that it is wrong, we repent. If the desire is what is driving your husband’s choice rather than Allah’s rules, it may help him to tell him the reasons it is haram, to help strengthen him against the deception of the world and shaitan. You can get those reasons too from the scholars, but I will also take a shot at them.

Only Allah is All-Knowing, so I don’t pretend to know all the reasons, but one reason I can think of is that masturbation is a misuse of the male member. It was not created for self-satisfaction only. It was designed for marital relations, i.e., interaction with a person with whom you have a special relationship of love and mercy. And, it procreates, i.e., makes human beings, these are no small matters! And, as such, they need to be honored and protected!

Marriage is a unique relationship that our Prophet (saw) describes as next to Godliness, if Allah had allowed shirk, He would have told our Messenger (saw) to order the wife to bow down to her husband, which He did not do! Why this extreme devotion? What is it in marriage that makes the wife’s relationship to the husband so unique in this way? My answer is provision.

Provision is what we turn to our Lord for and what we need from our husbands. In return, we obey them in order to give them something too, out of a reciprocal responsibility to them, anything short of that is akin to theft (they give and we give nothing back). Now, most men are shortsighted and think that their duty to “care for women and children” only means money (food, clothing, and shelter).

That is not correct. There is more to our world and life than our material needs; we are feeling creatures! That material assessment of things is devoid of any understanding of the role that our emotions play in our lives. Khadijah (May Allah Have Mercy on her), the wife of the Prophet (saw), supported the Prophet monetarily.

So, how did he, our example of how to live our life as Muslims, do his duty to care for women and children if she was supporting him. InShaAllah, the answer is: he took care of her emotional needs. The best way for a husband to care for a wife’s emotional needs is to fulfill her emotional relationship with her husband, which for her manifests in her sexual drive. Unlike men, women’s sexual world is emotional.

Men’s sexual drive is sensory, i.e., visual and touch, he has to find the woman physically attractive, without that, he does not feel a physical response much. Most women don’t care about appearance, they want love and concern, they get turned on by a man with the good sense to hear their ideas and respond, i.e., serve their needs. Their sexual needs exist in that context, not outside it. He does not need her to give him an orgasm, short of her cooperation. She needs him to give her one (and the best of men are those who are good to their wives, i.e., that is one of the most important ways in which men are supposed to obey Allah).

So, the male member is for providing for his wife, and not physically in a vacuum of emotion. When a man gives a woman an orgasm, that, more than anything else in this world, makes him feel like a man. It is challenging to give a woman an orgasm. A man has to figure out how to serve her needs, unselfishly. Most men don’t know how to be unselfish! They think that being in charge means be a dictator.

I am very happy that you had a happy sex life before because that means your husband knows how to satisfy you. However, it is sad that he now makes you feel unwanted. Everything in life has a purpose that has nothing to do with this life has everything to do with the Next. If he could realize that, his desire for how to gain “worldly” pleasure might change inShaAllah.

Lastly, the way to deal with oppression (your husband not taking care of your needs) is to ask Allah for Help, stand up for yourself by telling him why his behavior is wrong (in a nice way, he may not know he is oppressing you), and know that whatever harm you suffer in this life, Allah will (inShaAllah) reward you for your suffering in the Next, InShaAllah!

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About Nasira S. Abdul-Aleem

Nasira S. Abdul-Aleem, an American, has a BA in English from UC Berkeley and is about to receive an MS degree in counseling psychology (Marriage and Family Therapy - MFT) from the Western Institute for Social Research. For over ten years, Nasira worked as a psychotherapist with the general public and in addiction recovery. For the last few years, she has been a life coach specializing in interpersonal relations. Nasira also consults with her many family members who studied Islam overseas and returned to America to be Imams and teachers of Islam. Muslims often ask Nasira what psychology has to do with Islam. To this, she replies that Islam is the manifestation of a correct understanding of our psychology. Therapists and life coaches help clients figure out how to traverse the path of life as a Believer, i.e., "from darkness into light", based on Islam and given that that path is an obstacle course, according to Allah.

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