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I Crave for My Husband’s Attention & Love

Questioner

Z

Reply Date

Jul 30, 2017

Question

As-salamu Aleykum. I am back only because I am still confused about my marriage. Please help. I met my husband through an introduction by a mutual friend. I became a strict follower of the Islamic etiquette on the pre-marital affair, therefore I wouldn’t allow him to touch me unnecessarily, or when he kept inviting me to go over his place I would refuse. My husband is Muslim and also the same ethnicity as mine. His family is practicing Muslims and wonderful people. Unfortunately, my husband is not so practicing. When we went out, I would opt for a public setting, but when I got in his car, he would reach out and hold my hand. One month and a half month later, I told him that I preferred if he made the move toward marriage only if he wanted it, otherwise let me free because I was not interested in dating. I performed several Istikhara and asked Allah SWT to make clear if this man is meant to be my husband and if not, he should leave, and I prayed that I don’t get hurt. After 3 days of silence, he called me, and we got married in a month. So I have known him a total of 2 months before we got married. In those two months, he seemed as if he couldn’t get his eyes and hands off of me. Now, we have been married for 9 months, and I have been wondering what went wrong. Where did that affection disappear to? If you ask me why I got married, first of all, my age was ticking. I was 32 at that time. Secondly, I was mentally, financially and emotionally ready to get married. I found him attractive, and the fact that we share the same ethnic background is a plus. I am ashamed to say that I didn’t dig deeper enough to find out about his stance on the deen. As for him when I asked him why he married me, he said because he wanted to settle down. His first marriage didn’t work out and wanted to give this a try. My husband is kind and nice. But since we got married, I have been suffering from lack of affection. Whenever I tried talking to him about it, he would get mad. He would say that I suffer from Cinderella Syndrome. He never goes out with me, unless I make him. And when we do, he is distant and acts like as if he is really bothered. He comes home very late at 4 am due to his work. I have tried talking to him, but then we end up fighting. He gets mad and angry by shouting and cursing. And each time we fight he would say “if you are not happy, then leave”. One fight got so bad that my family had to interfere to get us back together while he kept telling my family and his family that it was over between us and that he did not think it would work between us. When we were made to makeup, I promised to never ask him about his time and avoid being needy. All I can say is that I am unhappy more than I am happy in this marriage. I feel lonely in this marriage. When we were first married, I was so full of excitement and would dress up for him and engage in flirting with him and foreplay. But he would push me aside and act like as if he is not interested. This has killed my hope and so I have stopped going to him and just wait until he comes to me. When we spend the night together, sometimes it feels very clinical. He doesn’t romance me and it hurts because I am usually dry. And he would come to me only when he feels like and then he would enjoy it more than I do. But there are times he would be so good to me in bed which makes me super confused with his on and off romance. He also spills outside as a form of protection. I once talked to him about starting a family, and he was okay with it for only a few times, but now we are back to spilling outside. When I talked to him about foreplay, he got mad. I never brought those two subjects up again. I rarely see him, because I get to work by 9am and when I come back by 5pm, he is gone until 4am. On weekends, he leaves from 11 am until 4 am. He says it is work and I would believe what he says just so we don’t fight. I have tried once to go out for a weekend with him, but it turned so sour that I pray I never ever travel with him. I have tried to make a one day out of the week just for us, but he acts so frustrated, bored and makes excuses to leave. I enjoy it more now when I am away from him. I feel hopeless in this marriage. He only feeds me affection once in a while when he feels like it and then he ignores me the rest of the time. I think he uses this to control me. He has shown me that he doesn’t need me. We both work and he pays for everything except for food and grocery. I have asked him to share an account, but he refused and told me to save it for myself. I am very hesitant to get a divorce, because I am scared that Allah SWT will be angry at me for not being patient with him. I also see him as a gift from Allah SWT; when I so desperately wanted to get married, Allah SWT sent him to me. And lastly I am not strong enough to handle the sting of the divorce. I see my marriage to my husband as a gift from Allah SWT, but I crave for my husband's attention and love. Please advice me.

Counselor

Answer


I Crave for My Husband’s Attention & Love

Answer:

Wa ’Alaikum Salaam my dear sister in Islam,

This is what Allah (swt) says that marriage in Islam is supposed to look like:

“And among His wonders is this: He creates for you mates out of your own kind. So that you might incline towards them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you: in this, behold, there are messages indeed for people who think!” (30:21)

Your husband is not being the type of husband that the Quran describes. Because of that, you are suffering so much. You say that you can’t leave him (“I am not strong enough to handle the sting of a divorce”), yet you get nothing out of this marriage. I can’t imagine that the relief of a divorce would be worse than what you suffer. Divorce is lawful in Islam for a reason – a reason like the one you have described.

“And it is not lawful for you (men) to take back (from your wives) any of your Mahr (bridal-money given by the husband to his wife at the time of marriage) which you have given them, except when both parties fear that they would be unable to keep the limits ordained by Allaah (e.g. to deal with each other on a fair basis). Then if you fear that they would not be able to keep the limits ordained by Allaah, then there is no sin on either of them if she gives back (the Mahr or a part of it) for her Al-Khul‘ (divorce).” (2:229)

The evidence for that from the Sunnah is that the wife of Thaabit ibn Qays ibn Shammaas (may Allaah be pleased with him) came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and said, “O Messenger of Allaah, I do not find any fault with Thaabit ibn Qays in his character or his religious commitment, but I do not want to commit any act of kufr after becoming a Muslim.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to her, “Will you give back his garden?” Because he had given her a garden as her mahr. She said, “Yes.” The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said to Thaabit: “Take back your garden, and divorce her.”(Narrated by al-Bukhari)

But I am going to believe you that you do not want a divorce. So what’s the other way to get out from under the oppression you have described? How to talk to him about your problems and what’s the reason for his change?

I can’t answer all these questions, but I am going to set the stage for you so you can see how marriage in Islam works and figure out the answers to your questions on your own, In Sha’ Allah. Then you can approach your husband with the info and see if he is a game, In Sha’Allah.

Firstly, Allah (swt) gifts us, and husbands, from Allah’s gifts, gift their wives. However, for a wife to get what she needs from her husband, he needs to ask her. Unfortunately, most men lose sight of the internal workings of this reality. Shortsighted men, who don’t look below the surface, only look at the appearances and behaviors and think that a woman telling them what she needs is her ordering him around. To solve this problem, men need to learn to look at intentions instead of actions to be able to discover the difference between following commands and someone telling you what they need. You cannot read their mind or feel their feelings.

Secondly, the other issue I should mention is the difference in our sexual roles. Women need a man to serve her needs and experience an orgasm. In fact, without him serving her needs with respect and care, she cannot cum. The man, on the other hand, needs no such gentle handling; all he needs for him to cum is for his wife to give him permission to access her body and to cooperate. This is because his sexual response comes from sight first, then touch and smell and not from her serving his emotional needs (although if he is not emotional about her at all he will not have an erection, which is a wholly different problem and not the subject of this answer).

Please show this answer to your husband and see if it helps, In Sha’Allah. I hope it helps. If you both understand this information, you two can figure out your own relationship problems, even without the help of a marriage counselor – and of course, first and foremost, with the help of Allah’s religion and Allah’s guidance, In sha’ Allah.

Allah (swt) guides us by means of Islam, His Prophet (saw), the example of how to do things, and us asking of Allah alone (tawakkal). Surely, when we look at the behavior of the Prophet (saw), we see him doing things his wives advised him to do. I suggest your husband follow the example of his Prophet (saw), In Sha’ Allah.

May Allah (swt) guide you both and make it easy for both of you.

Amin.

***

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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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