In this counseling answer:
“In addition to seeking out marriage counseling, I would like you to really examine what it is you want from a marriage. Make a list of your needs and goals for a healthy, loving, Islamic marriage. Next, to your list, check off what is present in your marriage.”
As-Salamu ‘Alaykum dear sister,
Thank you for writing to us. As I understand, you had a relationship with your husband for 6 years before you were married. When you decided to marry, his parents were not happy with it, thus prolonged it. Then your family felt insulted and questioned their integrity which caused arguments and friction between you and him. In the meantime, your fiancé (now husband) gets involved with another girl. Then you married, but since then you have been having problems with intimacy, both emotionally and sexually, and there is friction between the families.
Sister, first of all, this seems to have been a highly stressful and turbulent relationship, even before the marriage. To think that all these feelings of hurt, bitterness, and anger would just go away once you were married is not realistic. It even sounds so intense that it borders on the lines of a traumatic experience. Additionally, you have the fact that you found out he was cheating 4 months after you were married and was seeing that woman for a whole year before you married! And, he still talks to her…No wonder he cannot perform in bed or form a close bond with you.
I highly doubt it is jinns or black magic (although consult with one of our scholars if you are unsure). In my clinical experience, I see it as his way of responding to the guilt and infidelity. The more he gets closer to you and forms a bond with you emotionally, intellectually and sexually, the more intense the guilt may be for him that even causes anxiety and panic attacks (as it may be what you are describing). Sadly dear sister, if it is not guilt, perhaps he has formed a bond with this other woman and is still seeing her. This is difficult to propose as I know it’s painful for you to hear, but in order to examine your situation with the information you have given, it is a possibility. With that said, his claim of jinn or black magic can be a useful alibi.
Dear sister, I suggest that you seek marriage counseling from a clinician in your area. You both experienced a lot of drama before you married which has not been resolved. In addition, the drama in your marriage now is from the old stuff and the new. The new being you found out he was cheating for a whole year. Zour living with your in-laws who are traditional were in part the cause of some of this drama.
They also do not encourage separate personal time for you and your husband which you desperately need and is your right. You feel like you “live and work to serve his family”. Sister, a wife is not a servant for her husband’s family. It is nice to help and it is a blessing to help out, but you are not a servant. You also need to spend time with your family as well.
In addition to seeking out marriage counseling, I would like you to really examine what it is you want from a marriage. Make a list of your needs and goals for a healthy, loving, Islamic marriage. Next, to your list, check off what is present in your marriage. Then I suggest you make another list.
You speak of love and say you love him so much and are so attracted to him. My dear sister, I get it that you have sexual needs and strong desires. We all do (most of us); it is natural. However, I ask you to explore what it is about your husband that you love (besides the fact you are attracted to him). Make a list of the qualities of a husband that you would love and that is conducive to a love growing. Again, check next to this list those qualities of love that he possesses. In sha’ Allah, these lists will give you a clearer picture of what it is you truly want, compared to what you are dealing with realistically.
The role of the husband revolves around the moral principle that it is his solemn duty to Allah to treat his wife with kindness, honor, and patience. He must keep her honorably or free her from the marital bond honorably and to cause her no harm or grief. Allah Almighty says:
“…And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.” (Quran 4:19)
Please read some articles that will help to clarify the roles which Allah has defined for spouses who are to be a ‘cover and comfort’ to each other.
In sha’ Allah sister, go for marriage counseling with your husband. If he refuses to go, in sha’ Allah, you can go for yourself. You need to heal, and you need help with sorting out all that has happened and get guidance for what direction you now wish to go forth in.
If he refuses to try to save the marriage, it is within your right to divorce. As he was cheating, which is a huge sin in Islam, it is one ground. While the first option is to save the marriage dear sister, the second option is to leave if you find it unbearable and he refuses to change or seek help.
You may consider separation for awhile in order to reduce the stress and emotional burden that is being placed on you. This will also give him some time to seek out what is right, while you have time to think about what it is that you truly want. The above lists will help immensely, as will counseling.
Also, repent to Allah and ask forgiveness for any sins you may have committed (both of you in sha’ Allah) and try to start on a fresh path. If you both chose to save the marriage and take proactive steps towards that missive, it may take time to heal and form a truly loving relationship as much hurt and damage has been done. However, Allah is the most merciful, sister. Stay close to Him through prayer and by reading Qur’an. You will find your blessings there, as well as future happiness in sha ‘Allah and relief.
You are in our prayers dear sister. Please let us know how you are.
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.