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Pain and Guilt: Is it Depression?



Reply Date

Jul 26, 2018


As-salamu `alaykum.

I have a problem. I have been married for three years now, and my husband and I have had troubles in bed since day one. I always have pain, even if he's kind to me.

Most of the time I don't even enjoy sex, and it hurts me that my husband suffers. I went to the doctor and she told me just to relax, but it does not help. Now we have a son who is one and a half years old, but this problem is not getting any easier; although I am coping.

Al-hamdu lillah, Allah has given me so much: a great husband, a beautiful son, a house next to my parents, and every thing I desire. I feel like a terrible failure as Muslim women.Satan is messing with me; he's keeping me from my prayers and puts me up against my husband sometimes. I don't understand why I became so weak. I used to pray on time, but now, sometimes, I see time flying and I don't even think about the prayers that I missed.

When I'm in bed I feel so bad and ashamed; I speak to Allah and tell him how much I love him; then I get up and pray the Dawn Prayer and the same story continues. I go to my work, and when I come home I'm so tired that I just lay down for a while, then I make some dinner and go to sleep, then, again in my bed, I think about the prayers that I didn't pray. I hate myself because Allah has given me so much and he asks so little of me; and even so, I don't do it, simply because the day seems to fly by.

I need to make time for my Creator. Can you help me, please? If you can see in my heart then you can see that I’m a good person, but I know that's not enough. I have worn my hijab for almost 3 years now, I give charity, I'm always the first to help someone; so what is wrong with me?????



Pain and Guilt: Is it Depression?

In this counseling answer:

The stress and the guilt have made you mildly to moderately depressed. My advice is that you first try to put some stipulations regarding prayers and connect them to your daily schedule.

As-Salamu `Alaykum dear sister,

First, I was impressed by your patience with your suffering, your vivid faith, and your strong desire to be a good Muslim wife.

You have two main problems, but I cannot theorize whether they are related or not. It could be depression or chronic stress that is causing both your lack of sexual pleasure and your feeling of numbness in your relationship with Allah Most High, it could also be a deep feeling of guilt; in short, we have a long list of possibilities. At the same time, we could consider your sexual problem as one that stands separate from your religious one, but one or more interviews with a Muslim psychiatrist could answer this question—are the two problems related or not?

Since you were first married, you have experienced pain during sexual intercourse with your husband, and that caused you to present yourself to a gynecologist who apparently found no organic cause, yet the pain continued, even after the birth of your son; such a complaint is called non-organic dyspareunia and the help of a psychiatrist may be required to find the deeply-hidden emotional and cognitive factors that are causing this problem.

However, there are a lot of questions that I need to ask relating to the type and the timing of the sexual pain you experience. I also need to clarify the meaning of, “most of the time I don’t even enjoy sex”. Does that mean pain occurs only at certain times? I need much more information, and in fact, this needs psychotherapeutic help. You can consider this matter with your husband; particularly as I don’t think it is merely a matter of failure to relax, otherwise the pain would have disappeared after giving birth to your lovely son.

Regarding the numbness of your religious feelings, this is most probably the result of your stressful life plus guilt feelings about “causing your husband to suffer.” The stress and the guilt have made you mildly to moderately depressed. My advice is that you first try to put some stipulations regarding prayers and connect them to your daily schedule. For example, you can abstain from having lunch except after praying the Noon Prayer, do not have dinner before completing the Sunset Prayer and the Night Prayer, this way may be helpful, but remember that you will have to force yourself in the beginning and after a while it will become a habit.

Once again, there are a lot of questions that I need to ask you relating to the kind work you do, the amount of time you spend with your husband, and so on. Does your husband pray regularly? Can he remind you to make your prayers? Is it only a matter of forgetting prayers on time or something else?

I hope to hear from you again; a more detailed e-mail would enable me to offer more help and advice.



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.

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About Hwaa Irfan

Late Hwaa Irfan, may her soul rest in peace, served as consultant, counselor and freelance writer. Her main focus was on traditional healing mechanisms as practiced in various communities, as opposed to Western healing mechanisms.

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