I’m Married But in Love with Other Women

30 January, 2017
Q As-Salamu Alaikum. I am a practicing Muslim from India. I am married and have two children. I can say we’re quite a happy family (besides some natural clashes). My problem is that I often feel in love with other women who get closer to me. I try hard to forget them and be faithful to my wife, but sometimes I fail. Although I never share my wish and feelings with that woman, I feel I am waiting for her. In our society, it is easy to have 3 girlfriends, but tough to have two wives at the same time. Also, it is very hard for a married man to propose to an unmarried woman. Please, suggest me how I can overcome this situation.



As-Salamu `Alaikum dear brother,

In this answer, I will not delve in the Shari’ah part of the issue as you surely know that any affair outside marriage is forbidden in Islam. Thus, you might not be in need of someone to tell you this; however, you are in need of someone to help you overcome this situation as you stated in your question.

Usually, when a person feels an urgent drive to do something and finds him repeating it over and over again without having a justifiable reason for what he does, and he is not really having control and real intent for his actions, then this is a sign that there is some unknown psychological/emotional need that is hidden and left unsatisfied and therefore is craving to be satisfied.

Every human being is born with certain emotional/ psychological needs that need to be satisfied in order for that human being to live a balanced life that enables him to grow in a healthy way. Among those needs are needs to be loved, to be cared for, to feel secure, to be appreciated, to be encouraged, etc. These are essential emotional needs for any human being; he cannot live without them. However, in many instances in our upbringing, those needs are not only unmet but are not even accepted, hence such needs are buried inside of us that we are not aware of them or don’t recognize them. Those buried, unrecognized needs would stay there inside of us and create an urgent drive to satisfy them. Such urgent drive causes us to feel unbalanced and unhappy and in constant search for what could retain our balance. If a person is not aware of his emotional needs and what is going on inside of him, he will go after the wrong sources to satisfy his needs and give him balance. He would just find himself doing things that he unconsciously believes are the sources of his happiness.

What I meant from explaining all this is for you to think about your situation and the roots behind it. Of course, there are many things about you, your life, and your upbringing that I don’t know; hence, I won’t be able to tell you for sure what is going on inside you and whether what you are doing has some unsatisfied emotional need behind it. However, you are the one who can decide this and work on it.

I know it could be a difficult task. It is not something that we arrive at overnight; it needs from you some digging inside of you, being frank with yourself, and being brave enough to accept what weaknesses you could be having. However, such a task of diving inside yourself and working on any unresolved issues or any unsatisfied needs are worthwhile tasks that should bring you balance, peace and contentment in your life.

One way of getting to know more about yourself is to trace your emotions and write them down, especially those feelings and emotions you have when dealing with women around you. A person in his journey of knowing himself and resolving his issues might be in need of someone to guide him and light the path for him. This could best come from a professional counselor who will work with you smoothly and gradually through your thoughts, feelings and actions and help you find your real self and what you really want.

In your situation, it could also be that there are some psychological/emotional needs which are not met in your marriage. In many instances, people tend to look for relationships outside their marriage if they lack the emotional and/or sexual intimacy from their spouse (among other reasons).

This would also need some work from you on your marriage relationship to find out what it could be missing and what could be the reasons behind this. This also would be best worked out through the help of counseling/marriage counseling. Through marriage counseling, you and your wife are allowed to express your feelings, your thoughts, your needs, your worries, etc. with the facilitation of a professional who will help you get those feelings, thoughts, and needs out in a way that would make both of you come to a deeper understanding of oneself and his spouse. Hence, you will be able to work out things together and reach a relationship that is rich and satisfying for both of you, in sha’Allah.

From your letter, it seems that in the meantime there is a woman who you feel very much attracted to. It also seems alhamdulillah that you are a religious person and would not think of any haram relationship with that woman.  It also seems you are thinking about marrying her but believe it is difficult in your society for an unmarried woman to accept a proposal of a married man. Thus, you don’t know what to do about this whole situation.

My advice is to think of this situation in terms of what we said earlier; the fact that we are sometimes driven by our unmet emotional needs towards the wrong goals and mistakenly think they will satisfy our needs while we are actually leaving behind the real source of satisfying that need.

Also, I advise you to think of this situation in terms of the benefits and harms it could have on you, your life and other members of your family. Look at the wider picture, evaluate the situation as a whole and weigh things together. Remember Allah in all your actions and decisions and always be in question of your intention behind everything you do. Remember the power of du`aa’ in seeking Allah’s help in changing ourselves to the better.

I pray to Allah I have been able to provide you with some help. You are most welcome if you have any further question or need any further help.



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About Layla Al Qaraqsi
Layla Al Qaraqsi has worked with islamonline.net since 2008. She has been the editor of the counseling section till May, 2013; then a counselor and writer since March, 2015. She has also worked in early childhood psychosocial development;and managed a support group in Egypt. Layla has been studying psychology and counseling since 2011 in the Islamic Online University (IOU) of Dr. Bilal Philips, University of North Dakota, and in several specialized psychological institutions in Egypt including Tawasol Center, one of the offline projects of Islamonline.net. Her studies also included group psychotherapy, psychodrama techniques, mindfulness.  You can contact her via: [email protected]