Suffering in a Loveless Marriage

01 February, 2018
Q As-Salamu ‘Aleikom. I’m married for four years, and I’m a mother to a beautiful son alhamdillilah. My marriage was a love marriage from both sides, but right at the time of our marriage, my husband declared that he loved someone else, and only due to his parents’ pressure he married me. Since then I’m facing a lot of emotional torture because of that girl. She is my husband's relative. It’s been four years now, but he is still in contact with her while paying very little attention to me. I’m very much disheartened because I continuously declare my love to him whether it is through words or by doing his chores. I even convinced my in-laws just for him to marry that girl, but she refused to marry him, yet she is in contact with her.For me, it’s getting really hard to tolerate their relationship. I’m emotionally broken. Thoughts about separation now strike me frequently, but I still love him, and I just want him to give me some attention because his response is always very cold.

Answer


In this counseling answer:

“So, for the sake of love you once had, for the sake of your son, and for the sake of Allah (to not be another divorce, in sha’ Allah), please ask your husband if he will try marriage counseling.”


Wa ‘Alaikum Salaam my dear sister in Islam, 

I am sorry that you have been suffering a loveless marriage! I would suggest getting out of it immediately – IF you did not have a son together, and IF you did not say that this was a love marriage in the beginning. Those two things make me believe that you may be able to salvage the situation through marriage counseling. However, I am worried because you said that since the moment of marriage, your husband has changed. You said that he loved someone else which makes me wonder if he ever loved you—Allah knows best. (I am also very upset with parents who force marriages which are not appropriate and actually go against the teachings of Islam. Unfortunately, it is all too common!

So, for the sake of love you once had, for the sake of your son, and for the sake of Allah (to not be another divorce, in sha’ Allah), please ask your husband if he will try marriage counseling. However, if he will not try to improve your marriage by going to marriage counseling so that you can be loved and stop suffering in it, and he declares that he does not love you and will not try to learn to love you, then please consider the following:

Your husband is talking to a woman who is not his wife and who does not want to marry him. Do you want to be married to such a man? Those behaviors make me think that his taqwah of Allah is not that strong—and Allah knows best. In other words, is he the type of person who helps you get to Jannah in any other way than causing you suffering for which you may get rewarded!?

No woman wants to not be loved in her marriage. I know you say he loved you in the beginning, but I wonder if he did because he told you at the moment of marriage that he loves another woman. Some women love the father of their children—just because.

If you still love him when he does not care about Allah’s religion enough to not talk to a woman outside of marriage, and a woman who will not marry him, then please question yourself—your own value system—so that you can draw closer to Allah and His Jannah, in Sha’ Allah. If you agree with me, please reconsider looking at your situation differently: look at it as an opportunity to understand, first hand, the value of a righteous man (to help you get to the Reward of Allah and the company of Allah). Also, consider how much more you would love a man who treats you right and gives you the “love and mercy” that Allah prescribes for marriage.

Lastly, many women stay married in miserable, loveless, and abusive marriages for the sake of their children (many of whom wish, in retrospect, that their parents had divorced, and that would have been a better life for them).

So, you need to decide whether you would prefer to stay, even if you are not loved. If you decide to stay (for the sake of your Lord, to do right for your child), then know what you are dealing with so that maybe it can stop torturing you so much. For example, this man is not “into” you; therefore, you are going to have to get your emotional needs met elsewhere—lawfully, of course! In other words, you will need to turn to your blood relatives/sisters and to friends for emotional support. Stop giving him the advantage over you of hurting you!In Sha’ Allah.

May Allah make it easy for you!

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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 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.