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Depression & My Arranged Marriage

05 July, 2018
Q I come from India where arranged marriage is prevalent and common. I have been married for about 5 months now. It was an arranged marriage. I met the girl couple of times before getting engaged, but I did not have any positive vibes. I told my parents about it, but they didn’t hear me and said that the family was good and settled so go ahead and get married. They convinced me to get married, and somehow I got married even though I didn’t want to.

Now, I do not have any feelings for her. Of course, I treat her with respect and care for her as I am supposed to because I am her husband, but I don’t really love her. On the other hand, she is very happy and content with the wedding. Our sexual life is also not good; we don’t feel that intimacy. We don’t have kids, but sometimes I think that if I have a baby, then things will become normal. But I am not sure. I feel really guilty of having ruined her life and mine. I take the blame on me totally.

Day by day, I am getting more depressed. I am taking tablets for 3 months to overcome depression and make this marriage work, but in vain. Before marriage, we did Isthikara and proceeded with it, and when I was unsure I also did isthikara and asked Allah to guide me. I am also scared about the consequences and worried about her future. I am scared of Allah's punishment, but at the same time I don’t want to oppress her and lose her rights. Is it fair to divorce her because I am not sexually attracted to her or because my needs are not satisfied?


In this counseling answer:

• I suggest that you both seek marriage counseling in order to help you adjust to this marriage and to create a bond.

• If after trying all you can your marriage still does not work, you may seek a divorce.

As-Salamu ‘Alaikum dear brother,

I am sorry to hear of your marriage to someone you did not feel compatible with. We are to marry whom we chose if they meet the Islamic requirements. In the end, you did chose her; therefore, I see no reason for you to feel guilty.

I would suggest, dear brother, that you try to find the good in her. Do things together that you both enjoy and get to know one another as „friends” first, and perhaps the love and attraction will grow. Make du’aa’ to Allah (swt) that He (swt) puts love between your hearts and secures the marriage.

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Also, brother, I suggest that you both seek marriage counseling in order to help you adjust to this marriage and to create a bond. Marriage counseling can be very effective for couples who have either drifted apart or think that they no longer love each other. It can open up new thoughts and ideas that are beneficial to a couple’s growth and bonding.

Lastly, I would not suggest trying to have a child now. It would only add to the stress as you do not love her. You may even resent this down the road. Additionally, if you do choose to divorce her later, which is within your right of you although you know Allah (swt) dislikes divorce, the child would also suffer.

If after trying to make your marriage work by getting to know one another, looking for her good points, getting marriage counseling, seeking the advice of a trusted imam, you still cannot resolve your incompatibility and attraction issues, then according to Islam, you may divorce.

While you have not been married very long brother, I ask that in sha’ Allah, you give yourself and your wife a chance to grow together. May Allah (swt) put love and affection between your hearts.



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.

Read more:

Arranged Marriage: Out of Date or Best Option?

On Depression: Can a Real Muslim Be Depressed?

What Causes Sadness and Depression?

About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha has a PhD in psychology, an MS in public health and a PsyD. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years at Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. She has worked with clients with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, trauma, and OCD. She also facilitated support groups and provided specialized services for victims of domestic violence, HIV positive individuals, as well youth/teen issues. Aisha is certified in Mindfulness, Trauma Informed Care, Behavioral Management, Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Confidentiality & Security. Aisha is also a Certified Life Coach, and Relationship Workshop facilitator. Aisha has a part-time Life Coaching practice in which she integrates the educational concepts of stress reduction, mindfulness, introspection, empowerment, self love and acceptance and spirituality to create a holistic healing journey for clients. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocates for prisoner rights/reentry, social & food justice, as well as advocating for an end to oppression & racism. In her spare time, Aisha enjoys her family, photography, nature, martial arts classes, Islamic studies, volunteering/charity work, as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.