I Feel Emotionally Disconnected From My Husband

01 September, 2020
Q I have been married for almost 3 years, recently had a baby who is 8 months now. I have had communication issues with my husband since the beginning of marriage.It escalated a lot after I had my baby.

He is a kind, extrovert, very social and family type person. While I always was an introvert, I didn't like many gatherings. I love my peace and quiet. We live with my set of parents in our home as is the norm in our society. His family is also close by. He has 3 sisters and a brother.

So sometimes whenever his sisters or nieces make a new meal or something scrumptious, they will always call him over. He will say that to me once we have made food for that meal.

When I tell it will be wasted he will tell that he will have it for the next meal. I feel so bad most of the time, I argue and shout at him regarding that.

Sometimes his older nieces will give him body and head massage. When he says how good he feels after that. They would literally do anything for their uncles. Most of the time, when He is with me, I would tell him to do things by himself.

He is absolutely super mature when it comes to earning and business. He does have a successful business. Alhamdulillah.

I feel like a bad wife. I can't see someone touching him. It rages and angers me. Makes me feel jealous. He doesn't understand that.

Plus the first few months of postpartum with our new baby. Whatever struggle I told him, he just told it ‘s common, it happens that's how it is.

And most of the struggles he will run by his mother and his sister. He doesn't know how to support himself emotionally. I don't always need him to come up with solutions. Trust me I was shattered that instead of supporting and calming me with words he chose to come up with solutions from his “very” experienced and qualified sisters and mother..(He has around 10 nephews and nieces).

I told him to stop doing that. There was no need for it. He said that he loves taking advice from people and correcting him. I don't know I am just plain frustrated with him.

Trust me I wouldn't mind if he treated them well and more like how Allah said. Sometimes he says that the sisters did this for him, mother did this for him and cousins did that for him. They all do anything and everything he asks them to do.

The way he shares about his business and troubles and other stuff to his parents and sisters, he doesn't share with me.

I just don't feel connected to him emotionally. I thrive well when I can connect emotionally.

Just plain physical intimacy wouldn't be of help for both of us. I don't even like going close to him. I keep shouting, arguing, and fighting with him most of the time now. This wasn't how I was prior to having a baby.

He thinks that women are supposed to be the main carers for the child with him providing financially. He doesn't equally care for him.

Both my parents and brother help me out with the baby most of the time. If I tell that to my husband, he says put the milk powder I will take him to my mother's place and bring him in the evening.

I really am struggling in the marriage please help me out....

Answer


In this counseling answer:

I encourage you to speak with your husband about placing appropriate boundaries between your marriage life and his family.

Setup private time for you and your husband.

Setup time with your husband and the baby and help him see how much he would enjoy acts like feeding his baby.

Discuss your needs as an introvert while trying to understand his needs as an extrovert.

Utilize deep breathing during your moments of anger.

Speak with a professional about your concerns to ensure postpartum is not at play.

Consider marriage counseling for you and your husband to improve both of your communication skills.


Assalamu alaikum,

Thank you for taking the time to write in and share your concerns with us. It is my understanding you have been married for almost 3 years and have a baby. You feel your husband shares all of your business with his family. Will make you go eat dinner with them even if you already prepared dinner. Doesn’t help with the care taking of the child.

You had postpartum depression and overall you don’t feel emotionally connected to him. Sister, having a baby is a stressful period and it can cause marriages to struggle. Please know inshallah you can both get past this. 

Boundaries

To begin Sister, I notice that you want more boundaries with family which he does not provide. For example, mealtime is a perfect example.

If any wife or husband spends time cooking a nice meal and their spouse disregards this and says no, we are going to the family and your meal will be for tomorrow.

This would hurt the feelings of many people and make them feel less appreciated, like their efforts pale in comparison to the efforts of the other people.

I imagine your husband does not mean to hurt your feelings, he is trying to appease his family and you at the same time and does not realize the impact this is happening. 

You mention he does not work things out with you, rather he looks to his family for the solutions for both of you. This is another example of boundaries being clouded with family and again I deduce your husband has no idea the impact it is having.

To your husband, he believes this is the wise thing to do as a husband and seek the help of elders. To him, he is helping your home but obviously it is not working. 

I encourage you to speak with your husband about placing appropriate boundaries between your marriage life and his family.

This looks like if you are cooking a good meal and his Sister states she also made something, he should tell his Sister to please save some of it for him for another meal because his wife already cooked for him. This is an act of respect for you as his wife and will increase feelings of appreciation. 


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Appropriate boundaries also look like when you two have a disagreement or some hardship to overcome, he should not run to his family unless you are okay with them being brought into that conversation. You can both talk to them at the same time during moments you are okay with it.

If he asked his Mother, she might tell him that the wife needs boundaries between the marriage and other family members. This is normal, your home with him is yours and its normal to want a feeling of “this is ours, this is our time, this is our issue” and ultimately “we healed it as a couple”.

Gently let your husband know how you feel without being angry. Ask him to please respect your boundaries as his wife and to work on these things. 

Private Time

It is important to have private time as husband and wife. Especially with having a baby, this takes away moments of intimacy and privacy. Talk to your husband about a designated time for privacy and intimacy, bearing in mind intimacy does not necessarily mean physical.

This might mean making time during the weekends where both of you relax together and watch a favorite show or time when you both go for a walk together. Think about what both of you would enjoy doing together and utilize this. 

I also encourage you to use private time with him and the baby to help with your parenting concerns. As a Father, he should be more involved with the rearing of his baby and if he does not, he will most likely regret that when the baby is older, and these precious moments are gone. Ask him to spend private with you and the baby.

It can be a very emotionally rewarding experience to feed your baby and watch their face and hands grasp your fingers. Ask him to try it and see how it makes him feel, he may realize what he is missing out on and want more time with the baby inshallah! 

Extrovert/Introvert

You mention you are more introverted, and he is an extrovert. This can be a great balance once both of you better understand how this impacts the other. Introverts NEED quiet time to unwind, calmness and peace.

Extroverts crave that social interaction and are generally happy in cases with more stimulus. It seems he can get all of this from his Mother’s home, which is a blessing. Please understand he does need that time to fulfill his unique emotional needs. 

I encourage you to speak with him about your need for privacy and quiet time. Explain that you would like some time where other family is not involved, and you are able to center yourself with him. The private time mentioned above and setting appropriate boundaries will help to facilitate this needed time inshallah. 

Anger/Post-Partum

Sister, your mentions of anger and yelling at him alongside having postpartum depression previously need to be highlighted.

While we cannot diagnose anything via these questions, please be aware anger, the inability to connect with family, losses in feelings of intimacy and overall unhappiness are all symptoms of postpartum depression.

It is possible you are still struggling with this and as such, any problems will be escalated for you emotionally and more difficult to manage. 

I encourage you to speak with a professional counselor about this and determine if this is applicable and how they may be able to help you. You do not have to do this in person, you can speak with someone online if that is more comfortable for you and currently with Covid, online therapy is more available than it used to be.

I Feel Emotionally Disconnected From My Husband - About Islam

You stated “this wasn’t how I was prior to having a baby” which highlights post-partum as a possibility. It could also be the stress of raising a baby, but please consider speaking with a medical professional to ensure this is not a factor. 

During moments you feel angry and want to yell, please try a deep breathing technique to calm your anger and avoid lashing out. In that moment be quiet, no matter how badly you want to respond.

Close your eyes and take a slow deep breath through your nose, then slowly breathe out through your mouth. Do this a few times until you feel your anger calming down. You may want to sit down while doing it, which is sunnah to sit or lay when angry. It is never wise to respond in anger, it does not solve the issues causing the anger. 

Counseling

Sister, you and your husband may want to consider counseling to help both of you communicate more effectively with the other. He may struggle to understand your perspective on family situations just as you cannot relate to his perspective. A counselor can help bridge these differences in a non-bias way and give both of you room to speak openly and honest. 

Final Thoughts

Sister, here is a summary of your next steps moving forward inshallah. 

  • Discuss boundaries within your marriage life 
  • Setup private time for you and your husband
  • Setup time with your husband and the baby and help him see how much he would enjoy acts like feeding his baby
  • Discuss your needs as an introvert while trying to understand his needs as an extrovert
  • Utilize deep breathing during your moments of anger
  • Speak with a professional about your concerns to ensure postpartum is not at play
  • Consider marriage counseling for you and your husband to improve both of your communication skills

Sister, it can be stressful and a hardship during those initial periods of adjusting to a baby and a relatively new marriage, but inshallah you can both heal from this and develop a stronger emotional bond. May Allah (swt) heal you and guide your next steps, ameen. 

Salam,

***

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About Monique Hassan
Monique Hassan graduated with honors in 2012 with her BSc in Psychology and a minor in Biology and is certified in Crisis Prevention and Intervention. She has years of professional as well as personal experience with trauma, relationship struggles, substance abuse, identifying coping skills, conflict resolution, community outreach, and overall mental health concerns. She is a professional writer specialized in Islamic Psychology and Behavioral Health. She is also a revert who took her shahada in 2015, Alhamdulillah. You can contact Sister Monique Hassan via her website "MoniqueHassan.com"