I Married My Wife Only to Please My Mom

11 February, 2017
Q As-Salamu Aleikom. My parents divorced just after I was born. Since then I have been living with my mother. She hasn’t married again only for me, and she reared me up with Islamic values. I always looked for the way I can satisfy my mom because she was my whole world.When I was 17, a female student, Nila came to rent a flat in our house. A good relation was built with her and us. My mother and she liked each other a lot to the extent that my mother asked me to marry her. As I was young and loved my mom madly, I agreed to it seeing the amazing relationship between them.Although we have been married now for 4 years, I’ve stayed apart from her due to my studies. She stays with my mom, and I visit home 3-4 days a month. After about one year of our marriage, I started losing interest in her, but I didn’t let her know this. I act almost every time we meet and try to feel attraction to her.It is not that she is totally ugly and unattractive; she is pious and honest with me, and she loves to my mom. But Nila is 8.5 years older than me, and she doesn’t attract me at all. She is not well-educated either. She is stubborn, unsocial (in some respect), and has very low interest in education. I feel embarrassed to be honest; therefore, no one knows that I am married. There are some thoughts which always come to me like that I might have a beautiful, young wife at the “right time” and enjoy family time with her. Nila is not also getting her rights.My graduation will take 3 years more. After that I am thinking about post-graduation abroad or a job. She is now 30+, how long she will wait? What about having children? I don’t love her; I try to act, but find myself fake and artificial towards her. In normal circumstances, I would never choose her as my wife. But I have no option now. However, she loves me a lot. I don’t know what type of relation it is and where it is going, or how long it’ll work. It’s getting tough for both of us.I thought about divorce and found it the only way if I think about myself. But if I look at her, she is an orphan. Where she will go? On the other hand, if divorce is to occur inevitably, then it should be as early as possible because she is now 30+ and have no children. I shared these with her, but she doesn’t agree to divorce. I even don’t enjoy sex. I fear of Allah’s punishment as I am not just with her. But it’s just not coming from inside. What should I do?



As-Salamu ‘Alaikum Brother,

Based on your sharing, it seems you have been feeling that your relationship “failed” since the first year. Unfortunately, your decision of getting married was based on your mother and your wife’s relationship, and you neglected your own needs during this process. Yes, you wanted to please your mother; however, you were the one who is married to this sister, not your mother. Marriage is a lifelong commitment that requires compatibility, time investment, and work. It should not be used as a type of currency or favor exchange.

Since the beginning of the relationship, the main reason you chose this woman was her loving acts towards your mother, yet your educational plan did not include living with your wife, and now you are considering a job abroad without her.

How can you work things out without getting really involved with your wife? You cannot be with someone you have no real connection to, brother. You are only oppressing yourself and the sister. The only person who is currently satisfied is your mother, and she is not even the one in the marriage. Please reflect on this. Furthermore, you cannot keep hiding your wife from the public eye forever. Again, this is oppressive and unjust towards both of you.

From my point of view, it seems you really want to get a divorce, and the only reason why you haven’t is your fear of Allah (swt). The question you need to ask yourself is, if you fear Allah (swt), then how can you continue living a lie and oppressing yourself and Nila? You need to reflect on your future decisions and not to remain married simply out of guilt. What do you think would please Allah (swt) the most? Ultimately, you can be sincere and honest with yourself now and try to fix a mistake you made years ago, or you can spend the rest of your life hiding and being dishonest about your feelings.

Allah (swt) says in the Quran multiple times that He loves the Muhsineen. Ihsaan in Arabic is a derivative of the verb “ahsana,” which means doing things better. Sometimes, to get a divorce is better act than living in oppression. Yes, you will hurt your wife, but a life of hurt for both is worse than a small period of time.

Many people go through the same situation; they marry to meet their parents’ wishes without considering their own desires and expectations which will very likely end in an unhappy relationship or a divorce. Despite the fact that she is older, which isn’t Islamically wrong, the fact that you don’t have compatibility or attraction at all toward her is an issue that will not go away. Your experience as a husband and the inability to perform your duties are strong signals that your attempts to fix the situation aren’t working.

Divorce is unappreciated, but also legitimate upon genuine reason, and failure to fulfill the objectives and purposes for which marriage was initiated, utter incompatibility between the partners is one of them.

All your concerns regarding her living situation and her biological clock show that you are having mercy on her, and I don’t think Allah (swt) “will catch you” because of a divorce due to a marriage that was unlikely to succeed. If you decide to end your marriage, be aware that it will bring consequences and won’t be easy on anyone, but in the long run, both of you will move on and find new lives, in sha’ Allah. Postponing the divorce, even if it feels right to you now, will cause more damage. If you are being honest and genuine with your reasons, Allah (swt) knows what you have in your heart, so trust in it and act according to what is best for your life here and the hereafter.



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About Karim Serageldin
Karim Serageldin, founder of Noor, completed his BA in psychology & religion, followed by an MA in east-west psychology with a specialization in spiritual counseling. He is a certified life coach with years of teaching and community outreach experience. His practical work and research includes developing a modern framework of Islamic psychology, relationship, family and youth coaching. He provides seminars and workshops in the United States. You can contact Br. Karim at: http://www.noorhumanconsulting.com or facebook.com/noorhumanconsulting