I Need to Have Sex, but I Work Far from My Wife

22 September, 2019
Q I'm currently working in the shipping sector wherein I have to go on lengthy sea voyages ranging from 6 to 8 months. This keeps me away from my wife leading to uncontrollable sexual desires. Leaving my job is not an option. Can you suggest an alternate channel to release this frustration? It is humanly impossible for a man without a woman for such period. Is there any option that I can resort to have a sexual relationship with a woman besides my wife?

Answer


In this counseling answer:

• Your options are limited as your job keeps you on lengthy sea voyages. Taking a second wife would be hard as you cannot even spend time with your first wife due to your job. Additionally, it would not solve your issue as you are mostly in the sea.

• Tips for controlling sexual urges and desires are strongly recommended to be followed, insha’Allah.

•Additionally, take up a hobby to do in your spare time, draw closer to Allah and maintain closeness with your wife via letters, phone calls etc.”


As Salamu Alaykum dear brother,

Thank you for writing to us. As I understand, you are married and your job takes you away from your home and wife for 6-8 months at a time. So, in actuality, you are only with your wife for about 4 months out of a year.

While I am not sure how long you have been married, it surely is not good to be away from your wife for that long. It is not healthy for you nor her. At any rate, you stated that you cannot leave this job. However, I do urge you to try to find work that will allow you to be at home with your wife. I realize jobs are hard to find these days, but so is a good marriage. Insha’allah, brother, please do think about this very seriously.

Perhaps you can start looking at other agencies/sectors or other job titles that will allow you to earn a living and still be a husband and family man. “Living together is known to be one of the main objectives of marriage in Islam. The Qur’an describes spouses as sakan which means homes where both couples get love, compassion, mercy, sincere affection and so on”.

I Need to Have Sex, but I Work Far from My Wife - About Islam

For all intents and purposes, brother, you and your wife are hardly living together at all, which is very sad. I understand you do not want this type of situation and it is work-related. However, insha’Allah, if you can change your situation as far as work, please do.

I kindly encourage you to make du’aa’ to Allah to open new doors of employment for you which will enable you to be home. 

In addition, please actively seek other job options. Allah helps a people who they themselves seek to change their condition.

Marriage is such a blessed and important part of our lives that we must do all we can to fulfill our obligations which go beyond financial. May Allah bless you brother with a good job that enables you to be a full-time husband to your wife.

You are sexually frustrated, and it is understandable. I can imagine your wife is sexually frustrated as well. It is not an optimal situation.  However, as you are a Muslim man, you can marry up to four wives, providing you follow the guidelines set forth in Islam. So, one option is to take a second wife. However, brother, you must assess whether or not you can fulfill the Islamic requirements to do so. Being you are sea voyages for long months, I am not sure how that would work as you barely see your wife now as it is.

The other option is going back to the days, the years when you were not married and you were celibate. By practicing useful tips to refrain from sexual acts, you are following Islam, you are not committing haram and you are remaining faithful to your wife.

Some useful tips would include re-training your thinking patterns.  When you begin to feel aroused, engage your mind in another thought or activity. Make sure that you know your triggers for arousal and stay away from things that are sexually stimulating. For instance, don’t watch movies with sexual or sensual content. This would include books, magazines, and talk with your coworkers. In your off times, if you do go ashore occasionally, try to fill your time with constructive things such as phoning your wife and talking with her, go to a gym for a workout session, go to a Masjid for prayer and other activities that will build you up as a husband, Muslim and increase your strength as a man who is celibate. This would include lowering your gaze if there are women around.

Engage in fasting. It is one of the things prescribed to control sexual desire. Take up a hobby to fill up what spare time you may have.  Lastly and most importantly, make du’aa’ to Allah to help you manage your desires and keep you from haram.

Brother, yes, it is humanly possible for a man not to have sex for long periods of time. It has been done throughout time and by many. Look at all the single people who are not engaging in sex. Still, our hormones, desires, and needs run high. It is not a comfortable life to live but it can be done. Wanting to make love-have sex is a natural and normal need. However, as you are not with your wife for most of the year, you are depriving not only yourself but her as well.

Marriage is the sacred space which was created in part for a couple to enjoy sexual relations. When one is married and unable to have sexual relations, it possibly creates even more tension and frustration than for those who were never married. As you are married, you know what it feels like and how good it is. Therefore, your mind already knows the pleasure. For those who are single and virgin, they have strong desires but they can only imagine what it feels like. Thus, possibly their ability to control self is maybe easier.


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While there is no optimal answer to your dilemma brother, I do encourage you to keep remembrance of Allah in your heart at all times. Also, keep remembrance of your precious wife and your marriage to her in your heart at all times as well.

Brother, your options are limited as your job keeps you on lengthy sea voyages. Taking a second wife would be hard as you cannot even spend time with your first wife due to your job. Additionally, it would not solve your issue as you are mostly in the sea.

Tips for controlling sexual urges and desires are strongly recommended to be followed, insha’Allah.

Additionally, take up a hobby to do in your spare time, draw closer to Allah and maintain closeness with your wife via letters, phone calls etc.

I am sure she is feeling lonely as well as going through her own sexual frustrations as well. Stay close to one another. While you stated it was not possible, please do ask Allah to grant ease in the form of a different job that will allow you to be home with your wife. Actively seek other job opportunities. Your job is important yes, but so is your wife, your marriage and the two of you actually living together as a married couple for more than 4 months a year.

May Allah bless you brother and grant ease in this situation. You are in our prayers, please let us know how you are doing.

Salam,

***

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 Aisha Mohammad
Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach.
Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.