Lack of Romance Due to Wife’s Bad Breath

11 October, 2018
Q Salaam, I have been married to a lovely and very religious wife for the last 19 years. Although I can not complain about our intimate life, the bad breath coming out of my wife’s mouth has become really unbearable for me all these years. Although I am a good kisser and still very eager to kiss my wife passionately, her bad breath stops me. She firmly says is from her childhood and originates from her intestines in her stomach and can not be prevented by merely using any mouthwash or toothpaste.

The situation is really frustrating and it discourages me to initiate making love with her, thus, distancing me from one of the most enjoyable occasions in my life. I can not marry another woman merely citing this as a reason and can not afford to do either. (I have grown-up kids; my eldest daughter is almost 18.) What is the solution? How can I fulfill my desires in a halal way?


In this counseling answer:

“Constant bad breath is not normal and needs to be addressed not only for your enjoyment of her essence but more importantly for her health.”

As-Salamu ‘Alaykum brother,

I admire your love and passion for your wife after all these years; it is, indeed, a precious gift. I am sorry to hear of the issue with her bad breath. This truly can be a turn-off sexually and, like a domino effect, it may begin to put distance between you in other areas of the relationship.

Bad breath has many causes. The types of foods one eats on a regular basis can cause bad breath and gases in the intestines. However, as this is a long-standing problem, it could be medically related or it could have to do with the way she brushes, flosses (or doesn’t). Brushing, flossing, and having one’s teeth cleaned on a regular basis are preventive steps to avoid gum disease, which also produces an odor.

I would kindly suggest brother that, in sha’ Allah, you ask her to see a dentist to check the condition of her teeth as well as a doctor to get a complete physical examination done, citing her persistent bad breath as an issue. Constant bad breath is not normal and needs to be addressed not only for your enjoyment of her essence but more importantly for her health.

Check out this counseling video:

In sha’ Allah, brother, she will seek medical advice from her dentist and doctor. In the meantime, please make du’aa’ to Allah that this is resolved quickly and that the issue is found and corrected. Just with knowing there is a remedy coming, it may help you, in sha’ Allah, to be stronger and patient just a little while longer. Please do hang in there; you both seem to have a wonderful marriage otherwise!

You are in our prayers. Please let us know how you both are doing.



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.