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Lifeless Marriage: Stay or Leave?

04 October, 2017
Q Should I stay in a marriage without the love of my husband? He does not love me. He wants us to share the bills equally. He does not spend time with me. When I reach home from work, we just eat dinner and go to bed. He belittles and criticizes me often. He does not spend on me as he supposed to according to Islam. I have been planning to leave and return to my family who loves me. I have asked him many times to see an imam or go to a counselor, but he has refused.


In this counseling answer:

“One suggestion I have is to try separating (not divorce) and go live with your family for a period of time. ”

As-Salaamu ‘Alaikum sister Z,

I’m sorry to hear of your difficult and tensed situation. What you are describing sounds like a lifeless marriage. Since the two of you share responsibilities, yet have no intimacy or connection beyond that, it is easy to understand why you are troubled and why you consider leaving.

If this pattern has been going on for a long time, I suggest you keep up with encouraging your husband to see a counselor with you. If he continues to refuse, then you should go to your family for help. In the Quran, Allah (swt) guides us to bring a member from each family to help with a couple in distress.

I also advise you to be introspective and assess what roles you might be playing in your marriage. No one is ever fully at fault; both partners contribute to the pattern.

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It is difficult to give you specific advice because I don’t know many layers to the marriage. One suggestion I have is to try separating (not divorce) and go live with your family for a period of time. Sometimes the separation helps us clear our minds and make better-informed choices about what we want and how to be in a relationship. This distance may encourage your husband to try solving the issues because he misses you, and you may also realize many things while being apart. Make sure if you do separate and decide to come back together, you must have an agreed plan as to how you two will invest and nurture the marriage; otherwise, the old patterns will return.

It is really important to have a professional support you two through this since you two are unable to work it out on your own.

May Allah (swt) help you,


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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: or