Loveless Marriage: Should I Continue to Live this Way?

16 March, 2021
Q Assalaamu'alaikum,

I hope you're able to help me out with my marital issue I'm dealing with.

I'm born and raised in Europe and after I graduated I went to my Islamic home country for a gap year. There my family introduced me to a pious and decent man who's willing to get married. He came by and we talked.

I found him nice and good-looking but we just met so we didn't know too much about each other's personalities. After the first conversation he had to go on a business trip outside the country and we hadn't spoken to each other since. I told my family my feelings are positive because so far I had a good impression of him.

While he was out of the country, he contacted my parents to do research about me and it seemed he was satisfied with their answers so he proposed to me two months later. During those months I started to hesitate a lot because I did not know this man very well.

Also, I did not hold any feelings for him nor did I feel chemistry yet. My family started to make arrangements for the wedding and I felt I was under a lot of pressure to say yes.

I performed salat istikharah and kept on making dua to Allah to not let me get married to him if he wouldn't be good for me. Being under a lot of pressure, I agreed. The wedding process went very smooth and after the wedding, I moved to my home country.

Here's the problem, even though my husband is a very sweet, generous and religious man, I never have felt sexually attracted to him. When we started to become intimate I felt nothing, no chemistry at all. It's kinda impossible for us to have intercourse since I just don't feel sexually aroused when he's touching or kissing me.

My heart isn't even beating fast, it feels like being kissed by my brother or so. I really don't know what to do, it has been two years now since we got married and I still don't feel anything.

He cannot penetrate me simply because I'm not aroused and I don't get wet underneath. I find it really gross when he's kissing me. I even start to avoid him when he wants to get intimate.

I really hoped my feelings for him would change after two years of marriage but it just doesn't. So far we still haven't consummated our marriage. We stopped trying as we kept on failing.

When I was a teenager and when I went to college, I loved to fantasize about sex, it really made me excited, so I know how it feels to really become sexually excited. When I try to fantasize about my husband I don't feel anything at all, probably because I know the feeling when he's approaching me in real life.

My husband really loves me a lot I can tell from all the things he does for me and he does enjoy being intimate with me even though we are not having intercourse. When he tells me he loves me I have difficulties replying the same thing back to him.

After we married, we found out we both are a different type of person. We share different interests and humor. He's a kind of person who is interested in the world such as in politics, science, history etc. He loves to debate about those topics too. I on the other hand prefer casual talks and am usually not interested in the topics he's interested in. We're communicating at a different level.

At home we do have daily conversations, talking about things that interest us both, and we do have fun. It's really not that bad. We like to tell each other stories about what we experienced and sometimes we're playing games online. We often go to lectures together and try to practice our religion as best as possible. He's very generous, loving, patient and treats me with much respect. He really fears Allah and always tries to fulfill his rights and obligations as a husband.

All the basic ingredients for having a stable relationship seem to be present, except for the interest, humor and chemistry part. I feel like I miss this emotional and intimate connection with my partner. He provides me all my primary needs yet it seems he cannot provide me my emotional and physical needs.

I also miss the laughter which I usually shared with my friends and brother I always enjoy when I'm with them. But when my husband and I go out to do something fun, we often don't know what to talk about. We have traveled to different countries together but I found it quite boring actually.

My mum worries about me and questions if I'm really happy with him. She noticed that we have very superficial conversations and she doesn't see much affection when we interact.

My husband is not a person who can talk very openly about his feelings. He's not used to having deep conversations either. I never told him how I truly feel about this relationship or that I'm not sexually into him. That would break his heart.

I'm really considering about getting a divorce. I think we both deserve better. Since a while, I started out daydreaming marrying someone else. I want a love marriage with normal sexual relations.

However, I do plan to see a doctor to get a check up for any health issues and a psychologist for any mental issues.

Still, I'm being skeptical since there were no feelings or chemistry to begin with. Since my husband frequently shuts down when I'm addressing this issue, I feel like I'm on my own solving this.

I never experienced (sexual) abuse/trauma and never have I experienced severe health issues. I never had a boyfriend in the past either.

Can you please advise me on how to deal with this situation? Jazaakumullahu khairan.

Answer


In this counseling answer:

Marriage is not just about being with someone who is kind, it should be about being with someone who can fulfill you and create a loving partnership.

Speak openly and kindly with with your husband.

Let him know it is not that he did anything wrongful to you or hurt you in some way, but you are simply unhappy and feel you both deserve better.

Talk to family in a kind way and understand they may be worried at first.

Keep praying and making duaa , always.


Assalamu alaikum,

Thank you for taking the time to write in and talk to us about this.

It is my understanding you married a man from your family’s home country because he was a good and religious man that your family felt would be a match. I also understand after two years you feel no attraction to him, cannot be fully intimate with him and ultimately have no chemistry. 

Sister, you have made it clear you do not love this man, are unhappy and are fantasizing about other men because you want out of this marriage. This does not require you seeing a doctor to know that the answer is to get a divorce.

Loveless Marriage: Should I Continue to Live this Way? - About Islam

You are in a loveless marriage with no chemistry, no sexual intimacy and your desires for other men will only continue to grow because you are not being fulfilled.

Just as your husband is obviously not fulfilled, cannot be fully happy in such a situation and is likely also fantasizing about other women because he is not being fulfilled. Neither of you are fully happy nor satisfied, staying in this marriage does not fix that, it only delays the inevitable. 

As you mentioned, you both deserve better. Divorcing him is not just about your happiness, it is also about his happiness. Your family may argue he is a good man and I do not doubt this at all, it sounds as though he is a truly kind and loving man.

Marriage is not just about being with someone who is kind, it should be about being with someone who can fulfill you and create a loving partnership. I also imagine both of you may want children one day, but if you are unable to consummate and feel no attraction to him then this will not happen. 

Talk To Him

I get the impression this is a reasonable and kind man who will listen to you. It may be hard for him to hear, as you mentioned already it is hard to discuss this with him. Calmly and kindly let him know that you are unhappy, unfulfilled and are seeking a divorce.

Let him know it is not that he did anything wrongful to you or hurt you in some way, but you are simply unhappy and feel you both deserve better. You can also mention you will not be able to fulfill his rights as a husband sexually or give him children due to this. 

This conversation should be calm, merciful, and not entail any blame as neither of you are to blame in this. You both entered it with good intentions and trying, but it simply is not working, you are not compatible. That is no one’s fault and no reason for this to become negative or hurtful. 

You can discuss with him how you will do this. For example, you need to decide if you want to move back to your other country or stay in his country. This is a big decision.

If you want to stay in his country, then you will need assistance getting your own place and learning to be independent. If you want to move back to your other country, then you will need assistance in packing and arranging all the logistics that surround this. 

Talk to Family

When talking to family, be honest and patient. Let them know you are not happy; the marriage has never been consummated and it is a mutual decision for what is best for both of you. As you mentioned your Mother has already noticed the changes in you and is aware your engagement with him is superficial at best.

Your family might be worried or urge you to try and fix the marriage. This is your decision to make between you and him. If you know that you can never be attracted to this man and will remain in this emotional state, then it is pointless to try and remain. 


Check out this counseling video:


Sexual Frustration

Sister, please be aware it is completely healthy and normal to have sexual fantasies. Especially as you are a young woman who is not being fulfilled. These fantasies and desires will not go away.

If you are unable to fulfill them with him then this could become a dangerous path as it will entice you to zina if you stay in this state long term. This is something to keep in mind if you consider staying, unless you plan to try and satisfy this with him, it will only get worse. 

Prayer

You mentioned making istikhara before the marriage and not wanting it to happen. Sister, if you went into istikhara knowing what you wanted it to reveal then you already had your answer strongly and the past two years have confirmed it.

I encourage you to keep praying and make duaa for yourself as well as for your husband. Do not hesitate to let your emotions out in prayer and remember Allah (most honored, most revered) already knows your heart and struggles. 

Final Thoughts

Dear Sister, I know this is a difficult time for you as well as your husband. Here is a summary of your next steps moving forward. 

  • Speak openly and kindly with him
  • Determine where you want to live and your next steps to accomplish this if you leave him
  • Talk to family in a kind way and understand they may be worried at first
  • Keep praying and making duaa , always

May Allah (swt) heal both of you and guide you both to a happier situation, ameen.

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 are liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

https://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-about-islam/i-want-to-end-my-marriage-but-i-have-no-support/

https://aboutislam.net/family-life/requiem-of-a-marriage-struggling-with-divorce/

https://aboutislam.net/family-life/husbands-wives/top-10-reasons-why-marriage-fails/

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"