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A New Marriage Takes Adjustment

16 January, 2017
Q Salam! I'm really troubled, so please help me ASAP. I will start from the very beginning so I can provide you with more info. I was born in Pakistan and now live in the US. Since I was in high school, I have been getting marriage proposals from the US and from Pakistan, too. My dad loves me a lot so he did not want to send me to Pakistan, and I personally didn't want to go either. Another fact is that I didn't want to get married yet, but my mom was always worried about what the society will say if I don't get married at this age. My mom is so nice, ma sha' Allah, and I always take her advice in everything. I was 20 when I got tired of receiving new proposals every week, and my mom was getting frustrated that none of them worked out. And then someone came who my parents loved. He is from Pakistan, memorized the entire Qur'an, and was ready to move to the US after getting married. Like always, I told my parents as you wish, I will get married to whoever you say. They did istikharah and said yes to them. They let us talk on the phone to get to know each other since it was a long distance relationship. I was not ready to be in a relationship and was doing this just to please my parents. When I turned 21, my parents took me to 'Umrah and we got married there. I hardly got to know this person, even though we did talk at least 4 times every week before marriage, but what significance a phone conversation can do. Anyway, he and his family are really nice, ma sha' Allah, I have no complaint about them. After the marriage ceremony, I came back to the USA and he went back to Pakistan. We even started talking on Skype since our marriage was done. He was always eager to talk to me while I just wanted to ignore him, to be honest. We did the paperwork and he came to the US. Our marriage was consummated three weeks ago, and since then we're living together. There hasn't been a single day that I felt happy with him. He does nothing to hurt me, but I simply don't love him. I don't have any feelings towards him. How can I sleep with a person when I don't even want to sit with him? I don't feel like talking to him, rather running away from him. I don't want to see his face, even though he is not bad looking at all. I cannot look at him as my husband. I told my mom about this and she said to pretend at first, then I will get used to it. I tried that, but I feel trapped inside. I haven't done anything but crying during these three weeks. I feel bad for him because he says he wants to see his wife happy, but I am not happy at all. I'm happy when he is not around. I told my mom that I can't live with him like this; I prefer dying, so please get me separated from him. But then she started crying and said if I want to see her dead, then go ahead and get separated. My question is why I should live with a person I don't feel happy with? Please help me. I'm crying all the time and this does not make anyone happy. If he tries to come close to me, I push him away and that hurts him, but I can't control myself. I don't want to live with him. Does Islam tell us to live with a person you feel attracted towards? Is it even possible to live with someone you don't want to live with?



As-Salaamu ’Alaikum sister,

I feel for you, being in a new marriage takes adjustment. When my sister got married and moved away from our family, she cried and called us every day. Over time, she adapted and found joy in bonding with her husband and building her future family. I believe your mother gave good advice when she said “pretend at first then you will get used to it.”

The reality is that you chose this marriage, sister, by giving full authority to your parents to decide for you who to marry and when to marry. You said: “I told my parents as you wish, I will get married to whoever you say.”

It is unfortunate that you feel you wish you did not get married, but you did play a role in this. Focus on the bright side. You said that your husband is attractive, a good person and your parents like him. You said he does not hurt you or treat you bad. Thus, the sadness and feeling of wanting “to run away from” may be linked to:

  1. getting married too soon to someone you don’t know as deeply as you would like
  2. realizing your life has suddenly changed and you are having trouble adapting
  3. you are having withdrawals from being with family and miss being at home

To address the above points, reflect on the following, sister:

You trust your parents and you know they love you, so trust in this marriage path that they facilitated. Give it more time and try to be open to the good of your situation. All marriages take adjustment; you are not the first or the last one to go through this life transition.

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You may feel you do not love him right now, but perhaps the love will grow over time and with sincere effort. I am not sure what you expect love is supposed to look and feel like, but if he is a good person and he treats you well, it is likely that you will grow feelings for him.

If you feel you are not ready to engage in physical intimacy with him, then express that you are uncomfortable for the time being. Take it slow and practice non-sexual touch so that you are not traumatized by anything too intense at first. If he is a good person, I am sure he will understand.

My last point of advice is to take measures not to get pregnant so that you can focus on your personal and marriage development. Give it an honest chance, and if after a year you still feel the same way, then you may want to address this with your parents once you have more substantial experiences around the incompatibility of the relationship.

You could consider marriage counseling to help you adjust to your process. I am located in the United States and you can easily reach out to me at



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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