Number-One Killer in Intimate Relationships

07 March, 2021
Q As-Salamu `Alaykum. I got married recently. In the first ten days of our marriage, my husband only wanted physical contact with me. But for two months, he doesn't want to come close to me. I have initiated the process, but he refused me. I feel emotionally damaged at the moment. He has also been very harsh with his words towards me. At first, I kept quiet, but now I furiously react to him even though my anger is very short-lived. Please advise me as I feel I am not worth anything, and I am at loss.



From counselor Najma M. Adam:

As-Salamu `Alaykum, 

What happened during the first ten days of marriage is quite normal. Usually, at the beginning of marital relationships, the sexual urge is quite high, but you should not be deceived into thinking that this is the usual; nevertheless, not touching you for two months is quite long, especially in the first months of marriage.

Two suggestions might help you. First, try not to openly approach him, but seduce him. In simple words, do not go and tell him that you want him, but rather totally ignore the issue. At the same time, you should, as much as you can, be clean in yourself. At home, be perfumed, apply light but seductive make-up and wear some clothes that will show your body attractively, at the same time try to be funny and have a loving attitude.

If he does not respond in the way you wish, you should rather, as a second option, sit together and have a nice talk (not fight) about why he changed his attitude towards you. The most important thing is to have a fruitful conversation. Rather than taking his comments in a sensitive way and believe that he is only criticizing you, hear them as if you are hearing comments from a close friend who is trying to help. Try to make him say what he liked and disliked in this sexual relation, and tell him that you are definitely going to do more of what he likes – for your sake as well as his.

In summary, try to change your looks and your position. Boredom is a number-one killer in intimate relationships.


From counselor Hwaa Irfan: 

As-Salamu Alaikom sister,

We pray that the foundations of your marriage will strengthen, in sha’ Allah.

We thank you for confiding in us. The situation you find yourself in must seem quiet daunting. What you are experiencing is not as abnormal as it seems for many reasons.  wedding-night-special

Firstly, with all the songs and films and TV serials, it is hard to not have a realistic image in one’s mind as to what marriage is all about. We are blinded by the love aspect and develop images of expectation in our minds that we project onto other people – the opposite sex in general. It is quite amazing really for how long we can carry on with these false images in our minds, adjusting interpretation a little depending on how much we are willing to see the other person for what they really are. If we are not careful, we can become extremely disappointed. If we wake up, we will allow ourselves to see each other in more real terms, allowing for more opportunity to be oneself. Too often women assume that when it comes to sex, men have no fears. This is a time to listen to one another and sense each other’s needs, not to demand, scheme, or plan.

Secondly, I would like to say that you are young in marriage, which is the most nervous period, and one can feel quite insecure about one’s new status. This is not helped if we are surrounded by failing marriages and illicit affairs. You thought you knew each other before, but now it is time to really get to know one another and to define who you are within that marriage. This is a natural process that will take some time.

For whatever reason, he is frightened of the ordeal; maybe he feels impotent in some way, or he had other expectations, or he is simply ill. With this in mind, it would be better if you did not approach emotionally, psychologically, or physically in any intimate way at the moment so that he can begin to feel relaxed. Right now trust, friendship, compassion, understanding, respect, and mutual consultation is what is important. If you are to enjoy intimacy again, it will be when you are both ready, not when only one of you is ready. By the way, it might be worth having a little talk with your mother, if not a close aunt; we sometimes forget how valuable their experience can be to us.

Any anger he has is a way of relieving the tension he feels right now about sex and intimacy. He is carrying enough guilt and is probably disappointed in himself; therefore, it would be wise to be patient and understanding and help him to not feel so bad by making the issue not important. Do not personalize it, for as much as it seems that it is to do with you, it is more likely to do with him.

What you can do is to just love him without expectation; just be understanding within reason. Try to get on with your own self-development in terms of the home and things that you would like to do. Try to keep in touch with your parents, close relatives, and friends, and, of course, the most precious time of solitude is the time of prayer and reading the Qur`an.

We pray that whatever tension that exist in your relationship will soon disappear and that you will have a happy life together, in sha’ Allah. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with us again.



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About Najma M. Adam
Najma M. Adam, Ph.D., L.C.S.W. is the Director of Adam & Associates Counseling Services, Inc. Dr. Adam has many years of experience and has taught at several universities in the Chicagoland area. She actively conducts research and publishes. She received her Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Jane Addams College of Social Work and her Master’s Degree from the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration.