In this counseling answer:
• Stress, worry, depression can play a part in the ability to get an erection as can fatigue or feeling conflicted about one’s self. Try to get to the root of your husband’s problem.
• Seek counseling. A good counselor will be able to help guide you through this and address any issues you’re having with depression or self-esteem.
As Salaam Alaykum sister,
Thank you for writing to us with your concerns regarding the issues with your marriage. From what I understand sister, you’ve been married for two-and-a-half years and you’re trying to have children. It appears that your husband cannot maintain normal sexual relations with you as he has problems with climaxing. You stated this problem began about four months after your marriage. Despite this problem, your husband has reassured you that he still finds you attractive and loves you. This has understandably hurt you deeply, as well as has put doubt in your mind.
You indicated that you and your husband went to the doctors and they set you up with fertility treatments. You stated they put you on hormones to increase your chances. I am trying to understand what happened at the doctor’s appointment, sister. Did you tell the doctor that your husband is having problems with sexual performance; did you tell the doctor the full extent of the problem and exactly what the problem is? You did state that the doctor casually told your husband to just relax or go see a therapist for his problems, but there appears to be no follow up on this.
Getting to the Root of the Problem
As your husband is having the problems, it may not be wise to put you on hormones as the first line of resolution as some hormones can have side effects. Possibly, they took this route as you do want children and feel an urgency due to not conceiving in two and a half years. It just seems to me they would have more aggressively addressed your husband’s inability to perform first, rather than go straight to expensive fertility treatments.
Sister, it could be that your husband has a medical condition that is causing this. You did not state whether or not the doctor tested him and ruled him and ruled out any medical conditions that could be causing this. If they have not done this yet, please do request that they evaluate your husband’s health. If he is on any medications for blood pressure, diabetes, or other health conditions, these medications can affect performance as well.
Sister is exceedingly important that your husband gets a medical evaluation. If his health is clear, he needs to engage in therapy insha’Allah to determine what emotional factors may be causing his inability to be sexually active.
Sadly, when things like this occur in marriages, the spouse feels that they may be at fault or that their partner is not attracted to them. This may be true in some cases, but the majority of times it is a mental health issue or a physical problem going on with a man. Stress, worry, depression can play a part in the ability to get an erection as can fatigue or feeling conflicted about one’s self.
Concerning insemination as well as IVP to get pregnant, insha’Allah it will work. However, it does not address the initial and most painful issue of your husband’s inability to climax. As your husband is good to you and all other ways according to you, please do ask him (and the doctor) to medically investigate his side at the equation concerning your sex life. As you have only been married a short time, the focus should be on your husband’s inability to climax as intimacy is an important part of marriage. It is a vital and sacred communication between a husband and wife.
Allah created the bonds of marriage for sexual relations to take place. Sexual relations help a couple to bond as well as provide pleasure and offspring.
Sister, you have expressed deep hurt and depression regarding your husband’s inability to be intimate with you. This is understandable. No one expects to marry and then have to live without intimacy.
To complicate matters, you have family and friends constantly asking why you are still not pregnant. I can imagine that this is a painful reminder of what’s really going on. However, you cannot state this to others for obvious reasons.
Sister, I will kindly suggest insha’Allah that you both further investigate the reasons for your husband’s inability to have sexual relationships with you. You may want to continue with the fertility treatments in order to conceive, but the root issue must be addressed. Even if you do conceive through insemination or IVP, there is still the issue of you and your husband not having an intimate relationship.
As you can see, and as you have expressed, this is hurting your marriage. You are now having thoughts of divorcing him and marrying somebody else so you can have a normal marriage with intimacy. This is a very sad situation because it seems that you and your husband love each other very much. You stated that he is very sweet and treats your you and your family with a lot of respect.
Check out his counseling video:
Interference of Marital Intimacy
Based on your love one another and your compatibility, I would kindly suggest insha’Allah sister, that you both do try to get to the root of your husband’s problem. It would be a shame to divorce over intimacy issues if they can be resolved.
While I don’t know exactly what the doctors did or said, it appears that they did not try hard enough to find out why your husband cannot maintain sexual relations with you. I would try all routes insha’Allah to resolve this issue. You have a good marriage otherwise, and by resolving this issue insha’Allah, it may bring you both closer and possibly prevent a divorce.
Sister, sexual intimacy is your right in a marriage. If it turns out your husband does have a medical condition that cannot be treated, you will have to insha’Allah pray on the situation and decide what to do regarding your marriage.
Some cases of a man’s inability to perform sexually are rooted in psychological issues and some are due to medical issues. Sometimes an inability can be related to a past bad habit such as porn addiction. This may cause a person to only be able to function within the pornographic visuals.
Ingrained thoughts that sex is “bad or dirty” can also be responsible. Often times these thoughts can become so embedded in a person’s mind they are unable to function when they do marry. Most of the times these issues can be resolved and a healthy normal sexual relationship can be restored. The key, however, is taking the necessary steps towards resolution.
Counseling & Resolution
In addition to requesting further and more intensive evaluation of your husband, I kindly suggest sister that insha’Allah you get counseling as well. It is understandable that you are feeling depressed and hopeless at this point. A good counselor will be able to help guide you through this and address any issues you’re having with depression or self-esteem.
In addition, counseling can help you (if and when) your husband goes through medical tests and therapy of his own for his issues. Insha’Allah, the end result will be total healing of your husband’s inability to have sexual relations and restoration of your marital intimacy.
Please, do make duaa to Allah for this to be resolved. Duaa is our most powerful weapon and Allah is most merciful.
We wish you the best with the fertility treatments in regards to conception. We hope you both will resolve the underlying issue in order to save your marriage.
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.