Enemies in Marriage; How to Not Hurt Each Other?

06 February, 2019
Q Assalamualaikum,

I am frustrated and don’t know how to handle my husband. We have been married for 7 years and have no children. We both come from different backgrounds and cultures; I am Western while he is of Middle-Eastern. We got married too young, not having figured out most things in our lives or our plans.

I have reached a point where I don’t know how to handle most situations with my husband, such as what to say or how to reply, because it ends in arguments 90% of the time. Because of that, I end up saying things that make him nervous or often with much space for misinterpretation. Slowly, we have started limiting our conversations and became almost like roommates.

I think we both have an issue with incompetency and inferiority and tend to misinterpret each other’s words. We both become defensive and it ends up in an argument, and in turn he becomes frustrated and starts trying to limit the conversation which makes me think I cannot really express myself at all.

I try to limit my critical comments as well towards him, but I have no clue how else to express my disagreement with some of his decisions. I would not nag him, but I sometimes feel the need to say it and the rest is up to him.

He doesn’t want to be treated like a child, but he acts like one. He is messy and forgetful, he takes risks trying to establish himself but with no outcome. We’ve been in a new country for 7 years and have achieved nothing because of him wanting to try out several things yet nothing works.

It makes me feel I cannot really look up to him, and sometimes I feel that he is jealous of me and tries to put me down because I work in a place I love and I have clear plans. He has as well, but somehow nothing concrete is shown. He also tends to procrastinate a lot.

These are not the qualities I wished to have in my husband. He used to be more determined before but for 4 years in this new country we are a mess. And the problem from my end is my inferiority complex, always feeling like I am not good enough. It comes from him not giving enough attention to my opinions and suggestions.

I hear his words in a harsh way and think he does not trust me. He thinks I am uncapable of deciding what is haram and halal. Despite that, I do not get angry, I just ask back asking why. I’ve learned a lot about psychology and the self-defense mechanisms, but I am still unable to implement them in my life I suppose.

Aside from everything, we also always tend to have different opinions about things, and after a while it becomes an argument for him. For me it is just discussing different opinions, but he cannot bear that I might have a different opinion from him on certain matters. I sometimes also have hard time accepting something he does that does make no sense to me, but as long as it does not affect me, I am okay with it.

Even though we both live together, I just feel that there is no proper communication whatsoever and we don’t end up doing things together much. It just feels like it isn’t his priority; mainly his work is, so I naturally also end up focusing on my own work more.

He only properly pays attention to me when it comes to sex. I despise that, because I don’t exist just for that. He says that I am argumentative and that I only care about proving myself and that he lost interest in me.

We had a slight change after I came back from a self-development course, but I think we cannot put down our past bad experiences with each other or our hurt and automatically go back to the same patterns. We used to not talk openly about anything, then during the change period we talked so honestly and I thought it was going to be like this all the time. Yet, we so quickly go back to how it was before; silent treatment, and defensiveness, and boring cycle of marital life.

How do I resolve these differences and how do we live together when we both have similar defensive instincts? He is not open to marital counseling but “I can go and fix myself to someone.” I am tired, I oftentimes feel I do not want to do anything. Quit my job, have kids, and stay at home, as he imagines his wife, but I cannot do that. I have serious fears of having children because of my background too.

I wish to be far from him. He does not value what I do, whether I work or if I have aims, he always makes me feel like what I want is stupid, useless, and that staying at home is my duties anyway.


Salam Aleikom,

In this counseling video, you will learn:

• Start the change, the energy and you will see your marriage changes

• Invest and develop yourself – take all chances

• Don’t personalize your spouse’s problems; work on your self-esteem

• Take the time to discover your intimacy and what turns you on



Watch more:

About Megan Wyatt
Megan Wyatt is the founder of Wives of Jannah where she offers training programs, live workshops, and relationship coaching for wives and couples. She is a certified Strategic Intervention coach with specialized certifications for working with women and marital relationships and has been coaching and mentoring Muslims globally since 2008. She shares her passion for Islamic personal development in her Passionate Imperfectionist community. She is a wife and homeschooling mother with four children residing in Southern California.