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Husband & I Are Totally Incompatible; Shall I Seek Divorce?

28 September, 2021
Q Assalamualaikum.

I'm reaching out because I am in desperate need for advice regarding my marital situation. I'm 32 years old and my husband is 48. We have been married for almost 11 years now and have 2 young children under 10. We are both from the same country; therefore, we have the same cultural and religious values.

Truthfully, I am unsatisfied with my marriage and I can say this for all aspects of it, but I was convincing myself to stay because of my children and my parents’ influence since I and my husband are related by the family alliance.

We are entirely incompatible. This was an arranged marriage, but absolutely not a forced marriage. I was 22, young and naive, living in a different country pursuing my undergraduate degree while he was in the US, undocumented and doing small jobs. My parents liked him because he did Islamic studies in an Arab country and he comes from an entrusted family.

As I was never involved in a haram relationship and was praying to find a man who is pious as a husband, I accepted his offer to please my parents and also because he was a good looking man. He still is a handsome man, but that is no longer valuable to me. I failed to evaluate another side of the marriage.

Soon after, I joined him in the US. We went through a lot of difficult times, but now we are kind of stable because I gave up. I try to focus on my career and my children while trying to ignore him as we are unable to have a friendly and loving conversation due to our intellectual and background differences.

I do not have any patience with him anymore and I'm so scared to be punished by Allah for not being a submissive wife as our religion asked us to be. I completed my graduate studies when I joined him in the US with my parents’ help and he is still doing the same street jobs as always.

I tried my best to convince him during all these years to do something constructive with his life, to be ambitious, start something small even learn to make pizza, but he never listened to me. He would manipulate the situation by saying that he can't work for someone because he values praying on time. When you work for someone you are dependent on that person's schedule, so he declined all my suggestions.

I had a vision, I worked as a maid and as a cashier and Alhamdulillah by God's grace I'm now working for a well-known international organization. I have a clear vision of our union now and I'm hopeless of our future. I pray to Allah for guidance but I'm also so scared and fragile inside to resist of all the temptations out there.

I interact with so many smart and fun males at work and suddenly I see what is lacking in my marriage. I have never once texted with my husband because he can't even read texts in English after spending almost 20 years in the US. Except reading the Quran, I don't know any other skills he had developed in school.

I'm simply unhappy and unfulfilled in this marriage and I want to seek a divorce. There has never been a physical violence incidence, but he was verbally abusive towards me and had cheated on me. I forgave him and that is not my main reason for seeking a divorce. I think he can find someone who will love him as he is.

I may find someone or not, but I will have peace of mind that I'm not hurting anyone, or that I'm not being disrespectful and non-submissive to my husband. How can I explain this to him with less impact on the kids? How can I explain this to my family and his family?

Thank you for your time and consideration.


In this counseling video, you will learn:

Recognize the positive qualities of your husband.

Talk to your husband. He may not know how the situation frustrates you.

Work with him and let him know you support him.

Do something exciting and new together.

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Go to counseling together or even alone.

If nothing works, you may think of seeking a divorce as the last option.

Watch more:

About Hannah Morris
Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (