Fear of Marriage: I Am Not Good Enough for Anyone

11 January, 2022
Q I don't want to get married because I don't feel good enough for anyone. I have tried to improve myself, but I subconsciously compare myself to other guys who are better than me. I feel as if I don't have a personality, sense of humor, or any attractive qualities. I don't want to get married because I don't want to destroy a woman's life by becoming a regret, a punishment, or a burden on her.

I have been diagnosed with moderate to severe depression and I'm taking meds. I've also had a history of bullying, and I would say lack of self- esteem instead of low self-esteem because I don't even have a self-concept. I think women's requirements for marriage are so up that I will never be good enough no matter what I do.

Women have always looked at me as a brother or as a friend. I feel like I have no hope. I've had suicidal thoughts because of loneliness and hopelessness (but that has stopped since I've taken med). Please advise me on this. I've been helpless for a long time now.


In this counseling answer:

• You may need to address your past abuse of being bullied.

• Return to your counselor and discuss with him the fact that you still feel very much depressed and continue to suffer from low self-esteem.

Ads by Muslim Ad Network

• Widen your Islamic social circle in order to meet a variety of Muslims.

As-Salamu ‘Alaykum brother,

Thank you for writing to us with your concerns. It is common for many young men (and women) to feel rather insecure, have some low self-esteem and/or suffer from some degree of insecurity. However, you mentioned you have a history of being bullied, which may amplify these feelings as well as causing other emotional and mental distress regarding your concept of self.

The Effects of Bullying

Bullying is abuse and can have long-term effects. According to the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, bullying can lead to ‘Anger, Depression, Anxious avoidance of settings in which bullying may occur, greater incidence of illness, lower grades than non-bullied peers, suicidal thoughts and feelings, reduced occupational opportunities, lingering feelings of anger and bitterness, desire for revenge, difficulty trusting people, interpersonal difficulties, including fear and avoidance of new social situations, increased tendency to be a loner, perception of self as easy to victimize, overly sensitive, and thin-skinned, self-esteem problems (don’t think well of self), and increased incidence of continued bullying and victimization”.

karim serageldin & naaila clay

While you may experience some of these symptoms as well as others that are not listed, the point my dear brother is that you may need to address your past abuse of being bullied. Bullying often occurs at a time in a young person’s life when he/she is formulating their self-concepts. If not resolved, these negative self-concepts induced by bullying can carry on into adult life.

Check out this counseling audio:

Seek Therapy

I suggest dear brother that you return to your counselor and discuss with him the fact that you still feel very much depressed and continue to suffer from low self-esteem. Therapy is of utmost importance and may need to be modified.

I would also like for you in sha’ Allah to sit down and take a serious look at yourself and your life. I want you to separate the true you from the negative messages you have heard since you were young. I would ask you to write a list of all your good qualities, all the kind, charitable acts you have done, all the ways you have succeeded in academia, jobs and family relations while also listing the things you can bring to a marriage. I am confident that once you clear out the negative messages in your head, you will see the truly wonderful man you are.

In addition, taking assertive training classes is a proactive way to learn ways of speaking and interacting with others that will empower you to have healthy boundaries. Get your social and other needs met, and function with others at a higher level. You will gain a lot of confidence if you master the skills of assertiveness. By becoming assertive, you will not only gain confidence, but you will be able to better define and assess your strengths and improve upon any goal you may have (such as marriage) for assertiveness improves one’s sense of direction and ability in life.

Widen Your Social Circle

While I agree with you that many sisters have ridiculously high expectations, there are many sisters who do not and are more grounded and realistic in their needs for a spouse. Those with high expectations may define themselves single in later years, as often, these standards are too high to meet.

I suggest in sha’ Allah that you widen your Islamic social circle in order to meet a variety of Muslims who may be more down to earth in their requirements of a spouse. The US is big, so you will have a variety of choices, cultures, and locations to explore. Utilize your local mosque for assistance in finding a compatible mate, or look into your local Meet Up groups for Muslims in your area. However, I would suggest that you first resolve your self-esteem issues, begin to love yourself for all your fine qualities and seek to strengthen your relationship with Allah (SWT) and ask for His mercy and guidance as well. As we’re in Ramadan, now is a perfect time!

We wish you the best dear brother. Please let us know how you are doing. You are in our prayers.


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.

Read more:

I Am Afraid of Marriage Because I Feel Ugly

Ready for Marriage, but Scared to Have Sex

I’m Scared to Get Married!

About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha has a PhD in psychology, an MS in public health and a PsyD. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years at Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. She has worked with clients with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, trauma, and OCD. She also facilitated support groups and provided specialized services for victims of domestic violence, HIV positive individuals, as well youth/teen issues. Aisha is certified in Mindfulness, Trauma Informed Care, Behavioral Management, Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Confidentiality & Security. Aisha is also a Certified Life Coach, and Relationship Workshop facilitator. Aisha has a part-time Life Coaching practice in which she integrates the educational concepts of stress reduction, mindfulness, introspection, empowerment, self love and acceptance and spirituality to create a holistic healing journey for clients. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocates for prisoner rights/reentry, social & food justice, as well as advocating for an end to oppression & racism. In her spare time, Aisha enjoys her family, photography, nature, martial arts classes, Islamic studies, volunteering/charity work, as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.