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How to Save Your Marriage? Our Counselor Has Answers

Typically, when one thinks of counseling, we envisage the traditional type of counseling in a more clinical setting, overlooking the less formal options closer to home; options that perhaps come with less stigma than the former.

Most imams are able to offer at least some level of counseling.

It may not follow a formal structure like traditional counseling, but it still offers the same space for couples to share their feelings in a mutually non-judgemental environmen by a person who can advise according to Islamic principles.

More options?

Another more appealing option with less stigma attached is online counseling. This approach is perhaps more comfortable than attending a face-to-face counselling session and therefore, it allows more flexibility and privacy.

In the case where the reluctant spouse still refuses to attend, individuals should attend counseling alone in which they can still experience some benefits to their marriage.

Counselling gives them the chance to work on their own part of the problem.

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It can be beneficial to simply get harsh feelings off one’s chest, which in itself can be therapeutic and healing.

It also puts the recipient in a better psychological state to deal with marital difficulties more effectively.

Perhaps this noticeable change will even be a factor that convinces the other spouse to consider having to counsel themselves, either alone, or together as a couple.

Working on one’s self

Question: A common piece of advice I hear often is about working on yourself. But doesn’t this only work when both spouses commit to working on themselves? Which is another taboo. How do I get my spouse to do some personal growth?

Answer: Much like with counseling, it wouldn’t be uncommon for the stigma surrounding “working on yourself” to be a factor that deters one member of a couple from engaging in personal growth activities. 

Of course, it makes sense that for the greatest benefits to be experienced in a marriage, both spouses should be engaging in personal growth exercises.

However, that should not prevent the willing spouse from engaging in such exercises alone. 

Certainly, first and foremost, the benefits will be experienced by the active spouse, to begin with.

However, on their journey to personal growth, this will also have an impact on the marriage in time also. 

Personal growth can improve self-esteem and give the person improved skills in approaching marriage in an appropriate way, even in times of difficulty. So it is arguably not entirely true to say that it is 100% necessary for both parties to engage in personal growth.

Personal growth

Unlike counselling , it is not necessary to have the involvement of a third party in self-development activities.

It’s easily something that can be done in the home, a factor that could otherwise be responsible for stigma and reluctance to engage.

Not only that, but it can be guided through self-help, books, or courses in your own time, so there is a large amount of flexibility available in personal growth.

How to Save Your Marriage? Our Counselor Has Answers - About Islam

Perhaps the reluctant spouse is not aware of this and simply needs to be made aware of the same in order to overcome the stigma and/or reluctance and take the first step. 

Failing this, another option is to promote personal growth in a more subtle, indirect way by creating a situation that encourages self-reflection and subsequent personal growth.

A good way to do this is through using online sources as a means to promote this.

There are many reputable motivational speakers who are able to do just this through their lectures on YouTube and the like. 


This article is from our archive, originally published on an earlier date and highlighted here for its importance.

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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. (