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Ask the Counselor About Marital Problems

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Thank you for participating in the session.

Please find the 4 questions to which our counselor provided answers. If you do not find yours here, check out our upcoming session or submit it there again.

Question 1. Husband feels obligated to fulfill a commitment he made to marry a 2nd wife but wishes he didn’t.

Asalamu alaikum, I have been married to my husband for 16 years and alhamdulilah we have 2 beautiful girls. I had 2 miscarriages in our marriage as well. Alhamdulilah. My husband and I have a hard time communicating with each other and due to my shyness and my fear of hurting his feelings, I never told him that being intimate was physically painful for me and a big reason why we are not intimate often. Alhamdulilah this past year we found out the reason and it has made a big difference but subhanAllah, circumstances have prevented us from being much more intimate (various family members getting sick multiple times including my husband and I). I still had a shyness and didn’t express to him how intimacy now makes me feel or that I looked forward to this new start in our marriage. He has told me he has needs and alhamdulilah he has never done anything haram and I know intimacy is important for both of us. 3 days ago, he told me he made the decision to marry a 2nd wife. I know it is permissible but my feelings are human and I fear our marriage will change and be destroyed. As we started talking more about it both of us opened up on a lot of things and he began to realize he made a mistake by not talking to me sooner and he keeps saying he wishes we talked before he made a commitment to this other woman. He has not married her yet but he feels he has no choice. He feels that he must marry her. The other woman’s ex-husband took her kids away from her when she told him she will marry someone else so my husband feels responsible for her losing her kids and said he cannot call off the marriage because he does not want to destroy her life more than he already has by having her kids taken away from her. I told him we can hire a lawyer for her to help her get her kids back, we can help her and be there for her as Muslimeen but marrying her is not the solution. He has only spoken to this woman a few times on the phone over a period of a few weeks. He has no responsibility to her. He hasn’t even seen her. My husband made an impulsive decision based on years of frustration and miscommunication. He keeps crying asking Allah swt to forgive him for hurting me and he wishes he spoke to me sooner, he said he would not have thought about marrying another woman.Even though it is halal to marry someone else, he does not have to, it is not a fard. We have had long conversations about making our marriage better and communicating more but it will be very hard to do that if he marries someone else. Our whole dynamic will change and this 2nd marriage will be based on an impulsive quick decision after a couple of conversations with this person. I know that shaytan is playing with my mind at times and alhamdulilah I will always accept the qadar of Allah swt but I feel there is still a chance to stop this other marriage. Is it ok for him to back out and tell the other woman he doesn’t want to marry her? He feels very guilty that she lost her kids but that is of course not his fault and marrying her will not get her kids back. He feels committed not to leave her in this position all alone and now without her kids. She is a convert and her family abandoned her completely. Alhamdulilah, we are both pious and fear Allah swt and strive for jannah so I understand how my husband feels, he says she has feelings for him and looked forward to her life changing by marrying him so he does not want to abandon her like her non-Muslim family has but marrying her does not have to be the solution. I have been sincerely making duaa for her that Allah swt blesses her with someone better than my husband and that Allah swt accepts from her struggle and makes it heavy on her scale of good deeds. I fear there is nothing I can do to convince my husband and I fear more that I am doing something haram by trying to convince him. He feels regret and would not have decided to marry someone else if he and I just spoke sooner. I feel his commitment to me and our children is the priority. I understand it is permissible for him to marry but I fear me and our children’s relationship with my husband, their father, will change. There is no need for him to marry another, certainly marrying her out of guilt that she lost her kids is not a good enough reason. He also says he wants to have more kids, we both do, but there is no guarantee that will happen with this woman. Please advise. I don’t want to do something haram by trying to convince him not to marry her and convince him that our family is enough. At the same time, I don’t know if I am strong enough, if my girls will be able to understand. Yes, I know it is permissible but it is extremely hard. May Allah swt guide us and forgive us. Barak Allah feekom wa jazakom Allahu khayran.

Salam Aleikom dear sister,

I read your message with much sadness. May Allah make your situation easier for you, I pray for you. It must be a really tough situation.

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First of all, I am not a scholar therefore I am unable to answer your question whether you do anything wrong by trying to convince your husband not to marry the other woman. I recommend you contact our ask the scholar section or your local imam for further assistance.

Regarding your situation, I would recommend you all make istikharah prayer. Marriage, and moreover second marriage is a huge decision that needs the guidance from Allah. Therefore, istikhara prayer, even more times, is highly recommended now. It will, inshallah give you much relief.

My second recommendation is duas to Allah. He is the only one who can change the minds and hearts. maybe this whole issue has happened, Allah allow it to happen to bring you closer to each other you’re your husband and talk about issues you never talked about in depth if this occasion did not occur.

Allah knows best. But duas are our first solution when we want change in our life, when we want to deal with difficulties. We turn to Allah, complain to Him, and ask Him to feel in peace. We ask Him to change the minds and hearts. Please, turn to Him sincerely and know that He will not burden you with more hardship than you can bear:

“Allah does not task any self beyond its capacity.” (2:286)

My third recommendation is seeking help from a sheikh or imam together who is more knowledgeable and can advise your husband. You might find it in your local mosque. Maybe he can help your husband make his decision not to marry this lady, maybe he can explain better why he can still change his mind and not marry this lady if he feels he regrets seeking a second wife. Turn to someone more knowledgeable.

It was a really nice thought from you to offer this lady your help and call a lawyer. That might be just the best option for everyone. I would agree that your husband should not marry this lady just because the ex-husband took her children away. These seem to be two separate issues.

It would be a huge burden on your husband as well if he only married this lady only because of this and not out of desiring the marriage. Financially and time-wise, a second marriage is a big responsibility. If your husband feels pressured, but he does not want this from his heart, it might just have negative consequences on the relationship with his second wife as well. Pray for him that Allah clears his vision.

However, he might still decide to marry this lady as, as you said, it is something permitted in Islam. Then you have two options: seek a divorce or stay in the marriage and accept his second wife. In the second case, you might want to seek counseling face to face that help you cope with this new reality as it might be emotionally heavy.

I also wish you take care of your personal happiness. While you face challenges in your marriage currently, find some peace of mind in doing what you enjoy. Meet your friends, do some hobby, and take care of your mental health. It is easier said than done but do not let this issue occupy your days. Insert some time for fun and relaxation from the topic when you recharge.

May Allah make it easy for you, may Allah help your husband make the right decision that is the best for him and you, and may He always keep the communication open between the two of you. Alhamdulillah you experienced the sweetness of talking to your husband freely. Please sister do never feel shy to talk to your husband freely and openly. Open communication also helps him to care and love you more the way that’s best for you. May Allah bless your marriage and keep the love and peace between you.


Question 2. Confusion

Asalam alaikum,
I am a 25-year-old woman from India and I need some guidance about a major situation in my life.
As I am of age, my mother with my consent wanted to look for suitable marriage alliances for me. I met a boy who me and my mother thought was suitable and we both too like each other. However, it’s been more than 1 year he hasn’t been very open about committing to marriage. We are not dating or in a relationship as our meeting was only for marriage purposes. He is a good boy with good Muslim values however I am not sure why he does not want to commit.
When I speak to him about this, he changes the topic but at the same time he talks about us and our future together. I am not sure what this is about. I am very emotionally attached to him and I believe he is too. He is a person with a good job, good values which is confusing me even more as to why he is not willing to take this ahead. I am confused and I am falling ill due to overthinking and not being able to find answers. Please help me.
Thank you

Wa Aleikom salam sister,

Thank you for turning to us. I am sorry to read of your situation.

I am wondering, if you and your family ask this man’s family about marriage and the time of the wedding, what they respond? You said your mother found for you this boy, therefore I assume your and his family have already met and talked about the future, or do I misunderstand something?

Please sister, seek help from your family as I understand well, they are part of this decision and are aware of this man. Let them speak with this man’s family and settle the issue. If they do not, then you make the deadline as you cannot wait for him forever.

Reading your message, the red flag raises inside me. You say this man changes the topic any time you try asking him about when you will get married. He does not seem to want to marry you. This is a red flag. I would not recommend marrying someone who escape from very realistic and important questions such as when your wedding day will be. What will you both do later when it comes to other important issues like finances or children? How will you talk? How can you rely on his words? How can you look up to him with respect if he can’t make important decisions? If you cannot talk about the wedding day, how you will want to talk to him about other stuff?

What happens if you mention him that you noticed he was escaping from the question? What if you face him and tell him directly that you cannot continue this relationship like this. You are a valuable Muslim woman who is not into playing with marriage. Be brave sister.

I would also recommend you think more about the reasons you want to marry him. I advise you to watch our series on getting married. Our counselor gives valuable information on how to get prepared for marriage and who to choose wisely.

I also recommend you pray istikharah, again even if you already prayed. Ask Allah to guide you to the best decision. Inshallah this will give you much peace and clearance in your decision.

Also, make lots of duas to Him to make it clear for you what you should do in this situation. As Muslims, dua is our most powerful tool at times of hardship.

May Allah make it easy for you sister,

Question 3. Husband is not interested in me

I married when I was 19 me and my husband have a age gap of 8 in the beginning itself he is not interested in me I married a twin and he is really fair and I am not that fair his family always pressure me for being fair they always make me feel like they are not interested in me my husband always have an eye on his bros wife I think he is not satisfied in me he wants white skin girls and keeps praising her beauty all time he never looks my face and always telling me to dress like her and be like her and he is not interested in intimacy too I don’t react to anything but now I get frustrated and I began to react he is not even looking me now I am fed up with life I really love to study 😔 in that young age I married him for everyone now I am all alone living my worst life

Salam Aleikom sister,

I am so sorry to read of your situation. It must be hard to feel you are not liked and accepted by your husband and his family. You say your husband compares you to his brother’s wife and tells you to be like her. This is really wrong sister, and destroys anyone’s self-esteem. I am not surprised you get frustrated.


I am not sure of the quality of your relationship with your husband, and I am not sure what makes him hurt you this way, but I would first recommend you talk to him. Chose a time when he is in good mood. Tell him that what he deeply hurts you by his behavior, and you do not understand why he does this. There must be a reason as we usually do not intend to hurt someone we love. Is he upset of you for something? Talk about it openly.

At any case, what he does is verbal abuse, and as such, it should not be tolerated. So, I would advise you to first talk to him and then give him a deadline. The deadline after which you need to decide whether you wish to remain in this marriage or it is better to move on.

Is there any opportunity that you guys move to another house? Living together with your brother-in-law and his wife is not healthy neither for him nor for you. Suggest your husband that you move to another apartment.

Give it a deadline, and see whether he changes his behavior. If yes, hamdulillah. We do mistakes but with a proper way of communication, we can change many things. Inshallah, this will happen in your case as well, I pray for you. I would also recommend you also make lots of dua to Allah that He guides your husband.

I would advise you to pray istikharah and decide. It might be a hard decision, but as far as I read, you do not have children together. Surely, such a decision is much easier without children than with children. You are still so young, you can easily insallah find a man who respect you and does not compare you to anyone. But let’s hope it is just some kind of misunderstanding or some unexpressed frustration from his side, and by communicating with him, things will get better.

I would also recommend you seek help from a marriage counselor if you feel alone with this problem. Contacting a marriage counselor alone might be also a good solution as she can help you through the process.


You mentioned sister that you gave up your studies and married him instead. Although as Muslim women, our marriage and husband and the family should be our first priority, I would advise you not to give up on yourself. If you feel like studying something, go ahead. There are so many sisters who study and work even besides children. You are still very young. I am not sure whether you work or how you spend your days, but if you feel any ambition toward studying (maybe studying Islam!), then follow the call. By having a goal and purpose in your life, your marriage might improve as well as you are not busy with only him but other stuff as well. Usually marriages are happy when there are some “me time” in it, whether it is studies or work. Have your own purpose you achieve during your days. Maybe you do not want to go to college, but wish to enroll in a course or other opportunities.  


In the meantime, I recommend you take care of yourself by doing things that make you happy. Meet your friends more often, have a hobby, exercise – these all boost your mood. Stay positive sister. Do not let problems with your husband ruin your days. Take care of yourself and cheer.

I hope I was able to give you some relief. May Allah bless you sister.


Question 4.  Hard time fitting in with husband’s family

Recently married Alhamdulillah and I moved many miles away from home to live with my husband. I love him dearly however he and I have differing views on the world especially politics. I really didn’t notice the difference until after the marriage. Moreover, his family has the same views, if not more extreme, and it makes me feel so isolated. I don’t dare say “I disagree” to his family when such topics are brought up bc I really don’t care with them like we see each other once a month for a couple of hours. I know how people work so I choose to present myself in a positive light by just allowing them to voice their opinions while I smile and nod. The thing is, it makes me feel alone at the end of the day. I don’t have anyone else I can go to who understands my view on things. I don’t use social media. My friends are largely non-Muslim and if I went to my family, they would worry about me & maybe dislike my husband/his family & I just don’t want that. I don’t feel like my authentic self around his family. My husband knows me, my views, etc. and we get along great like he isn’t the issue, I guess I just feel like I’m putting up a front most times just so I’m on good terms with his family as to avoid drama. Is this the Islamic thing to do? I feel like I know to choose my battles & this isn’t something worthwhile to me yet it still makes me feel inauthentic. I wish I had my family where we can disagree day and night but we’re still good and let the bickering go. I wish I had my family. He has everyone he loves and knows and I just have him. I don’t feel “safe” enough in my general environment to voice my opinions bc I fear being ostracized in a sense as well.

Salam Aleikom sister,

Thank you for reaching out to us. I am so sorry to read that you do not feel comfortable with your husband’s family.

You say “I’m on good terms with his family as to avoid drama”. Sister, oftentimes, we feel this even in our own family. You are really lucky mashallah that you can completely feel free in your own family, this is a big gift from Allah, mashallah.

About his family, it is completely normal that you feel frustrated upon this transition in your life. New marriage, new family, being miles away from your own family, of course it is a stressful situation. You are not alone sister. Remember Allah’s words:

‘Verily. With hardship comes ease. ‘ (Quran, 94:5).

Two things came to my mind while reading your message. The first thing is a Ted talk video of the man who survived the plane crash above the Hudson River many years ago.He got quite famous so you might find him easily. He said one thing he learned is that it was not worth being right all the time. He mentioned this in regards to his wife: sometimes, as you also say at the end of your letter, there are things that are just not worth fighting for. We need to “pick our battles”, and politics really should not the topic we should fight about. I always wonder how average people can get mad at each other over politics because at the end we really cannot have any influence on the politicians’ decisions. We really fight for nothing.

So, you have to ask the question: is this topic really worth feeling bad about? Can’t you not feel authentic while talking about other topics in his family? What does your authentic self-mean exactly?

I understand it might be frustrating not to feel completely free with his family as much as you feel in your own family. Maybe it just takes some time as you say you just recently got married. Maybe now you “put up the front to avoid drama”, and soon when the both of you got to know each other better, you can take your mask off and talk about your opinion freely.

Maybe it is the way of communication the problem? Maybe you do not simply talk about different opinions but would like to convince the other partner to agree to your opinion and this causes the tension? (Often this is the core of the problem. We do not talk, we want to convince.)

Maybe it will be the topic you will never be able to freely talk about it without risking making problems and difference of opinion. This really can happen in a marriage: we try to avoid topics that might hurt the other or cause misunderstanding. We learn then we simply avoid because it is not worthy fighting about it every single time. This is part of the process of living together. We need to scarify things in order to get well.

Obviously, with your family, it was easier: you grew up together. Most of the things that is in your heard today you learned from them. Now you need to find common ground with another person and his family who have a different background than yours and it naturally causes some conflicts. The first year of marriage is about that: building up a system at home that is good enough for both of you.

Maybe, you are authentic but it is just another part of yourself you show to them. Our personality os like this, sister. For example, we might show that we are introverts with new peoples, however with our dear friends we are much of extroverts. And maybe with his family, you will never be completely free as you are with your family. I imagine you miss your family a lot and would like his family to sort of replace yours, but that might just not happen in a way you imagine. However, I am certain that you can grow yourself with the new experiences you have with them.

I would like you to make two lists. One on which you collect all the good memories and positive side of this marriage. Use this list any time you feel frustrated about your husband. Just take it out and remember how great your husband is, how many good moments you actually have. Maybe you want to make a photo collage about it instead of a written list.

Then make another list of the good moments you had with his family. Include all the topics you enjoy talking to them. Use this list at times of frustration. Remind yourself that despite some issues you might have with your husband and his family, it was still a great choice to marry him, it was still worth travelling miles away from your family.

Nothing is perfect sister, no one is perfect. There must be a bad side of your husband, and there must be a bad side of his family. It is inevitable. The most important is that you can deal with this bad side, it’s not much of a sacrifice from you.

You might want to remember what the Prophet said:

“No believing man should hate a believing woman: if he dislikes one of her characteristics, he will like another. (Reported by Muslim, 36).”

This is true for husbands as well.

In the meantime, pray to Allah to make it easy for you. Getting married and accommodating into a new family is often stressful. Have patience and turn to Allah. Complain to Him, and ask Him to make things easy for you.

I hope I was able to release your stress a little. Do not worry sister, just give it some more time and everything will be fine biznillah,


Friday, Oct. 20, 2023 | 09:00 - 10:00 GMT

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