Ask the Counselor – Live Session

Thank you all for sending your questions to us. Thank you sister Aisha for answering them.

Please read the answers below.

*If you do not find the answer to your question, this means our counselor was not able to take it at this time due to the number of questions we have received. We sincerely apologize, but please visit our site for the next week’s live session, where you will find your answer, biznillah.

1. I was Christian. I became a Muslim after I met my husband. We married 2 months ago. I pray with him 5 times a day. I try my best to follow Islam. I am wearing a hijab, covering my body, try to skip narrow clothes. I don’t use makeup. I try to obey him as much as I can.

However, he does not have any patience and wants to change my personality. I think to be sweet to him or show my feelings to him in privacy is not a wrong thing, right? He said to me that he married a woman. He says I don’t understand him, I don’t study as he wants me to, I don’t behave seriously or maturely. I am cheerful, I can’t change it.

Sometimes I feel he does not love me or he does not care about me. I only ask for love and kindness, but he said I am too sensitive. If he is busy I can’t talk to him, or he will be rude to me. But after I leave, he starts to play games and he is just happy with his friends. I hate when he ignores me.

I know I’m not perfect, but I don’t know how much more should I change myself. It’s ok if it is something evil according to Islam, I understand and change it. I want to live a life according to the Islamic rules. However, I do not know why my husband is angry at me all the time.

As salamu alaikum dear sister,

Ramadan Mubarak and shokran for writing to us and trusting us with your concerns. First of all, congratulations on your marriage as well as becoming Muslim. Becoming Muslim is the greatest blessing you can have in your life. Studying Islam and drawing closer to Allah swt is one of the most cherished gifts a human being can have!

Tests and Trials

Learning about and following Islam is not always an easy path, there may be tests and trials in the process of learning as well as in this life, but as with everything else that is valuable and important, the struggles you may encounter are worthwhile. We all struggle from time to time with issues but we have Allah to turn to for guidance and protection.

Tests and rials with Husband

You state that you have been married for 2 months and that you pray with your husband 5 times a day. You do your best to follow Islam and you have adapted to wearing hijab and covering your body, but your husband just does not seem happy with you.  At this point however you feel confused because you are doing what is right, yet your husband does not have any patience with you and wants you to change your personality. He feels you are not studying in the way he wishes and that you do not act seriously or maturely.

Sister, Islam is something that should be studied seriously. We do not want to rush through our studies but yet we do want to be consistent. As long as you are consistent sister you have the right to take your time to absorb the information you are reading insha’Allah. There is no set deadlines or pace to study as long as you are gaining the spiritual information, knowledge, and guidance from your studying. Learning about Islam is a journey and it has a different rate for everyone. Allah knows best.

Personalities

Sister, you describe yourself as a sweet person who enjoys showing your feelings to him in private. You are wondering if this was wrong. Sister, showing your feelings to your husband in private is not wrong. A husband and wife need to show their feelings for each other and to be kind to one another. This is a part of good communication and encourages bonding. It could be that your style of communication may differ from his and this may be due to personalities formed by life experiences or familial upbringing.

Discomfort with Expressing or Accepting Intimate Feelings

It could be that your husband is not used to having someone express feelings towards him or it could be that he is uncomfortable with what you are sharing. This is a no way your fault, but often times, a man who is newly married may not be used to hearing intimate or in-depth feelings or thoughts. He may not know how to react or respond and therefore becomes uncomfortable or upset.

Possible Differences in Lifestyles or Upbringing

Sister, you state that you are cheerful and that seems to bother your husband as well. Being cheerful is a very good attribute sister. Perhaps it is that your husband is more serious and stoic than you are. While you did not indicate your ages in your question, or the type of families you come from, it could be that he came from a more reserved family than you did.

Perhaps in your family there was more sharing of feelings, laughter, lightheartedness, and communication. It is possible your husband came from a family who did not share feelings as readily, or they did not share many lighthearted moments, therefore he is not use to your joyfulness and openness to communicating feelings.  That is neither good nor bad, however it may take some getting use to as you both grow in your marriage in regards to communication and getting to know one another.

Communication Styles

Styles of communication are not always the same and that is okay! The important thing is a willingness to work on communication and to be open to each other’s vulnerabilities, attributes, and communication styles. This often comes as couples get to know one another better and learn to adapt to the differing styles. Eventually insha’Allah, each couple reaches a point wherein communication becomes more comfortable and in synch with each person’s personality and style. They key is always kindness, love, and patience.

Feeling Unloved

Sister you feel that your husband may not love you or does not care about you. You say he gets angry at you when you try to talk to him and wants you to change your personality. First, I am sure he loves you; he chose you to be his wife.

Given that fact, he should not get angry with you sister, but show kindness and love towards you. Perhaps he does not how to show love. Again, you may come from different family dynamics.  Perhaps he is not used to being around people who are cheerful and sweet. In sha Allah as time goes on he may begin to relax and cherish these nice qualities that you have.

Anger Issues

Concerning his anger, it could be that your husband’s anger is not because he’s angry at you, it may be that he is angry at something else. He may be angry about something in his past, something concerning his job, or something internal that he’s not happy about with himself.

According to Psychology Today (1) “Most problem anger is powered by the habit of blaming uncomfortable emotional states on others.

The resentful or angry have conditioned themselves to pin the cause of their emotional states on someone else, thereby becoming powerless over self-regulation.” In other words, when spouses become angry it may be due to the inability to regulate their own emotions in response to internal feelings which most of the time have nothing to do with the other spouse.  

Speaking with Husband

Sister, I Kindly suggest that when things are calm, you have a conversation with your husband and review the reasons why you got married, what qualities attracted you to each other, what things you have in common, as well as how to make things better moving forward. He obviously saw a lot of good qualities in you when you decided to marry. Insha’Allah, together try to focus on both of your good qualities as the foundation of your marriage and with Allah’s help, agree to work on the ones that are not so loving. Insha’Allah he will be open to this conversation.

What the Qur’an Says

Dear sister, you have only been married two months. You both may just need to take time to get to know each other better and adjust to one another. It is not always an easy task!  Marriage often starts by two “strangers” seeking  to know and love one another for the sake of Allah. 

In the Qur’an it states: “And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” (Ar-Room 30:21); “It is He who created you from one soul and created from it its mate that he might dwell in security with her” (Al-A‘raaf 7:189); and further regarding spouses “They are clothing for you and you are clothing for them” (Al-Baqarah 2:187).

In addition to praying together, perhaps you and your husband can read Qur’an together as well. As we can see, the Qur’an provides excellent guidance and reminders for marriage.

Marriage Classes

Lastly, I kindly suggest sister that you and your husband participate in marriage classes if you have not done so prior to marriage. A lot of Islamic communities have premarital classes and they are great for getting to know the ins-and-outs of marriage, what to expect, how to Islamically deal with issues that may arise, and how to communicate better.

As you are already married I would kindly suggest that you contact your Masjid or Islamic Center to see if there are marriage classes available for you and your husband to attend. The classes will help insha’Allah, with some of these issues that you both are having. You have not been married very long, only two months; therefore, this is an adjustment period that you both are going through. The classes may help to bring you closer and help create an understanding and resolution to some of these issues.

Conclusion

Sister, you sound like such a sweet, kind, patient, and loving person, and wife. You have many fine attributes!  Please do not lose your cheerfulness, ability to communicate, nor your sweet personality. These are blessings from Allah.

If talking with your husband does not help and marriage classes are not an option, please do seek marriage counseling. It is best to address these issues at the beginning so they do not grow bigger and cause a greater divide. Pray to Allah for a solution to these situations. As we are in the last days of Ramadan sister focus on these few remaining precious days and know Allah swt is most merciful. We wish you the best.

2. I Failed as a Man & a Husband

Salaam Alaykum. My wife is expecting a child soon insha’Allah. I’ve lost my job almost two years ago. We have been struggling with renting, the food. Our marriage is terrible. We have relatives around Alhamdulilah to help us out, but I feel like as a man and husband I failed. I feel like I’m being an outcast of my family because of my situation.

My wife is heavily pregnant and cries almost every day. We argue and we fight a lot. She feels like I’m blaming her for our situation. I got a court case because I couldn’t keep up with my bills. Everyone I knew and helped in the past are nowhere to be found. Why is this happening to me?

As salamu alaikum dear brother,

Ramadan Mubarak and shokran for writing to us with your most important concerns. You are going through very hard times right now and have a lot on you. It is not easy when one is married with a child on the way and a job is lost. When spouses argue, it makes it worse as this energy could be used to find a solution rather than tear each other down. It is understandable you feel like you have failed, but you have not. You still strive to get beyond this and you still have faith and hope . May Allah grant you ease.

Loss of Employment-Trying to Stay Positive

Brother, I am so sorry to hear that you have lost your job. I know it must be very difficult trying to make ends meet. However, my dear brother you are not alone there are many men who have lost their job in the past year or two due to the pandemic. I know this does not help; I know it doesn’t make you feel any better but I mention it because you are not alone there are many men struggling to take care of their families.

You say that you feel like you have failed in this regard however I am sure that the loss of your job is through no fault of your own. Things are very hard right now. The main thing is to not to give up in despair. It is to keep seeking a job and try to maintain a positive attitude because your attitude will most likely spill over into other aspects of your life. If you have an angry or sad attitude, a potential employer may sense that. Also, it can affect your family as well because they can sense it.

Our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as an Example to Follow

Insha’Allah, please pray to Allah to help you maintain positivity and faith in this situation. Remember Allah swt is most merciful and when we take 10 steps towards Allah he comes 100 steps towards us. When we maintain a positive attitude and outlook, it helps to change the neurochemistry in our brains, making us feel better.

I know this is hard in your circumstances but we must ask, what would the prophet Muhammad do (PBUH)? We can look at the life of our beloved prophet (PBUH) and see he and his family were not always well to do. Often times, they had little food. In a hadith by Bukhari it states “Narrated ‘Aisha: A complete month would pass by during which we would not make a fire (for cooking), and our food used to be only dates and water unless we were given a present of some meat.

(Bukhari Volume 8, Book 76, Number 465)” Yet, the prophet (PBUH) did not complain, get upset, or feel “less than”. He kept a good attitude. He knew these were the tests and trials of this life. He also trusted in Allah.

Marriage in Turmoil

Brother, financial difficulties is one of the things that can wreak havoc on a marriage. By making amends, you will not only make her happier, but yourself as well. It will be important that both of you agree not to argue anymore, it will greatly reduce the tension, stress, and negative fe

elings in the home. It will also give her some peace and consideration in the last months of her pregnancy. It is very important that when she gives birth, that the child is brought into the world in a loving and peaceful home. Financial security is nice and is needed yes, however a home environment which is built upon an Islamic foundation of love, peace, joy, and parents who get along is the most important thing.

Find Joyful Points

Insha’Allah try to find the points in your marriage which are joyful. Try to put aside your worries and concerns about finances aside for at least a few hours of the day so that these hours become precious time between you and your wife for a building and strengthening your relationship.

If at all possible try to engage in some joyful activities with your wife. It does not have to cost money. It can be as simple as taking a walk in nature if she is able, preparing a simple meal together, praying and reading Qur’an together, and spending quiet time just cuddling on the couch perhaps. While these may seem like overly simple things to do, they can make huge differences in your relationship and marriage.

Please make a resolve to not to argue and to spend time in more joyful moments despite the hardships you both are going through. Ask your wife to do the same.If either of you is unable to attain peace between you, please do seeking counseling from your Imam or a counselor to assist with this much-needed resolution.

Feeling a Failure as Man and Husband

It may be normal to feel like you have failed as a man and a husband because a husband’s duty is to provide for his wife and family. These are just feelings that are attached to a situation and not who you are as a man, husband, and provider.

In this life there are many times perhaps when providing for your family is difficult, this is one of them. As Illustrated above, this occurred in our Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) lifetime as well. While it may feel like an attack on your manhood, it is not. It is just the circumstances of the moment.

These Times will Pass

An important thing to remember is that these times will pass. Also important is that you have positive attitude as we discussed above and keep looking for work. Also, be flexible in your job search and be willing to take jobs that maybe normally you would not. The jobs that we really do not want to take may actually stepping stones to the jobs that we do want.

Upgrade your skills if needed. Go to a career or job Counseling Center in your city. Carry yourself with the attitude that you will find employment soon, and make duaa on a regular basis to Allah, asking Him to bless you with employment. Remember that these times are unprecedented and others are in your situation as well.

If there are support groups in your area for men seeking work, join one as it will provide camaraderie and support for you in your search for work. It will also boost your morale regarding feelings of hope and resolution.

Why is This Happening to Me

Brother, this is a key point! This is happening to you, not because of you. Its not like you don’t want to work, it’s not like your not trying to get a job. It is happening to you as it has happened to many, many men since time began, and is happening now. It is through no fault of your own. And, as a Muslim, we know that there will be tests and trials in this life to test our resolve, to bring us closer to Allah, and to test our patience and imam.

With that said, insha’Allah evaluate your determination to resolve this situation as well as repair your marriage. Make a list of the steps you will take and the projected outcomes. As this has happened to many men, see if there are books or you tubes out there to see what was successful for others in your position.

Look to your Muslim brothers who are also seeking work for tips, ideas, and resources. Insha’Allah, always remember this is happening to you at this moment in your life but you can change it.

Conclusion

Brother, be thankful for the relatives who were able to help you out, many did/do not have this. Do not look to others whom you have helped, we do not help others expecting anything in return. Instead, depend on Allah swt and insha’Allah on yourself.  Link up with other unemployed brothers for tips, moral support, and enc

ouragement. Go to your local job and career center. Be willing to work in other job capacities. Begin to heal your marriage by talking with your wife about not arguing anymore and focusing on the blessings you do have. Spend quality time together do simple but bonding activities. Finish Ramadan with a happier heart knowing your Lord, Allah swt hears your prayers and insha’Allah will grant ease. We wish you, your wife, and your soon-to-be-born child, the best.

3. I am Pregnant, but My Husband Hits Me

My husband and I loved each other before marriage and during our engagement period. We were so open to each other and got to know each other well.

I knew he dated few girls in the past, while he was the first person I talked to. He even told me he drinks and had a short temper before marriage. However, he said once he marries me, things would change. We got married Alhamdulillah. I quit my job and went to live with him, while looking for another job.

He doesn’t have family living with him. They’re back in his country. I have my parents here. On our first night, I had a really difficult time having intercourse with him because I was a virgin. He hit me and made me have sex with him regardless. Then he asked sorry and told me we had to do it and it’ll feel better by time. It did feel better at the end of our honeymoon. I got pregnant in a month. He and I would argue for small stuff and sometimes regardless that I’m pregnant he hits me.

Then he cried and apologized and made up with me. One day on his phone, I found out while we were engaged that he used to talk to another girl and had a relationship with her at the same time. But they both broke up few months before our marriage.

I dig more on his phone to find out he also had sex with a prostitute while we were engaged. It looked like it also stopped few months before our marriage date.

Until today, he says he was so transparent with me and didn’t hide anything. Only I know that he did hide the fact that he cheated on me several times before marriage. I don’t think he cheats on me now despite that he still emotionally and physically has abused me.

I’m due in 3 months and not sure what I should do. It’s hard to trust him again. He still does not know that I know he cheated me. I’m constantly crying and arguing with him for tiny thing because I’m really hurt. I still love him though and that’s the problem.

As salamu alaikum my dear sister,

Ramadan Mubarak and shokran for writing to us. I am so sorry to hear about the issues going on with your marriage. You state you love your husband but you do not trust him as he was with other girls while engaged to you, he hits you, and you are now pregnant. May Allah protect and guide you dear sister.

Perceptual Conflicts

My dear sister. Even though you and your husband loved each other before marriage and engagement, he tell you that he drinks and has a short temper. That should have been a red flag. Perhaps it was, but he did say that once he marries things would change. Well sometimes things do not change.

Often times we get married on what we perceive marriage will be. You perceived that he would stop drinking and manage his temper. However, that appears not to be the case. There is a conflict between what was originally promised and perceived a marriage would be, compared to what the marriage actually escalated to.

Rape

On your marriage night you stated that intercourse was difficult because you were a virgin. Because it was so difficult, you stated that he hit you and made you have sex with him regardless. This is called rape.  Of course, he said he was sorry. Unfortunately, you did not see this red flag either my dear sister. He had no right to hit you and force himself upon you-husband or not.

Love and violence

Sadly, many women do not think that forced sex by a husband is rape, but it is. Sadly, a lot of women stay with husbands who abuse them because they are in love or they think they are in love. Some of these women leave, some put up with the abuse, and some are killed. What they do not understand is that violence is not love.

In fact, some women blame themselves for the abuse, feeling they deserved it or did something wrong. Under no circumstances should a woman stay with a man who harms her physical or emotionally.

The toll of domestic violence/abuse can be seen on a global level and is often intergenerational. Girls born into families wherein violence against women is normalized may grow up thinking violence is love. It is not.

No Fear

About a month after your marriage, you became pregnant but still he argued with you over small things and he still hit you. The cycle continues wherein he then and cries and apologizes about it. But it does not stop. There is no fear of Allah, no active engagement in changing or his addressing his violence through counseling, there isn’t even the thought of his harming his unborn child. Sister are you not fearful for your physical and mental well-being? What about your unborn child? Is this the life you want for yourself? Is this really love to you?

Current Feelings and Reality

Sister, at this point you are constantly crying, arguing with him because you’re very hurt and you can’t trust him concerning other women (according to your question). The bigger issue here is that you are in a marriage which is consumed with domestic violence, that is the problem. What makes it even more dire of a situation is that you are going to have your baby in three months.

Sister, I kindly ask you with great urgency to insha’Allah evaluate your situation. You are in a domestic violence situation, you health and life are in danger, you are getting ready to bring a beautiful new baby…into a violent home environment. I kindly ask you to think about not only your own safety, but your baby’s.

Would you beat someone you loved? I do not think so. Would you protect someone you loved from being hurt? Yes, insha’Allah sister I think you would. Part of self-love is protecting yourself against violence.

Self Love

Sister, this is not a safe place for you nor is it an Islamic marriage. When we look for illustrations of an Islamic marriage, we look to our beloved prophet (PBUH) and how he treated his wives. The prophet Muhammad (PBUH) never beat his wives, never forced them to have sex (rape), nor did he emotionally abuse them. He was the best of husbands and treated them with loving kindness.

As a Muslim, isn’t that what you want for yourself? For your child? Your homelife? Do you think Allah wants you to be hit, raped, beat, emotionally abused? No, Allah does not and your husband will be held accountable to Allah for this. I kindly suggest that instead of focusing on your husband right now, you seek out help as soon as possible to get out of this situation safely.

You deserve so much more than this, this is appalling and degrading. You, like all women, deserve a husband who will treat you with loving kindness, protect you, and keep you close to his heart. Accepting anything less is not self-love.

Reaching Out

Sister I ask you to please reach out for help. As your parents live nearby, please, inform them of what is going on, pack your things when your husband is gone and go stay with them. Get a restraining order against your husband. Get counseling so you can heal, begin to think, and see things more clearly and then decide what kind of life you want for you and your baby. If you do decide to make this move, please do not let him know. Insha’Allah, please contact the Domestic Violence Hotline at 800.799.SAFE (7233). Please ensure that you erase the number after you call so he does not see. The website is https://www.thehotline.org/. Again, if you go online, erase all history, cookies, etc. on your computer.

Conclusion

Sister, I realize this response was kind of hard and straight forward. This is because the situation is urgent and I pray to Allah that you really think about the situation you are in, your and your baby’s safety, as well as examine your definition of love-which is what seems to be holding you there. Please be safe, make duaa to Allah for guidance, protection, and ease. Please do reach out for help as soon as possible. Things will not get any better. You are in my prayers; we wish you the best.

4. My Wife Hated Sex; I Divorced Her Divorce a destined or inpatient

I divorced my wife after six years of marriage with two kids. However, I can’t bear it now. I can’t eat even. I need advice on how to cope with the situation.  The problem began a month after our wedding in regards to the issue of sex. My wife hates sex. I didn’t commit zina before my marriage and I don’t want to do it after it. This situation was very dangerous to me. I did all my best to save the marriage, but I couldn’t. What happened has already happened.

We reached last segment of our union. Medical advice, Islamic traditional medicine, Ruqqiyyah. We tried all, but the painful thing is that I reported the case several times to her parents, however, they didn’t do anything. It is only me. I tried, for example, that we spent one or two months without sex. But it is hard. I like to have it after one or two days. I didn’t want to commit Zina. I need advice.

As salamu alaikum dear brother,

Ramadan Mubarak and shokran for writing to us to discuss your situation. I am so sorry to hear about your marriage ending. It must have been very difficult being in a marriage without intimacy yet loving the person. May Allah swt bless you for your patience and perseverance.

Intimacy Issues in Marriage

My dearest brother it seems like you have tried everything to save your marriage while trying to find out the problem with your wife’s lack of sexual interest. You went for many different medical advices, as well as seeking Islamic medical- spiritual guidance, and Ruqqiyyah, all to no resolution.  I am wondering brother, what has your wife had to say about all of this? What is her reason for not wanting intimacy? Did she ever discuss her feelings about it or give a reason? Did she feel uncomfortable or experiencing pain during intercourse?

Ruling out Causes

As you stated she did have medical examinations. I am sure that they have ruled out any health, physical, hormonal, or biological problems relating to a low sex drive. Therefore, my next question would be: Did she ever mention any trauma in her past? Does she have any fears surrounding sex? I am not sure if part of your efforts to resolve this included counseling or a psychological evaluation but if not, it may have been beneficial to rule out any reasons relating to mental health or a past history of trauma.

Cannot Bear Divorce

You stated you “cannot bear it now…” I am wondering if you mean the divorce, not being married, or lack of sex. As the question is concerned with lack of sex/intimacy as well as the great lengths you went to in order to try to save your marriage, I will address both insha’Allah.

Is there a Hope for Reunion?

At this point brother, you are already divorced and you stated that it is truly over. With that said, I am wondering if it is truly over or if you were contemplating getting back with your ex-wife with the hopes that things will work out this time. If this is the case I would encourage you both to participate in marriage counseling as well as have your ex-wife participate in psychological counseling. Psychological counseling can help determine if there is any anxiety, depression, or trauma which may impede her sexual drive. If the case is that you may consider wanting to remarry, I would kindly recommend insha’Allah that the two of you work out an agreement for (pre) marriage counseling and psychological counseling for her prior to remarrying. Of course, this would mean keeping your interactions halal.

 Counseling for Healing

If you are not getting back with your x wife then insha’Allah I will kindly suggest that you yourself participate in counseling so that you may be able to fully heal from the six  years of hardship and hurt that you have gone through. Additionally, counseling can be helping in processing the loss of your marriage. Counseling can be very helpful when someone who is divorced is trying to move forward.

Fear of Committing Zina

Brother, you are worried about the dangers of committing zina, and yes that can be a real concern.  However, you have managed to keep yourself pure for the past six years during the most trying times. Insha’Allah, you will be able to continue to do so until you meet a new wife with whom you are compatible with. The same reasons you were refraining from sin before are the same now, and insha’Allah you do have the strength to remain chaste. In addition to being obedient to Allah, your future wife will admire and respect that about you.  

A Future Marriage

A future marriage may be something you are looking forward to.I  kindly advise however that insha’Allah you heal from this relationship before going into another marriage. This is optimal for success with a new relationship. This way one does not bring any left over hurt, anger, or trauma into the new marriage. And yes, getting divorced can be traumatic for some people. If this is the case that you will be getting married in the future please do prepare yourself by healing from this marriage.

Staying Focused to Move Forward

In the meantime, to prevent yourself from thinking about sex and being tempted to commit zina, keep yourself busy with Muslim brothers doing social and fun things, spending time with family, take up a new hobby, take a class in something you are interested in, do some volunteer charity work with local organizations, workout at the gym, and maybe practice some stress reduction techniques such as deep breathing, yoga, or just walks in nature. Stay close to Allah through prayer, reading the Qur’an, and doing dhikr. Use this time to focus on you brother, your interests, goals, hopes, and dreams. Focus on your children-spending quality time with them. Focus on Allah by increasing your and strengthening your relationship with The Most High.

Conclusion

During this time in your life brother, in addition to counseling, keep your schedule filled with spiritual, social, intellectual, and family time. Insha’Allah this will reduce the temptations of zina, you will heal/recover faster from the hurt of an ended marriage. Insha’Allah you will find someone who is truly on your level in the many important ways which make a marriage successful and happy. We wish you the best.

Wednesday, May. 05, 2021 | 05:00 - 06:00 GMT

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