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Ask the Psychologist (Live Session with Aisha)

1. Question

What to do overcome my fears of my husband putting his penis inside my vagina? We have got married for more than 2 years, but my husband was with me for only 5 months.. I am comfortable with my partner with having oral sex and all. But when it comes to poking his or is to vagina I am getting scared and pushing him away and his mood is going. Is this bad in Islam.

As salamu alaykum sister,

Shokran for writing to our Live Session. The fears and apprehension you have regarding penetration are common among newly married brides-or those who have not been with their husband’s much due to distance. Having intimate relations with your husband in this way is new to you and of course scary. However, this is not an uncommon problem and it can be resolved insha’Allah.

Islamic Viewpoint

Based on Islamic foundations of marriage intimacy and penetration is expected unless otherwise known and agreed upon for valid reason such as injury, specific disability, etc. Sex is part of marriage and it is a point of bonding. It is one of the rights a wife and husband have over each other. However, it is not to be forced (rape) nor is coercion, threats, or bribery to be involved. It is a mutually consensual act of love.

Fears

Sister I would kindly ask you to make a list regarding your fears. Please write down what it is that you are fearful of. Is it pain? Is it related to unfamiliar feelings of penetration? Is it related to something you have been told about penetration? Is there something in your past that has traumatized you regarding penetration? These and other questions you may think of as you are making your list are useful in pinpointing what is the exact fear response and expected outcome. Please note-if you do have pain in that area, please get checked out by your GYN.

Listing Concerns may Help to See More Clearly

Sometimes when looking at a list of fears it can become less fearful. That is to say when we read a word or two of what we have written and think about it, we realize that there is no validity to that point of fear. Therefore, that point can be crossed that off and move on to the next point. In sha Allah once you organize your fears and apprehensions you can eliminate them. If there is one or two that you cannot eliminate, maybe you need to look at it closer and analyze its significance in relationship to you and your body.

Benefits

Sister, please make another list next to your “fear” list about the benefits and pleasures you may obtain and give through penetration with your husband. In sha Allah this list will be longer than your fear list. I encourage you to read your benefit list daily so that you can retrain your mind to focus on the positive and good benefits and feelings from being intimate in this way with your husband.

Misunderstandings and Frustration

Sister as you are married and have been for more than 2 years, it could be that your husband may eventually become very frustrated with the situation. When two people marry it is with the expectation that they will have sexual relationships which of course includes penetration. When one marries another and is not told that there are sexual issues, they may feel like they were lied to or they were deprived of information which is important to marriage and intimacy.

Importance of Communication

Keeping the lines of communication with your husband is best. As you talk about your vulnerabilities regarding fear of penetration with him, it may relieve him of some of his own fears which may be growing such as fear you do not love him, fear he is not attractive, fear he is not adequate, and so forth.

Talking with Husband

Sister after you have made your list and have become clearer on what it is you fear and why, I encourage you to speak with your husband insha’Allah. You may wish to share your lists with him or keep it for private, but do tell him how you feel, what you learned about your fears regarding penetration as well as the pleasures and benefits. Ask him if he will help you to make this easy for you for your first couple of times. There may be things that the two of you can do together that will prepare you and make you feel more at ease. By involving him in the process insha’Allah it will make your husband feel included and an important part of the process of getting use to a new experience.

Make it Fun

As you and your husband discuss and try new things to ease into penetration, don’t forget to make it fun, comfortable, and creative! This can be part of the bonding and building process that makes your intimate life more endearing and enjoyable.

Conclusion

Sister insha’Allah once you have identified exactly what it is that you fear and devise (along with your husband) creative and fun ways to resolve it, insha’Allah you may begin to enjoy one of the benefits marriage provides (and your husband as well!). If for some reason when exploring your fears, you find there may have been trauma in your past, please do seek out counseling in your area for more in-depth assessment and counseling. We wish you the best.


2. Question

how can I get my husband to spend on me and my children. he refuses to pay any bills, spends on himself only. won’t even buy things for the house, goes on holidays by himself as he won’t pay for us. he has done this for 30 years of our marriage, he won’t pay for food or clothes for us, I spend all the benefits I get, but it’s never enough, am now in debt, he has not allowed me to work for 30 years what shall I do. I now feel suicidal, help

As salamu alaykum sister,

Shokran for writing to our Live Session. Based on what you have discussed, I can imagine this has been a very long 30 years filled with hurt, doubts, hardship and anguish. As a Muslima, your rights as a wife have been ignored for way too long, so long in fact that perhaps your husband no longer see’s how unfair this is to you and the children nor the violation he is committing against his own soul by not providing for his wife and children.

30 Years of No Support

Sister 30 years is a long time to be married with no support from your husband. I am not sure what methods or actions you took early on in the marriage to rectify this but apparently it has become a way of life. It may be a way of life you never wanted nor agreed to but one in which your husband has obviously been successful at. However, at this point it is becoming dangerous for your mental health and must be addressed.

Mental Health and Suicide Ideation

Sister I am very concerned about you and your mental health. As you stated you “feel suicidal”, I ask you to please seek out counseling as soon as possible. In fact, please discuss these feelings with a close family member or friend and/or call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline in your area. Please make a promise to yourself (and think about your children) that you will not harm yourself. Nothing is worth taking your life-not your husband, not money-nothing!!! This will be resolved and you will have a new outlook on life.  Sister I can understand your despair, it has been going on for 30 years. You must be so tired of all of this however-there is a way out-and it is not death. It is in remaining strong as you have been-and making choices that will free you from this. Pray to Allah to grant you ease, and give you the strength to call or seek out counseling now. This day can be the beginning of fixing this situation and living a happy, joy filled life.

Changing the Financials

Sister, as you know when married it is the husband’s Islamic responsibility to support his wife, children, and home. Why this never happened or was insisted upon I do not know. At any rate you are at the point wherein you cannot carry this any longer, nor should you. Being your mental health (and indebtedness) is at high risk I kindly suggest you speak to your husband when you are feeling stable, and when things are calm to discuss changing the financial situation.

When you do Talk with Husband

Sister, insha’Allah approach him with love, concern, yet with a knowledge of your rights. As this has been going on for 30 years-he may feel you are not serious. I kindly suggest you provide him the proofs from the Qur’an of his financial responsibilities as well as proof that you are serious and will take other needed measures to resolve this if need be. This may be in the form of recommended marriage counselors, an appointment with your imam for Islamic financial counseling/advises, a separation agreement (until and if he decides to be financially responsible) and so forth.  The goal of speaking to your husband again-is not to anger him, not to argue-but to discuss an issue that has been longstanding, harmful, unIslamic, and now is affecting our mental health and indebtedness. Peaceful understanding and resolution is the goal.

Should your Husband Still Refuse to Support You

Sister if after talking with your husband he still refuses to support you and the children you do have options. As described above-you can use your benefits to separate for a while.  You can file for divorce and include alimony payments. You can go stay with family if they are available. You can stay with him accepting his haram ways but begin to seek out a career or job you would be happy and fulfilled in despite his saying you cannot work. Yes, we are to please our husbands however women are able and “allowed” to work especially if she needs to for the preservation of her family—and her mental health.

 A New Beginning

Sister THIS is the beginning of your blossoming out, finding yourself and your freedom. Look at this time as a wake-up call to a different and better life for you and your children. Start going to the Masjid more, connect with sisters, increase your social life, and regain a balance by practicing self-care such as joining a gym, taking walks in nature, learning stress reduction techniques, or learning a new hobby.

Conclusion

Sister, please take the time to stabilize your mental health. Insha’Allah talk to someone close to you about your feelings of suicide or call the National Hotline in your area. Make an appointment with a counselor as soon as possible. When you feel you are stable, have a talk with your husband about how things need to change if moving forward with your marriage. If you are not going to move forward with him—plan for an exciting and joyful future. There are rough spots in everything we do-but change can bring joy and peace of mind. Make a list of self-care activities to engage in to sustain you spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally moving forward. Whatever the outcome-know it is your time to bloom like a flower—as Allah intended. Stay close to Allah and know He loves you and will guide you in this journey. We wish you the best.


3. question

I lost my mother on Oct.22 2021. I can go in depth with that, but I will not. I prayed to Allah, I asked him for signs he will make my seriously ill mother better (trust me, she was very ill,) and He gave them. I asked for a red balloon and I saw a red balloon floating outside. I asked for a monarch butterfly which I never seen in 3 summers – and I saw two a few days later. He gave me the signs he will give her shifa, he gave me hope and I did nothing to disobey him. In fact, when he gave those signs I prayed with more reasons to be extremely grateful. But yet, He took her away from me. How long can I stay trying to hold in my tears, and wait for my own death? Because, with the way God works, he’d probably make me live until I am a hundred. I have no doubt Allah does not exist with the amounts of proof in the Quran, the signs I have gotten and much more but yet I feel anger. Anger towards the fact that I am a game to him. That he has so much power and yet here I am begging for something and he watches me with no remorse.

As salamu alaykum,

Shokran for writing to our Live Session. I am so sorry to hear that you lost your mom in October. Losing one’s beloved mother is the most hurtful, tragic experience any human can experience, I think. Nothing can replace our mom. May Allah forgive, show mercy, and grant your mom the highest ranks of Jannah. May Allah grant you ease.

Making Duaa

It is so beautiful and such an act of faith and trust in Allah as well as demonstrative of your love for Allah, that you may duaa continually through your mom’s illness. It is also indicative of the great love you had for her. May Allah bless you. As you know duaa is one of the most powerful weapons we have and the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) advise us to make Dua.

Outcomes of Your Duaa

As indicated by your question you made sincere and loving duaa to Allah to grant your mother healing and health. You feel that Allah answered your duaa’s by showing you the signs that you asked for. For instance, Allah showed you a red balloon when you ask for a red balloon. You asked to see monarch butterflies and you saw two a few days later. Rightfully so, you took these signs to mean that Allah will heal your mother, but as Allah knows best, that did not happen and she did pass away. I can imagine this is so hard to understand.

Some Thoughts on Duaa

I am not in Islamic scholar however I would like to add these points for you to think about. Please do consult our section Ask the Scholars for a more in-depth Islamic answer. With that said, perhaps Allah did answer your duaa in regards to signs. Perhaps Allah in His mercy and wisdom wanted to acknowledge and show you that He heard your duaa and that He was listening.  Thus, Allah showed you the beautiful butterflies and the balloon as a sign of His love for you.

Duaa Brought Signs but Allah did not Grant Duaa

You did see the blessed signs of your duaa, that is a mercy and a blessing from Allah because you did see signs meaning Allah loves you very much and listens to you. However, your duaa for your mom’s healing was not granted. I can imagine this was very hurtful and as you wrote you feel angry, hurt, betrayed, and confused. You stated that you felt like you were “nothing but a game” to Allah.

Possible Reasons why Duua not Answered

Even though your duaa was not answered by Allah the way you wanted it to be, despite Allah sending you signs such as the red balloon and butterflies, please be sure that Allah does love you very much and Allah has no need to play games. Allah the most high knows what is the best. It could be that Allah showed you the signs much in the way maybe that your mom showed you signs of her love— with her smile, her tenderness, and her giving you things that you asked for. Sometimes though, your mom (like all moms) could not give you everything you wanted.  

As Some doors Close

Perhaps your mom saw things that you wanted that may have hurt you thus she closed the door to things that were harmful for you. It is the same with Allah. As you know Allah knows best. Perhaps Allah did not restore your mother’s health because perhaps there was something worse in life that would have harmed her. Perhaps Allah in His infinite wisdom was saving your mom from something horrible, we do not know. Only Allah knows. We must know that whatever Allah does, He does for the benefit and love for his servants.

Returning to Allah

Thus, death is returning to Allah.  While it is sad for us to lose one we love so much, it is a beautiful thing for the believer. Perhaps had Allah granted your duaa, something very tragic may have happened to your mom that you nor no one else could foresee but only Allah could see. Despite the pain and confusion, experiences like this shows us Allah’s tenderness and mercy and love towards us, yet demands that we trust in His ultimate wisdom when things do not turn out as we had prayed for.

Tests and Trials

Experiences such as these also test our iman. It more or less challenges our faith. While you saw signs that your duaa was going to be answered (and these were signs of Allah’s love) in the end your duaa was not granted… for reasons only Allah knows. Will you look at the signs that Allah gave you as signs of His love and mercy or will you throw it all away because in the end your mom returned to Allah. These are things to think about as Allah will test us to see if we do Love and Trust in Him. Insha’Allah please think about the divine Knowledge Allah has, Allah’s mercy, love, and blessings he bestows upon us. Perhaps your mom’s passing is not a blessing for you—but perhaps it was a blessing for her.

Conclusion

When making duaa for someone. We must take into consideration that everybody has a preordained time. Only Allah knows this time. We must also take into consideration that should our duaa for someone be answered it may not be in their best interest. It may be that something worse could happen to them in this life that Allah wanted to prevent from happening. Lastly, even when signs are given for duaa but yet the duaa is not answered, are we going to stop loving Allah? Are we going to stop praying? Are we going to feel distant and angry with Allah? That is a real test. Your Lord has showed you He loves you very much. How will you respond to Allah when Allah has in His Infinite Wisdom, showed your mom the most love and mercy given the situation as Allah knows it to be. As Allah created us and knows our book of life-Allah knows best when it comes to showing mercy for His servants, much better than we do—even if it is our precious mom. Please do stay close to Allah. Pray, continue making duaa that Allah grant you ease. Grieving is a process however, Allah is our stronghold, not our enemy.  Insha’Allah please seek counseling if you cannot break away from these feelings. We wish you the best.


4. question

Hi, I am on the brink of divorce and want some advice please??? Me and my wife have been married 3 years and we have a 6 month old baby. We have had immense highs and some lows. We were madly in love and I would take her on holidays and treat her and the in laws really well. However for the last year, she has been abusive verbally and physically and I believe the main reasons are her mental health (father passed away last year and she is a new mother) and that her mum is intrusive in our relationship. So back in November, my wife lashed out and abused me, we did have a heated argument and I walked out. She called the police and got me falsely arrested. I was released with no charge and did a counter claim, which ended in no charge too. I stayed away for 5 days even after my wife text and rang me numerous times to come home. I couldn’t trust my wife due to false accusations. After the fifth day away, I returned and noticed that the locks had changed and her family (uncles and aunties) have barricaded the property. (Which is in my sole name) I returned twice to retrieve my goods as I needed some clothes (she called the police twice) but the policed helped pack my stuff and I have never returned since. My wife is easily manipulated by her extended family. Since then she has took out a occupation order and non-molestation order against me for no reason. Which means I can not contact her, or I face arrest. (I got a court hearing in 3 months, in which I can appeal this as I am innocent) About 6 weeks later, I sent a letter to her asking to reconcile for the sake of our daughter. She contacted the police about my letter and the police said it’s a nice letter and that I have done nothing wrong. She has not allowed me to see our daughter since the incident (8weeks) and when I asked via solicitors. She asked me to go through the courts. I can not get through to her. We have had numerous mutual parties try and resolve things with her mum and family. However her mum hates me and is trying to ruin my family. My wife is easily led by her mum and I can not get her back. My wife has not asked for a divorce, but has done a lot of damage to me,, spurred on by her family which is leading me to divorce. Any advice on what I should do? Kind regards,

As salamu alaykum brother,

Shokran for writing to our Live Session.

I am sorry to hear about your situation with your wife and the state of your marriage it is very sad indeed. I can imagine you are very confused as well as obviously upset about what has happened. You seem like a very good husband and you treat your wife very well. Due to these behaviors and occurrences, you are probably shocked that this has happened, and rightfully so.

Two Red Flags

Brother there are a few things that stand out in your question. The first is that her dad passed away rather recently- last year, and she just had a baby. I am wondering if she had any grief counseling regarding the loss of her father. When one grieves in Islam, there are set parameters and prescriptions for grieving. However, there are people who fall outside of this ability to move on after a brief grieving.

Grieving

Your wife may not have fully accepted or dealt with the passing of her father and may have been unable to express her feelings and sadness correctly with the outcome that has led to behavioral indications that something is not right. It could be that she has much sadness, feelings of loss, and even anger at his passing away. She probably misses him very much.

Post-Partum Depression

Secondly, your wife just had a baby. Having a child is such a joy and a blessing but there are also stressors that come with childbirth and adjustment. Perhaps having a baby after losing her father was very difficult for her. It could also be that she is suffering from postpartum depression which is a serious mental health issue that some women develop after having a baby. According to The Mayo Clinic (1) post-partum depression includes feelings of depression or sadness that is present most of the time and lasts longer than two weeks after the birth of a baby. This can also turn into post-partum psychosis. For more information on this severe mental health illness please see (1).

Counseling

Due to possible unresolved grieving issues and possible post-partum depression, assessment and counseling are needed.  Individual counseling would be best for her if she is willing, if she is not agreeable to this then marriage counseling may be a good option as it could help address some of these issues. Since this situation is so emotionally charged, she may respond better if counseling is presented as a joint effort as she may feel less like it is her “fault”.  If indeed this is successful, the next step may include the marriage counselor encouraging her to be assessed for postpartum depression and or issues with the grieving process as she lost her father. Ideally a marriage counselor would have a list of referrals. These two issues once resolved in sha Allah may find her in a better frame of mind, more stable, as well as more amicable to resolving the marriage issues.

Seeking Legal Help

Brother I would kindly suggest that you get a lawyer if possible. Insha’Allah, you (or your lawyer) may wish to request the courts grant you and your wife the opportunity to get counseling together to try to save your marriage or to get a mediator. As there is a restraining order on you, perhaps when you go to your court hearing you (or your lawyer) can ask for a counselor or mediator to help work things out with your wife. Of course, these two ideas will depend on an agreement from your wife.

In-laws’ intrusiveness

Parents usually like to help resolve matters in their children’s marriages when they arise and usually wait until they are asked. Sometimes this is good, especially when the parents can be non-bias and look at the problem from a non-judgmental perspective. However, this seemed to not be the case with your wife’s family. As you stated your wife is easily manipulated by her family; her mother has always been intrusive in your relationship, and does not like you. With that said, it would be wise if you both do reconcile to advise each set of parents and family that they are not to intrude upon your marriage. Sometimes the intrusion can exasperate the problems as you see now. Especially when families do not get along or are not fond of their child’s spouse, they can take an otherwise workable situation and make it horrendously impossible to deal with. Oftentimes intervention from family members is positive and it helps to resolve an issue between a husband and wife. If this is not the case however, it should be discontinued.

Why Families Often Intervene

Usually, families intervene because they love and care about both the husband and the wife and want to see the marriage be successful. However, this does take a lot of strength to not favor their own child over the spouse. This is hard to do in some circumstances thus it is best that parents do not intervene unless asked by both marriage partners.

Abuse

Brother under no circumstance should you put up with abuse. Allah hates abuse from either husband or wife. Abuse which takes place in marriage is an abomination. It does not matter whether it is the man abusing the woman or the woman abusing the man, husbands and wives should never harm each other. The reporting of abused men is much lower due to possible ego and stigma concerns; however, it does exist. You have the right to live in your own home, or anywhere for that matter, without the threat of violence. Abuse may be illustrative of your wife’s disintegrating mental Health because previously there were no abusive behaviors. Additionally, you wrote that your in-laws are encouraging and influencing her irrationality. Their influence is detrimental.

Reminders for Wife

Insha’Allah remind your wife that you do love her and you want to save the marriage but there are things that need to be addressed and things that need to be changed. In sha Allah remind your wife that you are both Muslim and that your marriage should be grounded on an Islamic foundation which includes trying to save the marriage as well as correcting any deficits within oneself that contributes to the marriage problems.

Conclusion

Brother if you chose to try these recommendations outlined in this response, In sha Allah your wife will be agreeable to this. If she is agreeable to this and you do begin counseling, when you get to a safe level of trust between the two of you, you may wish to discuss the interference of family and how it could be damaging. Perhaps you both can reach an agreement on how, when and if, each of you would seek family intervention. In sha Allah brother your wife will be open to marriage counseling or mediation and that will lead to her addressing her issues concerning the loss of her father and possible postpartum depression. In sha Allah things will go in your favor regarding the court hearing as well as your wife agreeing to address her mental health issues and the marriage through counseling. Allah knows best. We wish you good outcomes for you and your wife.

1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/postpartum-depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20376617

Friday, Jan. 07, 2022 | 06:00 - 06:30 GMT

Session is over.
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