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Depression & Marital Issues (Counseling Q&A Session)

Question 1

Salam, I am so much depression as my husband mostly spends his time sleeping. I think he has OCD because we have two cars at home none of them are in use they are like showpieces. My brother bought the car for me so that traveling could be easier but still I am not allowed to use my personal car. He was born after the demise of his one brother so he is over pampared.My late mother in-law struggle with the same issue one mistake of my kitchen ruin my whole day.May Allah grant her highest place in jannah.He lost his job because of his lazy attitude he work from home from always my brother give him job he is not serious when it comes to work .In short he spend his time in Room for more than 17 hours without doing anything My father in law does all the grocery he is also aging he also need rest I share very good bond with my father in law.

i strain my nerve to serve the whole family emotionally,finincially physically.Taking pressures makes me very agressive I showed my anger on my kids and my husband too.There us no doubt my husband loves me and never shows his anger over me he try to maintain his calm with my agressive attitude.My mood swings is like rollercoaster sometimes I got impulsive and the next moment I get so sorry for him.i love him too I just want him to earn no matter how low earning is…I just want him to get busy not to rely on my brother’s help.i also went to psychiatric because as a human being he is very nice she recommended some medicine which he is using but no progress.i know Allah has put me in test kindly help me how to be strong emotionally and if you can share some dua.My husband is a gem person but his habits are affecting the whole house.

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa baraktuh,

I understand that the way you husband is behaving is making you feel frustrated and this is leading you to have some mood swings in response.

In this case, there a couple of things you could focus on in particular – why he may be feeling this way, and how you are responding to the situation. The former you may feel you have little control over, but in fact there are things you can do to take some control over his behaviour.

You might like to begin by addressing his behaviour and this can support you in changing your own behaviour. Firstly, think about why he is behaving this way. Was he always like this? Or has something happened in recent or past times to cause it? Could it be a result of depression? Often spending time cooped up and away form the world and interacting with other people can cause such behaviour.

He may not have said anything that indicates he is, or may not even admit that he is feeling depressed due to the stigma around it that makes people feel weakened. However, you know him and are able to observe his behaviours so could make some conclusions on this yourself. Perhaps he has tried finding work and not been able to secure anything and this has dented his self esteem?

Perhaps he doesnt feel good enough? Perhaps he is already feeling bad enough that he is not supporting th family in the way he feels he should? If you feel comfortable to, you could ask him why he is keeping himself away from the world for so much of the day.

You may not feel comfortable to, and perhaps he isnt depressed and has just gotten stuck into a routine and has no motivation to change. This is unfortunately impacting on your own mental health too. With this in mind, you can do something to actively change the situation for you both by encouraging him to come out.

Encourage him, perhaps more gently at first to leave the house and come out with you, to do something together. If there is something he enjoys doing, or once in enjoyed doing in the past but hasnt for some time, then organise to do this together. It may be that at first this is something you do in the house together, whether its cooking a special meal, or watching a movie together, before working towards something a bit more active such as going out for a walk.

Get other people involved such that he feels more obliged to such as getting someone to take care of your children if you have any whilst you spend time alone together. Even if he doesnt comply to begin with, dont waste the opportunity, and you take advantage of the time for self care for yourself. Go out, spend time with your friends and do things that you enjoy. This kind of thing will help you with the depression you are feeling.

In sha Allah, with continued encouragement, he will eventually engage more with you and get more motivated. As the motivation increases, in sha Allah, his attitude towards work will change too.

If, however, things dont change with this softer approach, then you may have to take a different approach. You know his strengths, so perhaps you can initiate the move to find him work that is suitable for him that you think he will be motivated to do.

Otherwise, if these more gentle approaches fail to get him moving, you might directly address him about it. Perhaps he is not aware of how you are feeling even and just talking to him and letting him know the impact of his behaviour on his loved ones will be enough to change his attitude. Ask him why hes behaving this way, if hes feeling depressed? And that you will happily support him in getting additional support to deal with it, and that its ok. Tell him that his attitude towards life is not making you happy and is causing you so much distress.

Let him know that you love him, but that it needs to change for the sake of you both and that you will support him in whatever way possible to get him out of this rut. Let him know its not fair that his attitude is affecting you too and that he has to do something about it. It may be that you even say that you cant work anymore because of the strain it is causing you so he really must step up for the family. It may be that you need to take this more harsh approach to motivate him.

Following this, you can encourage him with the things above again, to get out and do something more casual together. You may not feel comfortable to say all of these things to him, but if he is not responding to anything else and his attitude is not changing, it may be necessary for you to make such a move for him to start taking things seriously.

May Allah make things easier for you and your family. May your words sooth your husband and change his attitude. May Allah reward your patience and see you through these trouble and may He grant you a happy marriage in both this life and the next.

Question 2

Aslam o alaikum I’m Muslim I’m 26 years old recently I become a mother of 9 months old son everything was okay me n my we both we love each other in my pregnancy period we don’t sex cause of my health issues in pregnancy n doctor also said don’t sex in my pregnancy now after the baby my husband has sciatica pain also have erectile dysfunction now he can satisfy me I don’t what to do I love him so much I don’t why suddenly start erectile dysfunction please help n answer why its happening.

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

I understand that this may be making you feel pretty down on yourself wondering why this change has occurred. However, its important to try and observe this situation from alternative perspectives so as not to feel like this. There are many reasons why such changes can occur, and they are often nothing to do with the wife at all.

Firstly, you have recently become a new mum, and he has become a dad too. This is a massive change! For both of you. Being parents is a demanding job that takes up a lot of time and effort and as a result can be very tiring and of course, this can naturally lead to changes in sex drive, for both the husband and wife. The focus now changes to raising the child and less on the relationship. Because of this, it is also important to give the relationship time as well. Make sure to maintain time for the 2 of you too.

You might ask a friend or family member to take care of you baby for a couple of hours every week or 2 so you can have some time to yourselves, to rekindle what you had before you got pregnant. Enjoy this special time together to focus on keeping you relationship strong and healthy. During this time together, you can explore other ways that he can satisfy you, and this may just simply be spending this time alone together, even if there is little or no sexual intimacy involved until his problem is resolved.

Additionally, it seems he has other health problems too which wont be helping the situation too. Think yourself, when you are in pain, you are probably not much up for doing anything due to the pain. If he is in pain, then this could be part of the problem too. Support him in getting help for the pain he is going through and this could help to overcome other difficulties too as he becomes able to focus on other than his pain.

Aside from this, there are many reasons why he could be suffering with this new problem. Sometimes, it can be a result of another health condition. If spending time together alone and treating the sciatica still dont seem to make any difference, you might encourage him to go to the doctor. He should not be embarrassed.

It is a common problem that many men face and can be fixed. It may be that he needs psychological therapy, maybe medication, maybe both, or maybe there is an underlying cause that needs treating. Either way, the problem will not resolve itself easily, if at all, if he doesnt get this help.

Continue to let him know that you love him and that you want to help him with this for the sake of you both and your relationship moving forward. There is stigma around this kind of thing, so it may take time and patience for him to make the move, but its important that you remain patient with him and try not to take your frustrations out on him. If you find yourself getting frustrated, find ways to manage this by keeping yourself busy with meaningful activities, whether this is being with friends, taking part in a hobby you enjoy, going for a walk…etc..

May Allah cure your husband and keep you both strong in your marriage. May He reward your patience and grant you happiness together in this life and the next.

Question 3

I know marriage is from Allah and is ultimately decided by him. However, Muslims are encouraged to marry young. It is a well known fact that after a certain age it is much harder to find a spouse. I want to know if someone is getting older and is unmarried and finding it hard to find someone – whether their ‘age’ is actually a problem. In Islam i’ve heard character and religion are important and everything else is more superficial. But, at the same time – it seems to drive many people’s decision for turning down a suitor or prospect. Is age a superficial quality or is it something that is actually very important when considering a spouse.

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa baraktuh sister,

It is not uncommon for age to play a role in whether someone choose to get married, or whether they are persued in marriage, but it doesnt have to be and shouldnt be the most important factor.

There can be stigma around marrying at an older age in that the person may be deemed to be undesirable since they were not yet able to find a suitor, or that they are too interested in their career and not starting a family, or that they have less time available on their biological clock to have children.

Some of these factors may or may not be true, and one would never know unless you spoke to the woman, although the latter is more of a fact that has been established and therefore would be undesirable to a man who was looking for a large family. Unfortunately because of these assumptions and stigma, it has been known for older people to find spouses, and often this isnt any fault of their own, but from societal assumptions about such people.

However, regardless of these matters that make marriage in later life something of controversy, that doesnt stop people from marrying at this age, or for men desiring to marry women at older ages. What we do know, is that while this factors are important (that the woman is invested in her family and that she is fertile), they dont have to be the most important things.

Unfortunately, many people do see age as the most important factor, there are others that are more important, such as character, as you mention. A woman may be married for her young age, but yet her character is so terrible, her consciousness of Allah is completely absent. Her fertility may enable her to have many babies, but without good character and taqwa, she may raise the children to be terrible, disrespectful members of the community who have no respect for their Deen as well as treating her husband poorly causing great misery in the house.

On the other hand, a woman in her 30s may not be able to bear so many children, but may have an exemplary character leading her to raise less children, but those who will be upstanding pillars of the community and she will be a devout wife who encourages her husband to good. On the other hand, younger women, may also be upright in their character too so could have both on their side. Sometimes age and experience can in fact improve someones character due to life experiences that younger people simply dont have.

So, certainly age can be an important factor, but there are also other, perhaps more important factors that should play a more significant role in deciding whether to marry someone. What is important is that we do our best not fall into stereotyping people of different ages.

May Allah guide us all as an ummah and grant us all righteous spouse who will be the coolness of our eyes in this life and the next.

Question 4

I’m married for 8yrs, i have three kids. My husband doesnt provide fot me financial my sisters n mother do. For the past 5yrs my husband comes home late, the first few yrs he ddnt work n slept through the day n would be out at night. Im really tired of his behaviours n i had enough. He doesnt like it wen i voice my dislike n will get defensive n he will do nothing bout it. I even caught him talking to several girl, wen i confronted him he said he will change but i dont trust him anymore. Im really lonely n he doesnt show any affection, wen even sleep on different beds. I dont like this life im living n would really want to get a devorce. Im just tired giving my all n not get anything in return..

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulhi wa barakatuh sister,

I understand that this is causing you such distress because not only is he not spending time with you, but you have also caught him talking to other girls. On top of this, he fails to show you any affection and when you try to talk to him about it, he gets defensive and things dont change. This is not fair on you and he is not fulfilling your rights as a wife by continuing to treat you like this.

It is unfortunate that he is not responding well to when you talk to him as this should be the first step to take before escalating to something more direct. I might suggest taking a different approach in the way you talk to him since your current methods have been fruitless. Be mindful of how you are timing such discussions and make sure to approach him when he is calm, and also when you are calm also.

It may be that your frustration with the situation is making you come across as more aggressive and therefor he is less responsive. It may be that you are doing this already, but is something to pay attention to. Additionally, instead of bringing the matter to his attention by expressing your dislike, let him know how its making you feel. That is, take the focus off pointing fingers at him and instead focus on the impact of his behaviour on you so help him see it from another perspective also.

Additionally, you might consider doing things together to rekindle the relationship and take the initiative to do so if he wont. Organise to do something alone and special together. This may be something he enjoys doing, or something youve enjoyed doing together before. It may just be as simple as going out for dinner together, or even cooking something special at home.

On top of this, you might try to encourage him to seek marriage counselling with you. This will give you both the space to air your concerns in a private space. It may be that he has things on his mind that he hasn’t addressed also whilst at the same time giving you the time to voice your concerns and feelings too.

In sha Allah, for the sake of your family, he will agree to this. This could ideally be done with you local imam, or someone with knowledge who is trained and will be able to advise whether necessary from the Islamic perspective. This will be good for you both to ensure that you act in accordance with Islam whilst drawing attention to things that need to change to meet Islamic obligations such as providing for you, and staying away from zina.

This will ensure a place and interaction where your husband may be more open to listening and being less defensive as the advice is coming from someone else, and not just anyone, but someone of knowledge. This will hopefully give him more motivation to change his ways.

I would advise you to try these things first before considering divorce. Its very important that you do all you can to try and fix things and make things work before making such a big decision that will have a big impact on you all, especially your children.

May Allah make it easy for you and guide you to what is best for you all. May He reward you patience and see you through this successfully. May He grant you great happiness and success in this life and the next.

Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022 | 09:00 - 10:00 GMT

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