My Husband Does Not Want Marital Relations. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: My husband is not interested in having marital intimacy with me no matter how much I beautify myself for him. When I try to talk to him about this, he becomes aggressive. But He spends a lot of money on me. Am I being ungrateful?

I left my studies and work to relocate with my husband after marrying me. Do I continue to observe patience?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Final decision

Narrated Anas: Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed.” People asked, “O Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace)! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” The Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.” [Sahih Bukhari]

Dear sister, have you completed performing the Prayer of Guidance seven times? If so, then observe how events have unfolded in your life. If your husband agrees to go to counselling with you, stops abusing you, or responds to your request for marital intimacy, then take this is a sign that your marriage is worth saving. However, if he persists in neglecting and hurting you, then please consider taking steps to end your marriage.

Although divorce is the most hated of permissible things to Allah, this may be a mercy to both of you. Even if he doesn’t want to end your marriage, you have the right to, if you wish. You can request for a khula’ (separation) and return your mahr to him. If your husband resists, please speak to a compassionate local scholar and seek his assistance. MashaAllah, you are an educated and capable woman, and your provision is with Allah.

Emotional needs

Wanting love, affection and intimacy from your husband is not an unreasonable request. You are not being ungrateful. Please take comfort in that. Please continue to see your counsellor, especially if you choose to end your marriage. There is an unnecessary amount of stigma surrounding divorce in the Muslim community, so take heart in knowing that even the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) divorced and remarried.

Libido

To help with your feelings of sexual frustration, I encourage you to fast, and refrain from things that inflame your desire. Cut down on red meat, and have more cooling foods in your diet. Consult a naturopath for dietary advice.

Please forgive me for my bluntness, but if you are ever tempted to commit zina out of frustration, then you are permitted to masturbate to avoid that greater sin.

Support

I am sorry that you have struggled to find support from fellow Muslims. Alhamdulilah for the help you receive from non-Muslims. May Allah gift them with guidance.

Please look after yourself during this difficult time and reach out to your loved ones for support. A decision like divorce is a difficult one, and it is during times like this that you will find out who your true friends are. Remember that Allah Most High is always with you, no matter how much creation lets you down.

I pray that Allah grants you an opening, lifts your tribulation and rewards you for your steadfastness.

Please see:

Muslim Scholars On Spousal Abuse: “In Islamic law it is absolutely unlawful to abuse a wife, injure her, or insult her dignity.” – Allahcentric
Problems in the bedroom department play a huge part in the failure of many marriages.

Wassalam,
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers through Qibla Academy and SeekersHub Global. She also graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales.