I Value the Companionship of My Husband, but He Refuses Marital Intimacy With Me. What Should I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Since the conception of my child, my husband refrains from any intimacy with me. It has gotten to a point that we haven’t shared any marital relations for several years. It’s frustrating and depressing for me. He says that he doesn’t have have those feelings for me and can’t force himself. He is otherwise good to me. What do I do?

Answer:Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for having the courage to ask about such a sensitive topic.

Intimacy

Desiring marital relations is part of a healthy and successful Islamic marriage. I encourage you and your husband to speak to a culturally-sensitive counsellor about your dilemma.

Even if your husband’s libido has taken a plunge since the conception of your child, he needs to understand that your needs are unmet. It’s not about him ‘forcing’ himself, but it’s about him learning how to be of service to you, even if he doesn’t feel like it. Perhaps he is facing an embarrassing physical or psychological block, which manifests in his inability to satisfy you.

I encourage both of you to read this excellent book Islamic Guide To Sexual Relations by Mufti Ibn Adam Al-Kawthari.

Supplication

Please perform The Prayer of Need every day, in the last third of the night, and beseech Allah for His help.

Marriage

Having halal intimacy is one of the protections of marriage.

After exhausting all avenues, if your husband is unable to fulfil your needs, and if you fear falling into zina, then you are permitted to: 1) masturbate in order to avoid the greater sin of zina 2) ask for divorce 3) request khula’ (separation) – in this option, you must return your mahr.

Please consider ending your marriage only as a last resort. Before you even go down that path, please perform The Prayer of Guidance up til 7 times in relation to what to do about your marriage. Watch how events unfold. If Allah softens your husband’s heart and helps him take steps towards rectifying your marital relationship, then this is a sign to stay and work on your marriage. If your husband resists any attempts at counselling, and persists on ignoring your bedroom difficulties, then this is a sign to leave.

I pray that Allah grants you patience, heals your marriage, and grants you the relief which you seek.

Please see:
My Husband Does Not Want to Have Marital Relations With Me. What Do I Do?
My Husband Does Not Satisfy Me During Marital Relations. What Can I Do?
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah
Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long

Wassalam,
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi‘i fiqh, Arabic, Sirah, Aqidah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajwid. 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.