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Wife is unwilling to consummate    

Answered as per Shafi'i Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, SunniPath Academy Teacher

I have recently gotten married, however I have not consummated my marriage. Is my marriage still valid? What shall I do? I feel that my wife does not wish to have intercourse.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

Praise be to Allah. May the peace and blessings of Allah shower upon our Beloved Messenger, his family, companions, and those who follow them.

Dear Brother,

Your marriage is still valid. However, your wife’s lack of interest in intercourse is something which both of you should address. This is a sensitive topic, and because I don’t know exactly why your wife has not consummated the marriage with you, I can only give you general advice.

I know that your feelings may be hurt, but please try to avoid arguing with your wife. Instead, why don’t you sit down with her and gently and tactfully broach the subject. Ask your wife what you can do to set her at ease so that you can proceed with marital intimacy. Ask her what’s on her mind. Find out what her concerns are. Some Muslim women, especially if they come from certain cultural backgrounds, may go into marriage not knowing very much at all about physical intimacy. Your wife may be feeling embarrassed, or uncomfortable, or she may even fear that she will be hurt in the process. Your job is to allay her fears and assure her that you will be kind, loving, and gentle.

Try to spend as much alone time as you can with your wife. You don’t necessarily have to talk about this particular situation all the time. Just try to foster intimate, loving communication with her, and in sha’Allah, she may be receptive to other things. Try to do things that she finds relaxing, whether it’s going somewhere nice together, spending a quiet evening at home, or whatever you think she might find enjoyable. And keep in mind that it’s always important for a husband and wife to pray and remember Allah together. This can also bring you closer.

If none of the above works for you and your wife still avoids intimacy, then it is time for you to take your wife to a marriage counselor. Your wife might have some deeper concerns that would best be addressed by a professional counselor. Whatever the case may be, remain patient and ask Allah to open your wife’s heart to you.

And Allah knows best. And Allah alone gives success.

Umm Salah (Zaynab Ansari)

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