Question: A Muslim friend asked me this, but I did not have an answer. She had an arranged marriage only to make her mother happy as she was averse to the man. She tries to love him but cannot force herself to love. She is thinking of divorcing him, but she feels guilty about hurting her family and that they might hate her. She is lost.
Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for being a kind friend whom she can talk to. I pray that she finds peace and happiness and is able to move forward.
I cannot tell her whether to go or stay, but I can tell her that istikhara is a formidable means to help to find her way. Tell her to follow her istikhara, she can find the details and etiquettes here:
Give It a Shot
Personally, I believe that she should give it a shot. She is already married to him, and she is not miserable-I take this as a good sign. Love comes from two people showing kindness, respect, and doing little things for each other. Please tell her to start being loving cheerful and affectionate on her end, and he will eventually follow suit. She must know that having children will also allow them to bond and love each other more. The more she invests emotionally, the more returns she will have. Love never comes automatically, and she should not expect it to. She must also know that there is no guarantee that she will marry again, or even marry a nice guy again.
Walking away is possible and I counsel her to only do this if her istikhara is negative and she has discussed the matter with both families. To be honest, her grounds for requesting a divorce because of not loving him is not valid, so there would have to be something more serious. Is he giving her rights in the bedroom? Is he supporting her well? Please tell her to sit down, communicate with him, and open her heart up.
See this excellent advice as well:
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.