How Do I Regain My Husband’s Trust, Intimacy and Respect?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

My husband and I have been married for thirteen difficult years. He tells me he has no respect for me, does not trust me, and has no desire for me.

But he doesn’t want a divorce because I am not a bad wife and mother, we have a good life and parent our children well together. I find this hard to accept and suffer from anxiety. I often am beside myself when my husband says or behaves according to these sentiments.

I do not feel the same way about him and feel hurt. I am unsure how to accept to remain in a marriage without any of the fundamental elements of a marriage. I feel scared by both the idea of separating or living like this forever.

Answer

Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration and I pray that your husband comes around. Living like this is absolutely unIslamic and not an option. You must both commit to improving your lives together.

Background

I am not sure what to tell you because you must have some background that resulted in his cold feelings. Did you fight often? Are you a nagger? Did you betray his trust at some point? Whatever the case is, you have to identify the role you played in your marriage becoming like this, repent to Allah, and tell him that you want to have a passionate, loving marriage that is spiritual, fulfilling, and a good model for the children. Tell him that you are willing to change and that it is worth it for you both to be the best and happiest that you can be. Don’t blame him when you tell him this.

Resources

You will have to buckle down and look at all of the resources below to undo the damage that has been done in your marriage. Your hard work can bring back his respect, passion, and trust, and he will surely follow suit by Allah’s grace. Please start with taking a marriage course, reading these books, and doing it with him if he is willing. If he isn’t, educate yourself anyway. Erase everything you know about marriage, and start anew.

Book Suggestions:
Chapman, G: Five Love Languages Revised Edition
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
Fascinating Womanhood
The Surrendered Wife: A Practical Guide To Finding Intimacy, Passion and Peace

Answer and Article Suggestions:
Reader: Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered
25 Years’ Worth of Marriage Advice: Hina Khan-Mukhtar
I Value the Companionship of My Husband, but He Refuses Marital Intimacy With Me. What Should I Do?
How Do I Deal With an Unhappy Marriage?
Am I Destined to Suffer in an Unhappy Marriage?
Should She Stay In an Abusive Marriage?
Istikhara Prayer
Prayer of Need (Salat al-Haja)

Course Suggestions:
40 Hadiths on Successful Marriage: Key Teachings of the Prophet on Beautiful, Loving, Caring Married Life
Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriage
Keys to Successful Muslim Marriages: Practical lessons that explain the Prophetic Spirit of Marriage

Further Resources:
Megan Tuohey
Muslima Coaching

Intimacy

Men, nowadays, have a libido that is much less than men of the past. Men used to marry more than one woman partly because of their strong sexual appetites, and now some men barely think about sex. This is partly due to hormones in our foods, inactive lifestyle, the over-consumption of the wrong foods, the onslaught of media, and other sexual addictions. Whatever the reason, a smart woman can seek help from Allah and make it happen. It usually requires lingerie, perfume, make-up, giggles, tickling, or sleeping naked next to him, and all kinds of tricks to get him in the mood. This is, by far, the best way to get him to be intimate, instead of complaining, nagging, guilt-tripping and getting angry.

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

[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, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.