Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
I got married a few months ago. What can I do to increase my love for my new wife? I have spent time with her, but I still feel empty inside.
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. Please forgive me for the delay.
Love is a verb. It takes time, effort, and a lot of dua for a new marriage to thrive. The first year is a huge adjustment for both of you, so please give yourselves time.
What is her love language? What is yours? There is often a mismatch between a husband and a wife’s love language, so learn how to speak your spouse’s love language. Encourage her to learn yours.
Perhaps her love language is giving/receiving gifts, whereas yours is words of affirmation. If she finds it hard to express herself in words, then she may think that giving you a gift helps you feel loved, whereas what you need is for her to say affirming things to you.
I encourage you and your wife to deepen your relationship through Dr John Gottman’s Love Maps exercise. His marriage resources are invaluable.
Please refer to the #Staymarried resources for newlyweds.
I encourage you and your wife to enrol in and complete: Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages. Please learn about the spirit and the law behind a successful Islamic marriage.
It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas that the Prophet (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]
I encourage you and your wife to build a life together, starting by living together. The intimacy of seeing each other every day will help, inshaAllah. Be of service to her. Strive to be an attentive and loving husband. Do this not because you love her, but because that is the Prophetic thing to do. I pray that over time, Allah will place love in your heart.
Please wake up at least 10-15 minutes before the entry of Fajr, and make sincere dua to Allah to place love in your heart for your wife. Work your way up to performing Tahhajud and the Prayer of Need. Strive to making this a daily exercise.
If you have exhausted all avenues and still struggle to love your wife, then please seek out a culturally-sensitive marriage counsellor.
I pray that Allah places deep love in your heart for your wife and makes your marriage a refuge for both of you.
[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 in Malaysia and online through SeekersGuidance Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.