How Do I Deal With an Unhappy Marriage?

Answered by Shaykh Jamir Meah

Question: Assalamu alaykum

A few years ago I got married to someone who was already a father. During these years we lived together only for 6 months. Now I don’t have any understanding with him. I don’t like to see his face or listen to his voice. I don’t want to live with him. What should I do?

Answer:Assalam alaykum. Thank you for reaching out. May Allah make easy your affairs.

Islam encourages us to strive towards making marital life work and resolve problems with respect and consideration. This could be done by simply talking to each other about the problems, having family members or respected locals mediate, or marriage counselling etc.

However, when all these avenues have failed and the relationship between spouses becomes unsustainable, Islam permits seeking separation, as Allah Most High tells us, ‘The parties should either hold together on equitable terms, or separate with kindness.’ [2:229}

Unhappy Marriages

Typically, the first step in resolving marital issues is to have an outside person intervene and help the couple work through the problems that they are facing. It maybe that simply listening to one another, highlighting the key issues and their causes, as well as finding some common ground and taking time out to understand each other can resolve the main problems. The third party person should be someone objective and who can constructively help with the situation.

If mediation does not work, then seeking separation is an option, whether it is a temporary trial period, or permanently through divorce. Divorce can be issued by the husband, requested by the wife in exchange for an agreed payment (khul’a), or in some particular cases, especially where abuse or neglect may be taking place, the marriage may be terminated by a judge or his representative, or a committee.

Due to the sensitive nature of marital cases, it is important that you seek further advice and support from sympathetic family, a local scholar, elder, or support group and go through the details of your individual case.

Du’a and Prayer

The Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Du’a is a weapon of a Muslim’ [al Hakim]. Recite these du’as regularly, perhaps 3 times after each prayer.

اللَّهُمَّ لَا سَهْلَ إِلَّا مَا جَعَلْتَهُ سَهْلًا ، وَأَنْتَ تَجْعَلُ الْحَزْنَ إِذَا شِئْتَ سَهْلًا

O Allah, there is no ease except in that which You have made easy, and You make the difficulty, if You wish, easy [Ibn Hibban]

اللَّهُمَّ رَحْمَتَكَ أَرْجُو فَلَا تَكِلْنِي إِلَى نَفْسِي طَرْفَةَ عَيْنٍ وَأَصْلِحْ شَأْنِي كُلَّهُ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ

O Allah, I hope for Your mercy, do not leave me for even the duration of an eye blink (duration) and correct my total condition. Besides You there is none worthy of worship [Hisnul Hasin]

The Prayer of Need (Haja) is also recommended when facing difficult situations. You can find out how to perform the prayer here.

I sincerely pray that Allah grants you peace and happiness and a way out of every difficulty. Please keep us in your du’a.

Warmest salams,
[Shaykh] Jamir Meah

Shaykh Jamir Meah grew up in Hampstead, London. In 2007, he traveled to Tarim, Yemen, where he spent nine years studying the Islamic sciences on a one-to-one basis under the foremost scholars of the Ribaat, Tarim, with a main specialization and focus on Shafi’i fiqh. In early 2016, he moved to Amman, Jordan, where he continues advanced studies in a range of Islamic sciences, as well as teaching. Jamir is a qualified homeopath.