Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
I love my wife, but she is unable to have marital intimacy with me. My desire for marital intimacy is greater than my wife’s. I have tried communicating that to my wife. But recently, she has health issues. Because of this, I want to marry again, but do not want her to find out.
What do I do?
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.
Dear questioner, I pray that Allah grants you a way out of this deeply difficult situation. Lack of marital intimacy can place a tremendous strain on a marriage, as you are experiencing, first-hand.
Have you and your wife considered speaking to a culturally-sensitive marriage counsellor? Mismatched libidos are a fairly common challenge faced by many couples, across the board. Please work on this together, as a team, instead of turning away from your wife. Every marriage has problems, and each problem is an opportunity for you to draw closer to each other, or further away. The choice is yours.
You may think that the only solution to your intimacy problem is halal sex with another woman. However, what if there is another way? Again, I urge you to be honest with your wife instead of hiding behind the excuse of not wanting to pressure her for intimacy.
Please refer to this: Some Problems In Your Marriage Are Here To Stay
Your wife sounds exhausted. It is praiseworthy that you have stepped up to make things easier for her. A healthy and well-supported wife is far more likely to want marital intimacy. A constantly sick and exhausted wife, understandably, would not be able to give of herself in that way.
I urge you to speak honestly with your wife about your decision to marry another woman. She deserves to know the truth. She is the mother of your children, and your companion in this world and the next, inshaAllah. Honesty with her is the better path, rather than keeping your second wife secret.
If you do go ahead and get married again, I would imagine that you would want to spend regular time with your second wife. How will you explain your regular absences to your first wife? Or do you plan to sneak around and lie to her about your whereabouts? These are practical considerations.
It will be incredibly painful for her to hear, of course. You may feel that is easier to just keep your second wife a secret, to avoid the short-term pain of your wife’s reaction. However, the long-term consequence of this will be breaking your first wife’s heart, destroying her trust in you, damaging your children’s opinions of you, and so on. If you are honest with her and your children from the outset, then you retain your honour, and a chance to salvage the most important relationships in your life. Please choose wisely.
Please strive to improve your communication with your wife. Perhaps the solution to this problem lies in both of you reaching a mutually satisfying compromise, instead of turning away from your marriage. Again, I encourage the two of you to speak to a culturally-sensitive counsellor who can help you both come up with creative and solutions.
You have described that it is difficult for you when your wife is on her monthly cycle. Are there any changes you can make to your diet, for example, to reduce your libido? How much red meat are you consuming?
As for your wife, does she carry sexual trauma or shame, which contributes to her lack of interest in intimacy? I suggest that she look at Wives of Jannah as a potential resource.
I encourage you and your wife to seek out holistic support such as acupuncture, homeopathy, Ayurvedic medicine, and so on. I cannot stress enough the importance of both of you working together on this as a team.
[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.