My husband and I have been married for 16 years, and we have intimacy problems that he does not want to discuss. What should I do? He is just not interested in sex. He says I need to decide if I will let this one thing destroy our marriage.
Thank you for your question. I am sorry that you are having so much trouble in this department, and you should know that you are not alone. Men and women are not what they were a thousand years ago with the advent of images, desensitization, hormones in food, pollution in water and air, ill health, and lack of knowledge. All of these factors usually end up affecting intimacy, and it is up to a couple to work really hard to improve it. All this said, he certainly has taken away your rights and he will be accountable to Allah for this.
The best advice that I can give you is here: please read it and apply the tips given:
Destroying a marriage because of this problem is not your first option. The first option is to exhaust every means to find a solution. This will take patience, communication, change, innovation, research, trials, and maybe even therapy.
Read “The Five Love Languages” and “John Gottman’s Seven Principles for Making a Marriage Work.” Also, take the free marriage courses here at Seekers with your husband and learn your rights and responsibilities. If you strive to fulfill your duties, perhaps this will encourage him to fulfill his.
Turn to Allah
Turn to Allah with your problem and channel your pain into supplication and prayer. Give charity, learn your religion correctly, and fear Allah as much as you can. Try to be the best wife you can be; this can spark barakah (blessings) that will resonate all throughout your marriage.
As for ending a marriage, you would have valid grounds for divorce, but you have absolutely no guarantee that you will a) be able to marry again or b) find a new husband who does not have the same problem. Such a decision is never taken lightly. Try looking at this book: “Celibate wives: Breaking the Silence.” You might find some benefit from it. 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, tafseer, 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 recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.