How Do I Approach My Wife About Her Enjoying Attention From Other Men?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


I have been married for a number of years and have noticed that my wife enjoys getting attention from strange men, sometimes in my presence as well. I noticed this recently. What worries me is that she appears to enjoy it. I’m not sure how to approach it or address it, some advice would be appreciated.


Thank you for your question. If you are frustrated with the way your wife deals with men, you should speak up and ask her to restrain herself. Communication like this is part of a healthy marriage.

Gender Interaction

The first thing you must do is review the rules of gender interaction. Please use these as your standard of whether what she is doing is outside the limits of Islam or not. Don’t act according to your own standards, but the standards of Islam, along with customary interaction in your cultural surroundings (`urf). I don’t know if your wife wears hijab, but if she doesn’t, this is the first step in eliminating this problem. She must wear the obligatory hijab.

See these links below:
A Reader On Gender Interaction
What Are the Principles of Gender Interaction in Islam?
Will Allah Hold Me Accountable for My Wife and Sister Not Observing Hijab?

Ghayra (Protective Jealousy)

It is normal and healthy to have ghayra for one’s wife, and it is considered a positive trait for a spouse to have. You should explain this to her by telling her how you feel, but lightly, and without getting angry, or nagging. Don’t expect her to understand right away, and perhaps expect some disagreement, but the thought will eventually settle, and she may choose to change herself. She might have a sense of neediness deep inside, so she enjoys getting attention from others. Attention makes both the giver and the receiver feel good, but the behaviour is not warranted, and it might be a sign for you to start giving her more attention.

Please see these links:
The Protective Jealousy (Ghayra) of Spouses
When Can Protective Jealousy Become Abuse?


Living in Western society, one is often faced with different customs. The behaviour with a non-Muslim colleague of the other gender that one sees daily would be different from how one treats strange men, or one’s brothers-in-law for example. Generally speaking, if your wife is acting according to the `urf, and with the shari`ah, she will not be blamed in Islamic law. But if you tell her how you feel, she must cling to a higher standard of modesty, and that is better for her and for the marriage. If you don’t tell her at all, you will have built-up resentment and it will come out sideways, and the problem will never be solved.

Please see this link:
I Dislike My Wife’s Interactions With Her Male Relatives. What Do I Do?

Finally, the best advice is here. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), said,  “The best of you are those who are the best to their wives, and I am the best of you to my wives.“ [Tirmidhi]

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 master’s 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.