Question and answer details
|Assalamu 'alaykum. First and foremost, may Allah bless all of you in onislam.net team. I am 21 and I am engaged to this brother whom I consider to be a good man, and he respects my family very much. We are getting married soon. So, since we are engaged, we started to get to know each other, just so I feel comfortable with him. One day, he told me that he is afraid when we get married, he won't be able to fulfill his sexual responsibility for me. He said he might be 'weak'. He didn't explain it into too much detail since it won't be appropriate if we talk about this in detail. The reason he told me that is because he didn't want me to get upset later when we are married. He just wanted me to become aware of this fact. And I understand his intention when he talked about that as things like this could affect our married life. I was speechless. I told him that I don't have any expectation regarding this matter. I mean, of course I don't know what to expect in term of sexual relationship since I am not married yet. And I don't know to what extent this issue could later affect our married life. I am really confused. I don't know what to think. I want to marry him, and we have developed affection for each other. I don't want to forget him just because of this issue. Thank you.|
|Aliah Azmeh, MSW|
Assalamu `alaikum dear sister,
Thank you for sending us your question. You seem to be engaged to a decent brother who has been open and honest with you regarding his possible inability to fulfill his sexual responsibilities towards you as his future wife. Now since you know of this “weakness” that he has, it is upon you to respond and to make a decision on what you should possibly do to maintain a positive and healthy relationship with your future husband.
Sister, you mentioned that you have never been married before and you may not necessarily know what your expectations are regarding sex within your future marriage. Start by reflecting more on your personal views on sex.
How do you feel about sex as a future married woman? Is it something that you are looking forward to? You mentioned that you were “speechless” when your fiancé let you know of his weakness. How did you feel when he told you? If you feel worried, confused, or the like, what do you need to know in order to resolve your feelings? These are all questions to reflect on before doing anything else.
The truth is that this subject must be taken into consideration and constitutes a major part of marriage. It is also an Islamic obligation to sexually fulfill one’s spouse, and thus, indicates that the sexual relationship is certainly an important one.
I understand that you and your fiancé maybe embarrassed or shy to talk about the details of him being “weak” to fulfill his sexual responsibilities. However, this subject must be understood and discussed in more depth between the both of you so you can get a better understanding of the situation.
You have mentioned in your question, “I don't know to what extent this issue could later affect our married life” which indicates that you are thinking about his sexual weakness, which also shows that it is important to you. Both parties must enter a marriage with full understanding and knowledge of their rights, responsibilities, and expectations to a certain extent.
Even though you have mentioned that you believe it to be inappropriate to talk to your fiancé about his sexual “weakness,” please consider discussing this matter with him in a clear-cut manner. Discussing this matter for the sole purpose of gaining more information regarding the sexual aspect of your future marriage is acceptable and vital. It is much different than talking about sex for the sake of getting sexual excitement from your conversation.
Once you get a better understanding of the sexual weakness that he has, consider discussing if he would be open to seek the appropriate treatment for his condition. What is important in marriage are aspects such as open communication, proper conflict resolution, and empathy. This discussion would be somewhat of an exercise for the both of you to consider each other’s circumstances and feelings and then agreeing on a mutual decision.
Another option to consider would be pre-marital counseling. The option of discussing this matter (and other matters) in the presence of a trained professional could be of great benefit for the both of you. Pre-Marital counseling gives you a better idea of your strong and weak points as a couple as well as your expectations and personal views on marriage. It allows the both of you to discuss very pertinent issues that will most probably be brought up in marriage. Therefore, seeking out a counselor would be something to certainly consider.
About the Counselor:
Aliah F. Azmeh is a licensed clinical social worker who practices in Detroit, Michigan. Aliah graduated with a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan in 2007 and has experience working in the United States and overseas. Aliah currently works as a clinical social worker and provides individual, family, and marital counseling at Muslim Family Services in Detroit, MI.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. You are strongly advised to seek face-to-face counseling and consult your physician or therapist when making a drastic change in your lifestyle in terms of behavior, medication or diet etc.