I'm Repelled and Disgusted by My Husband

Question and answer details
I don't want my life to be like the sister who posted question: "To Love and be Loved" I see my life is almost just like hers, and going in that direction and I want to make a change now. When they say love is blind, I believe one of the meanings is that 2 people that are generally in love and attracted to each other's physical appearance, personality, and actions, can blindly look over and lovingly let go of small problems that may arise or flaws and faults in the other. At the same time they wish to be better and help the other become better by sacrificing, and finding positive ways to bring about the good in their lover, and coax them to change, patiently taking the setbacks with that challenge. At the end of the day, they love each other and can hug and make up and fall asleep beside each other just knowing their relationship is more important than their arising problems and they will get through it together. I married my husband with ideals and faith in my heart that Allah would make my lonely sad depressed life better with him because Allah knew that I was sacrificing and disregarding all my desires of looks, attraction, wealth, job, status, country, everything. I only considered 2 things "if you are pleased with a person's manners and deen then marry your daughter to him". I thought I was being so righteous, and that because of my huge sacrifice for Him He would bless my marriage, make it one of a kind, and place barakah (blessings) in it, make it move according to the way Allah loves and desires for those of His slaves that He wills to enter paradise. I thought only Allah knew how I spent my childhood, my teens, and my adolescence, so only He would know of how desperately I would sacrifice anything to get a better life and what better way than to sacrifice for His sake. It was because I thought if no one understood or loved me, then God would love me if I did this for him.I don't feel love at all for him. I am not attracted to his physical appearance, but very often repelled and disgusted. I must look away when he is near me. I am not attracted to his personality, his style, his person, I despise his mannerisms, his speech, his lifestyle. I pity him at times. I don't connect with him. We don't understand each other. I don't feel safe secure, protected, or led with him. I don't receive emotional support, common courtesy or physical, psychological, verbal or emotional fulfillment with or from him. We don't have communication. I can't share with him about how I feel or my thoughts. I am not able to talk to him. I am not able to relate to him. I feel distanced from him. I feel he doesn't comprehend situations, or events and so act or say things befitting them, as anyone would be able to. He does not know how to behave with women, or how to deal with me as a wife, as a valuable human being with feelings, psychological needs, and sexual fulfillment. He doesn't know how to act after an argument, seeing a counselor, a doctor, parents, etc. He acts in a way you would think only a person who doesn't comprehend what just happened would act. On top he says he loves me and he cares about me, but his actions prove he doesn't know how to. I feel like I have a lot to offer a man if I love him. I feel I need to feel love and attraction to him, to sustain a marriage. I think I have a personality disorder which may explain why I was away in trouble growing up. It wasn't as serious then but it has become now more than ever. My daily life from the second I wake up is full of anxiety. I need therapy to heal from this and make an informed decision about what to do next. The memories of our dysfunctional sex life block my mind and play over and over again because of his mistakes and dumb ways. I know I never felt anything but extreme fear and I felt like I was being raped. We talked about things but nothing ever changes. I make the changes I want to see but the pain always blocks my mind. I think I may be mentally retarded. I am very stressed about all the problems and that it seems I am trapped and there is no solution in this world for them. But really the problem is my ability to deal with the problems in the hysterical state which I am suffering from. My mind is plagued and I think I need psychiatric help. I am constantly under this horrible feeling of anxiety and dread. My body is always shaking and trembling. I have pain and aches in my body everywhere. It started in the back of my neck as a headache and spread to my head and forehead, then down my shoulders back, legs, now is full body pain. My skin itself hurts, and I have fever symptoms, and pain in my bones as well. I feel heaviness and constriction in my chest, sometimes more than others. In my stomach it feels there is something there with a powerful force that gets more or less whenever it wishes and there is nothing I can do to control it. I am not hungry, I can go for days without eating but feeling weak. I am nauseated and my stomach and abdomen is consistently in pain like a deep never ending pit that needs to be pressed or applied pressure to, or curling over into myself. Inside I have a desperate need to cry uncontrollably. Whether alone or in the company of people I feel extremely under pressure and fidgety. No matter how hard I try, I cannot bring myself to feel tranquility in my mind, or in a peaceful state. I cannot calm down. I act and think in very strange ways and I cannot explain them at a later time. This is severe anguish, even as I recite the morning and evening adhkaar, constantly pray nawafil all day long and into the night and recite the Quran and study the deen which is my passion, I don't feel the connection with Allah strongly, and while praying my body shakes more than it does most of the time out of despair. I spend the days in depression and anxiety and the nights in restlessness and utter confusion.When I lay by my husband, although if I lay away from him it is easier to try and sleep. I feel so restless and I want to push him away, feeling angry with him, but at the same time I know I am alone and I need to hold someone very badly. So in anger I hold him very tightly and want to scratch him and clench my fists and shake from my core by crying. There has been logical reasons for feeling resentment for him, and things I need to forgive him for. But even though I want to forgive him, love him and enjoy his company, live a happy life with him, I am completely unable to; something stops me from being able to even tolerate him, and the restlessness in my stomach increases when he is near me. I have never been in such a state before and it is extremely abnormal for me. I have no control over my body and my mind and it is hyperactive thinking at all times so many thousands of thoughts and extremes. I often have nightmares. I often feel so trapped and want to end my own life. I am overtaken by grief and sadness, and physical mental emotional and psychological pain. We performed ruqya, seeing these signs as destructive hasad, ain or witchcraft (reciting surah fatiha, baqarah, morning adhkar etc. on me. At times reciting or listening to Quran makes me angry and cover my ears, other times it sounds beautiful. Also reciting on olive oil and water with saffron, bathing in it, drinking it, and rubbing the olive oil on the body. Also we sprinkled the water on clothes given by people who we believe may envy us, and I suspect with valid reasons some woman who may have wished evil for me but I don't know what to do about her.) We keep surah Baqarah always playing in the house, but it is not working. I feel nobody believes me or understands me. They simply tell me to write down my thoughts, recite Quran, go for a walk, shower or calm down. My family thinks I am overreacting, and my father advises my husband to be strict and harsh with me to keep me in my limits. This causes more pain as I know I can look to none for support. Please please please advise.
Attia Zaidi

As-salaamu `alaiykum,

You have given a lot of detail in your question and it is clear that you are in a lot of emotional and psychological turmoil.

For starters,

I would strongly suggest you see a therapist. Ask your doctor if you can get a referral to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist will help to see if you have any kind of disorder.

From what you wrote, I don’t think you have a “personality disorder” or that you are “retarded”: (though I strongly dislike and discourage the use of that term due to its negative implications). Your psychiatrist will be able to address these concerns with a medical approach and ease your concerns there.

In this answer I will not address the latter part of your question about reciting surahs etc, as I am not qualified to give any kind of Islamic/spiritual advice. You may feel more comfortable asking an imam/sheikh about this.

You Speak in 'Grand Terms'

The first thing I want to point out about your email, which may be indicative of your perception, is that you speak in ‘grand terms’. Your words and sentences are written in extremes. Everything seems either good or bad.

I am not saying this to minimize your pain, as it is clear that you are going through a difficult time. However, sometimes when we are stuck in a certain paradigm (i.e. everything is bad), it increases our burden because we are concentrating on what makes our life difficult.

In effort to enjoy those things in your life that, despite the other difficulties, are positive, I encourage you to write down 5 things every evening that you are thankful for and happy about. If you feel there is nothing, then try to talk to a friend/family member, as I can guarantee you that there are positives in your life.

After you have written them down, try to focus on them the next day even for a few seconds and be grateful that you a) have them and b) recognize them.

As for your husband

From what you describe he seems to be a beast. Perhaps this is the case but I doubt it seeing that you had seen some good things in him prior to marriage. Unless he is seriously deficient psychologically I think many of the things you mention are rectifiable, if you are still interested in staying in the marriage.

You cannot change his looks or the mistakes in the past; however, if both of you are willing to work on it you can change your communication patterns, your time together, your arguments etc. For this you would need a trained therapist who will help both of you recognize the patterns in your relationship and put in the work that is needed.

You mention that you married him for his religious practices and that is the one thing you do not write about. Is he as religious as you thought he was? What purpose did his religiosity fulfill if he is ‘horrible’ in all the other areas?

It seems that you, from the get go, felt you were making a huge sacrifice by marrying this man. I am not sure why you thought that this would lead to happiness since he wasn’t the one you wanted to marry (i.e. if his looks, body language, personality repel/disgust you, what made you think your feelings will change after marriage?).

If you feel that you are still willing to put in the sacrifice then you will have to remember that it isn’t meant to be easy, especially since it seems you married a man that you like nothing about. Sacrifice is hard, that is why it is a sacrifice.

However, if you feel you married for the wrong reasons and feel that you made a mistake and don’t feel the marriage is worth salvaging, then you need to come to that conclusion yourself, as another is not in the position to tell you to end a marriage.

From what you say, however, I am unsure why you are in this marriage. Not only for yourself, but for your husband; it is a shame that you have such dislike for him yet he loves you. It is a sad situation.  I think that your complete disdain for him has taken over your perception of him, and no matter what he does you are too far “out of love” to see any good.

You mention that he doesn’t know how to love another. We all have different ways of showing our love, and the way we show love is almost always the way we wish to receive it. Your husband most likely has a different way of seeing/understanding/giving love than you do. I am not justifying his behavior, as I do not know what brings you to your conclusions, I am offering another perspective.

You also seem to have a lot of notions on how a marriage should be, and though this is good to strive for, it is equally important to remember our reality and not compare our reality to our ideals, since no situation can meet our ideals completely.

As for the sexual relations between you two,

This does sound quite traumatic and it is unfortunate that you have had to go through this.

At one point you mention that you are unable to talk to your husband and at another you say you have spoken to him about this matter but nothing has changed. In Islam pre-marital sex is not permitted, so a couple does not know if they are a “sexual match” prior to marriage.

Talking about your bedroom relations, understanding what works for you, what doesn’t, what works for your spouse, what doesn’t etc is important in having a fulfilling sex life. If he is willing to work on his bedroom manners, perhaps the two of you can get some books on this topic.

However, you also state that you can’t stand to sleep beside him, let alone with him, so I’m not sure where the hope is. Only you know if there is any hope left and if it is worth pursuing for you.

If it was indeed marital rape (i.e. he forced himself on you despite your protests for him to stop), then I would interpret this to mean he does not care for you in the slightest and is abusive. Though this is unclear from your question, however if this is the case you need to ensure your safety as safety always takes first priority. If you are in danger of being hurt/raped/abused you will need to create an exit plan so that you can leave immediately when you are threatened.

Lastly, you seem to suffer from Anxiety.

I am not in the position to diagnose and so my statement is not meant to be a diagnosis. I, again, encourage you to get a proper referral and diagnosis from a doctor. Anxiety is treatable without medication through working with a qualified therapist who will help you with though control, relaxation and education about anxiety.

If you feel that you may end your life or hurt another, I strongly suggest you go to the emergency room of your nearest hospital and ask for help. Your physical symptoms may be a manifestation of your emotional and psychological stress or you may need to see a doctor for any other possible health concerns.

I hope I was able to provide some help, though answering your question is very difficult via email since it seems that you are in need of immediate help. Please contact your doctor.


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