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I Don't Like My Wife But Can't Divorce Her

Question and answer details
Mohammed (30-male-UAE)
2012/10/29
Assalamu `alaikum wrwb. My marriage was fixed by my parents and I accepted their decision and it’s been more than 2 years. I don’t love my wife, I don’t even like her. Because of that I get so frustrated and sometimes I go in depression and feel so sad for me and for her also because it’s not her mistake that she got married to me. I tried so much and made dua to ALLAH that make me love my wife but it’s not working. Please help me what should I do? I can’t divorce her and she knows that I don’t like her.
Attia Zaidi
Answer

As-salaamu `alaiykum dear brother,

Thank you for your honest question. It is truly hard to ask these kinds of questions. It is unfortunate that you or your parents did not think about the consequences of fixing marriage without the consent of the people getting married. There was a time that these kinds of unions worked for a number of reasons but that was a different time where expectations of spouses towards each other were different. In modern day marriages, spouses look to each other as friends and lovers, not just lovers. For this reason, it is critical to enjoy your spouse’s company and like them, in addition to loving them.

I do not know from your question how she feels about you. I also do not know from your question why you do not like her. Nobody can force you to stay in a marriage where there is no love. However, some may encourage you to try various things to make the marriage work out of honoring the sanctity of the vows you gave. If you feel that you’d like to try and see if you two can find a common ground to salvage the relationship, then there are things that you can try.

Firstly, though you are aware that you do not like her, try not to focus on these feelings. If you hyper focus on your dislike for her, many things will bother you that may otherwise have not been an issue. Find a few things each day that you appreciate and like about her. If you can’t find anything at first, make them basic things like “I like that she eats with her mouth closed” etc. that may sound silly, but as you get into the habit of looking for the positive it will get easier with practice.

Second, try starting as friends. Date, go out, create memories, laugh together, do things together, find common interests, develop common interests. Cultivating love is not as easy as having a natural spark, but it is not impossible. Even if both of you loved each other and married, a few years into the marriage you’d be seeking the same advice. Though familiarity breeds love, it can also breed boredom. It is important to try and forge a connection via new experiences. Laughter and tears bring people close. Perhaps try activities that will have you both laughing. Tell each other about your lives, get to know each other. Don’t live as husband/wife just yet. Try to woo each other as if you two were dating and pursuing the other. Be romantic, let her be romantic.

Third; don’t have children yet. If you both feel that things need to be worked on and there may be a possibility for it to end, do not bring children into the world. Children do not make things easier, they make things harder. Some people falsely believe that having children will give both of you something to bond over. This is not the case.

Lastly, though I am not a scholar and not qualified to give spiritual advice; I do believe in the power of prayer. If you are genuinely trying to make the marriage work that is a noble task and Allah will help you in it. He is the changer of hearts, so pray for you and your wife to be closer and believe that it is possible.

I hope you happiness and love in all relationships that are beneficial for you.

 

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About the Counselor:

Attia Zaidi is a writer, educator, social worker and mother. She has worked with the GTA's Muslim community for over 15 years in various capacities. Currently, Attia runs a small private practice offering therapy for Muslim families. You can find it at: http://www.restoreyourelement.com/

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