Amina Inloes, Amina Inloes is originally from the US and has a PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter on Shi'a hadith. She is the program leader for the MA Islamic Studies program at the... Answered 3 months ago

I am sure that the videos linked below are full of excellent advice and there is really nothing I can add.

Just a couple more thoughts (from a female perspective).

All you can do is your best. Life is complicated, human beings are complicated, and it takes two to tango. You can reach out to him, convey your love, and encourage him to work on the relationship, but if he isn't able or willing to do that presently, don't blame yourself. We can only control what we do, not what other people do. 

I am saying "don't blame yourself" because women are sometimes socialized to feel guilty when a marriage is not working out, and, in any case, it hurts to reach out to someone who isn't responsive. Just remember that you are doing your best but you can't force him to do something different. 

Sometimes one person has love to offer, but the other person does not currently have space for it (usually for their own reasons, sometimes relating to things that happened before the marriage). It is like trying to put 100 mL of water in a 5 mL cup - there just isn't any place for it to go. So again this is not your fault; all you can do is be there for him.

Assuming the marriage is not suffering from a terminal problem (and it is not for me to say what is or is not a reason to end a marriage), and you plan to stay in it, it might also be good to try to focus on your own emotional and personal well-being, whether that be in terms of education, personal development, career, hobbies, volunteer work, socializing, prayer and contemplation, or other things. (Insofar as any of this is possible given your commitments, restrictions, finances, and life circumstances.) As women, we are often socialized to focus wholly on a marriage and on the man and to make that our whole life and our whole existence; even if we have a career or need to work, it is sometimes considered "extra", and that can make it all the more devastating if a marriage is not working out the way we hoped it would. 

(Maybe I am being exceedingly traditional however and this is not your situation. Just putting it out there in general)

I do understand that a successful career really can't take the sting out of hurt in marriage problems, and one doesn't substitute for the other. However, the more of a backup you have in terms of your own well-being, the easier it may be to weather the storms and challenges of relationship problems. Sometimes it helps to have other productive and meaningful things to focus on if we are feeling hurt or frustrated. 

It is not unheard of for men in our communities to exhibit an avoidance strategy during marriage problems (for instance, a second wife or a female friend, which frequently allows for companionship with less responsibility) - should that come up, also, don't take it out on yourself as a failure or your fault. (I am certainly not saying it WILL happen, just that it does happen sometimes and frequently arises in discussions of "marital problems".)

It is my view that some of the popular books published about marriage and relationships, such as some of the ideas about different "love languages", have merit, and I don't see any harm in seeing what is out there insofar as one takes what is good and leaves the rest. Sometimes one reads a sentence or two which is quite profound and life-changing. Of course, not every idea that every person writes in a book is correct. 

And, of course, prayer is a number one first thing to do, but I am sure you are already doing that.

Please feel free to take any of the above that is useful and neglect the rest!

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