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... Answer updated 6 months ago

I am sorry to hear that you are not entirely happy in your marriage.

May I suggest, this is the sort of thing that one should consider before marriage. While there are sometimes some surprises that cannot be known before marriage, weight is an obvious physical feature that is easier to determine. While cultures have various customs regarding marriage, Islamically, it is good to look at one's prospective spouse before marriage to be sure one is happy with him/her.

Anyway, as a wise person once said, "Keep your eyes wide open before marriage, half shut afterwards." There will almost always be things that one does not like about one's spouse, some of them are obvious physical features and others are more subtle. It is good to appreciate the good and accept the rest. 

It is good to also look at it from the other side - it is an unpleasant surprise, after marriage, to learn that your spouse doesn't like one of your physical features - it can make you feel hurt or insecure. I am sure you would not like it if, after marriage, you realized that your wife did not like your height or some other physical feature. So it is good to be sensitive to that and to try to avoid making it something that causes difficulty in the relationship. 

Also, keep in mind that weight changes throughout life. Women often gain weight during pregnancy or at middle age anyway; just because someone is thinner at the time of marriage doesn't mean that is a permanent situation. (The same for men, of course!)

This is the same for any other feature. Many features or faculties change throughout life. For instance, someone with luxurious hair might go bald or get alopecia, someone with good eyesight may lose it, etc. So it is good to appreciate the blessings of health or beauty that we have, while we have them. The human being does not always stay the same physically. 

In cultures where thinness is valued for women, women who are overweight are often shamed and receive the message that their only value as a human being comes from being thin. Society usually treats it as a moral problem rather than as a medical problem (even though no one would shame an overweight horse or cat, rather they would ask what is wrong with them medically).

So, if you wish to discuss the subject of weight with your wife, may I suggest being extremely objective and polite about it; let her know that you love her and that your love of her (or indeed the survival of the marriage) does not depend on her weight, but it is simply an aesthetic preference. 

If you have access to good medical care, and if she is genuinely overweight (as opposed to just not being as thin as you would like), you could encourage her to visit a doctor to make sure there is no medical problem which is treatable (such as hypothyroidism or a hormonal imbalance) which is making her gain extra weight. (If she hasn't done so already). Of course, this should be done with tact! Most people would not appreciate this "suggestion" if it is done in a condescending or critical manner; rather, it should be given with concern and love. 

Also, you can always do du'a for yourself to be happy with your wife. Contentment is the best riches!

Inshallah you will both get through this and have many happy years to come!

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