I am a married man; I have children and a wife. But I am always arguing with my wife. I have tried several times to solve my problem with her, but to no avail. She does not agree to divorce (talaaq), and she does not please me from a sexual point of view. Our culture does not allow me to take a second wife, for people do not give their daughters in marriage to a man who is already married. I am afraid, if this situation continues like this, that I may commit unlawful actions. Please advise me. I hope that you can advise me sincerely, and tell me how to solve this problem of mine, and what is the best solution.
Praise be to Allah
Families are not without problems, some of which are easy to resolve and some of which are difficult. One who wants to solve his own problems or the problems of someone else must understand the causes that led to those differences and conflict and resentment, whether it is between spouses, between friends, or between father and son, or any parties to a conflict.
We do not know the cause of the differences between you and your wife, so we can only offer general advice that may be suitable for you and for others.
You should look for the cause of those differences between you and your wife. You may be the main cause, or a large part of the cause, because of something in your nature that you cannot change, or because of poor treatment on your part of your wife, or because you pay little attention to her and your children, or for any other out of many possible reasons. So you must correct your mistakes, and put an end to those differences by putting an end to their causes, if the problem is on your side. You cannot be unaware that kind treatment of your wife, showing her compassion, praising her for what she does, and taking good care of the children, whilst striving to bring what the household needs, will all make a wife pleased with her husband, which will create love between the spouses and spread compassion in the household.
But if the causes of the problems and differences between you stem from the wife, then you must also deal with this matter with wisdom and kindly exhortation. The easiest thing for the husband – in principle and in most cases – is to win his wife over and make her love what she hates, and hate what she loves, because when a wife is pleased with a man as her husband, she will be content to live according to his wishes and interests, and she does not necessarily have to love that and be pleased with it. This is the nature of wives in general; hence a woman follows her husband. Therefore it is prohibited for a Muslim woman to marry a disbeliever. This is also the reason why it is advised to make a good choice of husband, and to choose one who is of good character and religiously committed, lest the woman be negatively affected by his lack of religious commitment and character.
It may be that a husband is not compatible with his wife, so he will not be able to improve the way he deals with her, and she will not be able to fulfil the permissible desires of her husband. In that case it is better for them to separate, because their staying together will be a waste of time and will cause a great deal of problems and distress.
Based on what is mentioned in the question, we say: if the husband does not think that his wife is not willing to change her attitude towards him, and he is not the cause of these problems, then he has no choice but to divorce her, taking the last option for remedying the situation. It is not required that the wife should accept this as a solution, because her approval is not a factor in the case of divorce. We are only saying that the solution for these problems is divorce for several reasons, based on your question:
i. It is not possible that your wife will change her attitude and manners, because the problems between you have been going on for a long time.
ii. You are not able to take another wife, because of your environment.
iii. The fear that you may fall into haraam because she does not fulfil your sexual desires.
So give her one last chance, and set a deadline for her to change her attitude. then if there is no change on her part, do not hesitate to issue a divorce, and beware of falling into haraam, for according to the laws of Allah you are muhsan (married or previously-married), and the hadd punishment is stoning if you fall into haraam – Allah forbid. There are many warnings in Islam for the one who transgresses the sacred rights of others and the one who commits the shameful deeds that Allah has forbidden, so be very, very careful.
And Allah is the source of strength.