We put this question to a female sociologist and she replied (may Allaah reward her):
My dear sister: it is no secret that the two parties – husband and wife – may pass through a stage in their married life like that which you are currently experiencing with your husband.
There may be many reasons for that, and we would need to know more details in order to determine the cause. But we will try to suggest to you the best ways of dealing with it, in sha Allah.
First of all, you are to be commended for guarding your married life and for your chastity and patience for such a long time. We admire and respect you for your understanding and your keenness that your marriage should continue.
Seek reward with Allaah, for Allaah tests His slaves to see which of them will be patient, and He raises their status when they are patient, and gives them a way out. This is one of the main ways of dealing with such situations, and is indeed the most important way.
Now we will discuss the matter step by step.
First of all you mention that when you call your husband, he gives the excuse that he is tired.
1 – Have you tried to talk to him about this matter? If you talk to him you will probably find out some things of which you were unaware. Some men may be affected by impotence which makes them give excuses to their wives, but they feel too embarrassed to explain the reason. Some of them even try to avoid the issue and the only thing that can do is to resort these bad magazines to prove to himself and to those around him that he is still a man.
You should sit with him and talk frankly, and explain to him in a gentle and kind manner that you are his loving wife and that one of your rights over him is that he should fulfil your desires – which Allaah has created in you –, and that you would like to know the reason why, and that this will increase your respect for him and will not affect your married life or your opinion of him. A man always fears that he will regarded as lacking somehow, especially in his wife’s eyes. Perhaps he will tell you other reasons and you can evaluate them according to what you know about your married life.
2 – Perhaps you can also try writing a letter, discussing the issue in a gentle and tactful manner, because this has also proven to be a useful means which, by Allaah’s grace, has helped to solve some problems, especially when one of the parties has refused to talk or it is difficult to discuss it with him.
3 – Find out the ways to your husband’s heart. Wear the kind of clothes that he likes you to wear, put on some nice perfume of the kind that he likes most, and try to change the daily routine and introduce something new into your lives.
4 – Tell him of your love and respect for him, through a scented letter, beautiful words and other means. You could write some nice words on the mirror, for example, or give him a gift with some words from the heart written on it, which will tell him of your love for him.
5 – A smile charms all people, especially men. Look at him with love and a heartfelt smile. Send him your love whilst looking at him, without saying anything, as long as that comes from the depths of your heart.
6 – Try to draw closer to your husband with the words and actions that he loves, seeking thereby the pleasure of Allaah. If you find that you have done all that you can, you can bring in a mediator whom you know your husband trusts and who is wise and persuasive, without telling him exactly what is going on between you, to hint to him and discuss the rights and duties of marriage with him, without him telling your husband that you have mentioned that to him or that you have asked him to intervene. But this is subject to the condition that he should be a person who is known for his good morals, upright nature and chastity.
7 – You should call him, kindly, to give up that which angers Allaah, such as these magazines, in an indirect manner; such leaving in a place near where he sleeps a fatwa saying that this is not permissible, or playing a tape with a lecture or lesson that may move him, or trying to recite soorahs of the Qur’aan near him.
8 – I wish that you would banish the idea of separation from your mind, and strive hard and be patient, so that you may attain a great reward and a high status before Allaah, because if you leave him, you may not necessarily find another suitable husband. Moreover, if you have children, this makes it even more important for you to be patient, unless it is impossible to be patient and you find that you have no other choice but to leave, in which case you may do so.
9 – Take care of yourself and your own life and faith. Strengthening your relationship with Allaah will make things easier for you and will give you peace of mind and certain faith. Look to the future and be certain that it will be better, so long as you remain close to Allaah. Ask Him for that in your prayers constantly. If you can set aside some times when you occupy yourself with good things or do some voluntary work for charity or some da’wah activities with some sisters, then these good deeds will strengthen your personality and make it attractive.
10 – Distract yourself from thinking about your husband, if only for a short while. Distract yourself with other things such as a simple project or participating in some internet web sites to fill your time. Remember to relax with some things that do not go against Islam so that you can have the strength to carry on.
Finally, you have three “keys” at your disposal which will help you in all your affairs by Allaah’s leave:
1 – Du’aa’. There is nothing that Allaah cannot do on earth or in heaven. Seek out the times when du’aa’s are answered, such as the last part of the night, the last hour of Friday, between the adhaan and iqaamah, and also when fasting, and when prostrating. Make a lot of du’aa’ and ask Allaah to make you righteous and guide you, ask Him to bring you both closer together and to take away the things that are upsetting you, and ask Him for His forgiveness and to keep you safe and sound.
2 – Certainty of faith, thinking positively of Allaah, for He is able to do whatever He wills when He wills.
3 – Patience, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) advised Ibn ‘Abbaas (may Allaah be pleased with him): “Remember that there is much good in bearing with patience that which you dislike, and that victory comes with patience, and that with hardship comes a way out and with difficulty comes ease.” Narrated by Ahmad, 2800. And as the saying goes: the world has never seen a patient man who did not get what he wanted, and if he did not get what he wanted, he got something better and greater than that, by Allaah’s leave.
Remember that one hardship cannot overcome two reliefs. Allaah has promised His slaves that with every hardship comes two reliefs as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, along with every hardship is relief,
6. Verily, along with every hardship is relief”
Ask Allaah to reconcile between you and to make your husband a delight to you, and to bring you together in this world and in the Hereafter.
Asking Allaah to make things easier for you.