I am married for 22 years. My husband enjoys me showing him love, but he doesn’t like to show me the same kind of love towards me. There are many places in which they say you must show your love to your wife, and even tell her that you love her which he does not do. I am very hurt, please advise.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
Marriage is like a bird; it needs the wing of love from each spouse for the marriage to elevate and reach the peaks of felicity. Every relationship needs reciprocation. A flower requires sunlight in addition to water. Each side has to contribute for something to flourish.
A husband must shower his love upon his wife constantly. The Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam would leave the house only after kissing his wife. He would eat together with his wife and drink from the same cup. Let alone drinking from the same cup, the Prophet salalllahu alaihi wasallam was so romantic that he would place his lips on the exact area of the cup where his beloved wife placed hers. It is the right of the spouse to be loved and cherished by the other.
One must realise marriage is like sailing across the Atlantic; you have to sail the low and the high tides. At times, one is blessed with warmth, welcoming and smooth conditions and at times, one has to survive cold, dark and bumpy situations. You have to weather the storm.
In unfavourable times, one cannot become emotional and lose sight of one’s past and future. It is natural to feel hurt if your partner is irresponsive. It is only human to desire love. Every human intrinsically requires love for growth.
However, you have to put a stone on your heart and charter a solution. If one spouse is cold, the conscious spouse has to try and light a fire or else there will be no heat left. You have to summon your courage and strength to revitalise the love and passion between yourself and your spouse. You may consider the following solutions:
1) Seduce your spouse
Beautify yourself for your husband in the four walls of your home to steal the attention and mind of your spouse. Men are easily enchanted and hypnotised when they see beauty. Make his dormant emotions erupt.
2) Play mind games
During the course of the day, make verbal and physical advances to entice your spouse. Make him want you. Tap into his emotions and exploit the love he has for you. You have to awaken the sleeping lion. Recapture his heart.
3) Discuss the issue
If subtle approaches do not work, you may have to address the issue and speak to your spouse. This has to be done very diplomatically. The timing, setting and scene have to be precise. Identify a time and location where your husband is at ease and is joyful. Cushion your concern with emotion and tell him your love for him. Even hold his hand and look him in the eyes with love when addressing him. Be very selective with your words.
Do not say he never shows you love. Do not be negative either. Ask him if everything is alright. You will have to take the long route to your destination. Try and extract the information from his mind like how smoothly a strand of hair is removed from sand. Be cool, calm and composed.
4) Identify external factors
Many a time, it is no fault of the wife that a husband is nonreciprocal. Nor is it the flaw of the husband per se. Compounding stress from work, financial commitments and other impairing psychological issues often induce one to ‘switch off’ emotionally. Your partner may be the victim of stress. When the mind is occupied and gripped with one concern, it is very difficult to release oneself from the grasp of that concern.
In such a scenario, you have to suppress your emotions and tend to the feelings of your spouse. Understand he is human and can falter. He is prone to such emotions. Be the loving wife and be the reinforcement your husband may yearn for.
5) Ascertain if there is any friction between yourselves
Although one may not be conscious of any friction, an irresponsive and non-reciprocating partner is a precursor for some underlying issue. Even a trivial matter can mutate into an unpleasant disposition. Remember there is no smoke without fire. Or in other words, where there is smoke, there is fire.
If you have been on opposing sides of any issue, now is the time to smooth things over. Compromise is a crucial part of any fulfilling relationship so you need to be willing to see his side of the issue and try and understand his position. Overcoming even the smallest of conflicts can really help strengthen the bond between a husband and his wife.
6) Get the message across indirectly
If other approaches do not seem to produce results, it may be a wise idea to send a message to the Imam of your local masjid to speak on this issue. Sometimes, hearing the same thing from a different tongue produces a different flavour and affect.
7) Discuss the ‘golden era’
The first few years of a marriage are usually the most exciting, romantic and passionate. The newlyweds cannot take their hands of one another. Reminisce the ‘good old times’ with your spouse where the heat and intensity of love was of another magnitude. Discussing the initial times of marriage can kindle those emotions once again.
8) Make du’ā’ to Allah
Every effort from our side needs to be propelled with du’ā’. Our job is to acquire the means. However, it is Allah Ta’ālā who puts life into the means. It is Allah Almighty who puts the desired influence in the means. Therefore, every endeavour has to be coupled with supplicating to Almighty Allah. Du’ā’ and effort are like the engine and the fuel of a car. You need both to reach your desired destination.
Marriage demands sacrifice and compromise. Give, give and keep giving. There are so many things a person can demand for, but one must concentrate on how he can make his marriage prosper. Melt the heart of your spouse by being the perfect wife. Be a rose without thorns. Show him all the love a person can desire.
We make du’ā’ Allah ignites the love and passion between yourself and your spouse. Amīn.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.