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How to Score BIG with Women: a Psychological and Islamic approach for Men


*If married, pls answer the poll question to the left after reading this*

Also see: Win His Heart: A Psychological Approach for WOMEN

Every man dreams of having a woman who can please him on many different levels. One that fulfills his desires,  stimulates him intellectually and soars with him to new spiritual heights. A unique woman that will not only be a source of comfort, but also a source of strength. It is very easy to dream and have expectations of your spouse but what do YOU have to do in order to attract a woman with these qualities and keep her giving at that level?

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Generally, men are quite puzzled by women. They are not sure what to do or say to please the women in their lives. Whatever they do seems to get them in trouble.  Since most men have this confusion, they simply stop trying. This lack of effort from men creates frustration and discontentment. Most women feel extremely dissatisfied in their marriage. Within my practice as a marriage therapist, I have heard from dozens of women who  have a long list of complaints about their husbands. These complaints lead to deep rooted unhappiness and many times divorce.

Top 5 complaints of women about their husbands:

  1. Communication
  2. Financial issues
  3. Sex
  4. Lack of compassion
  5. Too strict/too jealous


Almost every couple I have ever done marriage counseling with has complained about problems in communication. Most of the time women complain that their husband does not share his feelings, he shuts off,  he doesn’t listen and he doesn’t know how to ask for what he wants in a diplomatic way. Lack of communication or miscommunication is the bulk of the problem in most marriages. If people don’t know how to get their message across, how to listen or how to resolve conflicts they will face perpetual problems in their lives. Here are some suggestions in effective communication skills:

  1. Make I statements…. never start the sentence with YOU.  Say: “I feel neglected when you don’t prepare dinner” rather than saying, “You never prepare dinner.”
  2. Always keep your voice down and refrain from name calling.
  3. Seek first to understand then to be understood. Tough one, but very effective!
  4. Share your thoughts and feelings with your spouse to make her feel a part of your world. Don’t shut her out or else she will feel extremely insecure and suspicious.
  5. Don’t give one word answers – try to elaborate and fulfill her need to know. She shows you she cares by asking many questions.
  6. Listen attentively – that means no checking emails while she talks and no watching T.V.
    Simply look in her eyes, listen and acknowledge her. Women loved to be looked at!
  7. Give your wife compliments on everything you like about her – she needs constant reassurance on her beauty, on your love for her, on her cooking. Say it again and again with a smile. It will never get old!
  8. Validate her feelings – say things to make her feel understood. Tell her you understand that she is sad, that she has a right to feel hurt or neglected. The worst thing you could ever do is tell a woman she is wrong to feel a certain way.
  9. Ask for things with gentleness and kindness without being harsh or demanding. If a woman feels like she is being told what to do and how to do it – she will resist. If she is asked kindly and made to feel special she will rush to do it to in order to fulfill her need to please others.
  10. Never compare her to Anyone to get her to change. This is detrimental to the relationship, brings about hostility and a feeling of inadequacy. If you want her to improve in any given area compliment what she is already doing right.

Financial Issues

Each person is brought up with different views and experiences with money.  Some are brought up in affluent families that spend frivolously while others come from more modest backgrounds that are trained to save. When individuals with such striking differences unite there is bound to be tension and arguments. That is why money is one of the biggest reasons people fight and even get a divorce. Here are some suggestions for peacefully dealing with money issues.

  1. Learn about each other’s view of money. Become acquainted with their experience with money in order to better understand each other.
  2. Discuss openly issues or concerns you have about your financial situations.
  3. Avoid getting into debt at all cost. If you can’t afford it – just don’t buy it. Simple as that.
  4. Set a budget together and try your best to stick to it. If you slip, and go over the budget, quickly get back on track.
  5. Increase your knowledge about resolving financial problems by reading books, attending seminars or listening to CDs.
  6. Be honest and never hide or deceive your partner about financial issues because it could really damage the trust.
  7. Try to compromise and come up with a win/win solution when you disagree.
  8. Agree to disagree.
  9. Consider the pros and cons of having a two house income or even having a part time job that can help alleviate the financial burden.
  10. Save….Save….Save! You never know what the future holds so always be prepared.


The area of a couple’s life which offers the most  potential for embarrassment, hurt, and rejection is sex. The majority of couples I have done therapy with have had issues in this area of their life. It is such an essential part of the marriage and yet very few couples ever talk about it. The goal of sex is to be closer, to have more fun, to feel satisfied, and to feel valued and accepted in this very tender area of your marriage. “Your wives are a tilth unto you; so go to your tilth when or how you will.” [Qur’an 2:223]  Here are some suggestions to having a more satisfying sex life.

  1. Fulfill your wife emotionally so that she can be receptive to you. Women shut off sexually if they don’t feel loved, appreciated or desired.
  2. Set the mood…light candles, make dinner, give a massage, get flowers or anything that makes her feel special and loved.
  3. Prolong foreplay. Make sure she is ready.
  4. Take your time and don’t rush her.
  5. Share your likes and dislikes in a gentle, positive way making her feel safe. Instead of saying you never do such and such say: I loved it when you…..or I would love it if you would….
  6. Never criticize  or make fun when getting intimate.
  7. Always accentuate the positive – make your suggestions in a way that you are making a good thing even better. Even if you are dissatisfied don’t let her feel it.
  8. When receiving your partner’s request, try not to see it as criticism. Have the attitude of a professional chef that is not insulted if a customer doesn’t crave a particular meal, but makes accommodations that will satisfy the customer’s palate.
  9. Make her feel attractive and desired. The more you give her compliments, the more confident she will feel which will help her to relax and enjoy.
  10. Make sure you try to fulfill her first in order to create a strong, positive association to intimacy.

Lack of Compassion

Men have different ways of expressing their feelings and emotions. Some express their love and concern for the family by simply working hard and providing the very best. They feel that the time they spend at work is an emotional deposit because they are putting so much effort so that their family can be comfortable. Unfortunately, this form of expression of love is generally not sufficient for most women. Women expect the men in their lives to connect with them on an emotional level, provide support and have fun together. The best of you are those who are the best to their wives.” (at-Tirmidhi)
Here are some suggestions in showing compassion so that you can connect with your wife on an emotional level.

  1. Tell your wife you love her daily – don’t make it just a once a year event.
  2. Never enter or leave the house without a proper greeting. Let her feel that you are happy to see her and that you will miss her when you leave.
  3. Make daily deposits in your emotional bank account with your wife by being understanding, forgiving,  cooperative and by using words of endearment.
  4. Call your wife or send sweet messages during the day.  “…And live with them in kindness…” (Nisaa 4:19)
  5. Eat at least one meal a day together and spend time sharing what you have done.
  6. Give lots of compliments.
  7. If she is feeling sad or angry, show her love and compassion by hugging her. If she says she doesn’t want to talk about it, she doesn’t mean it… you just have to insist sweetly.
  8. Learn to apologize. Even if you were not wrong apologize for making her feel bad. Win her heart not the argument! Amazing what two little words (I’m sorry) can do.
  9. Get her gifts and flowers so she feels that you thought of her.  It doesn’t have to be something expensive – just a gesture that you were thinking of her. And do good. Truly, Allah loves the good-doers (Baqara 2:195)
  10. Be supportive and helpful with the kids. Offer to take care of the kids while she does something (anything) for herself. If she has the chance to recharge she will be a much better wife and a nicer mom!

Too Strict or Too Jealous

It is understandable that a man feels responsible for his wife and wants to make sure that she does not exceed beyond the boundaries that Allah has established. “Everyone of you is a guardian and responsible for those in his charge; the man, in his home, is a guardian and responsible for his household (Bukhari and Muslim). It takes diplomacy and gentleness to set guidelines without coming across as too strict and unreasonable. It is always a little flattering when a husband becomes jealous, but when it becomes excessive it is unhealthy and a source of stress for women. There needs to be  mutual trust and respect in order to live in harmony and peace. Here are some suggestions for maintaining boundaries without being too strict or too jealous.

  1. Be a spouse to your wife not a father. Don’t treat her like a little girl with a long list of rules. If you treat her like a child she will act like one.
  2. Give her space to make decisions – if you hold her too tight she will feel suffocated.
  3. Respect her and treat her like a partner not an employee.
  4. Trust her – don’t interrogate her for every little thing. Gently ask questions.
  5. Be reasonable in setting boundaries – if you are too strict she will either resent you or not abide by them when you are not around.
  6. Don’t assume anything – check your assumptions and verify before accusing her of anything.
  7. Be kind and understanding so that your wife will happily try to please you. Don’t be a harsh dictator that needs to be overthrown.
  8. If she dresses or acts inappropriately just talk to her, educate her and help her to understand. Make her feel that you are concerned about her. Never be forceful.
  9. Try to make excuses when she falls short.
  10. Be playful with your spouse if you feel some jealousy. Make her feel how much you are attracted to her, how appealing she is to you that you simply don’t want to share her. This will flatter her and make it more likely that she will be more careful.

When you become more sensitive to the needs of your wife and you put effort in supporting her and connecting with her you will reap the rewards of having a more content wife. A happier wife means a happier home which means more peace and tranquility for you. By becoming more aware of these common complaints and implementing the suggestions you will definitely score big with the woman in your life!

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Haleh Banani holds a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology. A faith-based counselor, life coach, and mental health professional who has served the community since 1998 by saving hundreds of marriages and helping thousands of people around the world overcome their challenges and become the most amazing version of themselves. The host of "With Haleh" on Al-Fajr TV and was a featured expert on Al-Jazeera international and other media outlets. She is an international speaker and writer.



  1. Murabitun Takruri

    October 25, 2010 at 6:39 AM

    Salamu Alaykum from Canada,

    MashAllah, great post Haleh. Great advice. InshAllah i am not married but this will be a lesson and preparation for me. May Allah perserve and bless all rightful marriages, ameen.

    wa salam

    • Haleh

      October 25, 2010 at 3:10 PM

      It’s never too early to prepare for marriage. I actually think that those who get the tools of having a successful marriage prior to getting married are more likely to prosper – before making any major mistakes!


      • J Smith

        March 31, 2015 at 4:45 AM

        Jazakallahu Khayran Haleh for a thoughtful article. I will say though, despite 7 years of marriage and largely coming to practice most of what you say, the reality is the majority of inhabitants of the Hell-fire are women because – as some have said – they are ungrateful. It really doesn’t matter what a husband does, most women will not appreciate any of it. And if we look at the example of Western women, the worse they are treated the more they hang around. So it’s a catch 22 for anyone who wants to act in accordance with the example of the Prophet (SAW): the better they treat their wives the worse they are treated back. “When Allah loves someone He puts them through hardship.”

  2. Dr. Yusuf Al-Kindi

    October 25, 2010 at 7:35 AM

    Your advice is brilliant and accurate, but it speaks to a problem men have in all cultures, not just the Islamic culture, and that is, men tend to be impatient. Men want the goal (sex), and often, do not appreciate the process (the affection and intimacy which women crave and which leads to the receptivity of which you spoke). This is especially true of young men, especially men, who grow up in social isolation of women, and where women are dressed in garb which in guarding modesty, ends up making women so inaccessible, and mysterious, that men have no understanding that female psychology (that is, a proper understanding of romance) is so different than their own way of thinking. What you say about being too strict or too jealous is brilliant, and that also speaks to a slightly different issue. A man who is too strict or too jealous is an immature, insecure man who sees women as property rather than equals. That is a problem within Islamic culture. Too many Muslims forget that the wife of the Prophet PBUH was older than He, and was a great business woman in her own right long before she met The Prophet. She had business dealings with men, made money and was successful. She preservedhermodesty despite interacting with men in the business world. Being Jealous or Too Strict is the emotional way of an immature man who does not understand that Jihad is the battle within of ontrolling one’s animalistic passions and one’s impulses.

    Dr. Yusuf Al-Kindi

    • Haleh

      October 25, 2010 at 3:31 PM

      JazakAllah khair for all your insightful comments- all these issues are cross cultural for sure.
      You touched on a very important problem in marriage and that is immaturity from both sides.
      The more mature the husband and wife can be the more harmonious their marriage and the
      more tactful they can be in resolving problems that arise.


    • Ali Al-Afghani

      October 25, 2010 at 9:18 PM

      Jazakallahu Khair Br. Yusuf. I really agree with you on the two points you brought up – lack of understanding of women psychology and immaturity. But akhee the example for the second is horrible and should never be used out of context. First of all, men (or husband) and women (or wife) are NOT equal and Allah has given a degree higher in responsibility to men over women. Second, the example of the wife of the Prophet being a business woman and dealing with men, etc was long before he was a prophet and long before the verses of Hijab and separation of the two sexes with regards to social and financial dealings. To have over excessive jealousy to the point where a person is calling his wife every hour to check up on her is indeed bred from insecurity and immaturity. But jealousy is warranted when it comes to his wife not covering, or mingling with men not related to her, etc. Just like the Sahabah such as Umar, Zubair and others who would get jealous just at the mere fact their wives would go to the Masjid and there was nothing they could do to prohibit them from it.

      So basically what I am saying is that such examples should not be given with regards to the instinctive nature of jealousy that Allah has given us men towards women and make it seem justifiable for women not to expect their husbands to be jealous of them

      Allahu ‘Alim

      • muslimah

        November 4, 2010 at 10:26 PM

        I couldn’t help mentioning our mother Khadijah (may Allah be pleased with her) never really directly associated with free men in the sense we imagine. Rather it was her servant who investigated our Prophet Muhammad (Sal Allahu alayhi wa sallam) and she never personally went on trading trips…rather…hired men to conduct them on her behalf ~ and do we know how they were hired?so we shouldn’t assume anything about her interaction that we cannot confirm….

  3. Ebraheim

    October 25, 2010 at 9:14 AM

    Ma sha’ Allah, this was really a great article. Very helpful, may Allah reward you.

    Lots of things to work on :)

    • Haleh

      October 25, 2010 at 3:33 PM

      I think one of the best feelings in the world is realizing that there is work to be done on yourself
      because this means you are about to improve, grow and reach a new heights :)


  4. Aleem

    October 25, 2010 at 9:46 AM

    Assalaamu Alaikum

    Thank you for the article. I have been married for 5 years and found the article beneficial and I’m sure many others would too. I feel there is a lack of positive emotional expression amongst many Muslim families/cultures and that this is “passed on” to the next generation. Many men and women unconsciously suppress their emotions which is reflected in their relationships (internal working models of relationships are formed at a very early age). This is something I would like to understand so that I can re-align myself with a better model- that of the Sunnah and break the cycle of suppression (I have a 3 year old daughter) I understand that the Adult Attachment Interview by Main highlights some of these issues and wonder if any Islamic teachings can be mapped with this?

    Jazakullahu Khair
    wa la hawla wa la quwata illa billah.

    • Haleh

      October 25, 2010 at 5:39 PM

      Wa alaikomos salam,
      That is so excellent that you have recognized the suppression and you want to end this cycle.
      Our ummah really needs to address these critical issues of relationships and make a fresh,
      new start by adopting a better approach in light of the Quran and Sunnah & by modeling a kind
      of relationship at home that lights the path for our children.

      I think that the Adult Attachment Interview by Main will be helpful in analyzing your childhood and
      your critical relationships. I haven’t come across anything with an Islamic twist. My suggestion is
      whenever you do any of these tests or read psychological journals just put them through an Islamic
      filter – that’s what I did throughout my Masters program. That way you can take the beneficial information
      and discard the rest.


  5. bro

    October 25, 2010 at 5:06 PM

    fantastic article mashAllah.

    Not married myslef, but looking forward to putting this into practice inshAllah.


  6. Aleem

    October 25, 2010 at 8:32 PM

    Asalaamu Alaikum

    Thank you for your reply.

    I have a friend who converted to Islam and spent several years studying Arabic in North Africa, he is currently studying a masters in the field of psychology. Can you please list any essential/beneficial lectures or books (in Arabic and English) that would help him to filter through the useful knowledge.


    • Haleh

      October 26, 2010 at 1:44 AM

      MashaAllah that’s great! I am always happy to hear about more Muslims entering the field of psychology. I went through rigorous training both in Islamic studies and psychology so I would meticulously filter the information as I learned new material. The question I always asked was: does this coincide or contradict Quran and sunnah? I didn’t rely on a particular book – I am actually working on compiling the information in a book inshaAllah in the near future. There may be a list of books in Arabic but since I did my studies in America in English so I am not aware of them.


      • Kamilah

        November 3, 2010 at 7:42 PM

        That’s awesome, I look forward to the book :)

  7. maysa hammoud

    October 25, 2010 at 9:02 PM

    Masha2 Allah Haleh, you have hit the nail on the head. Addressing these particular issues is something we need not ignore.

    However, I do feel that when the marriage gets to be “old” and the couple has already gotten accustomed to the inadequacy of the other. Each partner just learns to take it all with a grain of salt. By doing this, the marriage loses its intimacy and love which is the whole point of marriage in the first place. It’s so unfortunate, but I’ve seen it in many many Middle Eastern marriages. Since we are taught that divorce is bad (which is the immediate thought that crosses the mind), the better way out of a bad marriage is to just ignore the bad and live as a zombie (the living dead). Plus, when children are involved, then this is the solution that they turn to. This, unfortunately, might yield unhealthy relationships among the children as well. Then, the cycle goes on and on and on, Allah forbid.

    Your advice, on the other hand, would be excellent for those newly married or those about to get married. With these points in mind, but at a very basic level, I taught my children the beauty of this blessing of marriage. The importance of the mutuality of the desire to satisfy the other is a key to a great relationship. We need to get to these young couples to stop this horrible cycle. So, I have great hopes that the new generation of young Muslims will indeed turn out better, in sha2 Allah. We just need more Muslim marriage counselors in our ummah. We lack an essential service that is in high demand because of the new pressures we face today.

    Once again, jazaki Allah 5eiran my dear sister =)

    maysa hammoud

    • Haleh

      October 26, 2010 at 1:53 AM

      Assalamo alaikom Maysa,
      Good to hear from you! You are so right about the state of our relationships in the ummah. It truly saddens me to see people who never strive to learn, change or improve because they are in a rut. This information is most effective for newly weds – that is why I am so passionate about pre-marital therapy. In some churches the bride and groom are required to take a certain number of hours of therapy before getting married. I aspire to motivate young Muslim couples to do the same so we can create a whole new paradigm shift inshaAllah.

      Thank you for your comment and your most welcome!


  8. Sabour Al-Kandari

    October 25, 2010 at 9:38 PM

    Mash’Allah excellent work,

    I would request an article from the perspective of the opposite gender, but how difficult could we men possibly be to understand? =P}

    • Pam gellar

      October 25, 2010 at 10:10 PM

      not that difficult….its all about sex

      • Zaufishan

        October 25, 2010 at 10:18 PM

        …with a side helping of ego.

    • sabirah

      October 26, 2010 at 12:05 AM

      … and food

      • Haleh

        October 26, 2010 at 1:57 AM

        Actually another article is coming out addressing women- but you’ll are not far off! ;)

        • Mutumainah

          October 26, 2010 at 2:43 PM

          Looking forward to benefiting from this insha Allah!

          • T

            October 26, 2010 at 10:20 PM

            Sex. Ego. Food.

            If that is all the men in your life boil down to…Masha’Allah.

            I’ve been closely looking at my father lately, precisely to see his experience, his feelings, his reactions, his thoughts on marriage. Let me tell you that there is a lot more to men than you think. A lot more.

            Because they don’t talk as much, doesn’t mean they don’t feel.

  9. Sadaf Farooqi

    October 25, 2010 at 10:25 PM

    Excellent article, Haleh.

    May Allah make it a source of benefit for the readers.

    • Haleh

      October 26, 2010 at 1:58 AM

      Thank you….Ameen!

  10. SonicSoriyah

    October 26, 2010 at 1:04 AM

    Very good points for husbands to remember and implement, but a lot of these can be used by wives as well. Not all men are the same and not all women are the same. I know of several marriages where wives act like the men being described here, especially in regards to intimacy and issues of jealousy and being too strict.

  11. tabman

    October 26, 2010 at 2:07 AM

    1. Make her feel secure; (sakina- tranquillity) QUIT BEING AGGRESSIVE

    -snipped. Pls see this link: -thx -Editor

    • Amad

      October 26, 2010 at 6:23 AM

      Brother, is that list from the 60 ways to please your spouse? or your own creation?

  12. Haleh

    October 26, 2010 at 5:01 AM

    JazakAllah alf khair Brother – you really put a lot of thought,
    time and effort to share such beneficial advice. They are all
    very valuable and I think that anyone who reads them and
    Implements them will see a big difference. May Allah reward
    you for talking from the heart and encouraging all our brothers
    to be their best!

    The things that can be done by both men and women
    to improve their relationship and increase their love for
    one another are endless. I pray that each one of us strives
    a little harder to improve the marriage and sees his or her
    spouse as a way to Jannah.

    Thank you again for your comments!

    are endless

    • Mazin

      May 22, 2012 at 2:04 PM

      We need relationship professionals like you more and to write more. We need you to write books on Islamic marriage, relationship advice, love etc.
      It would be great if your advice and findings are converted into video presentations available on youtube.
      If there is a way to contribute monetarily do tell us. I don’t know if you know Megan Wyatt. She’s writing a book too. :) :)

      MAy Allah bless your work and make you a benefit for our community and our families.

  13. Kashif

    October 26, 2010 at 6:54 AM

    Following on from tabman’s post, i think he missed #61: put a collar round your neck and hand the leash to your missus.

    I like the article but after reading it in combination with the comments, my overwhelming feeling is lets have some more balance, please. One well-known speaker who writes on this blog and on other forums from time to time recently opined that one of the reasons why the divorce rate is skyrocketing amongst Muslims is that our brothers are not acting like men anymore and the women are taking on masculine behaviour.

    I’m all for promoting kind behaviour of wives to husbands. But I feel sorry for the poor bedraggled husbands who are married to prima donna hijabis who will only use articles such as these (and tabman’s comments) as a stick with which to demand even more from their husbands.

    I say this realising that the marriage landscape is a tricky one to write about. And i don’t want people to counter my comments by mentioning stories of wife abuse, which i know there are plenty of. But i see these as two different problems both of which need to be tackled: (1) abuse of the wife by tyrannical husbands, and (2) prima donna muslim women who make the existence of their husbands a misery. It would be nice if there were some discussion on the latter which doesn’t take the tone “hey sisters we know you’re already doing a lovely job as a wife, but now we’ll show you how to be better” as opposed to the tone that it ought to take which is more like “hey sister, you need to straighten yourself out!”

    • Haleh

      October 26, 2010 at 2:40 PM

      It sounds to me that you are facing some challenging issues in your marriage. Just for the record I have already written the article addressing women and it will be posted soon insha’Allah. I have definitely had experiences in my years of doing therapy where the wife is the one that is oppressive. It is a very difficult situation to be in as the man and I think you should keep in mind that she is in your life for a reason – there is definite hikma for her presence so the sooner you figure that out and accept it the easier life will become.

      I’d like to hear back from you when I post the article addressing the women. I try my best to be fair!


      • Kashif

        October 26, 2010 at 3:56 PM

        Haleh, a few hours after i posted my comment, i had a thought that i should have put in a disclaimer saying that I’m happy with what i have in life, alhumdulillah :)

        But my comments were more borne from seeing/hearing of stories of other brothers.

        Anyhow, i’m looking forward to your second part: hopefully it’ll start discussion on a topic which is nearly always ignored.

      • ahlam

        October 26, 2010 at 9:03 PM

        Sr. Haleh, I’d have to agree with brother Kashif as recently my brother divorced his wife (1st talaq) after he was forced to by her physical abuse(all sorts) as well destroying any belongings he had in the house just to get him to pronounce the word. They even have a few months-old daughter,but she didn’t care-all that she was concerned about was materialism.My brother’s been practicing MasAllah for years before he’d known her and was unfortunately mislead into thinking she had the same sort of interests. But anyhow,he’d kept ALL of these issues a secret from his own family and in an effort to save his 1 year and half marriage and children(she was 2 months pregnant!) he would ask her dad for help only to contain the problem-but to no avail.

        The thing is she had been trying to control him-she wouldn’t want him to save money for the future,she’d order him around the house-change nappies, bed sheets even if hes tired and is back from work.Like she had no Rahma inside of her at all. I noticed all this while she stayed with us.The sad thing previously he would try and explain to her again and again and again,but nothing ever goes through her head-shes the most stubborn person I’ve met.Everybody tried in the past and present-her family,husband,my sisters. It just goes nowhere.So now the community interfered and basically asked him to take her back even after he felt humiliated for her lying about him not providing or spending on her and giving that as a reason for the divorce.And to add insult to injury she would come back on condition he would her gave everything she asks for,which is I think the main reason she initiated all this drama to get him do as she pleases.He did not take it but nonetheless he said that this his trial and that he has to have sabr.

        • Linda (part II)

          October 27, 2010 at 12:39 AM

          some women be cruel.

        • Haleh

          October 28, 2010 at 4:07 PM

          I’m sorry to hear about your brother – it’s really unfortunate. It’s admirable that he wants to practice patience, but there comes a time when a person needs to put an end to the excessive abuse. It is not healthy to live with a women who is so manipulative and negative. What kind of role model is she going to be for their little girl. He has a right to have peace in his relationship without feeling so trapped.

          Women that think they can manipulate their husbands and abuse them will be deprived of peace in this dunya and in the akhira. They need to realize that there will come a day to account for all these oppressive acts and then it will be too late.

    • Algebera

      October 27, 2010 at 3:54 AM

      I agree with the other writer’s assessment that MEN ARE NOT TAKING THE LEADERSHIP ROLE and that is why there are sooo many divorces. Taking on a LEADERSHIP ROLE does not mean being oppressive. Women naturally are attracted to men that will protect them and be strong, and being strong does not mean being abusive. A woman can sense from intuition a weak man. They can sense it a mile away, and many women these days are having to take on role of being the protectors, providers, caretakers, etc and that does NOT bring the best out in a woman. It is unnatural and that leads to abuse and RESENTMENT.

      • Kamilah

        November 3, 2010 at 7:56 PM

        This is the huge problem caused by divorce, feminism, television, LGBT initiative, and the public education.

        It becomes a cycle a child is raised without a father or henpecked father, then sees men being devalued on television, then goes to school and the female teacher takes a negative attitude towards the male child and his energy. Then this child grows into a weak man, and the women who resent it are also part of the problem.

  14. Maysa Hammoud

    October 26, 2010 at 7:09 AM

    Yes! We need to stress the importance of pre-marital counseling. I am all for that. But, I hate to say that this will not be effective unless we have more Muslims in the field.

    We just celebrated my son’s marriage contract ceremony (katb kitaab) last month and we are trying to find a marriage counselor in our area that is Muslim which there is none. We were told about a sheikh in Virginia that does this for his community and might do it for us if we email him quite in advance since he is quite popular among Muslims in his area. This is very inconvenient and might deter us from doing the counseling all together. This would be very unfortunate, but a reality of what might become of our efforts to improve this situation for our future Muslim couples.

    My daughter in-law was aspiring to be a marriage counselor, but I discouraged her because I thought that there are issues that she would have to discuss that she will be uncomfortable with when put in a setting where the husband reveals his inner desires, for example. She is very shy and quite conservative. She was educated in Islamic schools and didn’t have much exposure interacting with the opposite gender. However, like we are discussing her, she saw the huge need for it and that is why she went into psychology and will be graduating this semester, in sha2 Allah.

    What type of person do you think is candidate for such a field? Do you think she will be able to do it? Do you think a male would be better in this field? Do you think that it is effective to counsel them separately as an alternative?

    • Haleh

      October 26, 2010 at 2:54 PM

      I can understand your concerns regarding your daughter-in-law becoming a therapist. It is a demanding job and it really requires a person who is emotionally and psychologically stable and balanced first and foremost. The more grounded a person is the less they will be effected by the trials and tribulations of others. It requires a person to be truly emphatic, an excellent listener, analytical and have the unique ability to make others feel comfortable enough to put down their guards and trustworthy enough to share their weaknesses. I remember in graduate school I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders because I felt responsible to make everyone better and to solve everyone’s problems and then my professor relieved me by saying that everyone has the answer within them and you just have to probe them. I took a deep breath and felt much better. Now 15 years late,r I believe that it is not just about probing it is important to provide guidance and direction especially regarding the deen. In the training I was taught also to focus on the solution rather than being consumed by the problems; therefore I became a much stronger person alhamdulillah through learning to control my emotions during therapy.

      fi amanAllah

      • Haleh

        October 28, 2010 at 4:13 PM

        Something I wanted to add is that it is actually critical to have female therapists. It is not just a field for men – on the contrary women can be very intuitive and compassionate.

      • Graan khan

        September 25, 2015 at 7:19 AM

        Salam Helah
        I hv a questioned If a girl fall in love before nikah and married another person can she change her love. and spent good life with new husband or not.

  15. Seher

    October 26, 2010 at 1:23 PM

    Very beneficial article mashaAllah. What we usually tend to forget is that on the Day of Judgement, we will be asked if we have fulfilled other peoples’ rights, rather than them fulfilling our rights. If we keep this in mind, it won’t be that difficult to make an extra effort for our spouse. During the downs or difficult times of marriage, we should seek to please our spouse for the sake of Allah, and that, in turn, will be beneficial for our own marriage life, inshaAllah.

  16. Amad

    October 26, 2010 at 2:55 PM

    Pls see poll on left related to the post… and participate.

  17. NAS

    October 26, 2010 at 5:12 PM

    There isn’t an article about how to score BIG w/men?

  18. Sarah S.

    October 27, 2010 at 12:17 AM

    Jazaaki Allahu khairan for this wonderful article! Very insightful look into women’s needs as well as really valuable advice :)

    I think many of these issues (not all but many) can be addressed before marriage. That is the beauty of having the engagement and pre-engagement (and even katb el kitaab/nikaah) periods: One has the opportunity to gain insight into a potential spouse’s ideals, mode of communication, personality traits, etc. Of course there are many things that one can never truly learn about his/her spouse until they live together, but the Islamic system of courtship provides excellent opportunities to learn about one another.

    I loved your points about communication- I read a piece about the different ways men and women communicate… The author, Rebecca Wheeler, actually compares it to cross-cultural communication. She poses that since children communicate in same-gender groups, they learn different communication styles. Conversation is the cornerstone of girls’ relationships; they view intimacy as the most important aspect of a friendship… and women then expect this from their husbands. But the relationships of boys are based less on conversation than on doing things together, which is one of the roots of the different modes of communication between genders.

    • Sammy

      October 27, 2010 at 4:32 PM

      What IS Islam’s take on engagement?? I’ve been increasingly feeling like this whole marriage business is confusing in Islam.

      … But for now, I’d just like an explanation on engagement before nikah – whether it’s permissible; if it is then, to what extent etc.

    • Haleh

      October 28, 2010 at 4:14 PM

      Thank you Sarah for your comment – I liked what you said about the cross cultural communication. So true!

  19. Algebera

    October 27, 2010 at 3:35 AM

    I really like this article of yours!!!!!!! MashAllah. Are you a new writer here? Haven’t heard of you before.
    In any case, welcome. A Pleasant surprise. this site needed some new blood :)

    • Haleh

      October 28, 2010 at 4:20 PM

      I started as the psychologist for this awesome website about 6 months ago.
      Thanks for your comments – I actually feel that the site is filled with some very talented and creative people!

  20. Sadiq

    October 27, 2010 at 6:17 AM

    mashallah the article was a really worthy one for everyone getting married… but on the 3rd complain you had mentioned… most males face problems within them.. how could they resolve it…? like they finish off soon and then the women is not satisfied… any thing you could tell regarding this…

  21. Ali

    October 27, 2010 at 11:04 AM

    You write: “Most woman feel extremely dissatisfied in their marriage.”

    On what basis do you write that? a published study or scientific survey? the dozens of women you mention with whom you’ve worked over your 15 year career? or some other source?

    My observation, alhamdulillah, is that my wife and I are extremely satisfied (and we tell each other), and that the majority of our married friends and aquantainces have not expressed anything resembling extreme dissatisfaction.

    Married readers, especially sisters, if you would characterize your feelings about your marriage as anything better than extremely dissatisfied, please leave a comment.

    The survey at the top left assumes two things: 1) the wife of the respondent has a #1 one complaint against him (and that it is among those listed), 2) that the respondent is aware of what that complaint is. I, alhamdulillah, am unable to answer that survey.

    • Amad

      October 27, 2010 at 12:30 PM

      First of all, not sure how your question is relevant to the discussion. It is certainly not central to the theme. I would understand if the article’s crux was that most Muslim marriages are unhappy. Rather, it is about tips for those whose marriage isn’t happy.

      Alhamdulilah that you have a great marriage. And so the article has tips to keep your marriage going great, if you so wish to accept. For the folks, and there are many, many (even a minority of a large number is a lot) who are not happy, it offers some helpful reminders.

      By the way, you should talk to the local Imam or a therapist in your community and ask them how satisfied couples are. Most people will never open up to friends, and so the mirage of great marriages is just that- a mirage. Because I talk with people who deal with such problems, I can tell you that I have been shocked by how unhappy some couples are, who on the outset seem like the ideal couples.

      P.S. We can do another poll, asking the question on satisfaction, next week. It’ll be interesting, how large the minority (if so) of unhappy couples is.

      • Algebera

        October 27, 2010 at 12:54 PM

        Just a point of advice, when you wake up in the morning, PLEASE don’t forget to take off the rose colored glasses.

    • Siraaj

      October 27, 2010 at 4:05 PM

      Very interesting question, would like to know for myself the basis of the statement. It appears to be personal experience, but then that begs the question, is it because you are counseling patients in dissatisfied marriages, generally speaking, that it seems the majority are dissatisfied?


      • Haleh

        October 28, 2010 at 4:49 PM

        To answer your question regarding my statement that women are extremely dissatisfied in their marriages comes from the following:

        1. I have given Seminars on Marriage in Houston, Dubai, Jordan and Egypt with hundreds of women attending at each event – the vast majority stated that they were extremely dissatisfied. (Since it was an all female gathering with no husbands or family around, everyone was candid.)

        2. In Houston I was the consultant for numerous sheyookh who were constantly dealing with the ummah’s marital problems and the dissatisfaction was ubiquitous.

        3. In dealing with hundreds of women on a personal basis who confide in me because I’m a therapist, I have realized that the people I least expected were having major problems, but as brother Amad said they will never let their friends know – unless they are a therapist!

        4. I can actually count the number of couples who are satisfied in their marriages. So unfortunately being dissatisfied is the norm – it is the exception to find women who are content.

        My goal is to increase the number of men and women who are content in their marriages insha’Allah. I think it boils down to having the right tools and the right attitude. It can be taught and I have seen couples trasform with therapy.


        • Algebera

          October 28, 2010 at 10:53 PM

          OHHHH I am soooo excited about reading more articles from you. Finally a female who gets it and is well aware of what is happening in the world right now and is educated in the field. THANK YOU for being sooo honest. MashAllah.

          I am no therapist by any means, i am a teacher by profession, but women and friends and even strangers come up to me and share a lot with me and i have found it to be true that many many many women are unhappy and discontented. I am so glad there is a professional on BOARD this website that sees things CLEARLY.

          MashAllah. Looking forward to hearing more from you.

          • Haleh

            October 29, 2010 at 3:40 PM

            Wa alaikomos Salam,
            Jazakillah khair sister for your encouraging words and your enthusiasm! I am so glad that you are
            benefitting from the article. Stay tuned for part II
            which will address women.



        • Ali

          November 2, 2010 at 1:04 PM

          Thank you for responding.

          May Allah ta’aalaa accept all the good work you do.

          I would suggest speaking in terms of many being extremely dissatisfied, rather than using the word most, unless you’ve come to a studied conclusion to that effect. Saying most is a true statement, achieves the purpose, and is safe from being mistaken and thereby causing you wrongly, though unintentionally, to cast aspersions against the community as a whole. Doing so also lends more credibility in the eyes of at least some readers to your other conclusions and research and experience. The people whom you help and those that come to a marriage seminar are not a fair gloss for the community as a whole.

          I can’t count the number of happy marriages I am aware of, alhamdulillah, and I am aware of a significant minority of unhappy marriages. However, I still cannot state that most women are happy in their marriage. Because I don’t know. I would say that many are happy and many are unhappy. Beyond that, I don’t know.

          In any case, I found many of the tips useful for me and think that as a whole they are useful for those who feel their marriages are going great too, and I think your article does help you towards your stated goal.

          Jazakumullahu khairan.

          (A poll on muslimmatters, isn’t scientific, though it may be someone instructive and beneficial. But I think it may be a good idea, Amad. Thanks.)

          • Amad

            November 2, 2010 at 1:11 PM


        • Dr. Samer Abed

          May 24, 2011 at 5:38 PM

          thank you for the article
          well I’m sorry but I have to tell you that not most women are dissatisfied it is rather you who’s exposed to them.
          When you say that you took your conclusion from meetings with dissatisfied women than your cohort is biased. It is the same as if a doctor in a hospital would claim most of the people are sick only because he is exposed to them all day, but if he would take the whole population he would ralize that he is only seeing the minority.
          Be sure that most women are satisfied and happy to be married and Allah assured the human beings that he will put between the husband and the wife love and mercy.

          thank you for your good advices and be careful about wrong unintended generalizations.

  22. Happy Friend

    October 29, 2010 at 2:32 AM

    The articles are making assertions which may look good on the face but the writer hasn’t included the different personality types. People of certain personality types may not and can not do what all may be required to make a successful marriage as per the article presented

  23. Algebera

    October 29, 2010 at 3:59 PM

    Yes I know you are writing part II on men’s needs. We get bombarded with that on a daily basis in lectures and khutbahs. Not that I am against those needs or anything but we hear about it everyday. I have six brothers and there ages range from 30 to 19 so I am pretty aware of their needs. Alhumdulilah, Alhumdulilah they are MashAllah excellent men. In any case looking forward to reading it though.

  24. Suzan

    October 30, 2010 at 5:05 PM

    Assalam Alaikom Sister Haleh!

    What wonderful advice for newlyweds and NECESSARY advice / reminders for us “seasoned spouses.”

    May ALLAH accept and reward all your efforts as you positively influence and affect our Umma. :)

    Really looking forward to Part II and more of your upcoming articles, please keep them coming!

    Jazakee ALLAH 1000 khair!

    • Haleh

      October 31, 2010 at 5:13 AM

      Wa alaikomos Salam Suzan,
      I appreciate your continuous support and encouragement.
      I feel its a blessing to share this information and my heart is
      is so content when couples learn to be more loving
      and accepting of each other.

      MashaAllah, you are a true sister for me! I pray for
      more people like you! :)


      • Muslim

        November 1, 2010 at 11:23 PM

        As-salaamualaikum Wr Wb,

        Alhamdulillah I got engaged recently and Insha-Allah my Nikah is early next year. I am very happy and excited about my marriage. Finally my mom found a girl for me. I accepted the propasal based on her niqab, family, education and her photograph (Honestly this was the most important one). I am in US and she is in India so I did not see nor speak to her.

        I am told that she is very good in studies and has been a topper in her college. I am happy at the same time a little apprehensive to know this. I have always been in the top 5 throughout my high school and college though never a topper. I never held any grudge towards the toppers in my class because most of them have been my closest friends and continue to remain so. Hope this holds good for my fiancee as well (the only difference is the gender).

        I studied in boys only schools and interaction with the opposite gender in college was minimal. However I grew up with a sister 2 years younger to me. Alhamdulillah she is my best friend and greatest supporter. Since she understands me best, I counted on her opinion before accepting this proposal.

        Jazak-Allah Khair for the article. Since this is unknown territory for me your statement “Most woman feel extremely dissatisfied in their marriage” is discomforting. This may be the reality but does not sound pleasant to one who just got engaged :-( I put my trust in Allah SWT and Insha-Allah will implement your advise. Please remember this brother in Islam in your duas. May Allah SWT makes it easier for me and my fiancee.

        For now I am happy with my dreams :-)

        • Haleh

          November 2, 2010 at 7:31 AM

          Wa alaikomos salam wr wb,
          First, CONGRATULATIONS on your engagement! I know what an exciting time this must be for you. I’m glad you wrote in because your definitely not alone. I don’t want you to feel any discomfort and I want you to continue to dream.

          I always find that doing Pre-marital therapy or learning the tools to having a successful marriage prior to getting married is much more effective than waiting until you are faced with difficulties. The fact that you are seeking to understand and learning how to be a better spouse gives you a big advantage. I think what happens many times is that many brothers may not know and they will not try to find out how to make their wives happy.

          My personal belief is that with love, understanding, and a lot of continuous effort your honeymoon could last a lifetime insha’Allah.

          Wishing you the very BEST!

  25. MI

    November 3, 2010 at 10:55 AM

    I disagree completely with this entire article – as it generalizes and negetaively stereotypes the men. Everything in life is relative and should be considered within the contest of a circumstance and a given stituation. I am a man and married for 13 years with 2 daughters and I don’t think this is accurate at all becuase it does not reflect truely or correctly upon all the women or men. What you say/write does not apply to all women/men or marraiges. Ask me how I am frsutrated with my wife as I am the only one trying to keep it going along with 2 young daughters. She is completely clueless about life and has a brain of a young teen and a body of a 33 yo woman. She has no idea how the finances work, how the bills are paid how the money comes in or gets spent. She cannot relate to the general aspects of living an dwhat it takes to live a life from day-to-day. I sincerely beleive either she is unintelligent [Edited for crudeness]

    I keep going for the sake of my young girls and I do not want to give them the impression that I am a bad father by leaving their mother. so I sacrifice and keep on moving and that’ s life……

    A devoted and loving Father but an extremely Frustrated husband!!!

    • Mansoor Ansari

      November 3, 2010 at 11:11 AM

      It seems like u should seek counselling

    • Amatul Wadood

      November 3, 2010 at 11:28 AM

      She is completely clueless about life and has a brain of a young teen and a body of a 33 yo woman. She has no idea how the finances work, how the bills are paid how the money comes in or gets spent. She cannot relate to the general aspects of living an dwhat it takes to live a life from day-to-day

      are the above mentioned reasons for your frustration with her?????????????
      and plz show some respect and really not nice of you to call her all that you wrote!..she’s a human being after all!!!

      By the way @Sister Haleh, jazakAllah Khair! may Allah SWT bless you for trying to help the married couples of the ummah!
      may AllahSWT help all my brothers and sisters to have a blessed, happy and content married life!

    • africana

      November 3, 2010 at 12:45 PM


      Whilst i don’t agree with speaking about others in the sort of terms you used.

      i think that where men or women are being abused/negleted by spouses on whom you’ve tried every trick in the book, these sorts of articles can really, really hurt.

      i think that the source of guidance should be the quran and hadith and that these articles, well- meaning as they are, ignore the complexity of our lives and can stir up hidden hurts in those whose situations the writer hasn’t factored in.

      some spouses have pathological characters and will never appreciate, wiil always pick fault.

      May Allah make things easy for you, bro.

    • ahlam

      November 3, 2010 at 7:47 PM

      May Allah make things easy, innal ma’al ‘usr yusra:- truly with every hardship,comes ease. This is dunya,the abode is in the akhira so be steadfast.

  26. MI

    November 3, 2010 at 1:12 PM

    you got that right lady – you don’t know what my perosnal situaton is and see if you could wear my shoes for one day and I bet you will be calling a DIVORCE lawyer!

    ….and the sad (truth) part is (I think) that she knows she is like that and she knows that I will not leave her as I am invaluable to her and I die for my kids and wouldn’t want anything happening to them as a result of my wife’s behavior/situation. JUST REMEMEBR My kids are also girls – and some day they will be adult Women, Wives, Mothers… it is extremely imperative that my wife behave in adherence to Islamic values and portraying her position as a mother and a wife.Sometimes I feel that she’s the smart one in the relationship and feel that she might be taking me for a ride and making a fool of me and she knows that she is in a winning position due to my vulnabrities/weaknesses and that is protecting my girls and for that I am puting up with her conniving and plotting behavior (may be or she is just like that)….and just living my life out quitely – until my girls are adults and then who knows – pay back time!…….sooooo saaad!!!!

    and Yes I know what Islam teaches and says of a woman and it also says that a woman has the ability to make or break a family (village, life, man…..)

    one thing majorly wrong with majority of muslims in the world is that they completely and utterly put their trust in Allah and Quran and Prohet (PBUH) (as they must) but without making an honest effort of any kind and neglecting or failing to learn/undertand that Allha also gave them a Brain and told them to use it to make judgment calls tin living their lives. If you are stupid for the sake of being stupid and say/beleive that Allah will protect you with all your stupidness then you are cheating yourself and above all wrogfully blaming Allah for not helping you in your life.

    • Dr Mohd Tariq Salman

      November 6, 2010 at 1:17 PM

      Dear MI,
      Assalam u alaikum. This is a test for you from Allah, and Allah never puts a burden on anyone greater that what he can bear. So please keep steadfast and make your best effort to solve the problems. InshaAllah, Allah will help you. I feel the main problem between you two is a lack of trust. You do not know what her intentions are and she does not know how your finances work. Try to build trust with her by showing unconditional love. Educate her gradually “about life, how the finances work, how the bills are paid how the money comes in or gets spent”. And most important, don’t try to make her straight, since women have been created from the 1st rib which is the most curved among all the ribs. If, you try to straighten her you will break her (i.e. your relationship with her). We men have to learn how to put up with the curvature of women (no insult intended, its from hadith).

  27. Pingback: Win His Heart: A Psychological Approach for WOMEN |

  28. Dr MTS

    November 6, 2010 at 2:09 PM

    Assalam u alaikum. Thank you for this wonderful article. It summarizes the important things men should take care of to keep their married life satisfying. “Generally, men are quite puzzled by women. They are not sure what to do or say to please the women in their lives.” I totally agree with this. But this is because men do not understand the psychology of women, which is quite different from that of men. I generally try to read such articles together with my wife, and all married couples should do so. Then they can discuss with each other and have a better understanding of the article as well as of each other. And we all need to keep on continually educating ourselves on these issues. At last I have found an islamic psychologist which I was longing for. When we were married, most people close to me told me that the ‘honeymoon period‘ would last just for around 1 year. They said it was their personal experience. We tried to follow guidelines from Quran and Hadith and religious persons regarding married life and we had a very satisfying life well beyond an year …….. till we had children. Then her attention shifted totally towards the children and she simply ignored me. I kept on gently reminding her that I am feeling neglected but she thought she was helpless and bound to give the children their due attention. She tries to be more caring towards me but life is not as it used to be. Any advice from you and readers of this blog would be appreciated!

    • Belle

      June 9, 2011 at 10:36 PM

      OMG. This is right on the money. I can not even begin to describe how accurate this post is. More than anything else your wife must know with undeniable conviction that she is loved and wanted. If husbands make a conscious effort to let their wives know that they are loved it will eliminate boredom, insecurities, adultery, and grudges.

  29. Ahmed Li Wong

    June 4, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    I can’t find this article! All I see is just the title! Can you please guide, share or email this valuable article?

  30. Pingback: How to Score BIG with Women: a Psychological and Islamic approach for Men - Haleh Banani

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  33. Ahmed sahrudin

    June 5, 2018 at 11:19 PM

    Jazakallahu khayran haleh
    I am very thankful for your post
    Insha allah I will benefit it when married

  34. coquette

    January 16, 2023 at 2:42 AM

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Your post was insightful and informative. I appreciate the time you took to write it. about cheating husband

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