3/5/2010. I shall be 64 years in July 2010. My wife is 58-year-old. Her menses stopped nearly seven years ago. After that she doest want to have intercourse with me willingly. And for the last three years, she hardly agrees to have intercourse; rather she scolds me and says this is not allowed at this age. She says Allah has allowed intercourse only for bearing children; since she cannot bear children now, so it is not permissible. Not only that. To discourage me from having intercourse, she does not shave her pubic hair for more than allowed 40 days after my repeated requests/advice. She has also yeast infection (vagina odour), but does not go to a doctor. She does not use the medicine which I bring for the cure of this yeast infection. Please advise me what should I do in this situation.
All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.
Your wife is obliged to accept your call to bed whenever you ask her to do so, and she is not permitted to refuse unless she has a sound reason. Indeed, there is a severe threat against a wife who refuses to answer the call of her husband to bed; for more benefit, please refer to Fataawa 100429 and 88547.
What your wife mentioned that Allaah permitted intercourse just in order to have children is not correct, rather the texts that are mentioned in this regard (that a wife is obligated to answer her husband’s call to bed) are general, so there is no exception for an elderly woman.
Hence, your wife’s refusing to answer your call to bed and shouting at you is an act of disobedience on her part and this is forbidden. For more benefit on the steps to follow in treating a disobedient wife, please refer to Fatwa 85402.
On the other hand, the jurists stated that a wife is obliged to remove anything that prevents her husband from sexual satisfaction; included in this are the bad smell and repulsive hair and everything that is disgusting. Ibn Hajar Al-Haytami said when clarifying the matters that a woman is obliged to obey her husband when he asks her to do so, and if she refuses, he is permitted to oblige her to do so: “He has the right to force her not to eat raw onion, and to remove dirt and hair (from her body), even the hair of the armpit, and to remove the nails, like any repulsive matter that prevents sexual satisfaction (according to the preponderant opinion) because if she refuses to do all what is mentioned here, then this will make her husband feel repulsion from her.” For more benefit on the ruling of shaving pubic hair, please refer to Fataawa 81607 and 86539.
Finally, if you have the ability to be just between wives and provide the obligatory spending and the like to each of them, then you may marry a second wife, and if you are unable to marry a second wife or that you do not wish to do so, then you may threaten your wife to marry a second wife hoping that this will lead her to obey you and answer your call to bed.
Allaah Knows best.
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