Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Emotional and verbal abuse has left me depressed, exhausted, and thinking of committing suicide.

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I was born in the US and married to an Algerian for 8 years.I converted to Islam about 7 years ago, but I have a lot of trouble learning Arabic and memorizing Quran. This has become a hurdle in my marriage because my husband feels that he shouldn't have to remind me to read Quran and fast (which I do with GREAT difficulty because of anaemia.)

We are also having a big problem with my role as wife and mother. He believes I should keep a perfect home, cook the perfect dinner, and that the kids should perfectly behave. When something goes wrong, he blames me. I work outside the home full time and don't get home until around 6 pm. I take the kids to school at 7:30 am. He does not help around the house much, and when he does he says things like "why do I have to be the husband and the wife?"My husband does NOT work. He has some health issues those can be easily treated if, he would go the doctor and follow the proper treatment. We have health insurance through my job and I make enough money to support everyone. He forgets to take his medicine and then blames me for not reminding him.

I feel very tired at the end of the day and I have been trying to keep the perfect house and cook perfect meals. I often go to bed after midnight (after everyone has already gone to bed) just to tidy up, wash dishes, etc. I get only about 6 hours of sleep at night, and when I complain about being tired, my husband says I don't work a physical job so why am I complaining? He often compares me to his friends' wives (all of whom stay home) and then ask me, why I can't be like so-and-so's wife?

I'm getting very frustrated. I know I have to obey my husband, and I'm trying very, very hard to please him, but all I get in return is complaints. He calls me stupid, fat, and lazy; he is very hard on the kids and makes them cry.  He calls our 6 year old stupid because she is not good in Maths. He tells me that if I don't improve, he will divorce me and take the kids back to his country.I don't feel this is the right way to treat a wife, and I've tried talking to him, but we only fight. Everything I do is wrong, and every time I try to talk to him, he either ignores me or tells me that I'm not trying to be the wife he deserves. He threatens divorce all the time, and I'm terrified of his temper.

What should I do? Sometimes he is very sweet and understanding, and other times he is emotionally abusive and makes me so depressed that, I think about killing myself.I know he is also very depressed because he can't find a good job. I've tried to help him, but he refuses to do any work except his own business. He refuses to take a low-paid job, and for every idea I give him, he knocks it down immediately.Please help me. I'm scared of being around him for fear of a fight. The kids don't want to be around him and shout hooray when he leaves the house. This is no way to be a family.

Nahla


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12 Responses »

  1. Assalamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah wa baraktuh Sister

    May Allah subhanhu wa tala reward you for all your efforts for your family and grant you Jannatul Firdos..Ameen. Before you do anything please from this day forward keep your intention to Please Allah subhanhu wa tala Alone (if you haven't already). You do so much and I greatly admire you for trying to please your husband.

    His treatment is not Islamic and he's is abusing his rights over you. As a Muslim woman you have rights over him too, which includes him paying for your expenses (food, shelter, clothes) and educating the children and you . The Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded good treatment to women, so his attitude is not of an Islamic perspective. I would rather think it's a cultural mind-set, as well as western. He's taking the Western values of a woman working and being idependant, and the eastern values of the woman cooking/cleaning/seeing to the children by herself. Often in the Arab world many have maids to help, or extensive family cirlces to aid in raising the children. I strongly suggest your issue needs to be taken to your local Imam, someone with knowledge needs to instruct him of the rights upon him, and his role as a husband. He is comforting his ego by being harsh as he is not feeling very much of a man by not taking care of his responsiblities (hence the mood swings). By nature a man knows his responsiblities, especially in the Eastern world where roles are quite distinct. However he's becoming lazy and abusing it. You are on the verge of burning yourself out; if you haven't already.
    I would suggest you continue to do what you can to the best of your ability for the sake of Please Allah subhanhu wa tala, in the mean time seek counsel from your local Imam. Perhaps, if it's possible speak to a near relative of his? In Islam when there is an issue between husband an wife that cannot be resolved between themselves they are to take one party from the woman's side, and one from the man's side, discuss the issue and come to a solution. You cannot be superwoman forever, though I greatly admire your strength and will to be a supportive wife and mother. Islam is a religion of ease, not hardship. Including fasting with a medical condition; your body has rights upon you and so if you are unable to do so you need to feed the poor the the days you cannot do. The sick and the old are expempt from fasting and need to feed the needy, pregnant women can make up their fasts after the birth of their child.
    Study your religion, your rights, and his. Turn to someone that you respect and trust Islamically that will help to show your husband where he is erring in his ISLAMIC responsiblities.

    May Allah subhanhu wa tala make it easy for you... Ameen

    Umm Abdullah

    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  2. Please email me. I am in dire need of advice as I am a severely emotionally and verbally abused woman and I dont know wat to do. I cannot give details here as I am afraid that my husband mite read this and make my life even worse

  3. Watch "heaven on earth" Directed by Deepa Mehta. You make your own heaven or hell so choose wisely.

    God bless

    Take care of your children. Protect yourself and your children.
    Don't go there were you can be found.

    Take care

  4. Assalamu’alaikum Sister,

    I am sure it’s very painful going through this situation. Not only is it difficult on you but your children are also suffering. You are absolutely correct when you say” This is no way to be a family”. Sister, your husband has given you a terrible example of a Muslim man. As Muslims, in particular Muslim men, we should strive to follow the example of Prophet Muhammad(PBUH). He was the best of husbands. Never did he abuse any of his wives. Unfortunately sister, far too many of our men have fallen into this pattern of abuse, whether it be physical or mental. It is wrong and it’s time for brother’s to stand up and be men and abandon our cultural practices that dictate how we view and treat our women.

    Sister, it’s possible that your husband is feeling the pressure of not being able to find a job and he is taking it out on you. There is no excuse for his actions but that is what’s happening. Many time when people are not feeling good about their own self worth they abuse other’s in an attempt to make themselves feel better. By abusing you, controlling you and the children it makes him feel as if he is in control of some portion of his life. What I would suggest is that you try and talk to your husband about how you feel. Find someone in your masjid or in the community who does family counseling. Your husband needs help because he has to know that what he is doing to you and the children is abuse. Sometimes verbal or emotional abuse is worse than physical. If you want to keep the family together then all of you need some type of counseling.

    If your husband does not see his actions as abusive then you need to make a decision whether to stay or get out of the marriage. Divorce is something that is disliked by Allah(SWT), but if you are unable to convince your husband to get help then you must decide what is better for you and your children. Your husband will continue this abusive behavior if he doesn’t acknowledge that he has a problem. If you choose to leave please make sure you have a game plan. Find a safe house for you and your children. If you have family inform them of your decision to leave so that they can help you.

    Before you make any decision please make istikharah. Ask Allah(SWT) for guidance. Sister, no one should ever be abused and no one has the right abuse.

    Your Brother in Islam

    Abdul Wali
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  5. Assalam O alaikum brother Abdul Wali:)
    GOOD TO SEE YOUR COMMENTS AFTER A WHILE MASHA ALLAH. Excellent advice Masha Allah and I hope to read more of you in future Insha Allah.
    Wasalam, Muhammad1982:)

  6. Jazzak allah khair brother Muhammad,

    I am currently doing some training which is consuming a lot of my time. Insha Allah I will contribute when I can.

    Abdul Wali
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  7. Leave him, he is the lazy stupid one. Leave and file for divorse. it will never get better. You deserve better.

  8. I feel a bit uncomfortable posting details of my situation online, will someone please email me?

    • OneTruth,

      Submit your post and request for it to be kept private. That way, we will ensure that no-one will be able to view it but the Editors and yourself. Although if you do make it public, you are more likely to receive a range of responses.

      SisterZ
      IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  9. I'm married to a man who I love very much. He is a man that has had to work a lot on his anger. He has improved so much, but it's caused him to have two very different sides to him: The loving, caring, pious man he's becoming and the monstrously angry man that he was. Sometimes it's feels so good to be with him, laugh with him and talk with him and sometimes being with him is like a nightmare I can't wake up from. I've gotten so tired of the emotional roller coaster ride that I've resorted to keeping myself at a low point to be able to have some sort of balance. He has said to me some of the sweetest things and I believe him, and he has also said to be some of the most horrifying and unforgivable things. Just to give you an idea, he has told me to jump out a window, that I have **** inside of my head for brains, etc. Also gestures like spitting in my face, throwing things at me and hitting me on the head, and humiliating me, even in front of other people. I am an smart, educated woman that can be absent-minded. My biggest sensitive spot is someone calling me stupid or implying it. I'm aware that I can be absent-minded, and I struggle and try to correct it. I've told him not to do this, yet he reminds me almost everyday, jokingly and seriously. It's seriously damaging me. I think I'm starting to believe it. I had enough soul-searching to do before I got married and now I feel like my journey to understand myself has just been so completely thrown off track that I don't know if I'll ever achieve it. I'm exhausted from all of this and so stressed out.
    Now here's a bit of back-drop on this: He steals for living because he doesn't have papers and my din is suffering immensely for it, I feel as though I'm not progressing as a Muslim, I've put off wearing the headscarf because of feeling like a hypocrite and if I could I would support us both but I'm already working like a slave to pay off student debt accumulated before converting to Islam. I make extra money on top of it and it goes towards our household expenses. I also feel so controlled, every cent must be accounted for. I can't buy clothes or anything. Financially I need his permission for every little thing. Worse than that is that I feel constantly criticized about my clothes, my weight, my way of doing anything and everything, how I deal with every situation, how I spend every minute. I feel like my spirit is completely suffocated. I can't be creative, he won't let me try anything new in the kitchen, I feel suffocated! What's more, I'm living an ocean away from my family and friends and don't have anyone here. I want to live near my family but don't know if I'll every be able to. Too many things are contributing to a feeling of high stress and complete lack of control of everything in my life. On top of that, I obviously can't bring children into this type of instability and I wonder how long it will be before I feel relaxed enough to get pregnant. I don't think he's worried about whether I ever have children or not because I think he thinks if I don't he'll just marry another wife or two, how is that fair! I want children too! When I talk about future children he laughs and asks when? He would have children if I wanted to, but I don't see it as a responsible move. How can I have calm children if I'm not calm? If that's not enough, I don't think I could every even be ok with polygyny no matter how hard I try to be open to it, it's so foreign to me! I think I would be miserable and humiliated in a situation like that and I told him that before we got married. I know I've veered off the topic of feeling emotionally abused, but I just couldn't help explaining why I feel completely and utterly overwhelmed with stress and fear about my present and future. I keep telling myself I made a promise to him and I have to keep it and give him a chance to correct his faults, but the rest seems so impossible to me it makes me want to give up sometimes! Please help me.

    • I am sorry sister what you are going through, may Allah make this trial easy for you for the sake of the holy month of Ramadan. I will have to request you to please log in and write your question as separate post. I pray that things work out in your best interest and may Allah (swt) put mercy, care, kindness in your husband's heart. Amin

      Muhammad1982,
      Editor, IslamicAnswers.com

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