Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Caught my husband trying to photograph my sister in the shower

spying eye, peeping tom, peeking

I have been married for over 3 years. In the years that we have been married, whatever problems we faced I had always just  brushed aside with the hope that things will improve over time.

This all changed the day after my 30th birthday (just over 2 weeks ago). My youngest sister had stayed over for the night as she does sometimes. That morning, I was getting ready to go to work and was clearing up some things to put into the kitchen sink before heading off. As I was heading into the kitchen, I caught my husband with his phone camera on and knew he was about to attempt to take a picture of my sister as she was taking a shower in the bathroom (the window was slightly ajar).

When he saw me, he quickly claimed he was trying to look for a document in the spare room which was located just behind the bathroom and couldn't find it. I watched him for a few minutes as he went around the apartment trying to look busy. My sister was oblivious to what had happened.

When he went into our bedroom, I followed him in and closed the door behind him. I quietly and calmly asked him directly if he had tried to take  picture of my sister in the shower. He denied it.

I walked out and together with my sister, we left the apartment. Later that day, I returned to the apartment,  packed my things and went to my mum's house where I've been staying since.

The following day, he came to see me and admitted to his mistake. He said he had the intention to act as such because he hoped I would catch him and hence leave him. He felt he did not deserve me and had not been fulfilling his duties as a husband. Nevertheless, he had realised his mistake and begged for forgiveness. He said he knew what he had done was horribly wrong and that I would need time to myself so he gave me permission to stay with my mother for as long as I wanted.

Prior to this incident, we had also faced other issues but because I loved him so much I was willing to overlook the flaws in the relationship. Even though we have only been married for 3 years, we only have intimate relations once a month. And not because of my lack of trying.

He has also failed to provide for me, as he has been with financial difficulty for a while. I have had to fend for myself throughout the duration of the relationship with him contributing only when he was able to.

Most recently, he admitted to wanting to wait until next year to have a baby even though our initial plan was for me to conceive by this year. He had made this decision to wait without consulting me beforehand. His reason was he was not financially prepared.

Having said this, despite the flaws, we have a wonderful relationship in that we share almost everything together, we love almost nothing more than to spend time together. He treats me well and is loving towards his family as well as mine. He has a kind naturedness about him which I have never seen in anyone before and he gives me a sense of calm that I have never felt before meeting him.

Now I am torn between what my mother and older sister thinks I should do (they know what happened) and my inner self which tells me to give him another chance. I have taken comfort in the fact that he has owned up to his mistake and is now taking measures to right his wrong.

In this matter, what is the actual right thing to do???

- Dazed Confused


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11 Responses »

  1. Salaam my Sister,

    I am sorry that you have experienced this with your husband.

    Your husband is prowling after your sister and is behaving lecherously and perversely. This is unacceptable. It doesn't matter what he says or does: he is a pervert. You will not be able to trust him around any woman, when you are there, when you are not there - he is lusting after women, and he is lusting after them in a very sickening way. He has no respect for you, or your sister. His intentions are highly offensive, and his actions are disgusting and despicable. What would he have done if you didn't catch him? This is not good my sister. This is not good.

    My advice is to let him go before he does further damage to your confidence and self esteem. Tolerating this kind of behaviour will only eat you up and destroy the way you feel about yourself, and I cannot see why you would ever accept this. It is no good to be married to a man who is constantly salivating over every woman that comes across his path, and pursuing them, and having rude thoughts about them. No. It is not good.

    If you wish to give him a second chance, then that is up to you: this is your life, your marriage and your decision and you are free to make whichever decision you wish.

    I am a strong advocate of marriage and I believe strongly in working things out with your spouse, however there are some things that are unacceptable and this is one of them. It is better to have no husband, than to have a husband who lusts after your family right in front of you.

    Therefore, I advise that you let him go - and seek out a decent man who only has eyes for you and fears Allah much. Life will be much better for you then,

    Peace,

    Leyla
    Editor, Islamic Answers

  2. Salaams Dazed Confused
    What your husband did was unacceptable behaviour. I am sorry but if that was my sister I wouldn’t tolerate no matter what the cause of the situation was it clearly shows your husband is a pervert and isn’t a decent man. What happens if he does this again? How can you be so sure? Will you be able to trust him whatever he does now. I am sorry but I agree with Layla what would have happened if you didn’t catch him? Behaviour like that is not acceptable especially on your own family. I believe in a strong marriage too but my husband should only have eyes for me not my sister or any other woman that I cannot tolerate.

  3. dear sister,

    salam,

    i personally know examples of brother in laws trying to sexually harass their wife's sisters thinkg thats their territory as well. no matter what they say ,my observation says they never change. it might not be only your sister ,he might be doing it to other girls as well. think carefully before you decide to reconcile.thats total rubbish whats he saying about he not worth you etc.he just doesnt want other people to know his sick mind.

    may Allah give you wisdom.

  4. Alright, you sisters have blasted the guy into shreds, but let me be the devil's advocate here for a minute.

    Before I become the target of sisterly wrath as well, let me say clearly that what Dazed Confused's husband did was despicable and wrong.

    However, he acknowledges that. He admits that what he did was wrong, and promises to do better.

    I have seen questions on this site where someone (husband or wife) has committed adultery, and people comment and say, "Give your spouse a second chance and try to repair the marriage."

    This guy did not commit adultery. All he did was try to take a photo. Like I said, his actions were wrong and perverted. But for those of you sisters who do not understand men's natures, most men have thoughts like this. 99% of men are sexually attracted to any pretty face, and have fantasies about other women. It's a man's nature. That's why magazines like Playboy exist and are so popular.

    A good man, a mu'min, might still have such thoughts but does not act on them. That's the key.

    Now this man has gotten a reality check and realized that he will lose his wife is he does not change. She says that aside from this incident he is kind, loving and gives her a sense of calm. These are very valuable qualities that should not be thrown away lightly. It sounds like Dazed Confused has a generally good marriage, aside from this incident and some financial instability (which many families go through at times).

    My advice to you Dazed Confused is to give your husband another chance.

    However, there is one big caveat. I wonder how you suspected that he was about to take a picture of your sister? You found him in the kitchen with a camera and immediately you thought that he was trying to sneak a picture of your sister. In a normal marriage, that would not be your first thought. This implies that he has done something of this kind before. If that's the case, then maybe he is indeed a hopeless case and you should divorce him.

    It's up to you.

    Wael
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  5. If a husband is not permitted to have a naked picture of his own wife why should we forgive him for taking a picture of a vulnerable unmarried sister?

    This is haraam and perverted in the worst way! The husband was not willing to admit his error until he thought up a good enough story to attache to his silly apology...I am sorry but I am not convinced. He has not been a proper husband at all in many ways this is a sign .... Sis take courage and pray to Allah for strength and clarity.

    That is my two cents
    Ayesha

  6. Asalaamu alaikum wa rahmatallahi wabarakatu.

    Divorce isnt a minor thing, so be careful you dont make hasty decisions that you may regret later on. Think things through carefully, maybe even talk to your husband and try to sort things out. Try not to worry too much about your financial problems, Allah says: “And whoever fears Allah, He will make for him a way out, and provide for him from where he could never imagine.” [ Sûrah al-Talâq : 2-3]. And lastly, seek help from Allah and do istikhara, and inshAllah you will make the right choice.

  7. Dear All,

    Salam, thank you so much for all your thoughts and comments. I have seriously considered the options available to me, and at this point I had to go with my heart and give him another chance. Prior to this there was never any other indication of such behaviour hence I feel if Allah can forgive even the worse of sinners than who am I to not give a second chance?

    As a response to Wael, your keen observation did bring about an interesting point. Although my husband has never done anything like this before, I am a victim of molestation from both my father and brother in law. This is why when this happened, I fell apart. This is made me highly sensitive to such thoughts and actions, even before they have occured.

    If my husband turns out to be just another version of my previous predators, I will know what to do. but I hope with all my heart, this will never be so.

    Please pray for me. Thank you and Salam.

  8. Dear Dazed Confused

    I am so sorry you had to tell us that in the above post. I will pray for you and I am seriously happy for you pray for you things will work out sister.

  9. Salaam Sister

    I wish to add that even if you have agreed to give another chance, please be careful in future, better ask your sister not to stay overnight as this will minimise any temptations and do the same to any other female who come to visit.

    I learnt from experience that it is best not to give any opportunities to our husbands by not having any other women around when he is at home.

    Insha Allah things get better for you, do increase your daily zikr, your tilawat of the Quran so that your heart remains at peace.

  10. Your sister should never have left the window open. I do not know of a single man who would noy look at a nude woman. And especially one in the shower. Proximity with sister in laws also leads to a confusion in most men. Thye do not know how to handle a feeling of love with another woman. This immaturity more often than not leads to a problem. You should blame your sister for displaying her nudity and ask her to keep the window secure the next time. Her action could also be taken as tempting her brother in law. Your husband has done absolutely no wrong. He has erred but so would every other man that walks this earth. Forget the incident. Live with him.

  11. Well it is your marriage so ultimately it is your decision. But the way I see it is his actions where not only despicable but criminal. If that were not your sister any other woman would have pressed charges against him. He is showing not only a lust for other woman, but the thinking of someone who is clearly unbalanced and slightly predatory. I know that sounds harsh, but that is a fact. If he is willing to do tthat to your own family, what might happen with another woman.

    Many woman have been married to sexual predators and did not know it, until the police show up at their door. Also this will not leave a good feeling for your sister or mother. Are you prepared for them to pull away from you, because they fear of you husband. If I were your sister, then I would never want to be around your husband again.

    Forgiveness is a wonderful thing, but it doesn't mean we should forget or completely ignore the facts. My suggestion go ahead and offer him forgiveness for his actions in the name of Allah. That is a beautiful thing to do, but let him know that it is time for you both to move on. Tell him you wish the situation had not happened but it did, and althogh you want to let go in peace and forgiveness this marriage is over.

    I personally would not want to take the chance of pushing my family away for a husband that seems to have some mental issues. At the very least self entitlement issues. I know that can be hard and scary, but sometimes that is Allah's way of showing us the truth early on, so you can lead the life you deserve to lead.

    Good Luck to You. I am sorry you are going through this. I hope with Allah's help you make the right decision.

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