Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Father is cheating on my mother, even in front of her!!!

LIpstick mark on shirt.

Cheating Husband

Assalamu-aalikum brothers and sisters.

My father is 66 years old and is cheating on my mother even in front of her! What should I do?!

Me and my autistic elder brother born and brought up abroad in a Muslim country, where as my parents are living in back home. My mother is very soft and Islamic, whereas my father is aggressive and has bad temper. After my father retirement from his job in abroad, he left to start a business in our country. Since we didn't have any servant to look after the household and my mother was with us in abroad, we married our old watchman so that his wife can take care of the household. The watchman was good before but he started stealing things and doing other wrong things for us. His wife could have been good but since he had my father influence on her so she thinks she is lady of the house and even screams at my mother. My father takes her side (watchman’s wife)!

The marriage happened without our consent. We actually was very upset about the marriage because the watchman was 45 to 50 years old, where as his wife was 16 to 18 years old. It was his second marriage and his current wife is younger than his previous marriage's daughter. I, my mom and brother was TOTALLY against it! And that was the first time my father never listened to us. We knew that the marriage would not be good and that’s what happened. Now the watchman and his wife just have a name relationship. It all started then! For the first time in my life, my father scolded me just for telling the wife to prepare the table for evening snack which I was asked to say by my mother. Since then we have always been bad for our father. It was then that he lost his respect from me as a father! A father who I used to see as an idol…was the now the worst person (as he said he will be whenever he gets angry).

Since he has to take care of the business, he mostly stays back home and my mother used to stay with us abroad because of my brother being alone when I go to university and work. During our holidays when we used to travel back home, he always shout at us just because of her and her daughter! He says that she is the lady of the house! And take care of the daughter more than us! Everyone who sees my father affection towards her daughter, they start doubting. Believe me, not even her own father cares about her that way. He doesn't even buy a single clothe for his daughter. My father spends a lot behind his wife, daughter and even his father-in-law. Even though we felt bad and couldn't say anything, my mom tried saying that it was wrong but he shouts at her saying that she is inhumane! We know that watchman’s daughter is poor but there should be some limit. My mom is the best because when we stayed for around 7 years in back home (in the middle) to take care of my grandparents when my father was in abroad, the servant who used to work with us never wanted to leave because my mom caring personality. When our relative's used to bring their servants, they used have fun with us...But it’s no more because of my father. We don’t get servants now of my father’s disgusting nature.

Whenever my father does this, I used to feel like shouting at him or do something but he always used to threaten us that if we say something he will cancel the visa and will bring all of us to suffer. It happened before applying for my university so I was afraid to say anything. I might look selfish but if we would have gone back home, he would have made us suffer more. Recently my father started to bad-mouth about my mom to me and my brother. He tries to manipulate with his words to go against her but since I know what is going on I don't fall into his trap but I am worried about my brother. He says to my brother that mom is mistreating my brother very badly and other bad things so that my brother becomes angry at my mother. I don't know what he is trying to do. He even said to my mother that after me and my brother gets settled, he will see my mom after this. Why is he threatening her like that?

Few days back, the wife was returned to her in-laws house because my mother couldn't take it any more of their behaviour. When my mom ask to her, she doesn't reply properly, and when asked to my father, he gets angry. Now my father isn’t talking to my mother properly and they live a separate room. Now we have got a new housemaid who is old but good. But my father said he will not keep and if my mother wants to keep it then they have fire the other small maid (14 years old girl), who knows everything and my father is afraid that she will tell everything to the new old maid. The small maid is really good and does work more than her age. She loves us as we do. But my father doesn't like her because she is straight and truthful. It difficult to get maids now so my mother is really upset. She asked me to help her. I have an autistic brother and we have a future. But now nobody is coming with a marriage proposal for us because we had to cancel a proposal on the last minute which happened due to my father irresponsible decision. I even left my job because of this. Our business is going really bad because of my father's behaviour. My mother keep saying to my father to pray properly and read Quran with meaning but he doesn't listen to her and sometime mock at her saying these. My mother says she feels like to suicide sometimes. I feel so devastated. Islam says that you have to respect your parents no matter how bad they are. But I don’t know why no matter how much I want to respect him, he always ruins it and force me to hate him. I shouldn’t say that but I am sorry!

What should I do??? How can I help her in all these? How can we bring my father to Islamic path???


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8 Responses »

  1. Assalam alaikum Sister,

    The only advice I can think of is that you take more responsibility in your household so that there is no need of having servants (if that is possible) so that you don't have to deal with this variable in your lives.

    I don't know if you were talking about the same person, but in one place you mentioned the wife of the watchman is 16 to 18 and another place that she is 14. In either case, I would ignore any drama associated with the servants if you have no control over whether they are there or not. Focus on being a good daughter to your parents. Advise your mother to be patient and do not spend time talking negatively about your father because in whatever you wrote, there is actually no proof that he is cheating. His behaviour may not be acceptable, but there is a longshot between his behaviour and cheating.

    The only thing that you may be able to do is one of the two above things. I pray that Allah ease the difficulties in your family inn shaa Allah. Ameen.

    • Saba: " there is actually no proof that he is cheating"

      OP says
      (watchman's wife) she thinks she is lady of the house and even screams at my mother. My father takes her side (watchman’s wife)!

      When people do such things they don't do it in the open. Only way one can have a proof is physically being there or using some cam to catch the action.

      • Being verbally abusive isn't proof of cheating--it might mean cheating, but it isn't proof.

        • Saba: "Being verbally abusive isn’t proof of cheating–it might mean cheating, but it isn’t proof."

          When people cheat they make sure no one is watching or looking. Some times people around them can pick up some behavioral changes that indicates some thing is going on.

          According to your thinking, one has to catch people in the act as a proof. Catching people in the act is almost impossible.

          I wonder what role the father played in getting a 16-17 year old wife for the watchman. A rich man could have easily paid some money and ask his watchman to marry a girl and he would take care of the girl.

          There is a big difference between a watchman's wife and a daughter in law. A watchman's should to be screaming at her owners wife.

          Daughter probably knows a lot more about his father then she probably shares.

          I do agree that family should not break up as the elder son seems to have some kind of handicap too.

          • Suspicion isn't proof and it isn't my thinking, it is what Islam teaches us.

            You are wondering what the father's reason is, again, wondering isn't proof--I don't even seen any proof in what she wrote that the father necessarily was involved in the watchman getting married. I don't even see why this is relevant. The watchman's life isn't really the issue anyways. The quality of life of this family is directly being affected by the father's lack of respect for the mother and that is illustrated in his behaviour towards her in front of others--but we can't blame anyone else for this--boundaries are being crossed because the head of the household isn't upholding them.

            Obviously this family has problems, but the sister said the cheating occurs "even in front of her [meaning mother]" but according to what she wrote, she didn't provide any statement that legitimized the title. We should be careful about what we say is proof and what we suspect---they are two entirely different things. Her suspicion may lead to proof, but it may lead to something else that is occurring--if suspicion was proof, then we wouldn't have a word for suspicion--it would just be called proof--and I do not want her to fall into this trap because it is sinful especially if she is false.

            Children can't solve the problems of their parents and shouldn't be burdened to miraculously be the counsellor. One day the parents will fight and the next day they may forgive each other and move on. The child on the other hand, especially if unmarried, may not even comprehend what has happened and continue to hold ill-feelings towards one parent or both. It is unfair to expect children to become neutral or even one-sided in these matters. The daughter can be supportive to her mother in other practical ways without getting deeply involved as the middle person between the parents.

            Ideally, the parents should get counselling, but since the daughter is asking for advice I only offered what I thought she would be able to do rather than tell her what her parents should do. Furthermore, if the daughter can in fact support her mother and brother and the father is horribly oppressive, then she always has the option to take them out of that environment--but I don't know if this is possible/or needed. That is why I suggested that she agree to do the chores of the house so that they don't need servants (if she can manage)--but if the father's attitude is the problem, then having servants or not will make no difference; hence why she should focus on what she is capable of doing.

            I disagree completely that the daughter would know what is happening between the parents just because she is the daughter--just because we live in a house, doesn't mean we know what all the secrets are.

    • Also, to the OP,

      I would like to add to be careful about getting too involved in your parents relationship. You can't know the entire dynamics of what is going on behind close doors. It doesn't seem like you would be able to financially support your mother, brother and yourself in the case that you had too. I can understand that you would want to be sympathetic to your mom, and you should be supportive of her, but at the same time, you may well not have choices to break ties with your father. I witnessed huge problems with my own parents when I was growing up and it can be heart-breaking. If I learnt anything, I would have liked someone to tell me to be balanced, focused on my work, dutiful to my parents back when this was happening.

      Don't fall into saying who is cheating and what is happening if you haven't seen it with your own eyes. I have witnessed a man fully supporting the daughter-in-law while yelling at his own wife--but that doesn't mean cheating. There can be a lot of reasons for this and it is not acceptable, but handle the situation with wisdom and patience. Inn shaa Allah, you will be successful.

      May Allah ease the difficulties of your family, Ameen.

  2. I feel sorry for you that you have to take care of your older brother. Your father was doing some thing with his watchman's wife and daughter. I don't think you can stop your father from doing anything. if your father is into SEX he can go find women outside.your father is not going to change. A 14 year old girl SHOULD not be working in your dad's home. Don't get into family arguments. Get your education, find a job and get married with someone in country where you live now.

  3. I left a comment somewhere here under one of these questions can someone please tell me where iy is?

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