Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My Husband is Always in a Bad Mood

June 1, 2007

This question is answered by Wael Abdelgawad, Editor of Islamic Marriage Advice and Muslim Matrimonial Service.


Dear Wael,

I am an English muslim convert married to a Moroccan man for 15 years. We have 3 girls. Our relationship has always been rocky, but we have had good times as well. Both us have managed to get through bad times because of our kids. Although my husband can be very kind and extremely generous to us Ma'sha'Allah, the problem lies with his anger and aggression.

He's never been violent to me but he's obviously dissatisfied with his life and makes me cry by upsetting me a lot. He finds problems with all things and shouts and swears. I sometimes find myself shouting back at him although this is wrong and causes me stress.

I gave up my job in teaching as he put a lot of pressure on me to keep the house spotless as well as cook, clean, look after the kids and he refused to help. He's not a bad person and I have tried to help him by giving support and advice and trying to be patient. Lately things have got really bad, however. I'm constantly worried about the sort of mood he will be in. It makes the house so uncomfortable.

He blames me for the way he is, saying I'm not cheerful or helpful, which I feel is unfair. I don't know what to do, but I cannot live like this anymore. I pray 5 times and wear hijab, I honestly don't want a divorce because of the girls being separated from thier father. Is there another solution? Jazak' Allah for your advice, please answer me.

- Sister S.


Dear Sister S., As-Salamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullah,

May Allah reward you for trying to keep your family together and solve your problems without resorting to divorce. I also commend you for being so patient with your husband and trying to see his good qualities during these difficult times.

Your husband should see a therapist or marriage counselor in order to learn how to relate to his family in a calm, loving way. You might also consider seeing a marriage counselor together. I realize that this sort of thing is very uncommon in the Arab world, where your husband is from. But I don't see any other solution.

It could be that your husband is behaving in the same way he saw his father behave. It could be that he is unhappy about something but is unable to express it. I cannot know what is going on his mind. Also, I am only hearing your side of the story and I have no idea what destructive behaviors you may have that contribute to the situation.

I am sure, however, that your husband is not happy with the situation as it is, any more than you are. But I doubt that he is able to change without someone who can teach him how.

If your husband refuses to see a therapist, you could try threatening to leave him, or even leaving him for a short period of time (like a few days) to see if that will change his mind.

Obviously you don't want to continue living in misery forever, and if nothing works then you might have to consider divorce; but that should be a last resort, after all other avenues have been pursued. So don't have that in your mind right now. Rather, be optimistic and focus on finding a solution Insha'Allah.

If any readers have some additional advice for this questioner, feel free to post your comments below.

"(O Allah), Guide us to the straight path; The path of those whom you have favored; Not those with whom you are angry; Nor those who go astray."

Best regards,

- Wael Hesham Abdelgawad, Administrator Islamic Marriage Advice
ZAWAJ.COM Muslim Matrimonials and More!

8 Responses »

  1. My heart goes out to you. I've been in a very similar marriage for 20 years now, and nothing has improved in spite of marriage counseling, leaving for a period of time, etc. Even though he begged and pleaded for my return, after a few weeks it was back to the old routine.
    I do NOT want to discourage you; maybe your husband will react differently. It is absolutely worth it to try everything you can. I am sharing my story only to suggest that you might want to set a time limit or some other parameters so that you might avoid the situation I'm in now: I have become too sick to leave and take care of myself. I've waited too long.
    PS. In may case counseling has revealed that my husband chooses not to act differently because his abuse behavior makes him feel powerful, manly, and in control. He would 'loose himself' without this maladaptive crutch.
    PPS. What lessons do you want your children to take from however this plays itself out?
    Praise Allah in all things!

  2. I read in a book full of Dua's and the virtues of Allah's names. ONe of Allah's names is Wadoo'do, which means .I read that if you say this name 10000, and then blow it on the person who is angry at you, his or her heart will melt towards you if you have a good intention. I do this to my husband all the time, i blow it into his water or food or on him. My husband is excellant but does have a tension and anger issue, and does not know how to control it. I looked Allah for an answer and this is what i found. A little tip though, i do this all secretly because when i told my husband, he felt i was treating him like a mental patient. Also a homeopathic doctor told my husband because he has terrible migranes, that he needs to look at life more positivly and needs to learn not to let anger take over his life, and he should take Kali Phos. I secretly cook this in my husbands food or put some in warm milk, which makes his nerves relax.

  3. Salam Sister,
    Your husband needs to change himself before you can change as a couple. He needs his own counseling first. I would advise you to get your own alone as well. I can only imagine how low your self esteem is right now. You are not a slave or a sexual object which is how it appears on text in your story. If he restricts you from exiting the house at any time you should leave immediately and do not consider going back until he has had a long time in counseling. Unforunately your story is very common and racial background does not play a roll in this. This can happen in all racial backgrounds and does. You are a wonderful person for all that you have tried to commit to. You are nobody's savior, I hope you understand this. You married to share your life with someone, as should he have. You do not forget who you are and were before you were married. You should still be that same person but with a family. I hope God guides your entire family in the right direction. Women should never be made to put to shame. You are not at fault for his behavior, he chooses to do this. It is not your f a u l t . You need to look out for your welfare and the welfare of your children. Today it is verbal what is tomorrow going to be like? You may make excuses for him "he's not that type of person to do that" A person with that mentality is capable of anything. I am sorry that you are going through this Sister, I wish I could give you a hug and tell you it will be better soon but I can't. May God protect you and give you clear signs of what you seek out. Please stay safe no matter how scared you are. Salam.

  4. Salam wa lacolm
    God bless you sister. I went through similar situation. Am American re-vert married to Egyptian. He was fine until we had our first child and that is when the very aggressive behavior began.. coinsidentally, his mother and father came to stay 9 months after our first son was born. My husband began being very critical of me. He would control every part of me. If I cried, he would yell at me or put me down. If I got angry, He would hit me or scream at me to the point that I felt that my whole body would tremble. It was like Hell. Like you, I didn't want to pull my son from a full family, so I stuck it out and tried harder. I became very confused about who I was and what was normal marriage life. He controlled the money that I made, He never complimented me. He was insecure if I made more money than him, yet at the same time, he asked me to go back to work after baby was six weeks old. Many, many times, I have been afraid for my life. However, I never left. He would always convince me that things would be better and if not that then I would always be too confused about what to do and if I was making the right decision for my child (to leave his father). I ended up calling the police on him two times in six years. When my son was three, I asked my husband to leave. He left and I spent three peaceful mos. alone with my son. i was able to work and take care of my son and myself peacefully. I did miss having a father for my child. When my husband saw that i was not crumbling without him, he knew he was going to lose me. He begged me to come back and promised to go to anger management classes. I agreed to keep our family together. He came home and things were better. I was able to express myself a little more without his angry control over me. He did slip a few times and I was very afraid but over all, things have been better. My thinking is that his mother and father pushed him to be more controlling in his home. They saw he was married to an American who was making the same money as their educated son who is an engineer here in america and that I was not the same as Egyptian women. Even though I became muslim, I was not a drinker, not a smoker. I was trying to speak arabic, I was trying to be kind to his parents... I took his mother to the dr. and paid for it from my pocket, I bought her gold ... I paid half of all the bills.. I let my husband take full control of my money... yet his parents were still insecure about me. They could not fully communicate with me due to the language issue and overall there were cultural differences. I truly believe his mother wanted him to marry and Egyptian woman and she has since said that to him. On several occassions my mother in law has asked my husband to divorce me... so I know she is the root of all of our problems.

    Like you... I was expected to be super woman inside the home. Cook, clean (spotlessly), take care of baby AND go to work five days a week to make money..... His family has issues. I learned to find everything I need within myself and my child. We now have two children (sons) and my husband has really calmed down. His parents are coming back again in two months for a long stretch of time and I am very concerned that things will get out of control again. I pray that Allah makes our home forever peaceful.

    All I can say is to pray sister. You have to make the decision that is right for you. Keep the family together is the top priority but if you are losing your mind and your sanity and perhaps your health... then please make a choice and take care of you and your child.

    May Allah lead you to the right path.
    Salam wa lacolm

  5. my best friend has been in an Anger Management class for 2 months now, he improved a lot when dealing with anger.;*~

  6. i also in the same one married since 26 yrs but still being patient with my husband

  7. i am also in the same marriage as urs but the difference is my husband is a drinkr, smoker and more over, adulter. hes a cheating husband who always bully me ,tries to control me in everything and shouts screams and abuse me physcially verbally n mentally. im sick n tired of this marriage and really wanna quit but i look at my 2 lil girls but then where do i stand . if i am not normal, always stressed worried and my kids seeing all this crap what they gonna learn. they wil b affected by it badly which i dont want. i daily make dua to Allah for helping me in taking some decisive step . may b i am a very sinful person that Hes angry with me or may b Hes testing me. i dont know but i wish i could get rid of this situation quickly. i am broken n shattered from inside. very hard to live this life like that and outside home people r ready to eat u n kill u if they any single woman. ALLAH HELP US POOR WEAK N HELPLESS WOMEN AS NOTHING IS DIFFICULT N IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOU . ONLY U R GOD N POWERFUL AND NOONE ELSE.AMEEN

  8. Dear Losing it,
    I feel your pain but noone can really feel and know what it's like unless they have experienced it. I am well educated, career, very high salary, and expensive vehicles that were paid for. Eight years ago I married a man who was divorced with 3 of his own kids. He loved me for probably at most 6 months. We married after 5 months. He seems to be angry all the time. He doesn't work. He never never never compliments me. He never hugs me and he never tells me he loves me. I was once a very confident, happy, laughing, and physically fit woman. Today I have no friends. I have no confidence. I have gained weight. I look in the mirror and I don't know who that is. I finally got a job after 5 years. I want a divorce, I told him to leave. I owned the home and want him to leave but he refuses. I've lost everything except my home. If he doesn't leave then I won't have the mental strength to fight to keep my home. Living with an angry and non affectionate person will destroy a family. All my kids moved to their dad's home because of his anger. He's mean. No birthday, xmas, anniversary, valentines, mothers day celebrations. Having said all that, he is very sweet and loving to his 3 kids. They treat him like dirt but when he has money to give, he will lie to me, steal my kids things to give to his kids. He will notice his daughter's hair cut and smile. With me he doesn't even look at me.

    It's hard to find the strength to leave a man whether he is the bread winner or not, when you are sick from his anger. Only those who have experienced can understand. Leave the girls and get them later or take the girls with you and get to a womens crisis center. You and I have learned to deal with the sickness (meaning the quality of the living conditions is contaminated with sickness that will cripple you slowly to where you will be a shell with sadness but your body is so weak and your mental strength is gone. If you can find the energy to go to a woman's crisis center, just to talk to them, let them help you. They are like the doctor and you are the patient. You don't have the energy to take your daughters but you will very soon but only if you leave. You have to leave. You tell your daughters you love them very much and you let the woman at the crisis center arrange what is necessary for your daughters. Their life is already affected with the yelling and hitting. Take one step and contact the crisis center or go to the local well fare office and they will take care of you tomorrow. Then in a very short time, you will have the mental and physical strength to get your daughters. You don't need money. A battered woman with children is placed at the top of the list for getting a home paid for with food paid for. I am dealing with mine and I think my only solution in my case is to leave my home and find a place to live and let him stay in the home until I can get the strength to deal with that. Please don't waste another precious moment of your life. Leave everything behind and go today.

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