Islamic marriage advice and family advice

In limbo with absent husband who won’t divorce

All my thoughts and feelings have become a torture to me


When I first began to write my problem, I was going into too much detail, I got sick of it. That is in fact my recurrent problem- going into too much detail and driving myself mad over past events.

In summary, I got traded by my own father on some culturally backward promise and was married to a drug-using Pakistani so that he could get to the UK.

I was married 7 years ago and have been separated for 3 years. I have two daughters aged 6 and 4 years old. In that time, I have learned that my husband is definitely using drugs, cannabis and cocaine and he drinks alcohol.

He shows no care or concern for the children and has become a stranger to them. He never calls to speak to them or even ask other family members about them. In all this time he has rarely bothered with them.

He has boasted he has cheated and that he is not a family man and doesn't care. Over time, his insults are unbelievably disgusting and he shows no concern for any Islamic principles. He recently started saying ' if I am doing 'such and such' I am a kafir'. He has completely lost the way. It's a wonder how he has retained his job as he has had umpteen absences. This is simply revenue to fund his depraved antics.

I thus have had enough and want a divorce. He is not willing to do so. I never had my Nikah Nama and can't carry out any procedures. Family are no help. They took his side for so long and allowed him to ignore his duties. Only now that he has become so blatant do they realise he is so bad. Nevertheless, my father will not assist me in getting my Nikah Nama.

I have written to the Union Council in Pakistan but not had a reply as yet. In the meantime, I am driving myself crazy with this. I keep reliving past events and wishing I had done things differently. I went to his workplace recently a few times. He works in a large clothes store. He refused to talk to me over and over. I brought my children to see him after his shift. We waited at his bus stop. He looked at them, smirked and jumped on a bus, I followed him, but he got off at a later stop and ran off as fast as he could. The children were devastated by this. I went the next day alone to his workplace and he shouted that he didn't want to know me and that he has cheated 1000's of times. I left feeling humiliated. I never slept all night (I was exempt from praying at this time as well). I had worked myself up so much, so I went the next day again and approached him at the till and stood there in a loud voice and berated him on all the bad he had done. Security were called and I was asked to leave and banned from the store. I know I should not have lowered myself to do this.

Now I have resumed my prayers, I cry every time. I believe I am being punished for this angry behaviour and exposing my personal business. I wanted to shame him, but I just made myself look bad. I can't stop dwelling on matters. Nobody cares. His family are not interested in hearing anything, he already had a bad track record. He has already briefed them with lies and my Urdu is less than basic. My own family can't bear to listen to me going on about it.

I am becoming depressed. I pray to Allah every time that I can control my thoughts and refrain from dwelling on this matter. I am not being very patient though. Also everything else seems to be going wrong. I failed my driving test on a stupid avoidable error. My children are going through some difficult behaviour also. I feel so alone and as if I am losing control.

I may have been married for 7 years but in all that time I have been extremely alone. I don't even have any friends. I can't think of anything else. I feel the only way to get over this is to get a divorce and get married again to a decent Islamic man, Insha'Allah. Although I am scared this may never happen either as my children and I are damaged goods. I did really end up liking my husband a lot. I think I created an ideal version of him in my head whilst pregnant and I was waiting for him to come to the UK. I have also made the terrible mistake of telling my children he is no good. I feel I am being punished for this also.

Please give me some good advice. I feel I will never find peace and this matter will haunt me forever. I feel so ashamed as this is nothing compared to the suffering some people endure. I try to tell myself the right things but I can't seem to let go of all these horrible memories and issues. Also the fact that he doesn't care for the children shows that he really is black hearted.  His own father left his mother and four siblings when he was ten years old and came to the UK.

I really wanted to be wrong about things but I got proven right. I would be grateful for an objective perspective.

Jazakallah khair

- "Troubled"

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14 Responses »

  1. Dear "Troubled", As-salamu alaykum.

    You have made useful contributions and comments to others on this website while waiting patiently for your own question to be published. May Allah reward you for that.

    I'm trying to think of how to answer your question. On the one hand you have been through something very difficult and are still going through it, and I feel for you. On the other hand your question reeks of self-pity over a situation that is not nearly as bad as others I have seen, and the self-pity is crippling you more than anything else.

    You were pushed into a marriage that was not your choice, and he turned out to be a bad man. You've been separated for three years now. What are you still anguishing over? Be glad that you are done with him. Move on, forget about him. Stop wasting your thought and energy on him. I have no idea how divorce laws work in Pakistan, but maybe you can hire a solicitor there who can advise you and represent you in obtaining a divorce.

    The real tragedy of course is the children. They will have to grow up without a father, unless he changes dramatically in the future. For now he clearly has no role in their lives.

    I suggest that you explain to your children something like, "We come into this world and we cannot control what sort of parents we get. Sometimes we get loving, kind parents, but sometimes our parents are not so good. Sometimes they are confused, or consumed by their own problems, and they have no love to give. It's not fair, but it's the way it is. Your father loves you in his heart but right now he is being controlled by his addictions and he is not able to be part of your lives. Maybe that will change in the future, maybe not. In any case I am here and I love you, and even more importantly Allah is your Lord and He loves you and cares for you, and you have an obligation to Allah to pass this test, and to be patient, and trust that Allah will always be there for you."

    You are now the only parent that your children have left. You must be strong for them. For their sakes (and for your own) you must put all the regret and disappointment out of your heart, and begin living your life as a strong Muslimah, trusting Allah, keeping your heart full of hope and your eyes on the future.

    Put out of your mind all these negative and useless thoughts that you are being punished by Allah, or that you are damaged goods, or that your behavior was shameful. That's all nonsense. Your behavior was nothing compared to what you had to put up with.

    Islam teaches us that bad things that happen to us are a part of the test and trial of this life. The important thing is how we respond to them. If you feel that you responded poorly in the past, well that is in the past. What matters now is today, and tomorrow, and the day after that. That's why the sun comes up every morning, so that you have a chance to do things differently.

    I also think that you need the support of family and friends. I'm sorry to hear that your family has not been supportive. Unfortunately our cultures see divorce as a taboo, and the usual advice is "be patient, deal with it." Your family has finally seen the truth about your husband, so maybe they will at least not blame you. Still, they may be tired of hearing about this problem. When you spend time with your family, instead of complaining about your problems, just be there with them. Listen to them, make conversation, help them with their problems.

    Also visit the masjid when you can and make some Muslim friends. If you still need to talk out your feelings about the past, see a therapist or counselor. They get paid to listen, and they can help guide you to a more positive outlook Insha'Allah.

    I mentioned that these painful experiences are a test. There's another reason why such difficult experiences sometimes occur, and it's not because we are being punished, but because there is a lesson for us to learn so that we can have better and brighter futures. Take whatever wisdom you can from the experience, and use it for your future, and then maybe it will not have been in vain Insha'Allah.

    Wael Editor

  2. Wa-alaikum salam Wael,

    Thank you fo your response. When I posted my problem, it was about 3 weeks ago. Since that time, I have infact come to the same conclusions as you have presented in your reply.

    It is not so much self pity, but I feel sorry for my children as they long for their father. Although we have been separated for 3 years. He came and went as he pleased, thus keeping a memory of him alive in the childrens hearts. He also came to stay with us continuously for 6 weeks from back in March, after I asked him over and over , in order to try and make the marriage work. However, his appetite for his vices ruined all that and he again walked away. It is more that I was angry and dissapointed with myself for 'allowing' these things to happen. As I always had an instinct that my husband wouldn't be any good and in fact many signs, but failed to act upon it due to living in false hope.

    Reading other peoples problems has helped me face my own, as in my reply to the post 'Can dua change what is written? Can I get my husband back?'

    I have realised that for me behaving like this will only cause me to self destruct and I know there are people suffering more than me.

    Jazahkallah khair,


  3. Salamu-Alaykum sister,

    I just wanted to share with you my experience. I raised my two sons alone in the United States. It is not an easy job at all, to carry the responsibilities by yourself. However,if you look at the bright sight,it is much better for your daughters not to be around their father. Children are very sensitive,if the father is on drugs and does not show respect for his wife and his own daughters. then his presence will affect you and the girls negatively.

    The day I lived alone with my sons, I felt like it is my independence day. I promised my self no more yelling , screaming or crying in front of my children. I took it day by day, tried to be calm as much as I can. Most important I tried to show them that every thing will be OK. God will take care of us as long as we are doing our job toward ourselves. Every time I used to think of their father or if I felt sorry that they do not have their father in their lives, quickly I turn my thoughts to: if there father is around, we are not going to enjoy our life,I would not be able to give my best to my sons. Because we will be fighting and arguing, Miserable marriage takes all our energy and the joy from watching and sharing a quality time with our children.

    Dear sister, enjoy every minute with your daughters. they will grow so fast ,then you will regret it. Read books ,watch TV,cook or bake sweet together. Go for a walk and visit them during their school time for lunch ,or get involve with their school activities. Always have a conversation with them, listen carefully , do not mention any negative thing about their father.Let them feel secure that you will be there for them no matter what. You will notice that their behavior will improve and the bond between you will grow stronger and stronger.

    When you visit your family,do not complain to them. Show them you are a happy ,strong woman, show them that your life is under control, you do not need their help or sympathy.
    If your husband does not want to divorce, visit the mosque,Imam will tell you what is the procedure to divorce him.

    Wish you the best !


    • Wa alaikum salam Nour,

      Thank you for your positive message of encouragement. You are indeed right in what you say. Insha'Allah I will not waste any more time and focus on what really counts.

      May Allah bless you and your sons,


      • Assalamu alaikum,

        Here is a suggestion. In the past you have given some very good advice to people who have written into this site Thank you very much. I understand when you sent your question about your own situation you were Troubled and that is how you were feeling. Now it's time to move beyond those feelings and use a more positive name to describe yourself or one that makes you feel good about yourself.

        Troubled is very negative. You should use one that gives you a sense of pride and dignity and strength. Also, how can one take advice from someone who is Troubled?

        Just a thought from your Brother in Islam.

        Abdul Wali Editor

        • Wa alaikum salaam Brother,

          I do have a problem with being negative and overly self-critical. Thank you for your comments, I have changed my alias to Hopeful with the view to becoming more hopeful!
          I have to admit it is easier dispensing advice to others than taking it from myself. Insha'Allah, I will endeavour to get past this completely and look forward to the rest of my life and be grateful that I have been given a chance by Allah.
          I do believe in time, I will look back and think how I wasted my time and energy over a lost cause.
          May Allah reward all of you responsible for this site. It has helped me on the road to eventually overcoming this issue and realising what is best for my children and I.

          Jazahkallah khair,


          • Very nice, sister "Hopeful", formerly "Troubled"! And Jazak Allah khayr to Abdul Wali for making that excellent suggestion. This reminds me of how the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) used to change negative names to positive ones.

            Again, don't look at the time and energy that you put into your marriage as a waste. Instead, learn from the experience. If you can come out of it stronger and wiser, then it may be an avenue for spiritual advancement.


          • Dear 'Hopeful' sister,

            Alhumdulillah :0). I agree, it is alot easier giving advice than taking it.

            Its also very easy to fall into negative talk. I listened to an excellent speaker Yassir Fazaga touch on this topic. He said try to have a whole long conversation without using the word 'no' and other negatives. I may just try that for a whole day and put a pound in the charity box for everytime I break the rule, lol. I'm sure my purse will be alot lighter by the end of the day, lol.

            Best wishes dear hopeful :0)

  , Editor

  4. Assalamu alaikum,

    Take Nour's advice. Move on with your life. Going forward, you need to concentrate solely on you and your daughter's. As sister Nour said, enjoy the time with your daughter's. They grow up very fast. Before you know it, they will be grown and ready to move on with their lives.

    I have read some of your post to other women on this site, and you have given some very good advice. I think you need to apply some of the same good advice to yourself. It's time for you to take complete control of your life. Your daughters need to see a good example of a strong Muslim woman. Would you rather have them see that image in another woman or you? That person should be you.

    I don't think anyone is suggesting that this transition will be easy but it's something you have to do. Being a single mother is not an easy task. Unfortunately there are many stories just like yours. Your success depends upon how you choose to address your situation. You can either sit back and do nothing. That won't help at all, or you can look at this as a challenge and tell yourself that you can't fail because you have two beautiful daughter's that you are responsible for. Try to associate yourself only with positive people. If there are people that you trust, turn to them for moral support. There is no time for feeling sorry for yourself. You can do this.

    Think of this as a new chapter in your life. You are turning the page on what will be a productive and fruitful remainder of your life. Also, you have people on this site who are there when you need advice or when you need to vent.

    This is your test. Ask Allah(SWT) for guidance and strength.

    I hope this helped some.

    Your Brother in Islam

    Abdul Wali Editor

  5. As Salamu Alaikum,
    Alhamdulilah, I came to this site seeking advice for my own martial problems, and Mashallah, I feel confirmed in the path i have chosen to take by reading the responses to the sister "Hopeful".

    Please brothers and sisters, your advice around helping the sister move on, stop pitying herself, and the emotional aspects of what she is going through is good, Mashallah. But less advice was given on how to deal with the practical and unislamic nature of what her husband is doing. She is seeking advice on how to divorce from a man who won't divorce her, yet maintains no obligations to her.

    The answer to this requires a CLEAR answer based on Islamic teachings; what does she need to do to be divorced from this brother. You can tell her to move on, but if she is still Islamically married, that is self-defeating advice.

    • Aishah, we are not lawyers or judges. The sister wanted to know how to obtain a legal divorce in Pakistan. I suggested that she contact a family lawyer in Pakistan who can advise her. I could start researching online to learn about divorce procedures in Pakistan, but that would be foolish as there are already trained professionals in these matters.


    • Assalamu alaikum Sister Aisha,

      I think you missed what we have tried to do. We understand that she would like to be divorced from a man who refuses to grant her one. At the same time she has self esteem issues. This man has made her feel depressed and wortheless. For the sake of her own sanity and the welfare of her children she has to learn how to love herself. She has to learn to stand on her own two feet. We want her to be strong and see her self worth. If she is unable to do that then how can she care for herself and her children. Her daughter's need to see that mommy is ok and they are safe.

      Brother Wael has told her to seek legal counsel to help with her getting a divorce. We can't do that for her. What we can assist her with is helping restore her self esteem and confidence. I think that she is moving in the right direction, that is evident by the username change from Troubled to Hopeful.

      We have not abandoned her. We are there to help her the best we can. When she begins to feel good about herself then she will be able to tackle the divorce issue with confidence.

      Your Brother in Islam

      Abdul Wali Editor

  6. Dear sister,
    We are lucky to have wonderful brothers and sisters to give us valuable advices, and care about our wellbeing. I strongly agree with brothers Abdul Wali, Wael and sisterZ. God bless them.

    Let your new name reflects your personality, through how you COPE with the everyday issues, how you look at your past struggles, as they were challenges, and how you use your gained experience, as a tool to face the present and the future.
    You picked up an amazing name, “Hopeful”. From the meaning of hopeful, I came with the theme COPE: the letter C, is for confident. O, is for optimistic. P, is for promising and E is for Encouragement.

    Let your new performance be an ECHO in your daughter's pathway.
    ( ECHO: Expectant, confident, Hope, Optimistic)

    Best wishes,


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