Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My father is cheating on my mother

As-salamu Alaykum,

I just created this account to seek advice as I'm not sure what to do and have been feeling very upset, angry and confused. I really, really need help and I would be extremely grateful to anyone who can give me some advice. This started 2-3 years ago so I was 16/17 at the time.

I have 3 older siblings who were all at university in a different country.  My mother was also with them making sure they were fine and being there for them when they needed her. They were all in a different country for most of the year, they would usually only come back for the holidays. This left my dad and I living together for around 3 years on our own, in a different country.

I knew my dad's password to his phone as he had told me. One day he asked me to message his friend something (as I type very quickly). When going through his chats to find this specific friend, I found a chat with another woman. At first, I didn't think anything of it as this woman was a maid, and at the time we needed one because we needed help with washing the dishes, ironing etc. as my dad worked till very late and I was still in school. I read the messages which didn't infer that he was cheating (however I did find it very weird), so I ignored what I saw and put it to the back of my mind. However, a few months went by and I start noticing the same woman's chat popping up and I would read messages that seemed very flirty to me. Again, I ignored it and put it to the back of my mind as I was preparing for my exams and was already stressed out enough - I tried to avoid looking at my father's phone from then onwards.

During the last year of my school (nearly a year ago) I went on my father's phone after a long time and saw more messages - he had asked the same woman to send an explicit picture. After that, I went on my dad's phone 2-3 more times before the summer and noticed he kept deleting his chats with her. Also, I had cried in school one day thinking about it and talked to 2 of my teachers about what I saw - they gave me support for the rest of the year until my exams.

After the summer I had to go to university in a different country, and my dad lived alone. I've recently just come back with my mother and siblings to visit him and see friends during the winter holidays. Today, I went on my father's phone and saw that he was talking to a different woman - the messages I saw gave me confirmation that he has met up with this woman multiple times while I've been away at university and that they had planned on seeing each other everyday after my mother, siblings and I left.

I'm so angry and disgusted - I know I'm not the perfect Muslim and I have no right to judge, but how can my father do this? I'm not giving him any excuses, but is it because my mother is not around for a long period of time? I would go on my father's phone before any of this happened, and when my mother would go on short holidays to go see her own mother, nothing like this happened - is her not being around for so long urging him to do this?

My mother is not educated. She is extremely reliant on my father, so I know if I ever tell her she would probably never leave him. I just can't look at my father the same way I used to.  I put it in the back of my mind and forget about it, causing me to love my father and allowing us to have a good relationship. However, it can pop up in my head sometimes and it makes me so angry and sick to my stomach. I've told my 7 closest friends and they've tried to give me advice, but I need some Islamic help. I've been wanting to confront my dad about it, but I'm scared he'll cut me off (won't give me any money, kick me out the house etc). My dad has a very big ego and I feel like confronting him with the truth will make him angrier. I don't want this to ruin my family. I've been dealing with this for 2-3 years, and been in denial.

I just need someone to help me and give me some advice on what I should do. Thank you.

-islam0748


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9 Responses »

  1. Asalamo alaikum brother/sister,

    Reading your post made me recognize the almost exact same situation that I found myself in, nearly 2 years ago.
    My dad cheated on my mother as well, and I found out by being able to read his whatsapp messages.
    I was extremely mad as as well, and I ended up discussing it with my younger brother. Eventually I showed my mother, who is also very reliant on my dad as well, all the messages that I had made screenshots of. My mother eventually confronted my dad.
    In short, I would like to urge you to confront your dad with your findings. It may seem scary, but I don't think it's necessary to tell you that your father is committing a very grave sin, which is zina. So for that sake alone, you should confront him. As for the rest, make sure you're able to contact your family members, uncles etc.
    Your dad may become very angry at first, but eventually he will be extremely embararassed. That's why you need to be in touch with family members who could possibly talk some sense in to him, if necessary.
    In my situation, my dad didn't get angry, but he was extremely ashamed. He even cried and asked us to forgive him.
    Remember, if you don't take action, you will not only be mentally occupied handling this misery all day long, but your dad will probably also continue talking to that low/cheap woman and committing grave sins. Try thinking about your mother. As a son, it's infurating to realize your mother is being cheated on. No son wants to see his own mother betrayed.
    I don't think you should be afraid of your dad throwing you out of the house. I was afraid of this as well initially.
    When your dad realizes he could possibly lose all of his respect in front of his children, he will inshaAllah take his responibility. Plus, other family members could turn their backs on your dad as well.
    So for Allah's sake, dear brother/sister, have the courage to put an end to this. About the judging part, I think you have relevant reasons to inform your dad's activities. So you're not judging at all. Your mom has a right to know what is going on.
    I will pray for you, inshAllah.
    May Allah swt make it easier for you.

  2. Suggest to your mom that she must stay with your father and leave the grown up kids on their own . As you said all siblings are in different countries and mom can stay only with one sibling at a time so the other are living without her then why your mom lives with your father and take care of your siblings as she does when she is away from the other ones. I think it is not your farther’s fault be cause man can not live such a long time without wife. Your mother should realize the importance of such matters. My advice for you is do not confront with your father rather convenience your mother to stay with your father.

    • Have u spoken to the other woman he is having this affair with? Could u contact her? Tell him to leave your dad alone?
      You need to ask your mother to return home and stay with her husband

    • Ummm wow, since when is it okay to cheat??!!!! . So it’s the mothers fault for leaving the dad to want to take care of her kids? To be honest, even the mother is alone when it comes to the matters of the heart and might also have physical urges but she’s obviously suppressing it, idk why people think only men have urges. The conclusion should be, a married couple no matter how old or young, shouldn’t spend a lot of time being apart from eachother, Khalas!

    • Assalaam Alaikam
      A lot of the responses here are not good - very miseducated and cultural responses. I would like to add that your mother should know - because she is at a very huge risk of contracting STDS from your father. Men who commit Zina can spread STD to their wives, so the wife has to know so she can protect herself. Some STDs can lead to serious medical problems and even death if untreated for a long time. May Allah give you strength. Ahmed’s response is wrong - ‘secret’ marriages in Islam are not allowed. And while a man doesn’t need permission from his wife to marry another, he still has to let her know, as she is his wife. Ahmed is an uneducated man - trying to blame your innocent mother for your father’s wrong deeds. If your father wanted to marry in a halal manner, he wouldn’t be asking for explicit images from women, and meeting up with multiple women illegally. Please ignore Ahmed’s response. And of course your mother can’t always perform her wifely duites if she’s living in a different country - please don’t let Ahmed’s response let you think it is your mother’s fault in any way. The man and the woman who commit Zina are punished, no one else - which shows that the fault solely lies on the man and woman who have committed Zina. And do not convince your mum to stay with your father, especially if he will not stop committing Zina. Living with someone who commits such acts is not good, especially when that person is the so-called ‘leader’ of the family. As hard as it is, she should leave him, if he won’t stop Zina. Zina is not a light sin at all - it’s one of the worst. Please for your mother's, your siblings and your own protection, keep away from your father (don’t cut ties, as that is not allowed) as much as possible, because Zina affects everyone in the family not just the person committing it. Again, most responses here were very poor and purely cultural - blame the woman somehow for her husbands zina. If living apart from your mother was so hard for him, then he should have made arrangements to have her live close by to him. Many men will try to work as far away from their wife as possible, so they can freely see other women and easily commit zina. That’s my advice for you - tell your mother, have her educated on the severity of zina and it’s negative consequences (STDs, bad example for children etc.) and have her family involved, so she may have her own support system. Many men will get scared when their wife’s father/brother/uncle get involved. And if you are worried about ‘ruining’ the family, this is purely your father’s fault and he obviously wasn’t too worried about the family when he was committing zina. May Allah forgive me if I gave any wrong information and may Allah guide us all and give you the correct guidance and strength to overcome this huge obstacle. Ameen.

  3. He's probably married to her in secret don't assume the worst Maybe she could be his second wife so what is the issue??? Your dad is clearly entitled to marry another woman and I think he should as his needs are not being met. Your mother is not doing the job of a wife so can you blame him?? Next time instead of spying on his private life and exposing it to everyone who will of course gossip about why not speak to him?

    • Asslaamualaykum Brother Ahmed,

      There is no such thing as a secret marriage in Islam. Marriage must be announced, even if in a small way. The wife and kids should definitely know if there is a second wife, which isn't the case here.

      I agree with the comment above that the mother needs to loosen her leash on her grown children, not only in the interests of her husband, but in the interests of the children as well.

      Nor

  4. I do not agree that it is okay to cheat by any means. Please guys do not take this the wrong way. However, why is all the children in different countries and mother living alone? Might as well not call yourselves a family if everyone lives so far away from each other. Why isn't the wife staying with the husband? this opens the door for him to commit fitna? To be honest, I would marry another women if I knew she would live so far away from me for years and years because I would be fearful to be in a haram relationship. Nonetheless, the father should be a man and tell his mother to come home, etc, why is he having these haram relationships. I think both sides are wrong in this because the mother should not leave the father and the father should not be so open to haram relationships.

    I would speak to your father and tell him about what you are seeing him do, and tell him that you should tell the father to speak to the mother and ask her to come back so you have a partner there with you. Sister, I believe you can help bring them closer together, because both parents are wrong for this. The mother is being away from her husband, which opens up the door for the father to commit fitna. The Father is not strong enough to prevent himself from this fitna so he is being wrong in this regard.

  5. You are afraid that if you confront it may ruin the family. Your family dynamic is already separated and odd, your mom and your siblings are all living in different countries and see each other once a year. The big question is why did your parents agree to live apart from each other. How was their marriage. Woman can be without a man for a long time, most of them. However, men have urges and it’s very difficult if there is no women in their lives. I am not saying this is okay for him to cheat, it’s absolutely wrong! Tell your mom that she needs to be with your dad as he is lonely and doing wrong things. Again, you didn’t state what kind of marriage they have. This is making you sick. Talk to your siblings and they can bring them back together. You don’t want to suffer alone, let a family member know. When it comes to confronting, try to take an image of the messages, so that he doesn’t deny it and accuse you wrongfully.

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