Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My husband steals and cheats to save money… And now he’s shop-lifted!

My husband and I recently moved in together and we are very much in love. He is a hard worker and a family man. He has lived on his own for a few years and has no family nearby so he has been through quite a bit. He is also very responsible, caring and honest. But I am very disappointed in him and don't know what to do.

He has a very tight budget of course, having a tight budget to make an average living in a costly city. He has tried to sneak into movie theaters when he could, for example he would buy a ticket and somehow re-use it, or try to get in without paying and making it obvious to get caught. The other day we watched a movie and got in to the theater because we just wanted to check if there were enough good seats left for us to buy the ticket, so the cashier allowed us in to see. We were going to go back and pay for the tickets, he asked me to sit where I was seated and that he would go to pay for the tickets and be right back, however he did not do that, and went to the restroom instead, came back and did not tell me about it until the very end of the movie. I was furious!

A while back, he was shopping for an item and switched the price tags to get the item cheaper, and he got away with it. He fakes prescriptions for his glasses and contacts.

But yesterday he really crossed the line, when we went shopping together and had a full cart of things. He needed slippers, as his were completely ripped and falling apart as he walked. So he tore off the tag and decided to wear what he was 'going' to buy, and said he will give the tag with the bar code so that he could pay for it when we get to the cashier. I trusted his word because I never thought he would do what he did. He didn't pay for it, and got away with shoplifting slippers. He didn't tell me until we sat in the car, and I was so furious and disappointed in him that I cried, being in complete shock. I never thought he would turn out to be someone like this. He says he did it for fun, and because when we were in line I said something about how he didn't pay for our tickets the other day when we went to watch a movie. First finding ways to sneak into a theater when he can, then switching price tags and now shoplifting an item for the kick of it" (as he says) and for fun? In response to something I said about him not paying for tickets to a theater because it saved him $24 and the movie wasn't worth that much anyway?

I am still upset with him and he doesn't want to hear a word more about it. I don't know how he looks at himself in the mirror after what he did. The rest was already enough, but shoplifting? I can't help but not be able to trust him much after that. Tomorrow, he could be doing other things worse (to me, himself, us, other people, etc..). I don't know what to do, please help with some advice! Thank you.

P.S. - When I arrived to move to his town, I brought my pet with me, which I needed a permit for which costed me $150. Then I had to pay $350 for him at the airport where I arrived because of a health check up. $50 was the registration fee and the rest was the Doctors fee. He was trying to find a way for us to not pay this fee, the consequence would have been that my pet would be confiscated right there and also with $600 fee. So he had no choice but to pay. From the moment he paid until even mid next day, he was very quiet because he was angry about paying $350, because he works so hard and that it's a lot of money for him. We did not know about this fee ahead of time, but even if we did we still would have brought my pet as I raised it and am very attached to it, as it is to me. With everything I said above, and this, I just feel really depressed since I came. He let that $350 fee upset him enough to interfere with our first day together after months of seeing each other, and finally living together. We needed to do shopping for our home that day as we had nothing in our home. He has not taken me out since, and he did not do anything fun with me that day because I was already upset with how quiet he was just because of paying $350 for my pet. Yes it's a lot of money but I feel that it was unfair he let his anger towards that fee interfere with our day.

I am not a high maintenance woman, I don't have high expectations and I enjoy the little things in life, it makes me happy. But when I can't even get that on the first day of spending time with him after months let alone it being the first day of us living together, I feel that I am not worthy of anything. His next day off after that was the day we went to the theatres, where he didnt pay and I was not happy about that. (I mentioned earlier in this post). And that's all we did. We even made popcorn at home and took it with us (put it in my purse so nobody would see), took our own beverages (water). Sorry for writing this long post but I just don't know what to do.


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7 Responses »

  1. I don't know what to say about your husband and what you need to do. However, one thing I know for sure is that, I pity your children. If he didn't hide everything from you, then chances are that he will do the same in front of your children, which might lead them becoming like him or worse than him--may Allah forbid this to happen. This is part of the reasons why Islamic teachings advise us to make sure that the person we are marrying is good in both deen and character, so that our future children, together with us will be safe and happier.

  2. OP: He is also very responsible, caring and honest. ....sneaks into movies....steals. But yesterday he really crossed the line, when we went shopping together and had a full cart of things. He needed slippers...... So he tore off the tag and decided to wear and did not pay cashier.

    YOUR HUSBANDS REALLY SEEMS TO BE VERY HONEST. Shoplifters get arrested and taken to police station.

    If your husband can pay for a cart full of things, he could have paid for slippers. Tell him if he steals again, you will report him. Changing tags, removing tags is SHOPLIFTING.

  3. Sister,

    When your husband is hand cuffed and put into the back of a police car in front of shoppers, maybe then he might wake up. Maybe he needs to be humiliated, have a mug shot for the police department and have a date in front of a judge to understand that he is not above the law. Cameras are everywhere in stores these days and it is only a matter of time before he will be caught. If he was upset about spending $350.00 for your dog, that was nothing compared to what he could be spending if he continues with his mindset that stealing is okay.


  4. Dear sister,
    To his is awful to hear. We women tend to get involved with very abusive people. The signs are all there many times in the beginning but we ignore them. You have a right to divorce this man in Islam. You can try talking to him but honestly these kinds of people do not usually change unless it is within themselves and they truly want to change. You should not accept this behavior from your husband. This is bad for your children to observe and children observe by watching their parents and other adults.
    He is not honest. But some times when we are married we often are in denial and fool ourselves. You and your children deserve better in life. But mostly you should think about your children's well being. If your husband goes to jail you because you are with him you can also be arrested and you could lose your kids. He is a criminal .
    My husband as well is a liar and dishonest and I had to stop denial and wake up to the truth and what my intuition was telling me and my prayers with Allah. Allah does not expect us to put up with abuse and bad criminal behavior of a husband. You can never grow in your deen in this environment. How can your iman improve? How can you grow and learn and give your children a moral and healthy upbringing with this husband?
    We women put up with far too much then we ever should. Men also get involved with bad women ,but more often women put up with dishonest and abusive behavior. Take action and get your children and you away from this husband.

  5. Salaams,

    I tend to think these are not new behaviors. If he is doing these things openly in front of you, chances are he's been doing them secretly without you even being aware of it for some time. New shoplifters are not so cavalier about what they do, most of the time. They are too afraid of getting caught. Only after several "successful" capers and the building up of their confidence that they can get away with this, do they become more open about their behaviors. By the way, swapping tags is considered shoplifting. All of the things you described (trying to get discounts or sneaking into theaters) are forms of theft, and are illegal.

    He seems to believe you will accept and condone these habits, perhaps because you've been turning a blind eye to the bad things he's done and not held him properly accountable. Needless to say the issue isn't slippers or tickets, but basic honesty. It's impossible to trust someone who is chronically and willlfully dishonest.

    The risk you are taking by continuing as it is now is that he will keep on stealing and lying. He will expect you to approve it or even help him do it. If he gets caught, and you are with him, you may be arrested too. If your have children eventually and they are present at that time, they may be taken into state custody as you both are put in jail to await a bond hearing. That's a lot of risks to take, isn't it?

    I suggest you give him an ultimatum to agree to stop these behaviors, and get treatment with a counselor immediately to prove he's sincere about that. If he refuses, don't expect him to change on his own. That will be the time you need to seriously think about what's more important for your future, because legally you are putting yourself at risk to be around someone who does these things.

    -Amy Editor

  6. Dear Sister, as-salamu alaikum

    I know a person very closely who has all the qualities that your husband has. It shall surprise you that those qualities are just 1% compared to the person I know. He has masters in computer science, belongs to a very religious family to the extent of following Sunnah to the strict terms. His only asset is his right to divorce his wife which he called within a week after their marriage. Though he is IT professional he had never worked in that field with an exception of not more than 3 weeks. He spends his time on reading the Urdu detective novels, watching all the Indian movies, all the tv serials and reality shows.

    During their 8 years together he had been inflicting emotional, physical and financial abuse to his wife and her family. Compelled her to disclose her banking details and siphoned over $2000 out of her income without failure for several years. The number of those transactions exceeds 300. His parents knew that he is surviving on his wife's income but kept their pressure for funds on various pretext and he has been satisfying them as well.

    Calling for divorce and accusing adultery is easier for him than reciting holy Quran. He had disowned his first child, refused to sign for his birth certificate or health insurance accusing his wife that the child is not his blood and flesh.

    His job profile on Linkedin has a long list of his former employers but the fact of the matter is he had never stepped in their premises not even landed on the soil of those countries.

    He had involved seven mediators, two of them professional lawyers and one fake, who had to give up due to his inconsistencies. He is now absconding after siphoning off over $80k but still e-mails his threat of divorce.

    His wife is now suffering from severe depression and panic attacks! His wife and two children were wearing torn clothes, never ate what they wished and survived on pack of noodles that costs less than $0.30 a pack!

    The reason I am writing this to you is to let you figure out the extent your frustration can go. My advice is not going to be different to you. Do not press your luck far. You sound honest, sincere and fear Allah swt. Sharing roof would eventually suffocate you. You can't fix your husband at least you can recompose yourself. The Creator shall insha Allah guide you and be help to you constantly just because you don't wish to share his sins.

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