Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My wife has mental health problems and is abusive – what should I do?


Mental health problems

AOA, I am in a weird situation similar to others, yet slightly different in some ways. My goal is to understand what Islam tells me in this situation. Can I bite the bullet and forgive my wife for her mistakes or should I call it quits as enough is enough?

Btw, we have two kids ages 6 and 3 and due to my daughter, I think I've tried to work it out no matter what. About me, I've lived a life that had its share of mistakes, I learned from them, decided to get married and committed to this woman all the way as that's what the God tells us to do. Here goes the story:

I met my wife about 6 years ago. Upon first meeting, I thought she was a good Muslima and a great person. I believed what she told me about her and her life, that she was divorced before and that her husband had issues related to having sex with her, etc. So I bought into it. I told her that I was wanting to get married and that I wasn't looking for a boy friend - girlfriend type of a relationship. She mentioned that she wanted to be engaged for a year. I told her that we'd commit zina and in the meantime, we may not like each other after a few months due to zina and all and that I wasn't in for it. Anyway, we then decided to get married.

Her parents wanted her to marry someone else like a cousin or something, so they kept telling her a lot of crap about me so she could change her mind. But somehow, we did get married. Shortly after, I started to see signs right before getting married and it seemed as if she wasn't into me as much, it also became pretty apparent that she was nothing like the side she had shown to me in her cultural outfits and polite language. I also saw some calls from overseas (the area where her ex husband lived) and she just blew me off that it was her aunt calling but we never got a second call from that number again.

She was going to school in a different city and until now, we lived in a separate city and I realized this marriage was going to have issues. I then asked her to move into the city where I lived and finish school there. She finally decided to move. However, now her parents had an issue with it. After she moved, one day I caught her watching this guy's picture she liked in the college. Plus there was texting going on with her friends from school who were men. I am a guy too, I met them and a couple of them acted weird so I told her that now we are married, and this needs to stop. She, instead of listening, would justify that they were her "brothers" and that she had a right to stay in touch with her friends. It got very heated and I told her that this isn't how you live a married life, it needs to stop. After some serious arguments spanning over a few months, it finally stopped.

I also saw her being stopped by some guy who lived a few homes down with his family (a local white guy) and both him and his wife were known to have "others" in their personal lives.  I saw how flirtatious the conversation got and I was surprised to see that she spent 15 minutes in talking to this guy, eye to eye right in front of our house's door. When I questioned that this was very flirtatious, the answer I get is that "I grew up here and we were taught to make eye contacts", well, I grew up here as well and I know what men say to a girl who makes that much eye contact without looking away for 15 minutes and not to mention, when getting engaged with a total stranger in a very obvious flirtatious discussion. This continued to happen and there were numerous times when I had to tell her that her behavior in some situation wasn't appropriate. I later came across some of her chats with her girl friends where they would call her out on her flirtatious behavior.

But in this entire process, I saw what I noticed from the beginning, she didn't seem to be into me or didn't know anything about a real relationship.

Next, we had our first daughter, I bought my wife a gorgeous beautiful home so that she could live in a nicer and safer place and raise our daughter well and build a "home". To my surprise, shortly after our new house came about, she started to tell me how much she hated the nicer house, and the community (I was involved with the masjid and people like to make friends with me). As we met very good educated people, their wives would try to help my wife learn stuff, but she'd hate the muslim community.

In this time of two years, it turned out she had absolutely NO idea how to clean, cook or even have a decent conversation with her husband. I thought I had seen it all but this was a surprise, living with her is like living with a guy roommate. No cleaning, messy, disorganized, etc. Now looking at my daughter, I would be worried what is she learning (or not learning in this case as the house would look like a dumpster, disorganization everywhere, etc).

Her parents have both worked all their life so there wasn't any time that her mom gave her, or she didn't want to learn anything from her mom or the environment it seems. After so many years, she now tells me that her mom raised her like a boy.

In bed room or even outside, she never communicates, and I feel that she's being very reserved with me while she used to watch pornography with her ex husband.  This one time, trying to help her, I started a topic about sex life while we were in bed....very politely, just to have a discussion. But before I could finish the sentence, she told me very harshly that she won't even do it as she did it for her ex husband and she didn't like it. I was super shocked, I felt like I can never talk to her about anything without her getting ticked off.

But at the same time, she tells me that she left her ex because she never had a physical relationship with him (intercourse) but they did "everything else" and watched pornographic stuff, etc, etc. This all just sounds very abnormal.

Anyway, after a couple of years, she started to work. Soon after, I realized our personal life or whatever was left out of it, was gone. She'd work come home, play with the kiddo and that it. When I started to mention that our lives were taking a huge hit on the personal end, she would get very angry and violent. Throwing stuff, punching me like a guy in a street fight, etc, etc, and asking for divorce. For over two years, (without exaggeration), she asked for divorce multiple times a day. Some days, may be tens of times. When I'd ask for a reason, nothing would come out. At this point, the only think i could think was that she was having an affair at work. There were times when I saw her dress like a Barbie doll for work. She would never dress up for me or even look good.

When I'd ask about why our personal and sex life is suffering, she'd get angry and throw stuff around and get violent and will leave at 1 AM or 2 AM with me stressed out as to do I go to stop her or find her or do I stay home as our kids would be sleeping. A couple of times, talking about the same topic, she told me in anger that she had "other better options", which she retracted later. I went to her parents for help and told them that we should take her to a counselor or they should interfere, but they instead called the police on me, which didn't really help them as I know laws and wasn't involved with anything that needed the police there. But it did tell me what they were up to. Her mom, this whole time kept telling her daughter to leave me and that she'll get her married for the third time and all.

Continuing on, situation got worst with her fighting and all, and one day she decided to leave (for the 100th time or so). I called her mom and told her she was coming to see them. Her family called cops on me again telling them that I may be hitting my kids, without ANY reason. I was instead taking my kids to the park. Alhamdulilah, their sad effort didn't fly this time either, cops came and saw happy kids and saw how I was making their food and getting supplies ready to take them to the park, (while the mommy had left the family to go to her parents).

I didn't have family in the area so I asked my wife to come back as I still needed to work, pay bills and all and can't take care of two kids by myself and work too. She finally decided to come back for the kids (can't even count how many times this had happened before but without her parents or cops getting involved). She would tell me all the time to take the kids somewhere else. She's not a great mom, she yells at the kids all at times and is usually verbally not so nice to them. In this entire situation, one thing I learned about her and the same I saw in her mom is that they would argue over anything with anyone BUT they will never take responsibility. Its always someone or something else's fault. Even with two kids on the line and a family on the verge of collapse, there was no such thing as responsibility.

A few months after, my wife again asked to work and she promised me that she won't make mistakes again and that she hadn't done anything. She went to work and after I few months, I started to have this feeling that there was stuff that was off again. While the already-existing situation wasn't getting any better either (I thought she wanted to work, outside exposure might help a little). So then, after, a LOT of thought and looking at my kids, I thought I'd take responsibility and we'll just move away, start fresh away from her parents and whatever other distractions may exist. But this meant serious change in our life, leaving everything and everyone I knew for years and leave our home, work and all. I decided to bite the bullet for the sake of my family and to keep it together.

On a very sad day when we were leaving our home for good to a new state just to save our family life, one of her colleagues from work showed up, his career and all was due to my help so I never thought of him in a wrong way as I knew his wife too. I always thought he was a little crazy and lacked maturity but it was my opinion. He called me  to see if they'd like to purchase one of our extra cars. When he showed up, I told him that I would go get the car from the garage. When I brought the car up front, I realized the guy in question was inside my house while his brother waited outside for me. I went to the main door and found it locked. I then went to the garage and went inside. I saw him standing in the kitchen talking to my wife. My wife looked freaked out as she knew the house had surveillance (we put cameras in due to the babysitter who had just started to come).

After this super weird incident ended and he left, I went to see the video, it turned out that this guy sent his brother outside to keep me busy while he looked for my wife around the main entrance. He then realized she was in the kitchen and he locked the main door and went towards her. She did tell him something. I don't know if that was telling him that there was cameras or something else. But he then started talking to her and I walked in on them from the garage. She said they were talking about "work".

According to her, they worked together and that was it, she didn't know why he did what he did. I asked more and that it seemed like he was there to say the last good bye to her, her answer was "if you know why he was here, then why are you asking me?". Just like her ex husband related issues or other issues that I had with her flirtatious personality, this issue didn't result in any apology, responsibility or anything. She just bluntly denies anything ever happened.

A few hours after,  we left for a different state with a lot more pain then a few hours before. Before I was leaving just a house and friends, now I left with a wife whose coworker came in and locked me out of my house to talk to her. This last issue of someone actually locking me outside of my door so he could talk to my wife has finished up my desire to be with her. We moved to Tennessee (4 states away) and this topic would come up. She has the same response no matter what the topic is.....that is to get angry and violent. In this anger, she also doesn't care about the children as much. They are there and her idea was that "kids just grow up" and as a mom there isn't a lot you have to do.

I spoke to a Psychiatrist about this, she told me immediately that these are pure signs of Border-Line personality and Bi-Polar. That people with these disorders lie, manipulate and have double standards, their brains are wired differently and they don't understand the meaning of normal relationships and all, they cheat and do all kinds of extra marital stuff.

She also  told me to take my kids and run as BPD runs in the families, (its not a disease. It's what your mother didn't teach you and plus, when you went through abuse as a child, the brain's parts that deals with normal human emotions didn't develop). So you become an emotional wreck as if you came from an abusive alcoholic family or something.

I still tried to give her a chance. The violence continued and all. Recently, I told her finally that I was done. She knows that when I say something, I do it. Now she's been away from parents and all and there seems to be a little sense that has kicked in, still nothing major that makes a person mature or anything. Now at times, she tells me that she's sorry for any mistake she made BUT, she didn't go around this marriage and did anything that would violate the trust. And she expects me to believe it and life should become happier again. If I question the gap between her statements like why are you apologizing when you tell me you didn't do anything wrong? Then its anger and violence again. The second I question anything from the past, she goes super angry again. Its like a button you press.

I am putting up with this because of my kids. If I leave, she'll ruin my next generations just like herself. Now she's on medication, she's still the same way. She's tried her best to get divorced for years, I didn't give it to her as I didn't my kids living with an abusive mom. At least when I am around, I can keep some normality around.

She doesn't know anything and hasn't learned anything in 6 years of our marriage so expecting her to teach anything to my kids isn't really practical. She's been telling me lately to separate or let her have kids half the time or even go find another wife as she can't control her behavior, and that she wants to work it out.

I have never seen a woman who would let her kids go but she constantly tells me to take them if I want to. Here's where I stand after so many years:

1) I don't trust her. Heck, I pray to Allah to never get me disabled as then she would have to work and the thought of her working and me dealing with this drama again with some dude is very painful.

2) I've not caught her with someone in bed or physically involved. I just have all the evidence above that points to these things but I've not seen her with my eyes doing anything with any man, which is why I don't want to say she committed adultery.

3) Her violence and unnecessary anger and behavior has started to show up in my kids too who are 6 and 3. That's unacceptable to me.

I am trying to understand what are my options? Should I really just forgive her and live this miserably that I can't even talk to her about anything, shopping or travel or serious issues....anything. Or what do I do? I don't want my kids turn out like her..............please advise. Even if I decide to forgive her, I don't know how to build the trust or anything.....

I've heard marriages are very tough and all. Is my marriage similar to others in term of hard work and pain? Then may be I need to shut up and not complain..


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23 Responses »

  1. Assalaaamualaikam

    I'm sorry to hear what you're going through.

    Firstly, I'd like to clarify that having borderline personality disorder and/or bipolar disorder does NOT mean that people lie, cheat, manipulate or are incapable of having healthy relationships.

    They are two very different mental health problems.

    Borderline personality disorder is a term used to describe how some people can struggle to understand how to control their own emotions (they struggle to deal with feeling anxious, or scared, or happy, or angry) and how to express these in a balanced way. People may also have difficulty in stopping themselves acting impulsively (so they can do risky or disinhibited things because the idea has come into their head and they haven't been able to think it through). They also often struggle with a lack of self-identity and don't really know who they are - this is often described as feeling empty all the time.

    Borderline personality disorder is often associated with childhood trauma (often sexual or psychological abuse) that has prevented the person from developing a healthy view of the world. When bad things happen to us, we run away, but as a child this isn't always physically possible, so the child retreats inside themselves psychologically - this leads to the world seeming a scary place, and not really knowing who you are and what role you play in the world. Things seem very "black and white", as the person hasn't learned to cope with shades of gray. Because of this, it has been described as a form of complex post-traumatic stress.

    People with borderline personality disorder can improve their control over their difficulties, and many find that it gets easier as they get older and gain more experience of non-traumatic relationships. Some people find that medication can help them feel less impulsive and less emotionally all over the place. Psychological therapies are really helpful, such as Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, Neurolinguistic Programming, Psychotherapy. And being in a supportive and healthy relationship, with clear structure and boundaries can make a huge difference.

    Bipolar affective disorder (BPAD) is a mood disorder, where people can have episodes (usually lasting over a week) of feeling very depressed or feeling manic (when they are full of energy, can't sleep, feel elated or irritable). People can also have "mixed episodes", where they have symptoms of depression and mania at the same time. During episodes in which a person has manic symptoms, they can often engage in risky behaviours, simply because the part of their brain that says "NO - this is a really bad idea!" isn't able to tell them to stop it - after the episode, they may well be very distressed about what has happened.

    Again, BPAD isn't something the person can control. There are several theories about why people might develop BPAD, and most agree that the episodes of mood disorder are due to imbalances of chemical messengers in the brain, which can be triggered by a number of things, such as stress, changes in environment, physical illness, etc.

    BPAD can be managed with medication and psychological therapies - the medication helps re-balance the chemicals in the brain, while the therapies focus on helping the person recognise the symptoms and know how to act to manage these and seek help. Again, a supportive home environment is really important.

    If you are concerned that your wife has either of these, it's important that she seeks medical help - like you say, the impact of untreated illness on your family life is damaging your marriage and potentially affecting your children, as well as causing her distress.

    It's important to remember, though, that mental illness does not give anyone free reign to be abusive. There is no excuse for violence or neglect.

    If your wife has trouble motivating herself to care for the children, then she needs to step up and arrange childcare for them for times when she can't do it - eg. a babysitter, afterschool clubs - and make herself do it at the other times. She could attend parenting classes (lots of people attend these in order to develop parenting skills, so there's no stigma attached to it). It would be important for her to be realistic about what level of childcare she can cope with, and to ensure appropriate care is in place for her children at other times as well.

    She needs to seek help in managing her anger, which a therapist may be able to help with. No matter how upset or angry she feels, she needs to be aware that it is unacceptable to lash out at other people, and needs to find other ways of coping with these feelings - such as physical exercise, or writing, or even just punching a pillow and crying.

    It may be that her contact with non-mahram men is due to not having a sense of her own identity outside of that dynamic. It's telling that your wife mentioned that was how she was brought up, and that may be a hint to what could have gone on in her past - if a child is taught from an early age that her worth as a person is dependent on non-mahram men finding her attractive, then that can be very damaging to how they see themselves. She may well find herself unconsciously repeating the behaviour she learned, and be very frightened and ashamed of the situations it can lead to (such as a man locking her in the house with him).

    My advice would be to encourage your wife to seek professional help - ask her to go speak with a psychiatrist or other mental health professional, and to engage in treatment. Set some clear limits with her, that she is not allowed to hit you, that she must not be aggressive in front of the children... and stick to them. If she is not willing to seek help, then you may have to choose whether to end the relationship and file for custody of your children, or continue in a relationship with a person who is abusive and is unwilling to address the problems.

    Even though you're in the US, it may be worth looking at the UK's Royal College of Psychiatry website, as they have several information resources about borderline personality disorder ( ) and BPAD ( ).

    Midnightmoon editor

    • Jazak Allah Sr. Midnightmoon... this is a very fair and well-thought out response.

    • Jazak Allah Sr. Midnightmoon. I honestly appreciate your response. She's been seeing a Psychiatrist and a Psychologist. But its not helping. It may be helping her severe anger out bursts a little, but nothing major.
      She's not wanting to talk, learn or do anything outside of what she did before. She has started to pray so may be Allah will help her. Not sure. By the way, she has Borderline personality due to her mom and all. As these patients go through life, they do strange and hi risk things, which you can read in my post about. Then, due to those high risk things, the stress of such actions comes in. So at this time, she has Bi Polar and Anger / Rage issues genetically (as her mother has it and her dad has the severe anger issue) and Borderline is just something she's learned due to her own mom not spending time with her and doing this violence in their time in their marriage. So its a tough situation and I'll let it ride out. I think I am running out of options so please pray for me jizakumullah for your sincere advise MA

  2. Dear Brother,

    A Man like you is very Hard to find in this World these Days, please grant her a Divorce and move on as you Deserve a Woman who will Love you and Treat you with Respect. Your Wife has Major Issues and there is no excuse for her to treat you worse than a Dog?! A Close Friend of Mine has Bi-polar etc but it's under control Medication wise, she has gone without her Meds for prolonged Periods and trust me she Adores her Husband and LOVES Him unconditionally so Brother you do not deserve to live a Miserable life because enough is enough, take your Kids and let her live her Pathetic Life with a Man who is at her Non Islamic Level?!
    Take Care and I will Pray for you 'Insha Allah' you will be Happy once again.

  3. Wa, 'alaikom alsalam wa rahmatuAllahi wa barakatuh.

    Brother, I'm very sorry you're going through this and I hope Allah guides you and eases your pain.

    I don't know much about marriage or your wife but she is obviously abusive and if you feel that she is negatively affecting your children then I think you should get a divorce.

    Let the kids live with you, of course their mother should be allowed access to them and have visitation rights, but I don't think she should be responsible for them. But, then again, your wife is a complete stranger to me and I don't know her so I shouldn't judge her.

    And most importantly is that you ask Allah for help, guidance and strength. Maybe you could do istikhara?

  4. السَلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَ رَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَ بَرَكَاتُهُُ

    Really sad to read your story. She wanted a divorce, give this to her please. And please re-marry. You deserve better.

    Nahz, UK

  5. My sister suffers from bi-polar from a very young age & I had a very abusive childhood into my adult life because of her. It was very damaging for me & shattered my self-confidence affecting even my daily life. Even though she had it very young, it was only diagnosed 2-3 years ago & since taking the medication she really changed for the better & is much nicer. She even apologised for all the poor treatment, whilst this did not change how I perceived myself, it made it easier to accept her as I had stopped talking to her for several years. My advise to you is that a marriage is a sacred bond & only in very extreme circumstances should divorce be sought. You need to get her to seek treatment first before making such a big decision because parents separating will also impact on the children. If she refuses to even have an initial chat with a psychiatrist or treatment then tell her that you will divorce her so she is informed. Try to be persistent & I am certain that once she is on medication she will be much more calmer & clear minded. But she needs your support & that is what marriage is about. You are aware she may have an illness so please don't leave her in the lurch.
    I notice people are referring to other they know with bi-polar & just remember everybody is different with this illness. People are very quick to advise divorce so please think carefully. Treatment needs to be sought immediately because you don't want your children to suffer that level of abuse because it will damage their mental & emotional growth. Inshallah it all works out.


  6. Brother has mentioned that now she is on medications but still the same.
    I empathize you. I do feel bad for your wife too as clearly she is lost due to her psych issues and nothing is helping her so far.
    Brother you mentioned that talking about her past is like pressing a button of violence and anger in her.
    Can you stop talking about past and other then making a regular visit to psychiatrist or psychologist so her medications can be changed to ultimately improve her , also get marriage counseling ( May be this is like asking too much from you but you appears a great guy)
    If she refused all above then probably there is no other way then to leave her.

  7. assalaam ou alaikoum,

    BPD or any other disorder is no excuse to cheat. And even if you haven't caught her in the act, just the stuff that goes on right in front of your eyes says enough to me. Makes one wonder what she is doing behind your back. If there is smoke, I bet you there's a fire somewhere. Yes, a person has to put in a lot of effort for his marriage. But nobody is expecting you to stay in the water when you're clearly drowning. When a situation is that hopeless, you are just fighting a battle you can't win. There comes a certain point when a person has to save himself. And I think you have reached that point a long time ago. Save your children and get out of that marriage.

  8. Assalam alaikum,

    Sr. Midnightmoon's response is very well written and thorough.

    I will add this. If you decide to end the marriage, it doesn't mean that you can necessarily "save your children" from their mother as that relationship will continue.

    Investing some time and care into helping your wife seek professional help may actually be the way to "save your children" instead of running for it.

    Whatever happened in her childhood isn't your fault, but unfortunately the impacts continue to move forward in your her life. It is extremely sad and unfortunate.

    May Allah make it easy for you and your children, Ameen.

  9. OP: Can I bite the bullet and forgive my wife for her mistakes or should I call it quits as enough is enough?

    I am putting up with this because of my kids. If I leave, she'll ruin my next generations just like herself. Now she's on medication, she's still the same way. She's tried her best to get divorced for years, I didn't give it to her as I didn't my kids living with an abusive mom. At least when I am around, I can keep some normality around.

    She doesn't know anything and hasn't learned anything in 6 years of our marriage so expecting her to teach anything to my kids isn't really practical. She's been telling me lately to separate or let her have kids half the time or even go find another wife as she can't control her behavior, and that she wants to work it out.


    • I think the answer is obviously a No. BUT, for one spouse to care for another one, you still have to show them some love and respect. Disease is one thing, your behavior with your spouse is another.

      I went to two mental health professionals outside of the ones she goes to, for a second opinion on this situation. One of them was a muslim doctor, she told me to "take your girls and run", otherwise, my girls will do what the mama does. Borderlien personality isn't a disease, like Sr. Midnightmoon explained also. It is a learned behavior. My wife is doing what her mother did to her dad. She's also repeating what she did in her first marriage. But called the guy everything she shows me.

      Obviously I've lived with her for six years and haven't left her yet, even thought I think about it every hour. But without a cause or importance in a relationship, its very difficult to live with a person who's destroyed all respect, care and trust, verbally and with many strange actions.

      The reason I am even waiting is because of my respect for the commitment called marriage that I made. Between abuse from her parents and her issues, I think anyone would've been history. When you get to a point where you think about getting sick one day and your wife (that you loved and cared for so long), waling out on hits that button that you've not been wanting to press.

  10. Asalam alekum

    Brother I'm sorry to tell you but I laughed this whole time of reading your story.
    Your wife is just the same as my mom , very careless Subhan Allah.
    The best thing of a parent is their imaan and never leaving the duty as a Muslim to Allah Subhan wa ta'la.
    I'm not a person of knowledge but I really think someone should be in your lives apart from just you and her, basically seing each others faces all day/everyday.
    Invite someone to your house. I'm sure she'll be ashamed of herself for not welcoming guests to ones house as one should be (part of faith). Teach your daughter cookery if she isn't teaching her, in the future it might have an impact on your wife.

    Here are some dua to read inshAllah.

    Dua for one whose affairs have become difficult:

    اللَّهُمَّ لَا سَهْلَ إِلَّا مَا جَعَلْتَهُ سَهْلًا ، وَأَنْتَ تَجْعَلُ الْحَزْنَ إِذَا شِئْتَ سَهْلً -

    allaahumma laa sahla illaa maa ja‛altahu sahlan, wa anta taj‛al-ul-ḥazna idhaa shi’ta sahlan
    O Allah, there is no ease except in that which You have made easy, and You make the difficulty, if You wish, easy.

    Supplication for righteous children:

    ( رَبِّ ٱجۡعَلۡنِى مُقِيمَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةِ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِى‌ۚ رَبَّنَا وَتَقَبَّلۡ دُعَآءِ (٤٠

    “Rabbi-Ajal’ni muqeema salaati, wa min thurriyyati, Rabbana wataqabbal duaa”

    O my Lord! make me one who establishes regular Prayer, and also (raise such) among my offspring O our Lord! and accept Thou my Prayer.

    May Allah make it easy for you. I hope I was of help.

    Ps: my opinion and I'm sorry if I've written harsh words or offended you.

    Keep me in your Duas. Barak Allahfeek

    Wa Salam

    • Mandm, why should you laugh while reading his story? It's inappropriate and insensitive to find humor in the suffering of others.

      Wael Editor

    • Assalaamualaikam

      Why would you laugh at this? The poster and his family are suffering - that's not something to laugh at or enjoy. His wife isn't careless; she's mentally ill and in need of help.

      Before laughing at the difficulties others face, it might be worth thinking about your own attitudes towards the issues they are encountering, and put yourself in their position.

      Midnightmoon editor

  11. The modern trend is to explain away every kind of bad behavior in terms of mental health disorders. Modern psychiatry does not recognize the existence of evil, so they can't admit that some people are just bad.

    This is especially true when it comes to women. With men, we seem to have no problem saying, "That guy is a lying, cheating bastard." But with women, we always want to find some underlying reason. "She must have been abused as a child. She must have an illness." All of that may be true, but as MidnightMoon said, "mental illness does not give anyone free reign to be abusive. There is no excuse for violence or neglect."

    Some people are simply bad. And your wife is one of them. She is a lying, cheating, abusive, irresponsible and untrustworthy person. How you've managed to put up with her this long is amazing. You must have the patience of a mountain.

    My advice is to divorce her. That's what she wants anyway, right? Begin documenting her abusive behaviors. When she attacks you physically, call the police. Compile evidence so that when you divorce her, you can secure custody of the children. Or perhaps she will simply agree to give you the children in return for a divorce.

    I think you want to divorce her but feel guilty about it. So I'm telling you, there is a reason that divorce is allowed in Islam. It's not a sin. And I would say that this woman has given you ample justification. Insha'Allah you can find happiness in the future with someone who is honest and kind. Such women do exist.

    Wael Editor

    • "This is especially true when it comes to women. With men, we seem to have no problem saying, "That guy is a lying, cheating bastard." But with women, we always want to find some underlying reason. "She must have been abused as a child. She must have an illness." All of that may be true, but as MidnightMoon said, "mental illness does not give anyone free reign to be abusive. There is no excuse for violence or neglect." - This is exactly what I mean!

      This is what I was complaining about on my last post brother, when a man does wrong then he should be punished beyond the fullest extent, but when a woman does wrong, we should show compassion and disregard it even if she shows no remorse and continues doing it.

      The only reason why I was complaining on THIS site is because, from what I've notices, this sexist attitude towards men mainly comes from the Muslim women on this site. I'm not saying ALL are like this, that would be wrong and a lie but I've noticed that when similar subjects like this turn up in conversations when I'm speaking to non-Muslim women, their attitudes are "if a man does wrong then he is wrong, if a woman does wrong then she is wrong" but I've noticed with Muslim women it's like "when me do wrong they are evil scum bags, if a woman does wrong then it still has to be the man's fault" or they look for a reason to try and justify the bad behaviour.

      Islam teaches that women are to be loved and respected, but where does it say that we should be unfair and unjust towards men and let women have a free pass - or better yet, show compassion when women commit abhorrent acts but if a man commits an act to a lesser degree then he deserves to rot.

      • "...disregard it even if she shows no remorse and continues doing it."

        You are the only one saying that and no man or woman on this post alone has said that the wife's behaviour should be disregarded.

        To take the opinion of non-Muslim women to be superior over the opinion of Muslim women on the subject of men discounts and very vaguely touches on a topic where non-Islamic cultural values deeply impacts more Muslim women than non-Muslim women in the world--why? Because there are many people in the world who practice Islam, but also practice some negative cultural traditions in the name of Islam.

    • I agree that modern psychiatry does discount the existence of evil and therefore, inadvertantly and quite interestingly, discounts the existence of good on the same note.

      I am not sure I agree that this mindset discludes men any more than women though. If we look at the numerous shootings that occur at schools, malls, movie theatres, colleges or even the beheading of the young man on a bus in Canada, the majority of the perpetrators were men--and I don't recall any being women. In almost all the cases the men were found to be "mentally-ill" and some have even been released on medication.

      I completely agree that anyone who is suffering shouldn't be resorting to violence or neglect.

  12. Everybody has to take responsibility for their actions, and it is true that sometimes there seems to be a form of "positive discrimination" being applied to cases where women are the wrongdoers. There's no such thing as positive discrimination in islam. Everybody is responsible for their actions, and it isn't fair to see women as victims. That implies they're weaker or inferior, and that's an insult. Being physically less strong doesn't mean you are mentally weaker. I myself look at the case in general, and it doesn't matter to me whether it's a man or a woman. The world is occupated with good and bad people, and people in between. Allah has given us all a conscience and a brain (some more then others). Unfortunately there are some bad people on this planet, both men and women. One just has to keep his/her eyes open and be alert to whats going on around them. The man in this story has made himself a victim by accepting all that the woman in question has put him through for years. In my opinion these things happen when people don't stand up for themselves. We teach people how to treat us.

  13. There are so many posts on this and no time to respond to every single individual. I just wanted to thank everyone for taking the time and providing some advise. Like I said to Sr. Midnightmoon, I am battling it out for now but I also feel like I am running out of options, energy and patience. I have two kids growing up and they are now seeing this bad behavior and a total lack of responsibility, respect and commitment to them as well as to me. So some decision will need to be made soon. I pray to Allah (swt) to guide me through this tough time and he has guided me all my life, even when I committed sins and asked for forgiveness. So my belief system is strong and in tact.
    I would however ask you brothers and sisters to pray for me and my family (specially my wife). May be one of us may hit that time of acceptance and this might become a bad dream from the past? Qur'an tells us to be hopeful and that I am. I know divorce is disliked by Allah, so I am praying to him to help us and get this fixed so I won't have to take the step that he doesn't like. At the end, what will happen is what he's ordered, of course he knows better and hears everything. Salaam to everyone MA.

  14. Aoa Shahid,

    Thanks very much for taking the timeout to advise me on my situation.

    I can only imagine how much more difficult it is for you. Being a working professional, i can understand
    it is an unnecessary hit to your career and personal well being. It is due to the recklessness of your wife that instead of enjoying the good things that you have been blessed with, she is dragging you into this mess.

    Here are a few thoughts on your situation, hope that you find them helpful.

    Your situation

    I think there are two options:

    1) Leave her
    I think if you take this option then you just have to workout how you are going to setup your life afterwards. For example, would hire a nanny to take care of the kids or would your second wife be able to take care of them, what does it mean professionally for you e.g. you may not be able to stay away from home for long. May move to a place where you have relatives etc. All of this is simple logistics of the solution and i think it is the easy bit. Life goes on and if you plan with a little sensibility it can workout.

    The other aspect that you need to be mindful of is that how to protect yourself from unnecessary disputes during the divorce, alimony, child custody issues, property issues. For this it is best to talk to a lawyer and see what is the best course of action. You might want to teach her a lesson but my advise would be if you take this route to finish as cleanly as possible so that there is no emotional baggage for you afterwards.

    Also, collect evidence of her negligence and abusive behavior to protect yourself in case they want to harm you by dragging you in the courts.

    2) Manage the situation
    You need to accept that you cannot fix the situation, but you need to see if it can toned down to an extent that it is acceptable to you.For example, the relationship may not be an ideal one but as long as there is a basic degree of respect, care and intimacy, it can survive.

    I am only suggesting this option because you have kids and even if you divorce her she can still play victim and poison your kids. It is only much later in life that your kids realize how the real circumstances were.

    In any unfavorable situation there are usually 5 stages of response: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and then Acceptance. You can judge where your wife is currently at, they real solution would come when she "accepts" the reality and thinks that her success lies with the success of this family and not with what better options are out there for her.

    In order to manage the situation, it is important to understand the mindset that may be at play here.
    here is what I understand:

    Parents: I think a big problem with parents, especially working parents is that they do not emphasize family values to their kids and assume kids will learn to be good wives or husbands instinctively. It becomes, especially important for girls because if you look at the media, girls are objectified and the only merit they are judged at is their beauty or sex appeal.
    This plays on the natural tendency of girls to seek attention. Some girls start to think of themselves as a products where they can always upgrade for someone better and develop a huge sense for
    all the luxuries in life without moving a finger.

    You can also consider to involve family to neutralize the pressure from her mother so that she can be told to her that how unreasonable her daughter is being by social standards

    Since, you have mentioned that staying away from her parents you see somewhat improvement. I would take it as a positive sign.

    Age: I do not know the age of your wife but I am guessing late twenties to early thirties, and even after two kids she hasn't matured then there are not much chances of her getting sober, as the chances of her getting "a better option" deteriorate.

    Social circle: I think your wife has a circle of friends where such flirtatious behavior is accepted and encouraged.

    In this connected age, one cannot force anyone to away from certain people unless they themselves want to do that. If she somehow arrives at the "acceptance" stage you can try to make a pact with her that you will only maintain contact with so and so couple etc. It will only work if she has "accepted" her situation.

    Medication / Psychiatric help. Since, she is already taking medication, it is also a good sign that she accepts that she has a problem. i hope the medication would take the edge of her and might be easier for you to manage. I would advise to continue with psychiatric visits.

    Reconciliation : you mentioned that your wife is trying to patch up with you but there is no commitment from her side or remorse as she gets angry when you start to mention things. I think she is still trying to play games. Do not give in yet but maintain your principled stance.

    I think there is no point in filling the gaps in story, let the parts that are hidden from remain hidden as they will only make you uneasy. I think only true merit of her intentions is the actions is if she accepts her social obligations as wife and is considerate towards you and the kids.

    Hopefully you will be able to manage the above situation by removing the triggers from her environment.
    The real solution would come once she is has total acceptance of her situation

    You also mentioned that she is away from her parents, then where is she living currently?, is she back
    at your place?

    Final resolution
    I suggest in the next 2-3 months you workout how to have a clean exit and in the meanwhile (if possible) try to move towards "accepting" her situation, if she shows signs of progress that instead of denial she goes into bargaining, then hold on for a few months so that she concludes her transition and accepts the reality, otherwise do "istekhara" and bite the bullet.

    My sincerest prayers are with you and your little kids, may Allah (SWT) give your wife sensibility to correct her ways and reward you and your kids immensely for your patience. Ameen.

    • Brother I am going through almost similar case. I have 2 daughters aged 7 and 3. It was arrange marriage for me. I tried every thing like medicines, evrything that she wants just to keep marriage and future of my kids. I am 8 years into marriage..Her parents come and take her when episode of anger happens. In my case her parents accepts her issues...I forgive her everytime. She says everything bad to me and my parents which one cannt think off in dreams and sometimes to her brothers and parents as well. It started just after 1 month of marriage. I wanted her to go to her parents permanently but now her parents making useless excuses... Forcing me to stay with her... I have developed high bp desease... When i look at future i think i can do gud to my kids without her.... My kids are so innocent. Elder daughter diagnosed with blood cancer a year before.. Treatment goin on . Alhamdulillah she is recovering well.. Please pray for me......Only difference from your story and mine is like she donot meet with any stranger at any cost.. But do everything bad else.. I call her parenta to take her everytime she is unbearable... But her dad donot care any more. I am helpless.. Donot want to go to police or so... She has called police atleast 5 times in last 8 years..I feel very embarrassed as neighbors saw all these episodes of her.. Police get convinced only when her parents tell them the problem...

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