Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Seeking advice on the matter of a physical and verbal abuser husband

Crying Muslim Woman

I have been married for 8 years. I have two beautiful kids by the grace of Allah. As everything else is so well for me I have been saddled with an extremely abusive husband. I was only 18 when I got married to him and had my first baby at the age of 19. My husband is extremely insecure and abusive towards me. He abuses me in the worst possible ways even in front of my children. There have been incidents of physical abuses also. He doesn't work and idles all the day long while criticising me for not having done this or that on time. Finds fault with what I do or say. He has problems with me watching any program on TV which can even remotely interest me. He hates when I read books. He hates when I talk to people be it the maid or my mother or his. He doesn't like when kids show affection to me. He links me up to anyone that he can think of. He has accused me of having relationships with all the men in my family that includes my brother too. Of course there are happy times too but sadly they are short lived. He always tells me he is very sorry and promises not to repeat all these actions but the cycle keeps on going round and round. I on different occasions involved his and my parents but it hasn't helped. He promises to change but it hasn't happened so far. He keeps telling me he loves me a lot and is just "a bit overprotective". I am seriously considering at least a separation. I just want to know what effect is it going to have on my kids and will I be invoking Allah's dislike as He hates it? What should I do?

Ibn Maryam

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18 Responses »

  1. Dear Sister,

    I am sorry to learn your husband has been so abusive. I pray that Allah Creates love between you and diminishes the distance that has been created due to his behavior.

    First of all, it seems to me that there is a ray of hope, when you say your husband on many occasions promised to change and correct his behavior; but perhaps some other events in life make him do what he does. Although there is no justification for him to act impatiently and behave in such way, why don't you find out what causes his reaction?

    What if finding out the root cause could solve your problem or at least minimize it?

    Secondly, do you people pray all the 5 and recite Quran at home? Are there hadith/tafseer lessons held at your home at a family-level? According to ahaadeeth, homes in which Quran is not recited and prayers are not prayed are like graveyards.

    Being dutiful to Allah and knowing Him enables you to ask of Him in a better way and to put your trust in Him that He Will answer your du'as. Putting love between you is something only Allah Can do, He Says:

    وَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ ۚ لَوْ أَنفَقْتَ مَا فِي الْأَرْضِ جَمِيعًا مَّا أَلَّفْتَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَلَٰكِنَّ اللَّهَ أَلَّفَ بَيْنَهُمْ ۚ إِنَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
    And brought together their hearts. If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have brought their hearts together; but Allah brought them together. Indeed, He is Exalted in Might and Wise.
    (Al Anfaal: 63)

    So, make excessive du'a, have patience and try to find ways to solve the problem instead of seeking to separate, which is not always the solution. I will you the best.

    Mohammed Waseem,
    Editor

    • Your response was very thorough and nice. I am however wondering where you the "ray of hope". A man who does not work to provide for his family and abuses the mom of his children in front of them is hardly fit to be a father or husband. Despite admitting to being wrong. You have to change the wrong to a right and not just admit it. I wonder if the original poster was a man. And he stated that his wife was violent towards him and would throw objects at him in front of children. Would anyone suggest he keep his wife and be patient. Or that he is entitled to divorce her. I'm sorry I have seen the tone of this site when it comes to advice to women and men being different. A man has the right to leave and women is advice to be patient.

      This sister is under no obligation to stay after broken promises and abuse. This is not a healthy environment for the kids

      • It works the same for both. The complain the sister has made makes it rightful for her to go her separate ways as her husband is highly incompetent. A woman has as much rights to walk away from her abusive husband as a man does from his abusive wife. If a woman is expected to put up with a man behaving badly then so should a man with his badly behaved wife. However though the option to walk out should be because of a very good reason.

      • Let me put it this way: be it a man or a woman, the responsibility of keeping a relationship is equal.

        You read "ray of hope" in a narrow sense. The broader vision would be the following: You heard what the sister said, which is her perspective, and this may be right or wrong. We don't know the other side of the story (if you know the story of Dawood Alaihis Salam and the 2 angels who asked him about their ewes, you will understand what I mean). When she admits that he often times expressed his intention to change, but frequently failed, this indicates some issue that needs to be analyzed.

        What if there was something so simple that could be solved with a few tweaks and patches? Is it worth separation? What if the sister takes the big step and later realizes she could easily have solved the issue rather than walk away? Isn't it better to give it another try than let it go and regret? Believe me, trying another time causes no harm, but the opposite, potentially could.

        Be it a man or a woman, separation is not easy. This sister has 2 beautiful kids to look after; what if she could bring back her family by doing some problem identification and solving? A drastic decision such as separation should not be taken except after careful analysis and after giving the relationship all the possible chances.

        Mohammed Waseem
        Editor

        • Yes I agree with what you said, in a general sense. But reading over the sisters post she has stated that she has involved both parents in hopes of change with no outcome. Sorry but something as devastating as physical abuse does not have "another side to the story". If her issues were not letting her read, complaining about house work, not letting her speak to her mother or his etc, those issues may very well be worked on. Repeat physical abuse does not warrant another chance. This sister seems to come here for validation for separation/divorce when she already has it. Divorce is so frowned upon in so many cultures that toxic marriages continue to exist while divorce is clearly the better option.

          The issue of him not working. That is an Islamic obligation for the man of the house to provide for his family. However he could be having issues finding a job or being lazy. That is also something that could be worked on, hence not considered a deal breaker, in my opinion

          As I said in my other post is the fact that she has children is more of a reason to leave and not to stay. Children exposed to this behavior can be very traumatic for them. What if the abuse goes down to them? She has given him his chances and he has not changed. There is nothing left if he does not stop the abuse. (most cases of physical abuse in marriages the partner does not change, the abuse continues with the rage.)

          Please sister if you read this know that Allah does not wish for his servants to be abused. You will not be incurring Allah's anger by leaving your husband, inshallah. May Allah be with you 🙂

          • Assalaamualaykum Brothers/Sisters,

            I completely agree with H. Additionally, her husband not letting her read, talk to parents, or do anything independently of him is an indication of very controlling emotional abuse, which is often worse than physical abuse. Over time, this kind of abuse strips a person of their own identity and can take a toll on one's mental health, leaving no visible scars but internal ones that it would be very hard for anyone not in the same situation to understand, thus also isolating the victim. I agree that in this case, the victim/survivor has already made attempts at rectifying the situation, and there would be no shame in her leaving, nor should there be guilt. A situation like this might be improved with dua and I think that that's also a very important point to consider, but if it gets to the point of suffering beyond all reason, a separation of some kind is completely acceptable.

            Sister Ibn Maryam...may Allah ease your difficulty and bless you with peace and happiness.

            Salam,

            Nor

        • In response to your questions. "realizes she could have easily solved the issue" That is very naïve. How is it possible for a woman to 'easily' solve the issue of an abusive husband, especially after involving both parents and giving him numerous chances. Maybe with extremely hard work, therapy, counseling, barely anything considered 'easy'

          "trying another time causes no harm" again very naïve, a black eye a broken arm is no harm???

          Not trying to personally offend you because I believe that your advice is with the best intentions and I respect that.

          But the moment someone or society is OK with a women staying in an abusive relationship for the sake of children or in hope of change, it boils my blood. It is definitely not the command of Allah or the teachings of the Prophet (SAW).

          • Dear H,

            You are the voice of reason in a world gone mad!! Thank you for pointing out the obvious - violence is never acceptable, never the woman's fault and Allah swt would not want us to live in a state of oppression if it can be helped.

            Yes, there are always two sides to every story. But we take what people say on this website at face value because that's all we can do.

            This sister came on this website asking simply: "is it wrong of me to leave my physically, emotionally and mentally abusive husband who won't change despite all my efforts and his many broken promises?"

            The answer should have been a resounding "no, please feel free to leave him asap."

            She is not seeking to make this marriage work. So giving her advice along those lines may make her feel guilty for not trying harder.

            And as for the children? She should leave him BECAUSE OF THE CHILDREN, not inspite of them.

  2. Sister you need to consider leaving this man for the sake of your mental and physical health. This is an unbearably difficult situation you find yourself in. He sits at home all day and watches you, as though Allah swt created him for this purpose alone.

    Him not allowing you to speak to anyone, read a book, watch a program on tv, show affection to your own children..... it feels like he wants to own your very soul. He cannot bear the thought that you may find enjoyment in anything other than him. He sounds like he may have some very serious mental health issues, Allah knows best.

    Him accusing you of having relationships with other men, including your own brother!!! This is beyond the pale. Doesn't he know that accusing an innocent person of adultery is a major sin?

    You have tried to resolve things with him by getting family members involved, to no avail. He promises to change yet doesn't. What more can you do?

    At this point I would say it is necessary to leave him in order to protect your children and your self. Please don't feel gulity about this.

    The blessed Companions of the Prophet swt divorced if marriages weren't working out. And they were the very best of this ummah. Allah swt made divorce halal. It is disliked where there is no cause for it. Please don't allow anyone to make you feel guilty if you choose this path.

    You cannot help him. You need to save yourself.
    You owe it to yourself and your children to move away from him and build a better life for you all.

    I feel concerned about your wellbeing my dearest sister. May Allah swt grant you the strength to make the right decision.

  3. Assalamu alaikum sister do not think any of what is happening is because you married at 18 or because you were arranged as at 18 you are more than ready for marriage and arranged marriages can and do work if the parents who are marrying their child off know what to look for in a suitor but unfortunately most parents look for other things or over emphasize on dounya and culture things.

    As to your situation, at least your husband is admitting his wrongs which is a healthy thing. The next step is that he has to start doing something about it and it will not be easy but he has to keep trying if he knows that it is wrong.

    Really knowing that it is wrong is tricky too. Give him evidence from Quran and Hadith about how too much suspicion is haram, that being good to a wife is for the best of men, how a woman is gentle like a vase and has to be treated gently and also that he is your imam and therefore he must act in a way that is foremost and lead by example.

    That he is admitting his wrongs is believe it or not a sign of his righteousness and humility but he needs to build upon that. He needs to fix his work situation though as it is also part of the sunnah that he should work. It sounds like he is struggling in the society he is living in and needs something of a complete overhaul.

    You seem good to sister so communication is key in all this. Communicate kindly and be patient, it seems like he maybe good but he is not at the moment equipped to deal with the trials of life.

    A marriage is meant to help with this so talk talk talk from Quran and sunnah. If you have his heart he will do anything to please you.

    Masalama

  4. Dearest Sister Ibn Maryam,

    I'm so sorry to hear about what you are going through. I have made a special dua for you that Allah (swt) ease your pain very soon.

    Hugs,

    Nor

  5. Salaams

    The man just needs to get a job and have some sort of life out of the house. He has allowed his mind to be a home for Shaitaan as idle minds are considered as such. Shaitaan is constantly whispering into his heart and making him do all those evil things. The man needs to busy himself with sorts that are important and beneficial for him and others too. 8 years of marriage and he hasn't learnt anything? perhaps a different approach might be necessary here.

    Go for the separation as that might be what he needs to realize he should change himself for the better and hopefully he does. If things don't change in time then divorce is the option here. After all Islam does teach us not to be oppressors or the opressed.

    May Allah show mercy upon you and your husband and give you both guidance on the right path to the very end.

  6. Sister you are under no obligation to stay with this man. A husband has the islamic duty to work and provide for his family. The facts he abuses you is even worse. He seems extent insecure and that's why it bothers him when you do things like reading or talking to other people. A marriage is a difficult thing, you have kids wit him and it's easier said than done to leave him. But please know you have every right to. Just for the sake of Allah you may try seperation, tell him the things that need to change then reconsider. May Allah reward you for what you have already been through. As for the kids, it is much better for them to see their mom happy without a father than a father who treats their mom in front of them so harshly. Islamic rights of a women are on your side.

    And please if anyone says oh stay patient maybe he will change. Do not listen to that garbage. Because it is garbage. Advice like that is detrimental to women. It is up to you if you give him one last chance with a seperation

  7. I'm so sorry for what you are going through.

    People rarely change. Sometimes they promise to change, but then they don't. Your husband doesn't want you to talk to your own mother? He gets mad at you if you read a book or talk to the maid? This is abnormal behaviour. It sounds like he is very controlling and mean-spirited.

    Moreover, sister, why isn't your husband working? Who is financially supporting your children? You have a maid, so the money must be coming from somewhere.

    I agree with other posters, perhaps it is time to separate. It seems like your husband does not follow his elders' advice to treat you better, since you have tried to get your patents and in-laws involved. As such, don't expect miracles. Maybe by separating, he will seek some help and make serious efforts to change, back every a better husband, get a job, and treat you with kindness rather than like a prison guard.

  8. Salam,

    To answer your question, divorce generally has a negative impact on kids but then so does an abusive relationship.

    If you divorce the kids will perceive it as the parents couldn't keep it together. They will act out in school and become more disrespectful, upset, and concentrate less on their studies. Now this depends on both the parents providing something positive to the kids right now. So if he abuses them regularly then divorcing, the loss of time with one parent, would actually be better since you're cutting down on poor treatment.

    If you choose to stay together and the abuse continues then your kids will perceive your relationship as normal and have a high chance of seeking it out when older. This would mean that your daughter may assume being abused is "normal" and your son may assume that abusing a girl is "normal".

    As for Allah getting angry at you when divorcing, there is a line drawn as to when you should divorce:

    http://legacy.quran.com/2/229
    Divorce is twice. Then, either keep [her] in an acceptable manner or release [her] with good treatment. And it is not lawful for you to take anything of what you have given them unless both fear that they will not be able to keep [within] the limits of Allah . But if you fear that they will not keep [within] the limits of Allah , then there is no blame upon either of them concerning that by which she ransoms herself. These are the limits of Allah , so do not transgress them. And whoever transgresses the limits of Allah - it is those who are the wrongdoers.

    Allah does not expect you to maintain a relationship in which you cannot keep within the limits of Allah. So if you can't handle this relationship and will break some other law of Allah then please divorce and don't worry about being blameworthy.

    In my eyes, being upset at the kids while they show affection to their mother is wrong. I would ask that that get corrected and if it didn't then I would seriously consider the implications of divorce, custody and the rest. If it was better for the kids for me to divorce then I would. If it was better for them if I stayed then I would do that instead.

    I almost forgot, even if the verbal abuse was sufficient to cause mental issues for me to the point my afterlife was affected then I would divorce immediately. And this is regardless of whether it would be better for the kids or not. A slight betterment for the kids sake is not worth eternal hellfire.

    • This is a good analysis. I only wish to add that his accusations of infidelity may be a sign of a paranoid personality disorder (PPD), though it is impossible for any specialist to make a correct psychiatric diagnosis without contact to the person in question, People with PPD tend to misinterpret the actions and words of others to be hostile, even if they are not, and this includes unfounded accusations of marital infidelity. I will copy-paste here for you to compare the diagnostic critaeria of the World Health Organization's ICD-10 list.
      It is characterized by at least three of the following:
      1.excessive sensitivity to setbacks and rebuffs;
      2.tendency to bear grudges persistently, i.e. refusal to forgive insults and injuries or slights;
      3.suspiciousness and a pervasive tendency to distort experience by misconstruing the neutral or friendly actions of others as hostile or contemptuous;
      4.a combative and tenacious sense of personal rights out of keeping with the actual situation;
      5.recurrent suspicions, without justification, regarding sexual fidelity of spouse or sexual partner;
      6.tendency to experience excessive self-importance, manifest in a persistent self-referential attitude;
      7.preoccupation with unsubstantiated "conspiratorial" explanations of events both immediate to the patient and in the world at large.
      Should he have a PPD, than improvement cannot be expected without professional help, and he needs a psychiatrist.
      If you find that he does not seem to have PPD, than another explanation may be a very low self-esteem of his: humiliating and abusing you may give him a feeling of power, of superiority as a compensating mechanism. This is a very bad trait, and he is probably not aware of the reason he is doing it. I don`t know what strategy you followed when he abused you, but if he has an inclination to be good, than in my opinion hiding your suffering and remainig silent is a bad strategy. I would recommend that at the first sign of upcoming abuse you should Show him how humiliated and hurt you are. Weep openly. If he is a basically good person, it may touch his soul and help him to better self-control. If not, than there is hardly another option left but divorce, for he is not worthy of having a wife. At any rate, don`t nurture a grudge against him, it will hurt you more than him.

      "forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing"

  9. I can relate to your situation sister. May Allah give strength and power.
    I have been married for almost 2 years. I knew my husband abit before marriage but did know enough. He drinks alcohol and also other drug. He is always paranoid and anxious because of it. We had some problems due to his addiction in start of our marriage and then with time he started coming home fully drunk and was verbally and later on physically abusive. We live with his parents he also misbehaves with them sometime but the abuse is only for me when he is drunk. He intimidates me and blame me for everything. I thought he loved me from school time thats why i agreed to marry. But things got worse esp when in drunk state although there were some episodes without the drinking where he strangled me. I went to my parents house twice before after these episodes and we are seperated for two months even now. But everytime he has no realisation that he has done anything wrong he says i provoke him and create drama even though i try my best to calm him down and he is continuously abusive. He says i want to leave him so i tried to prove him wrong by staying with him despite the abuse and we were even trying for a baby now. Still he says these manipulative things and doesnt see my efforts.
    This time after he hit me there was blood and i decided i had enough so came to parents. We are seperated for 2 months now. His family trying to reconcile and he also asked me to come back but still putting blame on me and no realisation. We had our good times aswell and he has tried to reduce his drinking but not ready to give up. We have no children still and im afraid to start a family with him now.
    How can i trust him again ? Please advice me on what i should do

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