Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Unhappy and considering divorce


Salaam walaikum,

I have been married for a few years now, it was an arranged married. I was young I was 18 and I went along with it because that is what happens in my culture. He lived in a different country and I filed for him to come to America. He was able to come after a year. Since he came we have not been happy. Not a day goes by without me crying. In the beginning we stayed with my parents. I found out he watches porn. That made me really depressed. Later I found out he is a flirt with other girls (online). Eventually things accelerated and he started swearing and hitting me during our fights. I become more depressed, I couldn't tell anyone not my friends nor my parents. I started cutting myself. This made it worse. When he found out he beat me and took pictures and said this was proof that I am crazy and he will tarnish my reputation with the pictures. He didn't do it though.

Years passed and I have dealt with his anger, let him beat me and forgave him the next morning. Eventually I snapped. About a year ago I started fighting back, I started swearing too and pushing him back. I even slapped him when he spoke harshly about my parents (he ended up beating me back), but things just got worse. He started to use that against me saying that I beat him and I always swear at him. I am afraid if I do leave him now, he will tarnish my name and my families reputation. I am the oldest and I have siblings. I tried praying. I don't want to admit it but sometimes I get so mad that I don't pray. Why me?

I am a full time college student. I wanted to become a doctor, once he came here that dream got ruined. Because of our fights, I would often not be able to go to class or finish an assignment on time. I have developed anxiety disorder and I get panic attacks whenever we fight. During these times he just walks away and leaves me there. I am scared for my future. I have lost all interest in him and he doesn't understand that.


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15 Responses »

  1. Leave this man. Don't waste your life over him. He is not worth it.

  2. Salam.

    Go to the police and have a restraining order filed against him or have him arrested. Don't worry about the pictures he has taken; they won't do you as much harm as staying with this person will. Also, family reputation is just a bogus concept and should be thrown under a bus. Your life, happiness, and health are all more important than what people might say about you or your family should you separate from your husband. In the meantime live with a female friend of yours or with your family and pursue your education. In shaa Allah, it will help you forget about this person and will develop your self-esteem as well. I pray that Allah (SWT) grant you an amazing husband in the future along with a prosperous career and happiness. Ameen.


  3. It makes me cry to read this.
    Let me make it clear: Once a man hits you, he will do it again later on. You should never forgive this type of men and if he doesn't know how to treat his wife right, then he doesn't deserve one.

    I've experienced a lot from my parents marriage and to be honest, it still breaks my heart when I think of all those bad memories I had growing up. Some people are not worth forgiving!

    My best advice would be: Always tell your mom the truth. Your mom knows you better than anyone and if she has her heart on the right spot, she will understand you.
    Get a divorce, because you deserve so much better! Your education and career is the only right thing to focus on. Send the dude back to where he came from.

    I recommend also getting some therapy.

  4. Dear sister,
    I am very sorry and sad to hear of your painful story. If your in America you have rights to leave this man. There are many shelters and organizations to help you and it should not be too hard for you to get help. Leave him immediately before you lose your sanity. This can happen as domestic abuse is very damaging to the heart and soul. Do not worry about tarnishing the family name. You have to think of your own well being and safety. You are an amana to Allah and we must care for ourselves as well and not let ourselves as women be abused and hurt. It sounds like you have tried to defend yourself and fought back. You must get out of there as soon as you can before it gets worse. Call a Domestic abuse shelter and get the help you need. You probably have developed PTSD which is serious and causes anxiety and depression. A shelter will help you get a restraining order and start your life again as well. Do not lose your dreams and Goals to be a doctor. You can go back to college and become a Doctor and take care of yourself while doing a profession helping others. Do not destroy your life in an abusive marriage. You deserve happiness and some peace. I am sad you have suffered this abuse.

  5. OP:I started cutting myself

    What do you mean by this? Cutting yourself away from him or self harm? Don't self harm its haram, a persons body is not there's to do with as the please its a gift from Allah and you need to protect and take care of that gift , which is also why you need to leave the hostile environment your in.

    On the authority of Abu Dharr Al-Ghifari (may Allah be pleased with him) from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) from his Lord Almighty that He said:

    "O My servants ! I have forbidden zulm (oppression) for Myself, and I have made it forbidden amongst you, so do not oppress one another.

    -These verses clearly indicate any kind of oppression, by staying with this man you are indulging in further sin because you would be going against what's forbidden, which is allowing him to beat you and damage your mindset.

  6. Teal22
    I am talking from experience.....leave him now do not be in a place 20yrs from now you are scared to be with anyone
    and stay alone, no husband no children, and YOUR dream career gone from this kind of abuse..

    if you stay with him, think of the children you will bring in to this world, they will growing up that a man hitting his wife, their mother is normal!. im sure there are many reasons to leave him and none to stay. do not destory your life over him.. HE DOES NOT LOVE YOU. you are his chance to live there.

    I was alone for 21 years then allah swt, sent me the best man become husband i could ever ask for alhumdulillah!.
    please dont let your pride stand in your way for real true happiness,, we live just, be happy, find the real man, work your dream job, have babies and regret nothing in this life, unlike me i wish I married my husband of now, 26 years ago, back then at 18, yes I to was 18 and marrage was arranged. please, if you dont want to do this, do it for me sister become a doctor, find another love and have babies.

    My heart was broken for 21years, I begged allah swt to fix it, and send me the right man who can mend my heart allah swt did so and sent me a doctor he was a... cardoligist (I did not know he was a doctor at the time we started speaking) and he is my husband allahu akbar
    i pray you have good life sister and regret nothing in this life.
    salam alaikom

    hugs <3

  7. as-salaamu 'alaikum wa-rahmatullah dear sister "teal",

    I also read your previous post, and subhanAllah, so very saddening and sickening to hear your story and the test that Allah puts us through 🙁

    Contrary to popular advice on this site, divorce is the advice of shaytaan and many shuyookh have warned (especially other Muslimah's) from telling their sisters: "if I was you, I would have divorced him long ago!".

    Jabir (radhiAllahu 'an) reported:
    The Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wassallam) said, Iblis (satan) establishes his throne on the water, then sends out helpers. Each of the helper of satan comes back and says that he made people do so and so, and another says, I made the people do so and so... satan tells them, you have done nothing.
    And then one of the helpers of satan says, I caused discord/divorce between a husband and wife.
    Satan tells this helper: well done! You have done well, and you are my close companion.
    - Sahih Muslim, kitaab sifaat al-qiyaama wal-janna wan-naar

    Unless you have been through divorce, no one knows the pain, suffering, depression, loneliness, anxiety attacks, and sleepless nights that follow divorce - it's probably one of the hardest tests we face in this life, especially if you're a soft-hearted and caring person, which mashAllah, it appears sister "teal" is.

    However saying all this as even a reminder to myself...
    dear sister, if you find that you hate your husband, and don't even want to be in the same room, let alone him touch you, and you find that you feel happier when he's away from home or you feel happier when you stay with parents for a few days - then in this case, subhanAllah, speak to your respected parents and carefully consider divorce after all other options 🙁

    But first of all, please realise that all of us suffer from various tests in a marriage, especially the whispers of shaytaan...
    i.e. shaytaan makes other couples seem perfect and happier; and he makes us appear that another man/woman will be perfect for us; and he uses tricks for us to dislikes qualities in our spouse and plays on this emotion. Shaytaan will also make you like the idea of divorce through constant whispering and he'll romanticise it as though your life will be perfect after divorce. But subhanAllah wa-a'uthobillah - seek refuge in Allah from these and similar thoughts of shayateen!!

    "O you who believe! You are forbidden to inherit women against their will, and you should not treat them with harshness, that you may take away part of the Mahr you have given them, unless they commit open illegal faahish (immorality). And live with them honourably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allah brings through it a great deal of good."
    - Qur'aan, surah an-nisaa

    Also realise that there is no such thing as a perfect marriage (except in movies!); even our beloved Prophet (sallallahu 'alayhi wassallam) had marital arguments and problems from his wives (our mothers). So subhanAllah, imagine us normal Muslim couples?
    And realise, nothing is impossible, it is possible that at some point, perhaps through your peaceful reminders, Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala might even soften the heart of your husband towards Islam, and thus leave his disgusting ways and towards peace.

    As for my advice,
    I recommend you follow the guidelines of the Qur'aan and Sunnah and the advice of shuyookh: -

    First make much duaa and even perform istikhara for your reconciliation and a solution in your marriage (or istikhara for divorce) - and if both of you are truly sincere in finding a solution, then inshAllah, Allah al-musta'aan will help you.

    Secondly, have you tried to peacefully sit down with your husband, and calmly speak from the heart, and to try to soften his heart towards understanding your pain? So communicate frankly and try to understand each other, and speak completely and honestly about what troubles you both.
    And then remind him how it's completely unacceptable for a man to treat his wife (like an animal) by beating her, and remind him, how can he possibly expect a good wife who loves him if he beats you?!
    Remind him that he's a Muslim and that hurting anyone, especially the closest person - his wife - is not a characteristic of a Muslim. Tell him frankly how it's disgusting that he watches porn, how it makes you suffer, and how it damages his brain and causes other mental issues such as addiction and makes the shaytaan close to him and causes discord between the couple.

    You may have to try this on different days and at suitable times, when you feel he's open to listening to you.

    If this fails, then I'm not even sure he's open to watching Islamic talks, but both of you should watch this excellent advice by Sheikh Yasir Qadhi about making marriage work, and what both couple need, and the delicate nature of the wife, and he also delves into the subject of physical abuse, etc.

    If this and other reminders fail, or if he becomes worse, then you need to seek help from your parents and your wali (father / brother / uncles). Tell your parents openly and frankly about what has been going on and listen to their advice and possible solution. If you can't approach your father, then perhaps your mother?

    "And if you fear dissension (discord) between the two (the man and his wife), appoint (two) arbitrators, one from his family and the other from her's; if they both wish for peace, Allah will cause their reconciliation. Indeed Allah is Ever All-Knower, Well-Acquainted with all things."
    - Qur'aan, surah an-nisaa

    Or if you feel you can't approach your family yet, then try to convince your husband to attend a marriage counselling session together. Or if you can't even do this, then go to a knowledgeable sheikh (sadly most massajid have imam's with little knowledge and wisdom), so seek advice, particularly from a sharia council if possible. In America, I think there are many, many good Muslim organisations, such as the Memphis community, Bayyinah institute, or ICNA, etc, etc.

    As I said, exhaust all other means before even considering divorce.
    Because subhanAllah, it's only after divorce you realise that both of you have lost.

    If you fear there will be divorce, or it's reaching that point, then you should both listen to this advice carefully, again about reconciliation at first, and then if all else fails, the advice on divorce.

    By the way, as a husband, I also suffered from physical abuse from my ex, and what I used to do is seek refuge and lock myself in the bathroom or spare room until she calmed down.

    Another thing you should try before divorce is to move back with your parents or brother/sister and see if both of you can live alone for a month without each other. (Ideally it should be the husband who leaves the home.)

    Sister, if you do decide to go through with divorce after ALL OTHER OPTIONS are exhausted, then subhanAllah, I really hope you have a good family support structure and backing from parents and friends inshAllah to help you through the painful and extremely difficult time that lay ahead.
    And I'm sorry to be frank, but subhanAllah, especially as a woman (even at your young age, and especially if you have children), remarrying later will be very difficult!
    Well, Allahu a'lam, it's possible Allah ar-razzaaq ul-latif might make it easy, but while I have been searching for a spouse, I've seen many divorced sisters struggling for years to find a spouse again.

    I would also like to kindly remind all my brothers and sisters here what Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala mentions: -

    I swear by Time!
    Mankind is in a loss...
    except those who truly believe...
    and those who exhort one-another to patience.
    (i.e. and recommend one another to patience (for the sufferings, harms, and injuries which we will encounter in this temporary life of trials))
    - Qur'aan, surah al-'asr

    (The "Hilali-Khan" or Muhsin Khan's interpretation of the Qur'aan in English is the best as it also includes the tafaseer of ibn kathir, at-tabari, and al-qurtubi).

    Sorry for this overly long comment, I hope inshAllah at least some of it is helpful.
    And all good is from Allah, and all mistakes are from the evil within my own self.

    Take care sister,
    and may Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala, al-musta'aan ul-wadood help us all in our marriage, and make our spouses and children the comfort of our eyes, ameen ya-rabb!

    was-salaamu 'alaikum wa-rahmatullah.

    • Assalaamu Alaykum,

      You gave some beautiful advice Masha Allah. And I fully agree with you that we should take care not to turn to divorce as an option just for the tough circumstances we face.

      However, abusive situations are abnormal situations. I don't know what you went through when your wife was violent toward you. You said you were able to get away from her until she calmed down. Unfortunately, there are far too many cases of abuse where the victim is killed. This is true of men who are abused by women, but even more true of women who are abused by men simply because they are physically stronger and more lethal.

      Only Allah can help any one of us decide if and when divorce is the option needed in a situation. Let us also remind ourselves that Allah clearly states a woman may ransom herself out of a marriage if His own limits are not being kept, by either or both of them- and she will not be held at fault for that. Often times abusive relationships are needing this solution because the abuser is not rational, not reasonable, and not amenable to petitions to self correct.

      There are always risks to weigh in staying or leaving a marriage, and in staying or leaving abusive relationships. But one thing I will differ with you on is your assumption that she will have a hard time remarrying as a divorcee. I simply don't agree this is true, especially in America. She has no children, and is fairly young...why wouldn't she be able to find a new husband? Many women, including myself, have one or more divorces on their record PLUS children from previous marriages, and still find a way to remarry. How much more someone who has even less than that? I hope that idea doesn't get fixed in her mind, since there is no formidable evidence to support it.

      By the way, not everyone experiences that sort of pain you described following a divorce. Yes, divorce is painful-- but if the marriage was particularly traumatizing, the aftermath of a divorce can be felt as peaceful and relieving.

      -Amy Editor

      • wa-'alaikum as-salaam wa-rahmatullah,

        JazakAllah khair dear sister for your kind reply.

        MashAllah, I also agree with you.

        May I kindly ask a personal question?
        How did you find your first and second husband?

        Because subhanAllah, as a divorced man (born and raised in the west), let me tell you, it's almost impossible to find a wife in the west (except only those women who are older and with children); and I see the same case with beautiful sisters (especially with children) who have been on matrimonial websites for years!

        I have also asked many people in different massaajid for help, but subhanAllah, after years of searching, only women raised in the middle east appear to be interested.
        It appears the stigma of divorce doesn't exist as much in the middle eastern culture.

        wAllahu a'lam.

        • Assalaamu alaykum,

          My first marriage began and ended before I was Muslim. My second husband was Muslim, American convert, and accepted me easily as a divorcee and with two young sons from my first marriage. He himself had never been married before. I met him randomly, in person, in the city where I live.

          After over a decade of marriage I divorced him because he was violent and abusive. I had two more kids with him.

          I have remarried again. I met my current husband online. He is not American, but it wasn't a preference one way or the other for me. So again, he was willing to marry me as a twice divorced woman, with 4 kids, and two exes. And that, though belonging to a culture where this would not be looked highly upon.

          You said you can't find women in the west unless they are older or have children. You're free to have you're preferences, but it sounds like you are also part of what is creating that dilemma? Why rule out women just because they have children? Or are older? Or both?

          My personal belief is that if someone is valuable and worthwhile enough to attract someone on a deep level, what may seem like challenges will pale in comparison to what is perceived as being gained. But if many good women aren't even given a chance because of those type of things, how would one even know what you might be missing out on? Kids grow up and move on, and everyone gets old. The bond and fulfillment is what lasts a lifetime after all of it passes.


          • wa-'alaikum as-salaam wa-rahmatullahi wa-barakatuh dear and respected sister,

            SubhanAllah, as a respected mother, yours sounds like a heroic story! 🙂
            And it would be enlightening if you shared your experience and all that you have learnt in your journey? 🙂
            (of course, in a separate topic).

            And jazakAllah khair - I love your words of wisdom in the last paragraph 🙂

            I must say however, although this may be politically incorrect, in the Muslim matrimonial world, as a caucasian(?) woman, the world is pretty much your oyster.

            With regards to children, I don't believe I'm mature enough to take care of them, and second... and as someone who spends most of his time in scientific (and Islamic) knowledge and research, I don't have time or patience for them! heh
            Not for the moment anyway.

            wAllahul musta'aan.

            And may Allah subhanahu wa-ta'ala, make your children and husband the comfort of your eyes, and you of them, and may He (ar-razaaq) bless you fid dunya wal aakhira, ameen ya-rabbil 'alameen!

            was-salaamu 'alaikum wa-rahmatullah.

        • Alhamdulillah for everything.

          I am not sure there is a concise version to my entire life journey and lessons. Of course my advice here reflects a lot of what I've experienced, and that's probably the best way to take it.

          Don't get me wrong, I've gotten my fair share of rejections because of having kids, or exes I still co-parent with. But in spite of those obstacles I still have found love and acceptance. My situation, as an older woman with TWO divorces and multiple stepchildren, is a lot different from this sister's. She is quite younger, and has no kids (from what I can tell). So all I was trying to say is that if someone like me can do well (and I really can't say how much of my ethnic background boosts that or not), then I believe certainly she will have an easier time than even I have.

          One of the things life has taught me is that I have an idea of what I think I can handle or manage, and sometimes that idea is not accurate. Have you ever considered that your idea of what you can deal with as far as children is not what Allah knows to be true? Of course, I don't blame you for taking the cautious route because the life of a child shouldn't be seen as a social experiment.

          May Allah help us all to see things rightly as He does, and to bring us to the things which please Him most, and may we be pleased with all the portions He measures to us, and amin to all of our duas.


          • Assalamwalekum
            I just wanted to add from my experience that divorce is not the end of the world and its not true that remarriage is a difficult option always. I am MashAllah going to remarry after my recent divorce and i am from india and all of us know how a divorcee woman can be looked upon in this subcontinent. I dont have xhildren and i am not yet thirty which may have made it easier but its also true that i had horrible rumours spread about me by my ex and his family. My entire character was thrown for a toss for baseless reasons. And my husband hit me too and moreover was highly suspucious and paranoid person. He did not tell this to the world and i didnt tell anyone of it outside my immeadite family so for the outside world i was not just a divorcee but character less too and yet it was within mere days of completing my iddat that i had a propsal from a decent family. I took time to consider as it felt too early then (as mentioned in my earlier post) but i have decided to say yes.. this proposal came because the family knows me since my birth and fir them their knowledge of me was more important than any rumours and i think they felt sorry for me to.
            My point that i do agree that divorce is very painfall abd should most definitely be last resort but if nothing else can be done then do not not divorce just out of fear thst you may never marry again whichever culture you may belong too. If Allah has chosen another spouse for you it will happen. If not it never will. More than a culture thing its a destiny thing and prayers can go a long way in changing that too!

  8. Assalaamu Alaykum,

    Sister, if you are in the US there are so many resources available to you as a battered woman. If you simply call 1-800-799-7233 they can connect you with local resources near where you live. They have a website as well:

    There is no reason you should give up on your dreams or your peace. In shaa Allah, once you get out of this horrible situation and start working toward healing, what you've experienced will make you an even more compassionate doctor and woman.

    All his threats are silly. While I understand that you may live in a community that functions more like "back home" in terms of reputation and image, I can assure you that in America at large this stuff he is saying means NOTHING. Americans DO NOT take some man's word if he goes around saying his wife or any woman is crazy. We are more objective about things like that, PLUS the fact that we are all socialized against abusive behaviors and controlling men that if such a man were to say something, we would most likely thing HE is crazy or suspicious!

    Women who are victims of abuse are not to blame. No one in their right mind would blame you, or your family, for what he does. I understand that your family's culture of origin probably deals with these issues differently, and that's why everything seems so risky. But look at the facts: YOU are HERE. You are not in another country where things like this could actually impact your life. Here you have a chance to get away from him, get some support from people who have been through the same thing you are going through, get therapy (many states offer free counseling for abuse victims with the therapist of your choice), finish school, divorce him, become financially and socially independent, and even more. YOU have everything at your fingertips, and he can do nothing, absolutely nothing to hold you back from it here in America. Like another poster said, calling the police and getting a restraining order is even a huge thing to get you out of his oppression.

    The only thing that can keep you down at this point, would be yourself. If you continue to accept the abuse, if you continue to do nothing to change the situation even though there are so many means and ways to do so, then you will continue to live in the same misery. You don't have to! You truly aren't escaping any pain by trying to wait this out or hoping it will change. Statistically, the odds are against you and it won't change.

    Even if you reach out to one of your college professors who you trust, they will be more than willing to help you. You've already opened up to us here, so just take a little more courage from that heart that Allah gave you and reach out some more. The hotline I gave you is anonymous. You don't have to tell them who you are, you don't have to tell them anything you don't want to. But they are there to listen, and they do care. Just like we all do.

    May Allah help you and strengthen you and move you toward the freedom and peace you need this month of Ramadan, amin.

    -Amy Editor

  9. I agree with Amy that abusive situations are not normal. Divorce is allowed in these situations. Many women die from staying to long with an abusive husband. I think to advise divorce in this kind of situation is wiser as no one should take abuse. Although divorce is hated by Allah so is oppression. When we make marriage the most important thing for a women we endanger those women that need to get a divorce and get out of abuse. The shayton as well wants people to accept oppression and abuse. We have to remember we are an amana to Allah and we can not let our children or ourselves be abused physically or emotionally. By staying that can also be shayton when we are too afraid to leave someone who hurts us. Love is not abuse and no woman should stay in any kind of abuse. That is not patience to endure abuse but leaving abuse requires courage and patience.

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