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How to Deal with an Abusive Father?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Oct 10, 2018

Question

As-salamu alaikum,

I'm really depressed from the past few years. I just feel like I'm trapped in relationships and I can't do anything about it because they are blood relations. My father is abusive and never listen to us, he is aware of all this and he feels proud about it. We are 4 siblings, 2 sisters and 2 brothers. I'm the second child. When I was born my father wasn't happy at all; he was disappointed because he wanted a boy and after my birth, my two brothers were born.

My father never gave importance to us; he always demotivates us and always tells us that we can't do anything in our lives. He even had affairs and we are aware of those affairs. When his brother died we were kids at that time he started behavior with his brother's wife and treated his children like they were his own. My aunt used to say bad things about my mother and my father used to beat her. It was like we don't have a father. My father used to give us little financial support and my aunts' kids used to wear branded clothes. A few years ago, they started creating property issues with my father and at that time they had a huge fight and they cut all ties with us. Now, my father is with us but he is so abusive towards us that sometimes I wish we don't have a father.

He uses foul language even with us. He even never respected my mother's family and never accepted them. Even when my grandmother (my mother's father) died he was upset from my father and they both were not talking to each other. My mother is really hurt by all these things. My father even stopped my mother from meeting her family for years. Now the thing is my elder brother is a carbon copy of my father. He is abusive, uses foul language even for my mother and father. He hates father, even he once have a physical fight with father. My father never prays, not even jumma or Eid prayers or nor he fast.

We are so upset about all of this. I'm in love with my cousin, he's from my mother's side. Everyone is happy but my father came to know about this now, he's blackmailing us that he'll leave my mother and will through us out from our home. I really want to marry him. I just want to get out of this trap and emotional abuse. And marrying my cousin is the only option because he is the one with whom I can spend my life with, he respects women and he is a good guy. Please help me I am so depressed.

Counselor

Answer


How to Deal with an Abusive Father?

In this counseling answer:

•You could consider approaching someone else to talk to your father there about this matter, someone who you know he respects and will respond favorably to.

•A good solution to the whole scenario would be if he were to practice devoutly again. If he were close to Allah, he would fear Him enough not to be abuse to his family and not to have extramarital affairs as these are grave sins and will evoke the wrath of Allah.

•Try and inspire him back to the straight path. Begin with prayers for him and asking Allah to guide him. Pray in front of him, invite him to attend the masjid with you, invite pious Allah fearing friends and family to the home a who may be a positive influence on him.


Wa alaikum salaam wa Rahmatullah wa barakatuh sister,

It sounds like quite a confusing tangle of events that has resulted in abuse and disrespect and has ultimately led to the downfall of your emotional wellbeing.

Alhamdulilah, you have found someone that you want to marry that you see as the root out of this cycle of unhappiness for you that will lead to a good relationship unlike those you have seen and been subjected to all these years. Islamically you are permitted to marry who you want within the guidelines of Islam of course, without your father’s approval so it is entirely an option.

However, he has also stated how he will ruin the family if you chose to make this decision. That places you in a difficult situation where you could potentially escape this negative cycle, but yet you will leave behind difficulties for your mother, who, by the sounds of it, is an innocent party in all of this as well. You do not want to deal with the got of knowing that your actions may start difficulties for her, even if they are acceptable and permissible.

Perhaps, you could consider approaching someone else to talk to your father there about this matter, someone who you know he respects and will respond favorably to. This may ease the situation to allow it to occur without further incident. It may be that this person can be a positive influence in terms of his Deen as well.


Check out this counseling video


You say that he doesn’t pray or attend the mosque so it would seem that right now he is far from Allah. A good solution to the whole scenario would be if he were to practice devoutly again. If he were close to Allah, he would fear Him enough not to be abuse to his family and not to have extramarital affairs as these are grave sins and will evoke the wrath of Allah. Something that people with firm faith don’t want to experience.

Therefore, the indirect approach you can take here is to try and inspire him back to the straight path. Begin with prayers for him and asking Allah to guide him. Pray in front of him, invite him to attend the masjid with you, invite pious Allah fearing friends and family to the home a who may be a positive influence on him. Maybe he won’t comply at first, but gentle persistence and prayers may work in sha Allah. It will require patience, but in time if he is guided aright, his behavior will also change for the good.

May Allah bring peace and happiness into your household and guide you father aright. Maybe grant you a righteous spouse who will be the coolness of your eyes in this life and the next.

***

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About Hannah Morris

Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)

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