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My Daughter, a Witness to Violence

Questioner

N (28_female_Pakistan)

Reply Date

Jun 11, 2018

Question

My husband and I are having marital problems. He is having an affair and he often discusses divorcing me. We argue a lot and he sometimes becomes violent. We have a 16-month-old baby and it scares me how this will affect her. I am very stressed and depressed; and I feel I neglect her and even sometimes shout at her when she is crying. My husband also does the same.

I try not to let it get to me. I have spoken to my mother who advises to be patient and not to say anything to him or argue with him, and to let him do what he wants. She says that one day he will leave this woman. My mother tells me to just concentrate on my baby's upbringing, but I am tired of waiting for that 'one day', and I am finding it very painful to accept another woman in his life.

I feel I am continuously ignoring my baby and that I do not give her my full attention as she deserves, due to my mental state. Should we just separate for our baby's sake, as it is clear that my husband doesn't want to leave the other woman, and that I am never going to accept it? Is it better to leave and at least give her a peaceful and loving environment to grow up in?

Counselor

Answer


Daughter

In this counseling answer:

•We urge you to involve your parents and his, so that everyone is aware of your husband’s sinful behavior.

•You have to protect yourself and your daughter at all costs. The fact that he sometimes becomes violent is enough reason for you to have an emergency escape plan should the need arise.

•Control your anger and remember that you are not at fault here; your faith is being affected because an admitted sinner is in your midst. Fight off Shaytan and seek refuge in Allah.


Salam Aleikom,

Thank you for writing to us and here are some thoughts for your consideration.

First, we urge you to involve your parents and his, so that everyone is aware of your husband’s sinful behavior. In Islam, an extramarital affair is a major sin, and based on what you have written, your husband is neither showing remorse nor signs of breaking off his illicit relationship with this other woman.

It is hoped that the two sets of parents will be able to knock some common sense into your husband and help him realize that he is not only disobeying Allah Most High but that he risks losing his wife and daughter. Perhaps as well, when the parents are talking to your husband, he might feel inclined to share with them the reason he has sought to go to the extent of committing such a major sin.

What is wrong from his perspective with his marital relationship? What did he feel was missing from the marital relationship that he thought he could somehow make up by having an illicit relationship? None of his answers can justify, of course, the sinful actions he has taken and continues to take.


Check out this counseling answer:


The idea is to help him to process some of his thoughts and feelings so that he can hear himself rationalize his behavior. In the company of the parents, perhaps he will feel a sense of shame and will voluntarily terminate the extramarital affair. We make du`aa’for that to happen, in sha’ Allah.

Second, you have to protect yourself and your daughter at all costs. The fact that he sometimes becomes violent is enough reason for you to have an emergency escape plan should the need arise. You need to keep handy telephone numbers for the police and for medical assistance. You need to keep handy telephone numbers for family and friends who could rescue you at a moment’s notice.

You are not betraying your husband by seeking to have an escape plan that will safeguard you and your child. Rather, you are protecting your husband from potentially violent actions that he himself will regret.Daughter

Third, try to be the better person in the relationship by not allowing your husband to control the way you feel and react. If he becomes argumentative, remember that he is operating from a guilt-ridden conscience. He has to justify, to rationalize, and to make sense of his current sinful existence.

His conflicting inner feelings are bound to drive him out of his mind, and being in his company might prompt you to react in a negative and potentially argumentative manner as well.

As you said, both of you end up screaming at the baby sometimes, and that’s neither helpful to you nor to the baby. Do your best to rise above the temptation to stoop down to his level.

Control your anger and remember that you are not at fault here; your faith is being affected because an admitted sinner is in your midst. Fight off Shaytan and seek refuge in Allah so that your faith is not shaken and you are able to maintain the best of conduct in the face of the worst conduct from your husband.

Finally, if, through the intervention of your parents, your husband breaks off the affair, feels remorse for what he has done, seeks your forgiveness and the forgiveness of Allah Most High, and makes a commitment to remain loyal to you and to his family, then it is up to you how you want to proceed. You know best his personality and his character. If you believe he can truly reform himself and you still have feelings of love and affection for him, then consider how you can begin the process of repairing the relationship.

You know best his personality and his character. If you believe he can truly reform himself and you still have feelings of love and affection for him, then consider how you can begin the process of repairing the relationship.

If there are no signs of improvement on his side and if he insists on the affair, then you should involve the local imam and attempt arbitration one last time before proceeding to consider whether to dissolve the marriage. Allah Most High knows best your inner feelings, and it is He to whom you should turn to seek assistance and guidance through Istikharah (prayer for guidance) so you can make a decision that is best for your faith, your family, and your future.

And Allah knows best.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

Irresponsible Father, Ask for Divorce?

Should I Divorce For the Sake of My Kids?

Kids & I Are Scared of My Abusive Husband

 




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