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My Husband is a Drug Addict!

Questioner

S

Reply Date

Nov 06, 2018

Question

As-Salamu Alaikom. Please, make du’aa’ for my family. Am I wrong to seek divorce because my husband does not provide for us, has a drug addiction and is controlling?

We have had arguments in front of my 5 month old. It seems we cannot get along, although, he doesn’t feel like having a problem. He says that drugs are not haram. When he is on drugs, his sex drive is abnormal; I can’t keep up with it. I am the only one working and when I am tired, he accuses me of not fulfilling his rights. He also takes my money to buy drugs against my wishes which have gotten us in a financial downhill.

Counselor

Answer


My Husband is a Drug Addict!

In this counseling answer:

“You can choose to stay with your husband and help him; you can separate from him while giving him the chance to address his issues, or you can divorce him. In deciding what to do, I suggest you make a list of the reasons why you married him, the good things about him, as well as the positive things that were previously in your marriage before he became an addict.”


As-Salamu ‘Alaikum dear sister,

Thank you for writing to us. I am very sorry to hear of your situation with your husband. While Allah hates divorce, there are circumstances wherein divorce is permitted. However, it is best if you first try to save your marriage if you can. This can be done by encouraging your husband to seek addiction counseling, going for family counseling, or by you going to counseling to try to sort out what it is you need to do for yourself and your kid as well as how to develop coping skills that one needs when living with someone who is addicted.

You stated that your husband is addicted to drugs, is controlling, is argumentative and does not support you. It is a typical scenario wherein a spouse is addicted to a substance, as substance abuse affects all areas of the person’s personal, social, and spiritual life as well as his/her ability to earn a living. Sadly, addictions do break up many families as the stress and dynamics that come with loving someone who is addicted to drugs is often overwhelming. Often addicts are in denial and refuse to get help or even admit they have a problem.

Contrary to what your husband says, intoxicants are haram. “Khamr is what befogs the mind.” These are the words spoken by `Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) from the pulpit of the Prophet (saw) providing us with a decisive criterion for defining what falls under the prohibited category of khamr. There remains then no room for doubts and questions: any substance which has the effect of befogging or clouding the mind, impairing its faculties of thought, perception and discernment is prohibited by Allah and His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) and will remain so until the Day of Judgment.” 

So clearly, your husband’s verbal response to what is and what is not haram is rooted in his denial of his addiction. Only Allah knows what is in his heart.

My dear sister, you can choose to stay with your husband and help him; you can separate from him while giving him the chance to address his issues, or you can divorce him. In deciding what to do, I suggest you make a list of the reasons why you married him, the good things about him, as well as the positive things that were previously in your marriage before he became an addict.

Also, examine the negative things. Which side weighs heavier? Of course, if there is any sort of domestic violence, you should leave immediately; however, if you feel you are capable of taking the steps needed to help your husband and you are inclined to do so, there may be many benefits and blessings in helping him. An obvious one would be keeping your family intact and having a healthy husband/marriage. Of course, it would also depend on his “readiness” to admit he is an addict.


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I would suggest dear sister that you approach him when things are calm with your list of the good things that were in your marriage. Review it with him. Point out that things have changed, and ask him “What can we do to make our marriage good like it was before?” This may or may not prompt him to think about the times when he was drug-free and when you both had a good marriage. Based on his responses (or lack of), you may get greater insight on where he truly is regarding his phase of denial.

I suggest in sha’ Allah that you get counseling from a local mental health professional. This will help you set up boundaries as well as helping you avoid becoming an enabler. You will also begin to heal from the trauma you have been through, as often happens when living with a loved one who is addicted.  Counseling can also provide you with the ability to “develop clear guidelines and limits regarding the individual’s substance use and your relationship. The addict should be aware that continued drug use may result in specific consequences. Such limits can include not covering for a spouse if he misses work, withholding money he may use to purchase drugs or even filing for legal dissolution of the marriage.”

I also suggest sister that you join a support group such as Al-Anon. These will be valuable supports whether you divorce, separate, or stay with him.

Lastly, keep close to Allah, make du’aa’ for your husband as well as for your family unit. Read Qur’an, surround yourself with positive sisters, do fun social activities when you can, and take care of yourself as well. You are in our prayers dear sister. Please let us know how things are going.

Salam,

***

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.

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About Aisha Mohammad-Swan

Aisha Mohammad-Swan received her PhD in psychology in 2000. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York with a focus on PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. She is currently studying for her certification in Islamic Chaplaincy, and takes Islamic courses at SHC. Aisha works at a Women's Daytime Drop in Center, and has her own part-time practice in which she integrates counseling and holistic health. Aisha also received an MA in Public Health/Community Development in 2009 and plans to open a community counseling/resource center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah.

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