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I Pulled My Wife’s Hair, She Left Me with the Kids

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Oct 19, 2017

Question

As- Salaam-Walikum. I write this email with full confidence and an open heart to seek assistance. My beautiful wife of 6 years and 3 little children have left me due to me losing my temper and stepping the line by pulling her hair. I was completely not myself and made an incorrect judgment. She has now gone and I shall be making child maintenance. I have tried to resolve the issue with her but she does not want it at all. I am totally lost and need some guidance to resolve the issue. I accept my mistake. It was totally out of character but it all started with her telling me 3 weeks prior to this issue that she had no love, no spark towards me and she cannot be affectionate. This was a big bombshell for me and I was unable to decide or know how to fix this. We lived a lavish lifestyle. Please advise!

Counselor

Answer



In this counseling answer:

“I would kindly suggest brother that you let the situation cool off for some time. Use this time to heal yourself from any hurt you have been through in the marriage. Also, use this time to get counseling, participate in anger management as well as engage in activities and groups with positive uplifting Muslim brothers.”


As-Salamu ‘Alaykum brother,

I am sorry to hear about the situation you are in. It is clear that you love your wife and children and that you suffer great remorse for the abuse of your wife by pulling her hair. While I do not know if these things have occurred before, you did say it was out of character for you to do this.

However, at the end of your question, dear brother, you said it was because a few weeks ago your wife “told me 3 weeks prior to this issue she had no love, no spark towards me and she cannot be affectionate”. While I can imagine how hurtful that must have been for you, brother, an act of violence three weeks later indicates a volatile situation that was brewing for some time. While you did not say what happened between you and your wife during those 3 weeks or what caused you to pull her hair, it has not been a good situation for some time now. You did not mention if your children saw you pulling your wife’s hair or not, but if they did, you must know how traumatic that must have been for them as well.

It appears that you and your wife have been having issues for some time now. Sadly, the two of you did not address them and the situation got worse. Communication is very important in a marriage as is following Islamic principles for working out problems that arise. No marriage is perfect and mistakes happen; however, it is often how we follow up on things that count.

You stated you were sorry and that you accept your mistake. That is the first step. I would kindly recommend that you seek out counseling to address your hurt and anger issues. Try to resolve this before trying to get your family back.

I would also kindly suggest that you join a men’s group (Muslim if possible) regarding domestic violence and anger issues. You will learn appropriate communication skills, anger management as well as other needed insights for controlling or re-channeling thoughts of anger.

These steps, if done sincerely, will show your wife (and the courts if it comes to that) that you are truly sorry about what has happened and that you seek to better yourself as a man, father, Muslim and human being. We all make mistakes brother, we all fall short; however, it is in the repairing of ourselves in which we find peace and blessings.

While all of this may seem blown out of proportion to you, and it may be that you have never hurt her before this, and you do not plan on ever doing it again if she comes back to you, often times this is how an abusive relationship starts. A slap once in a while, hair pulling the following month, pushing, punching and choking quickly follow, and it just continues to escalate.

As you know, a man should never harm a woman or child (nor should a woman harm a man or child). It’s just really unIslamic and haram.

Look at how the Prophet Mohammad (saw) treated his wives. He never put his hand on them to hurt them. In a hadith, it is narrated that

“The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives.” (Ibn Majah)

So, how was the Prophet (swt) best to his wives and how should you (Muslim men) seek to emulate the ways (sunnah) of our Prophet (swt)? Perhaps, brother, you may wish to read and study or just refresh yourself on the life of our beloved Prophet (swt) and how he treated his wives.

You had mentioned the fact that you and your wife “lived a lavish lifestyle”. Actually, living lavish has nothing to do with living in a loving relationship – one that is comprised of respect, honor, comfort, and safety. Perhaps you felt that by providing your wife with the best things you could buy that it was proof of your love (and yes, wanting our loved ones to live comfortably and not be in need is normal).

But as you can see, some things money cannot buy.

Both of you were unhappy for some reason which resulted in her stating those harmful, hurtful words and you exploding 3 weeks later and pulling her hair. I kindly ask you to evaluate how you want to be thought of as a father, husband, and Muslim. What kind of a man do you want to be for your family?

I am sure you are a good man with a wonderful heart; however, often times in this life we can mix up our values concerning what is truly important. The prophet (saw) was not a rich man by no means; yet he had happy, peaceful loving households with his wives.

I would kindly suggest brother that you let the situation cool off for some time. Use this time to heal yourself from any hurt you have been through in the marriage. Also, use this time to get counseling, participate in anger management as well as engage in activities and groups with positive uplifting Muslim brothers. Attend the mosque for prayers as often as you can and read/recite Qur’an for comfort and for seeking a closer relationship with Allah (swt). Ask Allah (swt) for forgiveness and help with your situation. The more steps you take towards positive self-improvement, the better your chances are at winning back your family’s trust and reconciliation.

Trust is an important factor here. As your wife, you are her protector. She looked to you for safety and protection, brother. Granted, the things she said were hurtful, but they in no way should have resulted in a physical altercation.

When you pulled her hair, it was a violation, and trust was broken.  You will have to gain that back, in sha’ Allah. It may not be easy as she is probably afraid of you now, but in sha’ Allah she will also use this time to get counseling and heal. Perhaps, in time, she will agree to marriage counseling which I would kindly recommend. Please try it by an imam or Muslim therapist if possible. If she agrees to reconcile, it is best to start out with Islamic marriage counseling so that moving forward, your marriage is truly grounded in Islamic principles and values.

It will not be an easy road, brother. There is much “self” work to be done, a re-connection with Allah (swt) and a re-establishment of Islamic values within your heart and actions. You are not the first man to do this nor will you be the last.

It is a sad situation within our ummah wherein couples fight and it often ends up physically abusive.  There is no room in a marriage for that – from either a husband or a wife. This is not how we are to treat one another.

In marriage, we were made to be a comfort to each other with love and mercy between us. In sha’ Allah, you will get your family back, brother, but it will take time, patience, and work on your part.  You both are hurt right now. You both need this time apart to heal and reconcile. Allah knows best.

Please, let us know brother how you are doing.

***

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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