In this counseling answer:
• It is advisable to be very careful not to fall into the trap of constantly accusing him, otherwise, you will make for a very uncomfortable environment at home.
• Try asking your local imam to mediate between the two of you together.
• Take care of yourself; do things that make you happy.
As-Salamu ‘Alaikum sister,
Feeling betrayed understandably leads to feelings of severe distress. The first thing you can do to manage your emotions is to take it as a test from Allah (swt), remain steadfast in your Islamic obligations, and keep busy in acts of worship. Use this test a chance to prove your faith in Allah (swt) by being patient, and surely He (swt) will see you through it successfully whatever the outcome may be.
“For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” (Qur’an, 94:5)
Difficult as it is, it is important to try and refrain from making accusations, especially if he denies them, as much as the evidence points to him having these extramarital affairs because Islamically this is very much frowned upon.
“O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.” (49:12)
That’s not to say that what you are suspicious of is not actually going on, but given the seriousness attached to making such accusation in Islam, it is something not to be taken lightly. Considering that in Shari’ah law, there must be four witnesses in the case of adultery for the punishment to be delivered (death penalty), we can see from an Islamic perspective the importance of being actually sure that extramarital relations took place. Therefore, as much as you are sure that adultery has been taking place, be very wary of how you respond to this by drawing on the Islamic perspective.
Be confident that Allah (swt) is the best judge. Allah (swt) is the one that sees all and He (swt) knows the truth, and your husband will be judged for whatever behavior he is engaged in. Whilst you can’t control his behavior, you can control your own response to what you believe is going on. Since you have not actually seen him physically engage in adultery, as much as you are sure it has occurred, he cannot be found guilty for actually committing this offense without evidence from four witnesses. So, instead, rely on Allah (swt) as the judge and find contentment in that.
Threatening to slap you is unacceptable behavior and even from an Islamic perspective would be the wrong way to seek retribution for your accusations. Even if your accusations were entirely false, the first course of punishment from the man to his wife in the case of wrongdoing is to advise her and forsake her in bed. As difficult as it may be to respond to such remarks in a respectful way when your emotions are heightened, you can rely on the advice that Allah (swt) gives us in the Qur’an in how to respond to such behavior and repel what is evil with that that is better.
“And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend.” (41:34)
It is advisable to be very careful not to fall into the trap of constantly accusing him, otherwise, you will make for a very uncomfortable environment at home. This will make him wish to be outside of the home more often which will continue to contribute to the negative cycle as you then become increasingly suspicious of his extended time outside of the house. Provide an environment for him to be happy and comfortable in his home environment that he wants to be at home. Put yourself in his shoes, too. Imagine if he was constantly accusing you of something, you, too, would be uncomfortable to be at home in his presence and could understand why someone in this position would rather spend more time outside of the house. Try to avoid confrontation with him and work on improving relations with him that don’t revolve around accusations.
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As for potential adultery that he may be engaged in, leave that to Allah (swt) and do the best you can from your perspective to do what you can to please Allah (swt) by following His divine guidance. This will be difficult when there is strong evidence to suggest that he is engaging in adultery, but Islam is a religion perfected for our benefit and, therefore, we should pay heed to what Allah (swt) tells us and follow His guidance to ensure best relations and the best possible outcome.
Overall, adultery is a sin in Islam, but without solid proof, in accordance with Islamic principles of Shariah law, you need to be very wary of making accusations as well as being aware of how your suspicions are causing you to behave towards him. Instead, work on creating a comfortable environment at home that your love can flourish once more, free from any negativity.
However, given your clear convictions that he has been unfaithful, this could be very difficult for you, especially if he continues to have a hostile attitude towards you even when you do all you can to maintain a comfortable environment. The first thing that you might try is asking your local imam to mediate between the two of you together so that you can both put your own sides of the story across to a neutral party as it is better to try and do what you can to make the marriage work before seeking a divorce. This way, the imam will be able to advise your husband with regards to his aggressive attitude towards you.
Even if he continues to deny any affair, treating you abusively is unacceptable and needs addressing in order that he will develop respect for you. Once you have tried to work on the marriage through these means, you can be sure that, for the sake of Allah (swt), you have tried all you can to make the marriage work. If things still don’t work, then the imam will be aware of your situation and able to advise you on moving forward if a divorce is necessary.
Regardless of what has been actually happening, you are clearly experiencing a great amount of stress, so it is important to look after yourself. Aside from ensuring to continue all your obligatory acts of worship (and as many voluntary acts as you can, too) to keep your mind always focused on pleasing Allah (swt), engaging in regular exercise and not neglecting your social life will also work to support you emotionally during this difficult time. When feeling down, it is very easy to neglect these things when, in fact, you need them more. Keeping active in the local community and engaging with other sisters can be especially useful as a means to be engaged in an act of ibaadah and to increase your knowledge of Allah (swt) whilst in the company of good people who can support you in the most appropriate way.
May Allah (swt) bring you ease in your affairs and bring love between you and your husband again that you will complement each other and be happy and comfortable in each other’s company.
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.