In this counseling answer:
“Sit with your husband and talk to him about your marriage; what his views are on what a good spouse is, and what needs to be done to improve your marriage. Let him know about your feelings as well and how you feel about his actions with this other woman. Try to seek understanding how he feels about what he did.Whatever decision you make, make it with full conviction and knowledge.”
As-Salamu ‘Alaykum Sister,
Thank you for sending us your question. First, I would like to congratulate you on reverting to Islam recently. May Allah (swt) help you through this transition and give you the strength and courage to seek the truth and live it fully and wholeheartedly.
I also would like to say that I am sorry to read about the truly difficult situation that you are dealing with in your marriage. It must be very devastating to find out that your husband had cheated on you with another woman just months after you got married. What happened when you confronted him the first time? What did he tell you? Did he show regret and remorse for what he did? Did you both agree on certain issues after this incident occurred? How did you both resolve this issue at the time?
The reason why I am asking all the above questions is that the both of you deserve to make informed decisions regarding your marriage. You both need complete honesty and clarity. First of all, only you can decide what you should do regarding your marriage. You are the sole decision-maker for yourself. You deserve to know all the details and facts before making a decision on how to go about dealing with this issue. Some people may tell you to leave him and others will tell you to be “patient” and stay with him. That is not the answer you should seek, especially from people that may not understand who you are and the nature of your relationship with your husband. Instead, you should honestly ask yourself the following questions:
What is the definition of a good marriage? Have I ever had that in my marriage? What is my definition of a good husband? Has my husband ever been a good one? Do you believe that you both have the same definition of a good marriage? If you generally believe that your husband is a good husband and wants to build a life with you, then I would recommend that the both of you try to work things out. The best way to do so is through marriage counseling. I can see that you live in the United States. Certainly, in the US there are marriage counselors/therapists available. If the marriage counselor is a Muslim, then that is certainly a plus. However, non-Muslim counselors are also qualified to help you and your husband cultivate a more meaningful and empathic relationship. Please do not underestimate the power of counseling.
The issue that you should look for and improve within your marriage is empathy. Empathy is when you and your partner feel for each other or seek to understand each other’s feelings and desires and respects them. Do you have empathy towards your husband? Does your husband have empathy towards you? Only you and he know that answer.
Sit with your husband and talk to him about your marriage; what his views are on what a good spouse is, and what needs to be done to improve your marriage. Let him know about your feelings as well and how you feel about his actions with this other woman. It maybe that he does not believe that what he has been doing is really bad. Try to seek understanding how he feels about what he did. Does he think it isn’t so bad? Does he want a second wife? Chances are that if he answers ‘yes’ to the above questions that he may do it again. If so, are you fine with that? Again, only you can answer that question.
Whatever decision you make, make it with full conviction and knowledge. Be assertive and actively decide what would happen to your marriage and your future. May Allah (swt) help you and your husband through this difficult time and actively seek the truth.
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