In this counseling answer:
• He will need to learn that real love is much more meaningful, much more beautiful, and more satisfying than the falling in love process alone.
• Your options are: fight back, forgive, let go.
Thank you for emailing in with your question. No doubt, it is loaded with a lot of pain from your end. May Allah grant you steadfastness as you work through these challenges.
Your husband has shown you twice that he is not able to be a loyal man to not only you but any other woman he has been with. He had the chance not to marry you and instead marry the other woman before he married you. But instead, he neglected her and left her alone.
He had the chance to marry only you and be loyal to you but instead has neglected you emotionally and physically as well.
Only time will tell what he does with this third woman who he claimed to love. She was smart and broke up with him, at least initially, but one wonders what he would end up doing with her in time also.
Addicted to the Falling in Love Process
He believes he is chasing after love, but it sounds like he doesn’t understand how to build a real relationship that isn’t based on the “in love” feelings and new passion that comes with a new person.
Here is a quote from one of my favorite authors on this subject:
“Of all the misconceptions about love the most powerful and pervasive is the belief that “falling in love” is love or at least one of the manifestations of love. It is a potent misconception because falling in love is subjectively experienced in a very powerful fashion as an experience of love. When a person falls in love what he or she certainly feels is “I love him” or “I love her.”
But two problems are immediately apparent. The first is that the experience of falling in love is specifically a sex-linked erotic experience. We do not fall in love with our children even though we may love them very deeply. We do not fall in love with our friends of the same sex-unless we are homosexually oriented-even though we may care for them greatly. We fall in love only when we are consciously or unconsciously sexually motivated.
Check out this counseling video:
The second problem is that the experience of falling in love is invariably temporary. No matter whom we fall in love with, we sooner or later fall out of love if the relationship continues long enough.
This is not to say that we invariably cease loving the person with whom we fell in love. But it is to say that the feeling of ecstatic lovingness that characterizes the experience of falling in love always passes. The honeymoon always ends. The bloom of romance always fades.” ― M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values, and Spiritual Growth
As long as he is after this “rush”, he will continue to seek out other women. At some point, he will need to learn that real love is much more meaningful, much more beautiful, and more satisfying than the falling in love process alone.
He is unfortunately very reckless in his behavior, doesn’t understand the major consequences of his choices, and has a repeat pattern of behavior that isn’t likely to stop. He either has to make a major life-changing choice to be a stand-up man or the consequences of his behavior are going to push him to rock bottom. At that point, he likely will have few lefts who will support him or believe in him.
It sounds like right now instead of facing his consequences he is also choosing to neglect you further and leave you at your parent’s house.
What Are Your Options?
You are at a place to decide what you want to do next.
Forgive: Do you want to continue to be married to him despite what he has done? Can you not only forgive him but most to a place where you can fully trust him and be at peace in your marriage? If so, what would have to happen for you to be able to trust him?
Fight Back: Are you in a position where you want to fight back and show up in your marriage and back in your own house? Where you come and tell him that this is your house and your marriage and you and he are going to work together to figure out what is going on so you can both finally build a marriage together.
Let Go: Or are you in a position to let him go so that you can start your life over and marry someone who desires you? Someone who wants to be loyal to you, and cares about your emotions and needs? Someone who will not cheat on you or doesn’t require a lot of emotional work in order to change to do this?
You are the only person who gets to decide right now which path you want to take. What are you willing to tolerate at this stage in the relationship?
Understanding the Severity of What Has Happened
You have every right to leave as your husband has violated the sanctity of your marriage and committed zina. This is one of the most major sins a person can commit.
Spiritually, unless he severely repents, he is headed down an extremely dangerous path. Is this the man who can remind you of Allah in your own home and help lead your family away from the hellfire.
“O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, over which are [appointed] angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded.” (Quran 66:6)
You have to determine if this is a man you want to have in your life as the father of your future children. Children inevitably learn about any secret patterns of behavior their parents try to hide. Are you comfortable going back into the marriage knowing three is a high chance he would have a child with you and still cheat on you with another woman?
Risk of STDs:
One of the scary possibilities of a spouse who is cheating with another person is that they could contract a sexually transmitted disease and bring it home to their own spouse. It has happened to other women who discovered they had an STD which is what led them to discover their husband had been with another woman.
When a spouse has cheated, it is wise to visit your doctor for a general screening to make sure there is nothing showing up that you would need to know about. Some STDs are easily discovered while others take years to reveal themselves.
You must also consider the amount of stress, hurt, shock, and disappointment you have already dealt with at this point in time. What you are dealing with is not normal and has had a major impact on your life and emotional well-being. While I am relieved to hear that you have been able to turn to Allah during this difficult time, you must also consider the costs of staying involved with your husband.
Is the pain of leaving worse than the pain of trying to stay? You’ll have to determine that for yourself but consider this question seriously.
Lead For Yourself
With all of these things I’ve outlined, I encourage you to now make your own choice instead of giving all the power to your husband to decide if he wants you or not.
You are worthy of choosing what you want in your life. Before you choose him or don’t choose him – choose yourself. Choose to love and honor you. You are worth it. You deserve to choose a life that you love.
But choose wisely and choose for the long term and know what you are signing up for. There are no more surprises from this man as he has made clear his character up until this point.
May Allah guide you to that which is best for your dunyah and your akhirah and grant you relief from the hardships you have and are experiencing.
Message back and let us know what you learned from this response insha’Allah.
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.