In this counseling answer:
• Martial counseling will help both of you talk about how your current situation is affecting both of you.
• You need to ask yourself and your gut whether this marriage is worth fighting for.
As-Salam ‘Alaikum dear sister,
It seems you’ve been going through a difficult marital life. I’m sorry to hear that you are so stressed and overwhelmed with all of this.
From your question, I understand that you are currently living separately from your husband. Given the information you have provided, such as some physical and emotional abuse, I do believe you made the right choice to live separately for the moment. The most important factor here is your safety; you must do what you need to in order to be safe. I know this may be very difficult for you, but hopefully, by the time you complete reading my response, you will have some idea of what direction you would like to take.
You mentioned that your husband cheated on you shortly after you had an Islamic marriage. Then he continually engaged in watching porn and advertising for sex on the internet. He did initially repent his mistake but ended up doing it again.
With limited information provided in this question, I cannot make a diagnosis or a confirmed statement. What I can say is what might be the case. I’m sure you have heard of addictions. There can be several different kinds of addictions, such as alcohol, drugs, gambling, etc.
Another kind of addiction is sex addiction; people who have uncontrollable urges and a repeated pattern of hypersexual behaviors which includes compulsive masturbation, compulsive sexual activity, etc. This could occur due to a number of different reasons. The cause is something we would have to deeply look into as it is not obvious. It could be a symptom of another underlying psychological condition, or it could be due to some other distress. It may also be due to his own personal desires and fantasies that he believes he will not be able to satisfy at home.
Now the question is what to do next? You need to ask yourself and your gut whether this marriage is worth fighting for. If you believe that there is a chance that things will get better between both of you, then I strongly recommend seeking marital counseling.
Martial counseling will help both of you talk about how your current situation is affecting both of you. It is a non-threatening way to voice your needs and feelings. If even after a few months of marital counseling you don’t see any change that promises a brighter future, you need to make your final decision. Perhaps, it will be ending this marriage and beginning a new life and new search for a more compatible partner. Marital counseling will help you make a sound and logical decision from the mind and not the heart about how to go about this situation.
At the end of your marital counseling, you will have either decided to end the marriage for the sake of both you and your husband’s happiness or stay in the marriage for the sake of both you and your husband’s happiness. Keep in mind I mentioned in both sentences “you and your husband’s happiness”. Marriage is not about only one person’s happiness; you both need to be happy to be in it, otherwise, something needs to change.
My understanding of Istikhara is that once you perform the prayer, life, or rather Allah (swt), takes you in a certain direction automatically. You find yourself feeling a certain way and making certain choices. For example, your message to us may be one of those directions Allah (swt) is guiding you by, as part of your Istikhara.
I hope this response was helpful in helping you make the right decision for your life.
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.