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Husband Cheats on Me, but Doesn’t Divorce Me

Questioner

T

Reply Date

Feb 02, 2018

Question

As-Salamu Alaykum. My husband has extramarital affairs for five years and he had no relation with me since I got to know about it three years ago. (We got married ten years ago.) I went crazy because of his mental torture. He watched pornography and had sex over the phone with that woman. My husband didn't want to keep relation with me, so I am separated from him for three years. We have a six-year old son. My hubby told me that neither he wants me nor he wants to divorce me. He is doing whatever he wants without caring about my feelings. Several times this year, he came to me and took my son from me for a few days. He has still been in relationship with that girl. What should I do now? I want a family and a husband who cares for me. Please, help me.

Counselor

Answer


Husband Cheats on Me, but Doesn’t Divorce Me

Answer:

Wa ‘Alaykum As-Salam,

As a woman, I can truly empathize with you and your desire to find a good man who will love and protect you and your child. The treatment that you have endured from a man, who has not achieved manhood due to his character defects, is utterly deplorable and I am saddened to hear of these kinds of abuses so often. With that said, it is good that you are separated as men, who have these kinds of character defects, do not see woman as human beings and are often physically abusive as well. They often resent responsibility and perceive the family that they are supposed to be providing for and caring about as burdens or obstacles to experiencing narcissistic pleasure.

With that said, as women, we have to be realistic with our situation and develop healthy life strategies that will empower us to move forward into the future while doing what we can in the best interest of our children. I am not able to get an idea about whether you are happy that your husband is taking your child occasionally. However, if your child is safe with your husband, this might be good for both you and your child.

I could encourage you to learn an understanding of co-parenting with your husband. In reality, you are not living a life as a couple and your child will be living in two different households with different rules in each. If you can get your husband work with you as a co-parent, you can develop a communication system that does not include any emotional content for the purpose of caring for the child. If you could have phone meetings with your husband on a monthly basis in an organized fashion to discuss the calendar for your child, this would be a good beginning.

Over the years, you will want to decide your child’s medical care, his education, and where he will be living. Keep this very separate from the emotions which are evoked by your husband’s horrible treatment toward you. I do not know much about the courts in your country, however, if it is possible to get the courts to enforce a schedule so that the time your child spends with you and the time your child spends with your husband are organized. That would be best for your child. Either way, getting your husband cooperate in this manner would be helpful.

Now, take care of yourself. Take the time to remind yourself of your own worth. Having lived with a man who is so inconsiderate of you and fails to respect you can take a toll on how you feel about yourself and how you perceive your own value. The mind is like a sponge and accepts what others say and do to us as valid if we do not consciously clean out that “wrong” programming. Remember, whatever he has said or done to you does not define who you are. In fact, you are a very beautiful and brave woman who deserves the best that a good man has to offer. Knowing this, the core of your being will help inoculate you and prevent you from becoming vulnerable to another abusive man. When a woman knows her own worth, she would prefer living her days alone without a man than being with a man who will not or cannot treat her as she deserves in a very good and healthy manner. So, continue with your counseling and start developing yourself. Perhaps getting a job or joining a woman’s group could be helpful now.

Now, we will address the idea of divorce and remarriage. We, women, have to be realistic in order to avoid further heartbreak, yet remain in faith so that we are also positioned to receive the good which Allah wants to provide to us with. If our mind is focused on loneliness and not having the love we crave, we will become miserable beings. And with the way the world is, there is no guarantee that we will find a good man.

It is not the good men’s fault that while we were young we were in an awful situation that prevented us from meeting them. Most of them married smart women who are treating them well, and they are now happily married, meeting their obligations as husbands and fathers and are not available for marriage. That does not mean that there aren’t any good and eligible men out there. I just want you to get things in perspective and to move forward more with the idea that you are going to heal, become happy and well, and carve out a good life for yourself and your child with or without marriage to a good man.

With that said, I do not know the family law system in your country and providence. In addition, I am not a scholar in Islamic jurisprudence either. But I would imagine that if your husband is breaking all of the rules, an imam, or sheikh, or Islamic legal counsel would be able to advise you about your rights to a divorce. As a lay person, I do believe that there is likely something in the manner he is treating you that would give the right of divorce. I never recommend being in a situation where abuse is imminent, and I cannot fathom that any legitimate branch of Islam would encourage that. I encourage you to ask our scholars here at Aboutislam.net about Islamic Jurisprudence and to also seek counsel in your community from those with legal authority. You deserve to be surrounded by people and a community that love you and care about you.

Salam,

***

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