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Husband is Pious, but Lives with His Mistress

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Reply Date

Nov 09, 2018

Question

As-salamu `alaykum. I have been married to my husband for 5 years. We have a child together. He performs hajj and umrah every year and prays five times a day. He helps the poor and fasts during the week as well. The only problem is that he has a mistress and two illegitimate kids with her. He's been with her for over 10 years.

Last year, he got her pregnant, but she had a miscarriage. He said it was a mistake and he repented and decided to leave her. He was living with me for a couple of weeks, but he would always fight and argue. Then he went back to live with his mistress. He says I made him do it. He says it's his duty to support them. He has provided a house where they all live together. He pays all the bills and pays for everything for his mistress and illegitimate kids. He takes them out in public with no shame on who might see him.

Our daughter and I don't even have a house; he never got us one. He kicked us out of where we were living temporarily and we live with my family now. So now he's living with his mistress again and thinks there's nothing wrong with that because I'm not a wife, that's his excuse. Everyone has problems in their marriage, but they don't run to their mistress that they have on standby. This Ramadan, he was eating and praying and fasting at his home with his mistress. Is he even allowed to do that?

I've told him to stop all contact with them because his contact with them leads him to commit more sins, but he says he has to be there for his mistress and the kids. Those kids are a lot older then our toddler; they are around 10 years old. Our daughter cries for him and doesn't understand why we don’t live with daddy. I've shown him hadiths on adultery. I've told him his duty is to be with his wife and daughter.

So, my question is, can he fast and pray whilst he's living with his mistress? Is that allowed? How can I make him understand that he hasn't repented with a clean heart and clean intention to stay away from her. I don't want our daughter to grow up seeing how her dad is living in sin and how he can abandon our daughter and me to support his illegitimate kids because that's more important and it's his duty. Any advice to save our marriage would be appreciated. JazakAllah khair.

Counselor

Answer


Husband is Pious, but Lives with His Mistress

In this counseling answer:

“I encourage you to wake up, sister! If what you say is true, your husband is a man of diseased heart who is rationalizing his sins, using religion for his own self-aggrandizement and agendas and still finds ways to blame you for it when he says things like you made him go to his mistress. Start making choices and stop making excuses. You are enabling him as long as you do not offer him an ultimatum to get right or get going.”


As-Salaam ’Alaikum sister,

It sad to hear your story and the difficult time you are going through. I would like to offer you some feedback to evoke greater self-awareness and, in sha’A llah, clarity on how to move forward.

It is irrelevant whether or not your husband’s prayer or fast counts. What matters is his humanity and honesty with himself and you. It is quite concerning that you start off your sharing by listing all your husband’s religious acts then say the only problem is that he lives with his mistress and prefers good treatment to them over you (his wife) and daughter. Do you see the disconnect here in your own psychology between religion and spirituality?

If one’s Islam does not make them a better human being (humanistic-spiritualty), then the external religious acts should not be a standard of valuing a person. While I understand that all people have tests and mistakes in life when our choices persist and personalities are blatantly contradicting, this should be an alarm that the mental health of this individual comes to question.

Let’s say your husband has cheated on you and from time to time he is going back to that sin, yet keeps trying to return to rightful ways and being with his family. In this case, we could understand the man is struggling with temptation. Yet, in your circumstance, he is outright neglecting his duties towards you and your daughter and gives his mistress’ family more rights and better treatment. This is an alarming reality and you should question the nature of your husband and not be fooled by religious external acts. Many people use external religion to rationalize or justify their „goodness” in face of their inner disease and lack of self-authenticity.

Have you considered that your husband is actually married to this other woman and has not been honest with you about that? This is a possibility as some women prefer their husband to have a mistress over having another wife and this is why some men don’t tell them. In any case, this may be the truth of your situation and you may be the one in denial of this as his mistress has been in his life longer than you.


Check out this counseling video:


Since he spends more time with her over you, it doesn’t follow that he is doing all of this merely out of guilt and responsibility. Regardless, your rights of marriage and, more importantly, your rights to be treated like a human being fall majorly short and this can not go unaddressed for long.

Quoting hadiths and Quran can be helpful, but at the end, its success depends on the individual’s psychology and sincerity before God.

Your case needs serious marriage counseling/therapy if you truly want to salvage what is left of this toxic set up you are in.

I encourage you to wake up, sister! If what you say is true, your husband is a man of diseased heart who is rationalizing his sins, using religion for his own self-aggrandizement and agendas and still finds ways to blame you for it when he says things like you made him go to his mistress. Start making choices and stop making excuses. You are enabling him as long as you do not offer him an ultimatum to get right or get going.

May Allah help you,

***

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.

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About Karim Serageldin

Karim Serageldin, founder of Noor, completed his BA in psychology & religion, followed by an MA in east-west psychology with a specialization in spiritual counseling. He is a certified life coach with years of teaching and community outreach experience. His practical work and research includes developing a modern framework of Islamic psychology, relationship, family and youth coaching. He provides seminars and workshops in the United States. You can contact Br. Karim at: http://www.noorhumanconsulting.com or facebook.com/noorhumanconsulting

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