In this counseling answer:
You have two options: you will get a divorce or he MUST change his behavior and treat you with love and respect.
It is important to understand each other’s needs. You should ask him why he is cheating and what you could do to make him feel satisfied with your marriage.
As-Salamu ‘Alaikum Sister,
Praise be to Allah, may Allah make your situation easy. If your husband is dating another woman, it will obviously damage the nature of your marriage and cause great grief and pain for you. It is one of the greatest sins, and you don’t have to cope with it or accept it but address it.
To me, it seems you are in an abusive relationship. Alhamdulillah your marriage is new, and there is still room for change. You really have two options: you will get a divorce or he MUST change his behavior and treat you with love and respect. Allah (SWT) has created man and woman to have joy in their marriage, thus you don’t have to live a miserable life.
Allah has prohibited adultery in his Holy Book, and the punishment is clear:
“And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way.” (17:32)
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:
“O mankind! Beware of fornication/adultery for it entails six dire consequences: three of them relating to this world and three to the next world. As for the three that are related to this world, they are the following: it removes the glow of one’s face, brings poverty, and reduces the life-span. As for its dire consequences in the next world they are: it brings down the wrath of Allah upon the person, subjects him to terrible reckoning, and finally casts him in hell-fire.” (Al-Bayhaqi)
You have to talk to him seriously about the future of your marriage. You cannot accept this situation, not even for your child. What your baby girl needs are a healthy and loving family, not an environment where abuse, lies, and disrespect exist. Being alone and healthy is better than being in a diseased marriage.
It is important to understand each other’s needs, and you should ask him why he is cheating and what you could do to make him feel satisfied with your marriage. Open your heart and be ready to forgive sister.
If you see that he is ashamed and will repent sincerely and commit to you and agree not to repeat the evil again, move on and restart your life. As I said, you are newly married, and there is still space for forgiveness. But if you think that he is not sincerely repentant for his transgression, and you fear that he might go towards this evil again, it would be best to leave such a person and seek to initiate a divorce proceeding against him. There would be no sin upon you as this would be a valid reason to seek a divorce.
I understand all the consequences of a divorced woman, having to support herself and pretty much taking on her child’s education, and I see in our community that many women stay in diseased relationships because of fear, believing it is the only option – but it is not. In case of a divorce, he needs to keep supporting your child, and I would advise discussing this matter with your parents and local authorities to ask for support if you make this decision.
If it is your desire to stay married and overcome those problems, you and your husband should have a clear and honest conversation, listen and try to understand why he has been being disloyal, be firm and let him know that it can’t happen again. If he does not listen or care, then you must get others involved. It is the only way. Consider therapy with a professional, either a psychologist or religious figure, or consult with family members. Your husband must understand that you need to feel safe again, and he needs to rebuild his trust with you if this marriage will have a chance.
May Allah make it easy for you.
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