In this counseling answer:
• Talk to him about how it makes you feel when he talks to other women.
• Engage in activities together to make him busy and distracted from this awful habit.
As-Salamu ‘Aleikom sister,
Thank you for contacting us regarding your concern.
Unfortunately, flirting is a common problem in every society, but it doesn’t mean that it is permitted in Islam.
Your husband engages in a haram action by talking to non-mahram women. Having friendship with the opposite gender can lead to lustful thoughts, flirtatious behavior, and seduction. That is why it is forbidden to mingle and mix freely with members of the opposite sex and to develop friendship with them. It is all part of zina (fornication) which Allah (swt) and his Prophet (saw) strongly ordered us to abstain from.
Allah (swt) states in the Holy Qur’an:
“Tell the believing men to reduce [some] of their vision and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Indeed, Allah is acquainted with what they do.” (24:30)
I suggest that you talk to him about how it makes you feel when he talks to other women. When you do that please try to talk in a manner that doesn’t make him too defensive and angry. Some men like to talk to other women to make themselves good, and it may be an old habit that is hard for them to quit.
You both should try to engage in activities together to make him busy and distracted from this awful habit. You should not ask him to move out just yet. You could always seek a couple counseling or talk to a close family member for help. If he loves you, he may stop talking to other women, in sha’ Allah.
Make sure when you talk to him about his flirty behavior with other women, you have written down your feelings and questions beforehand. Make sure also that you both have time, are rested, all phones are off, the children are taken care of, and you are in a safe place. Questions you may want to ask are, for example: “What happened? How did this situation come into our relationship? How long has this been going on? What went wrong with us?”
I would like you to try a few things in your relationship with him before you make any serious decision. It must be very hard for you to live with him when he does that. It may affect the confidence in yourself. However, his actions has nothing to do with you, but rather it reflects his personality.
Here is what you could try:
Try maintaining a positive sex life
Men and women have different needs. Stop depriving one another, so that Satan will not tempt him to do haram actions with other women.
Listen to what your husband has to say about his needs and start applying. If you respect him, he will be more near to you emotionally and physically, and will not need to talk to somebody else.
Lift him up when he is ”down”. Do things for him and with him and the family. It will create a good and positive environment in the household. A wife’s job is not just working, cleaning, and looking after children. Make things more interesting in the house, so he looks forward to spend time with you rather than talking to other women. You know your husband better and could try to do things with him that makes him happy. It could be, for example, watching a football match, reading, or going for a walk in a park, etc.
Let him share his heart
Show patience towards him and let him speak his heart. Maybe he is afraid to speak to you about some things because of your reaction in the past. Be willing to listen to him and have an open communication. Become a wife who is there for him whenever he wants to talk, and I am sure he will come to you first.
Seek resolution together and forgive
There will be times when both of you mess things up, but be quick in resolving them and forgive as it will keep the marriage strong.
After you have tried everything, but you don’t see any improvement in him, then you can consider separation. I would also advise you to talk to a close family member you trust or seek professional help for him first. Divorce should be the very last option, if nothing else works.
The Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “The most hated of permissible things to Allah is divorce.” (Ibn Majah)
May Allah (swt) ease you problem and guide your husband to the right path, In sha’ 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.