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How to Help My Emotionally Disturbed Husband?

Questioner

Z

Reply Date

Jan 31, 2019

Question

Salam. My marriage is in trouble! I and my husband have been married for 20 years and have 4 kids. The major clashes we have we been going through started just 2 years ago. First, we thought the root of the problem was the family of my husband since he has been sending them money for more than a decade (including his younger brother who has his own family for 10 years). That has been causing many disruptions and sometimes violent arguments between us. In last December, we cut off from them finally because Allah has shown us their true faces as they admitted that they had never loved my husband or me or my kids, astaghfirullah.

They were even cursing my family which I could not bear. When we left them for good, there was peace at home, but only temporarily. My husband began to show disturbance with being distanced from his parents and siblings. At first, I thought we could rekindle our relationship with them again, but whenever we tried, my husband lost his temper for no apparent reason. I should also note that my mother-in-law and a few other aunts of my husband have been doing some forbidden, black magic (one of many reasons why we broke contact from them).

Basically, my husband has been in an estranged state and confusion in expressing himself. I understand it is hard for him to ignore his parents after 20 years and I always ask Allah to help him. But lately, my husband has been acting awfully beyond comprehension. For example, we start talking normally, but after a while suddenly he begins to throw a tantrum out of nowhere. Another example is that never before has he restricted me to go out of the house, take photos etc. I never even do it excessively, nor do I upload my photos openly on a social media platform.

I only share them on Facebook with limited and customized people. (I also strictly wear hijab and abaya for over 15 years now). However, only recently, he has been imposing things on me now when I am a mother of four big children! He never gives me a chance to voice my opinion, and he never admits his mistakes while I openly do that all the time. Very recently, he also physically harmed me out of anger. We have tried many ways, consulting imams and psychologists to help cool his temper, but he refuses to seek help and tried convincing me (quite harshly) that he is alright and can handle things on his own. But when I do let him be free without intervening in his life, he does things that madden me and show that he isn’t in his senses.

Also, I should say that just yesterday, when I was calmly and moderately telling him to change his temperamental habit (because he's almost 40 now), instead of a verbally and physically wounding response from him, he began weeping and wailing like a child on the bed, saying that we should kill him so that me and my kids won't have to deal with his behavior anymore and he tried suffocating himself with pillows. Both I and my children are absolutely worried about his disturbed behavior.

As a woman, I tried being strong and constantly sought help and refuge from Allah, and a while ago also thought of leaving him for good. But I have children who need their father. I need them to get the best education and I also love him. Many times this has become a life and death issue for both me and my husband. I don't want my kids to suffer any loss of their parents in their life at such an early age.

I need major help as to how I should help my husband because none of us know what the real problem is.

Counselor

Answer


How to Help My Emotionally Disturbed Husband?

In this counseling answer:

• You have to accept that you cannot help him on your own.

• Your husband MUST seek help from a therapist in addition to an Imam.

• If sever physical abuse takes place, you must consider calling the appropriate authorities.

• Sometimes, we have to leave in order to speak loudly about how things have to change.

• Remind him that his behaviors and request to “get rid of him” are all indications that he is not well.

• Remind him he is not a bad person but he has gone through a difficult time and there is no shame to get support.


As-Salaam ’Alaikum sister,

It sounds like you and your husband are going through a very difficult time. May Allah (swt) make it easy for you, amen. Based on what you shared, my analysis as to why your husband has his aggression, fragility, and states of duress is due to a few factors:

He has been financially supporting his family for over a decade. This in itself is a stressor and especially if met (from you) with what you described as “sometimes aggressive arguments” regarding that.

His emotional umbilical cord has been cut from his family. He now feels let down and even betrayed by his own blood despite his efforts to help them. On top of that, the severing of any family tie is a very difficult event to cope with; it is similar to experiencing a death. As you said “. My husband began to show disturbances with being distanced from his parents and siblings.”

Family ties have recently ended with harmful words and claims of “not ever loving” him or his family.

As we know, black magic’s primary goal is to destroy family ties in vicious ways by altering what we see, feel and understand. This results in a fragile personality that is unpredictable and suffers deeply. It is possible that this was done after you cut ties with his family and stopped providing financially.

All these reasons are my humble analyses as to why your husband is in his state. In addition, you mentioned he has tried to control you more recently regarding what you can and cannot do. When an individual feels that their life is falling apart and they have lost power and or personal value, they will attempt to cope with this feeling of loss.

In your husband’s case, he has lost a sense of value by being unloved by his family and a loss of control over his emotions due to his deep disturbances of recent events. Perhaps, through controlling you more he feels that power and value again. Of course, this has to be done in a healthy way or else it will cause more harm to you in the process.

Furthermore, the defense mechanism known as displacement is clearly taking place. Displacement is when we direct our anger, frustration or disappointment onto a substitute object (in this case you) rather than the actual cause of these feelings (in this case your husband’s family). This may explain why he has exerted more control over you lately as well. He cannot change and control his family, but he can attempt to do so with you. He may also be experiencing his pain by exhibiting paranoia as to your activities due to his recent sense of betrayal and deception from his family. His hurt soul is deeply concerned that you may end up acting like his family and cutting him off or abandoning him, hence why he has become more controlling. Allah knows best.

What to do:

Firstly, you have to accept that you cannot help him on your own. You will need support and extra resources. You cannot carry this burden by yourself. Continue to get family, friends, psychologists, and imams involved. If your husband won’t go see them, try to bring them to him.

If you are generally concerned for you and your children’s well-being, then you have to consider staying with family, friends or elsewhere if feasible. Sometimes, we have to leave in order to speak loudly about how things have to change.

If sever physical abuse takes place, you must consider calling the appropriate authorities. I am not sure if police respond to domestic abuse in your country as they do here in the U.S.

Your husband MUST seek help from a therapist in addition to an Imam. I know you tried this but you have to keep at it as your husband will need long-term therapy. You cannot leave him alone when it comes to this. He will deny he needs help but the evidence is clear that he does need help, and he must get help. You have to use reason with him when he is calm.


Check out this counseling video:


Remind him that his behaviors and request to “get rid of him” are all indications that he is not well. Remind him he is not a bad person but he has gone through a difficult time and there is no shame to get support.

In fact, it makes him more of a man to take responsibility for his needs and do something about it, especially because his family needs him and he is in danger. If he continues to deny support and his condition is getting worse, maybe you should leave him and take some space with family. Sometimes space makes the individual realize they have no choice but to get help if they want their family back.

I cannot confirm if black magic is involved in your case, but if you are aware that “spells have been cast” by his family members than seek out specialists in this area to assess his condition. For now, play a lot of Quran in the house, especially Surat al-Baqarah, as it drives away evil spirits.

Salam,

***

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.

Read more:

Husband’s Past Poisons Our Marriage

My Husband is Always Busy; I’m Irritated

How to Deal with My Financially Irrisponsible Husband?




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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