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How to Deal with My Arrogant Husband & In-Laws

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Nov 13, 2017

Question

Assalamualaikum. I had an arranged marriage and have been married 10 years now with 2 children. I need guidance on what to do. We had an extremely rough 8 years. My in-laws are horrible people who bullied me and played lots of passive aggressive psychological games for a long time. However through medication, (they caused me so much anxiety and trauma) and therapy I'm doing much better alhamdulillah. So much so that I now have gained confidence in myself (had very low self-esteem for a long time) and am able to cope with my in-laws and learned how to not allow them to control me and take advantage of me. My husband through all this would side with them until we were in the midst of getting divorced and I tried to commit suicide quite a few times due to all this. Things are better at home now, however, I realize more and more that I really do not like my husband. Just like his family, he is narcissistic, arrogant and self-centered. I come from a very humble family. We are humble and respectful towards everyone. How can I like someone who thinks so highly of himself? He thinks that there is nothing he needs to do to make himself a better person. I am constantly trying to be better. Remind me to always be humble always thank Allah (swt) for all he has given us. Anytime I see how he is as a person it is starting to disgust me. I don't want my children to have that same arrogance. I want them to be caring and humble individuals! Sister, what do I do? How do I get past this? It makes me sad. No one is perfect. I know this. We all have our faults. But to think that you have none? That you don't need to change for the better? (And yes he has told me he doesn't think he has to work on himself. How do I continue being married to someone like this?? Plz help!

Counselor

Answer


How to Deal with My Arrogant Husband & In-Laws

In this counseling answer:

“Remember, every decision you make will affect your children indirectly or directly. You might as well try to make it work than giving up now. I am not saying that you cannot split with him and continue your life without him. Of course, you can do that, but it is worth another try to make things better with your husband despite all he has done.”


As Salaam Aleikom sister,

Thank you for writing to us and sharing your story with us. I appreciate it and hope I can advise you the best I can.

Being in such a toxic and unhappy marriage for 8 years must be very tough and depressing. I can understand your concern, and I wish there was an easy solution to the problems in your situation.

Having to live with difficult in-laws is almost impossible. As you said, it can cause anxiety and trauma. I am sorry that you had to go through so much distress. I am happy that you are doing much better now with some help of medication and therapy. However, you should always try to think on the bright side and be appreciative of what you have got. MashAllah, you have to children, and they can always be a reason for you to be strong and happy.

Going through psychological distress and thoughts of suicide is very hard. It is a term to describe unpleasant feelings. Sadness, anxiety, distraction, and symptoms of mental illness are manifestations of psychological distress. Everyone experiences an event differently, so it’s a subjective experience. How you feel and what hurts you cannot be fully understood by the other person, but I can understand that it can be very sad and helpless feeling to experience. I am happy you did seek professional help and got therapy and medications, and that you are feeling better.

Use your confidence to build your relationship and stand strong for your children. Believe in yourself, and people around will not be able to affect you in any negative way. What I am trying to say is that you should not let other people’s negativity affect you. Don’t show your in-laws that you get affected by their actions and comments, as they will just continue to torture you even more. Be neutral and laugh it off. Show them that it doesn’t affect you, and they will eventually stop. This is a powerful technique against bullies be them at school, in the workplace or at home.

You have already spent 10 years of your life with this person, and you have children together. Remember, every decision you make will affect your children indirectly or directly. You might as well try to make it work than giving up now. I am not saying that you cannot split with him and continue your life without him. Of course, you can do that, but it is worth another try to make things better with your husband despite all he has done.

Try forgiving him for what he has done and ignore his family. If they cannot be respectful towards you, then you don’t need their negativity in your life. Your husband might be influenced by his parents and can make it hard for you if you live with his parents. Maybe you can try to move for yourself with your husband for a short while until things get better for you both.

Your husband is not really helping the situation when he is not willing to accept that he needs to improve himself. You cannot help someone who doesn’t want help at all. Changing someone is not possible, but this is not what you should aim for either.

The aim should always be to improve and highlight the positives of the other person. Start giving your husbands more compliments for the small things he does for you and the kids. This might help him to loosen a bit up and be more acceptable to become a better person.

Everyone likes to be complimented. It encourages us to do more good things to impress others. For example, you can tell him that he is a very good father, that he is hardworking and a strong man, etc. Give him compliments on his actions and about his personality rather than his looks as men like to be appreciated differently than women.

I know it will be hard for you to do so as you don’t like him at the moment, but if he doesn’t want to improve or help you to get a better relationship, you can try to make a positive start. Do not tell him to change as he will just be annoyed by it. Instead, focus on the good things he does. I’m sure there must be something he does good that you like about him. When you notice his good deeds and praise him for that, he will most likely strive to more of them. Compliments are powerful and a good gift to give someone. They make a positive energy and loosen up the bad.

Your kids might get influenced by him, but you are the mother and I assume that you are the one who spends the most time with them during the day. Make the time you are with them educational for fun. Always teach them what is the right and wrong.

The mother is the childrens first teacher and guides in life. As long as you make a good foundation for their learning, then I am sure they will grow up to be good and generous adults in the future, inshAllah. You can just try your best and leave the rest up to Allah. Pray and seek help. I am sure Allah will ease your problems.

Never lose hope and always seek Allah’s help. He is nearer than you think.

I pray that your things get easier for you and that your husband realizes what wrong he is doing and improves himself.

Amen,

***

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 Aya Timea

Timea Aya Csányi pursues her BSc. degree in Psychology and Islamic Studies at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She is a freelance writer and editor of the Ask the Counselor section.

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