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My Husband Always Misunderstands Me

Questioner

S

Reply Date

Mar 02, 2017

Question

We have been married for more than a year though we live far away and meet once every month. We met unconventionally (we had just known each other through common acquaintances), but before committing any wrong, we entered into nikah. I consider him my husband and soulmate. I told him everything and I asked him to share with me anything which is to be told (past relationships, etc.) He clearly said no. I have always trusted him, and never suspected him nor did I have a problem even if he did have any relationships in the past. What gives me immense pain is his hiding things. Once when a girl whom we both know was visiting me, she started talking things about my husband (few people know we are married and she is not one of them). She said that he had loved her and did things together. She also said my husband had intended to marry her and had talked to his parents too before marrying me. I was deeply sorrowed, not because he had loved her, but because when I asked him (in the beginning) he refuted. I felt betrayed and hurt and used, but yet I did love him. I did trust him. I didn’t trust the girl and asked my husband to tell me the truth. All he said was that if I trusted him, I should stay with him or else leave. He refused to answer, but when I told him how sad I felt, all he said was that she was just like a sister to him and nothing more. All he did was to help her as a sister. I trusted his words and never ever troubled him again with this. Some other events related to the girl and my husband happened which deepened my sadness. It was very painful that he didn’t consider me worthy enough to tell the truth or that I wasn’t his soulmate. I wasn’t his confidant. I always have considered him everything and I never confronted him, but sometimes whenever I remembered the time when he had said stay or leave, I felt betrayed and extremely sad. I didn't communicate because I didn’t want to hurt him. Then I told him how betrayed I felt about this, so then again he misunderstood my words and thought I was accusing him of having an affair. Then he told me everything: he helped her a lot, people thought it is because he loved her. Then one day she insulted him, so he decided that he would make her love him and when she said that she loved him, he would reject her. He didn’t tell me all this because he thought I would never understand it. He wanted to keep the past away as it was his pant which he has come out of, and it is hurtful to go there again. I was hurt deeply because he didn’t confide in me, but lately decided that I must not think all that and just forgive him and forget it and let go of the pain. To strengthen this resolution, I decided to let my husband know that I forgive him and moved on. But he misunderstood me, thinking I believe he had an affair with the girl while my only problem was that he was not honest with me. Now he says he intends to divorce me because I have complaints with him. What shall I do now? Who is right? Should he divorce me because I am a bad wife? I love him a lot, and I know he loves me, too. Please help!

Counselor

Answer


My Husband Always Misunderstands Me

Answer:

As-Salaam ‘Aleikom sister,

It sounds like you are going through a difficult time with your husband. Thank you for writing to us. I will try my best to advise you on this matter, in sha’ Allah.

First of all, I am sure you are not a bad wife and that you love your husband. Sometimes, it easier to think it is all your fault when you are the one who is trying to ‘’fix’’ something that is about to break. In this case, it is the trust that has been broken. No relationship can survive without trust. This is the most fundamental thing between a husband and wife. I can understand that he has hurt you and has not been completely honest with you, but it was all about how to react and handle the situation. I am not saying that you are wrong, but you could have done it in a different way. Some men have got a big ego and they do not like to be pointed a finger on when they have done something wrong, and sometimes their ego can damage the relationship.

As you state, you told your husband everything including about previous sins. This is a good way of building trust and starting a marriage clean. To share first gives an ideal opportunity for your spouse to give back the gesture, but I don’t think he focused on his past, and that’s why he did not tell you about it. Maybe his past was a painful or a shameful experience for him, and something he was uncomfortable to talk about. You have to understand that we are all very different and some people like to share more than others do.

Your husband looks to have had difficulty understanding that you may not be trying to hurt his ego by asking for an explanation, but it seems it is his ego that stands in the way. I would advise in trying to soften this ego before talking about the past. The best way is to remind him of your love in subtle ways that make you both feel happy and to build a positive rapport with him linked to the trust you both still have between each other. This may eventually filter through and help you both discuss the more awkward things like his past relationship.

It is important for you to try to understand why your husband felt the need to hide things from you and for him to realize just how much this has hurt you in return. I believe if you can both reach this point, it is only then you may be in a suitable position in your relationship to both decide if it is best to separate or not. If there is love there between you, that love needs the ability to grow and develop; however, until you both find closure with one another, your love shall remain exposed and insecure.

You have to ask yourself if you are ready to forgive your husband for what he has done and try to move on. He should not make you insecure by telling you about the divorce, as it can be a really painful situation for you. He should be good to you and respect you.

If you really want to make your marriage work and make the bond between you both strong, I suggest that you start trusting him again and stop fighting with your husband. Bring some change in your behavior with him and I am sure you will see a huge difference in him as well.

You should do something about your anger. Keeping your anger in control can be challenging sometimes. But anger can cause so many problems and is very much disliked by Allah (swt).

Here are a few tips to tame your temper:

“Think before you speak.

In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to say something you will later regret. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts before saying anything and allow others involved in the situation to do the same.

Once you are calm, express your anger.

As soon as you are thinking clearly, express your frustration in an assertive but non-confrontational way. State your concerns and needs clearly and directly, without hurting others or trying to control them

Timeouts aren’t just for kids. Give yourself short breaks during times of the day that tend to be stressful. A few moments of quiet time might help you feel better prepared to handle what’s ahead without getting irritated or angry.

Identify possible solutions.

Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue at hand. Does your child’s messy room drive you crazy? Close the door. Is your partner late for dinner every night? Schedule meals later in the evening or agree to eat on your own a few times a week. Remind yourself that anger won’t fix anything and might only make it worse.

Stick with ‘I’ statements

To avoid criticizing or placing blame — which might only increase tension — use “I” statements to describe the problem. Be respectful and specific. For example, say, “I’m upset that you left the table without offering to help with the dishes,” instead of, “You never do any housework.”

Use humor to release tension.

Lightening up can help diffuse tension. Use humor to help you face what’s making you angry and, possibly, any unrealistic expectations you have for how things should go. Avoid sarcasm, though — it can hurt feelings and make things worse.

Practice relaxation skills.

When your temper flares, put relaxation skills to work. Practice deep-breathing exercises, imagine a relaxing scene, or repeat a calming word or phrase, such as, “Take it easy.” You might also listen to music, write in a journal or do a few yoga poses — whatever it takes to encourage relaxation.

 

I am sure if you try to make a good atmosphere at home and stop fighting with him for a while, he will not mention the divorce again. But if you think it is too hard for you to trust him again, then maybe you should separate from him (not divorce). Sometimes, a short break helps a lot.

May Allah (swt) ease your problem and make your marriage work.

Amen,

***

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About Hadia Ali

Hadia Ali is a 27 years old Pakistani Muslim woman, born and bred in Norway. She has obtained her bachelor's degree in Sociology from Norway. Currently, she lives in the UK with her husband and two children. Email: micha.agr@gmail.com

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