In this counseling answer:
• In case your husband does not take responsibility for his role in this horrific situation and stop abusing and using you and start acting like a Muslim man, you need to get as far away from him as you can. You need to rotect yourself from a life of sin.
• Start a new life in search of the pleasure of Allah (swt) and in the company of those who want to serve Allah (swt).
As-Salaamu ‘Alaykum my dear sister,
I am happy that you feel guilty for your sin. Guilt followed by tawbah (repentance) and good deeds to compensate for your sin is the way to recover from this situation, in sha’ Allah, by the Mercy of Allah (swt) accepting your repentance. Guilt in front of Allah (swt) proves that you believe and want to be on the path of Allah (swt). So, towards that end, follow what the Qur’an says:
Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” (39:53)
It appears you need to understand Islam a little (or a lot) better in order to understand how to avoid this situation in the future, in sha’ Allah. While divorce is the most hated of the lawful things, it is much better than adultery which is one of the major sins in Islam and its punishment is severe. Because of that, it was your responsibility to divorce your husband instead of committing adultery. I say this based on the following ways of reasoning given to us in Islam.
There are unlawful things which become allowable when they are “the lesser of two evils”. For instance, masturbation is unlawful, unless your situation is so dire that you know you will fornicate or commit adultery if you don’t get the relief you need. In this case, the scholars say that then it would be better to masturbate than commit adultery – because it is the lesser evil.
Another example is: once a man had a wound and one of the Companions told him he had to make wudu’ (ablution) over it because of the requirement to make wudu’ properly. The man died after that because his wound became infected from the water. The Prophet (SAW) got angry at his Companions when he heard about how they guided him. (Abi Dawud) He criticized their sense of what is “right” in Islam.
Thus, my reaction to your situation is: the lesser of the two evils in your case would have been to divorce your husband before going to his brother (who you could have married then unless he is already married which is a whole other can of worms). Divorce is better than adultery!
True, you have two children who will suffer from a broken family, but how is that worse than not living an Islamic life? Is dealing with the test of a broken family worse than living in a sewer of a life of lies and use and abuse? Your children’s father, as their guardian and mentor, will teach his children to be the way he is. They will think it is okay if their father does it!
Check out this counseling video:
You mentioned that because he says he loves you, you don’t want to leave him. Your past behavior proves that your value system tells you that you need love more than you need to be safe with your Lord. Whatever makes you think that adultery is the way out of marital problems is backward. The way to solve your problem(s) is to rid yourself of the problem that drove you to do such a desperate act which gave you a bigger problem than the one you already had.
All that said, I want you to know that I am sorry for your suffering (even though I am very afraid for you regarding the way you dealt with adultery). I am also sorry that you have had to be the man and the woman in your marriage by supporting your husband, yourself, your children, and paying all your husband’s huge debts. I am also sorry that you are suffering a loveless marriage (“never felt attraction towards him”). I am horrified that he is abusing you physically – and “in front of the kids”!
I agree with you: he does not act as he loves you. In fact, he acts the opposite. Using you, your money, and your goodness (keeping his sins a secret), is not love. “Care” is love. It is ironic that you, who do not love your husband, treat him with care, while he, who claims to love you, treats you abominably.
Ask Allah (swt) to forgive you for your adultery and to guide you away from the value system that led you to commit adultery, and to guide you. Put your trust in Allah (swt) that He (swt) will help you. Allah (swt) tests the hardest the ones He loves the most. This test could have been a source of comfort to you if you had responded to it in a way that was in obedience to Allah (swt). Don’t make that mistake again and Allah (swt) will raise you in ranks to grand heights, in sha’ Allah. The believer goes from darkness into light and the unbeliever goes from light into darkness. It is a very good sign that you are in darkness and want to get out of it; thus, get closer to Allah (swt) through tawbah and obedience.
The beauty/bounty of Allah’s (swt) forgiveness is that it provides a way for us to rid ourselves of the filth of our sins, i.e., purification from guilt, making tawbah, and doing good works to compensate for them. Then, you have to begin a new life, turn over a new leaf, and change your behavior. Have a life of tawakal (dependence on Allah) instead of worldliness, i.e., sins for relief. This is the lesson in this horrible situation: turn to Allah (swt)!
Regarding your marriage, in case your husband does not take responsibility for his role in this horrific situation and stop abusing and using you and start acting like a Muslim man, you need to get as far away from him as you can in order to protect yourself from a life of sin. Start a new life in search of the pleasure of Allah (swt) and in the company of those who want to serve Allah (swt). May Allah (swt) forgive you, make it easy for you, and guide you, in sha’ Allah!
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