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Husband Neither Fixes Our Marriage nor Divorces Me

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Aug 15, 2018

Question

Salam. I have been married to my husband for 1 year. Throughout our marriage, my husband has had trust issues due to his past and has been borderline bipolar towards me and disrespectful at many times. I stayed with him because he has done so much for me financially.

In our marriage, we had a situation where I was conversing with another male about a business I wanted to start without his knowledge. I did not even bring it up to him because he is extremely sensitive if I ever bring up a man. So, I lied and I know it was wrong. He works bicoastal from NY to CA. So, when he was living here with me and my family because he couldn’t find work here we tried to work it out but it was toxic. Some good days some bad days. He accused me of cheating on him and would call me a liar almost every day and bash me with harsh words.

So, after a couple of months of that, he went back to California to work. He has been gone for now almost 4-5 months. In that 4-5 month, I tried to go visit him to be near him but he would not agree to that because of “mental state “on the whole issue between us that happened. He said he couldn’t trust me and etc. I then asked him to divorce me because I couldn’t take it anymore and he would postpone it and not talk to me for weeks at a time. He would still take care of me financially and send me money but that was it.

I was alone in a marriage back in NY. The love and connection and affection were gone. I found no other way but divorce to be the way out. But yet he still would postpone it because he said he loves me and wants to try and go to therapy and it gives a real shot to see if he can forgive me.

I have no problem with him going to therapy and us going together. I even went to therapy myself. I was dedicated to making this marriage work, but the problem is he does NOT want to see me. What man does not even physically need his woman in almost 5 months? Or not even want to be in the same state? That is beyond me. I have needs and I have tried to be patient for these last couple of months and I have come to my breaking point. I don’t want to commit haram. I wanted to work things out and resolve our marriage but he is declining even a visit from me or for him to come to see me for even a couple of days. I’m not asking for much.

I have prayed istikhara for 7 days straight. I am still torn and distraught on what path to take.

I don’t know if I should just be patient with him more and be alone in my parents’ house until he decides he can be with me while I’m frustrated in every possible way a woman can be. Or just push even harder for the divorce. I know he was right and I know I have rights too but it is still confusing to me at this point hence our context.

InshAllah Allah will make it easy for you to help guide me in a clear direction from your wisdom and advise. Thank you respectfully.

Counselor

Answer


Husband Neither Fixes Our Marriage nor Divorces Me

In this counseling answer:

• Marriage was created to be a relationship of mercy, love, safety, and comfort. It is not a place for abuse and neglect.

• It is time that your husband told the truth about his life and his intentions with you, his wife.

• Consult with a lawyer as well as an imam regarding divorce should you decide to take that route.


As Salaam Alaykum dear sister,

I am so sorry to hear about what you are going through regarding your marriage. You must not only be confused but deeply hurt.

It is not clear if your husband found out about your business partner and that is what started all of this, but I think now you know honesty is the best policy especially in marriage unless you fear physical harm. With that said, no one gets married and expects to be mistreated, emotionally abused and left.

Marriage is a Mercy

Sister, a lot has gone on in the one year that you’ve been married to your husband. You stated that he has trust issues, he’s borderline bipolar, and disrespectful towards you. He constantly accuses you of cheating, calls you a liar and bashes you with harsh words daily. The description that you have given in your question of this marriage, is one of abuse.

Sister, Allah did not create marriages to be instituted for abuse and neglect. Marriage was created to be a relationship of mercy, love, safety, and comfort. These four very important aspects of marriage are missing between you and your husband.

You have tried, it seems, to work things out with him. You stated that you went to therapy and that you always seek to be with him as he is on the West Coast. You state that he will not see you, and makes excuses for why he cannot see you. As it’s been five months with no resolution in sight, you have requested a divorce and rightfully so.

However, he still keeps manipulating the situation. Sister, it is often said that a person who continually accuses another of cheating is, in fact, the one doing the cheating themselves. I’m not saying he’s cheating, sister. I’m just bringing up a point and it falls in line with his refusal to see you, as well as his choice to live on the west coast. It may be that he is involved in another relationship that you don’t know about. Allah forgive me if I am wrong, but it is time that your husband told the truth about his life and his intentions with you, his wife.

The lifestyle that both of you were living as a married couple is not a normal marriage. You state that he supports you financially; however, there’s much more to a marriage besides financial support.


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In fact, if that is all he is doing, it does not really qualify as a marriage. There is no communication, no physical contact, no kindness, no protection. There is not even any Islamic foundation (such as praying together, going to the Masjid together, applying Islamic principles to solve problems).

Out of the 1-year that you have been married to him, he has been away from you for almost 5 months. That is about half of your marriage. You stated you have needs as well and you desire a loving normal marriage. However, he is not cooperating to provide this for you.

Divorce

Sister, Allah hates divorce; however, in certain circumstances it is permissible. He has been abusive and disrespectful towards you, refuses to satisfy you sexually, refuses to live with you, and continues to make excuses for reconciliation.  You do have the option for divorce.

I would kindly suggest that you talk with him one more time and tell him that you do love him, you do want to save the marriage, but you’re not going to remain in limbo forever.

Insha’Allah sister, give him a date by which he must return and start marriage counseling with you. If he does not return by this date, please do consult with an Imam regarding divorce proceedings.

Also, retain a lawyer. You do not have to “push him harder” for a divorce, sister. You can seek one on your own if he does not agree to reunite with you and attempt to save the marriage. You do not need his permission to divorce.

It is obvious that your husband is not concerned with this marriage as he keeps making excuses and is manipulating you as well. An example of the manipulation is when he stated: “he wants to postpone divorce, he wants to try and go to therapy and give it a real shot to see if he can forgive me”.

Forgive you? Sister, you seem very intelligent. You have a lot of insight and I am sure that you can see if you stayed with him where this would go. May Allah forgive me if I am wrong, as only Allah knows. However, his behaviors and treatment of you are not of one who seeks to reconcile.  Perhaps this is why you are still distraught about what path to take after doing Istikharah prayer for seven days. Perhaps it is time to move on.

What the Qur’an says about Divorce

Please, do consult with a lawyer as well as an imam regarding divorce should you decide to take that route. As stated earlier, I would give him one last chance with a deadline. However, it may be that he does not respond.

It may also be that he will expect you as always to forgive him and just let it drag on. In the Qur’an, it states

“But if they separate [by divorce], Allah will enrich each [of them] from His abundance. And ever is Allah Encompassing and Wise.” (4:130)

AboutIslam also discusses divorce in this context “The Quran contains many verses detailing the ethics of divorce, including an entire chapter titled upon this topic.

Divorce in Islam is a welcome and cherished blessing for someone whose marriage is making them lose their religiosity and faith. In addition, it provides relief and emancipation to someone suffering from oppression, anguish, emotional turmoil, and even physical harm.

A Muslim should never allow or put up with constant, deliberate abuse, exploitation, injustice, or oppression.”

As you can see sister, Allah is most merciful and does provide relief for us when it is needed. Please evaluate your situation, make duaa to Allah to reap the best outcomes for any decisions you make.

Continue to Draw Close to Allah

Sister, continue to draw closer to Allah and get involved with the sisters at the Masjid. Our sisters are a great source of strength and love.  It would also be spiritually beneficially to keep yourself busy with various Islamic activities during this time. This is where our strength lies.

We wish you the best,

***

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:

Divorce: God’s Will or A Result of Our Own Actions?

Valid Reasons for Divorce in Islam

How to Rebuild My Life After Divorce?




About Aisha Mohammad-Swan

Aisha Mohammad-Swan received her PhD in psychology in 2000. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York with a focus on PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. She is currently studying for her certification in Islamic Chaplaincy, and takes Islamic courses at SHC. Aisha works at a Women's Daytime Drop in Center, and has her own part-time practice in which she integrates counseling and holistic health. Aisha also received an MA in Public Health/Community Development in 2009 and plans to open a community counseling/resource center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah.

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